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AMD Radeon HD 7970 Review

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PROS / The Radeon HD 7970 overclocks at over 1GHz.

CONS / The card is very big and generates more heat than competing cards do.

 VERDICT / This graphics card can handle any game you throw at it on the high and ultra settings, although you may want to add extra cooling options.

The battle to be the best and fastest graphics card results in the top competitors consistently improving and challenging each other with new releases. The Radeon HD 7970 is slightly dated now, but it remains relevant because of its strong performance, GPU and integration of AMD's graphic-enhancing technologies like Mantle.

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The AMD Radeon HD 7970 gives high performance and speed with its Graphics Core Next architecture. It boasts 2,048 stream processors, 128 texture units, a base clock speed of 925Mhz and a boosted speed of over 1GHz.

  1. A rough measure of the graphics card's overall processing power and what it can handle.
    Higher is better
  2. 8 AMD Radeon HD 7970
    66.6
  3. 111.9
  4. 94.5
  5. 93.3
  6. Category Average
    77.52

One of the best features of the HD 7970 is the PowerTune technology. This feature monitors your clock speed and automatically overclocks the GPU when there is available power not being used. Not all games run at the same frame rate, and game situations change so frequently that there is no overclocking cure-all for perfect frame rates. This is what makes PowerTune such great technology. It gives you the best graphics performance by removing the worry and work of overclocking, letting you focus on gaming rather than on endlessly tweaking settings.

The HD 7970 has 3GB of GDDR5 memory and a wide-open memory bandwidth of 264GB per second, which is above average. That large memory bandwidth is mostly thanks to the card's 384-bit memory bus. The memory clock speed is only 5.5Gbps, which is somewhat slow, but the wide bus makes up for that. With a total memory bandwidth of 264Gbps, the HD 7970 can push a lot of information. This means you'll get better and more consistent performance, especially on graphics-intensive games.

While the HD 7970 comes with AMD's ZeroCore Power technology, it tends to run a little warmer and louder than comparable Nvidia graphics cards, as it is a relatively large card. ZeroCore is great technology that turns off unnecessary power usage by the graphics card when your computer goes into sleep mode or your displays are off. The HD 7970 only requires a 500-watt power supply, and you need one six-pin connector and one eight-pin connector to give the HD 7970 the power it needs to run.

Summary

The AMD Radeon HD 7970 is a powerful graphics card, and it is an excellent choice when you want to get the most out of your games. The card tends to run a bit on the warm side when fully loaded, but this is not unexpected for a card of its size and power. The card is also pretty noisy, which is common with AMD graphics cards. It isn't the best graphics card in our comparison, but with its power and graphics-enhancing technology, the HD 7970 is still able to take your gaming experience to the next level.

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