A fresh contender for your blow-out 2012 Olympic gaming rig: AMD's first 28nm GPU, the Radeon HD 7970. It's scheduled to arrive on January 9th, priced at $549 -- nearly $200 more than its direct ancestor, the 6970. Then again, this newcomer packs some supremely athletic specs, including a 925MHz engine clock that can be readily OC'd to 1.1GHz, 2,048 stream processors and an uncommonly muscular 384-bit memory bus serving 3GB of GDDR5. At the same time, AMD hopes to make the card more practical than the dual-processor 6990 by bringing the card's power consumption down to less than 300W under load and a mere 3W in 'long idle' mode, and promising quieter cooling thanks to improved airflow and a bigger fan. We'll have to wait for benchmarks in January before we hand out any medals, but in the meantime NVIDIA's forthcoming 28nm Kepler GPU might want to step up its training schedule.
Update: Pre-release reviews are out already and our round-up will follow imminently.
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AMD Launches World's Fastest Single-GPU Graphics Card – the AMD RadeonTM HD 7970
- The AMD RadeonTM HD 7970 graphics card is first to market with 28nm process technology and PCI Express 3.0; harnesses AMD GCN Architecture, AMD ZeroCore Power and AMD Eyefinity 2.0 technologies -
SUNNYVALE, Calif. - Dec. 22, 2011 - AMD (NYSE: AMD) today launched the AMD RadeonTM HD 7970 graphics card for desktop PCs, introducing the world's fastest single GPU graphics card and the only GPU based on 28nm production technology. With the arrival of the AMD Radeon HD 7970, AMD has unleashed its revolutionary new Graphics Core Next Architecture that enables new levels of gaming and compute capabilities – realizing an improvement of over 150% in performance/sq mm over the prior generation. Engineered with support for PCI Express 3.0 and AMD CrossFireTM technology, the AMD Radeon HD 7970 graphics card arrives prepared for the next generation of gaming.
"True to the adage, "never settle," AMD is once again aggressively advancing the state of the graphics industry – this time with the arrival of the world's fastest single GPU graphics card, the AMD Radeon HD 7970,‖ said Matt Skynner, corporate vice president and general manager, GPU Division, AMD. ―This graphics card represents a revolution in the graphics industry. To put it bluntly, at 28 nm the AMD RadeonTM HD 7970 changes everything!"
AMD further extends its GPU leadership with the AMD Radeon HD 7970 through AMD App Acceleration, which enables exquisite high-definition video images and exceptional performance improvements for everyday applications. Ground-breaking advancements with AMD Eyefinity technology enable gamers and desktop enthusiasts to connect up to six displays to one graphics card, delivering immersive stereoscopic 3D experiences and astonishing 16k x 16k display resolutions. It's also armed with the latest PCI Express 3.0 standard to enable uncompromised image quality, and is additionally equipped with GDDR5 memory, enabling accelerated GPU performance. Through its intelligent AMD PowerTune and AMD ZeroCore Power technologies, the AMD Radeon HD 7970 enables higher performance levels while maximizing power efficiencies.
"The AMD Radeon HD 7970 is an awesome tool in any gamer's arsenal,‖ said Johan Andersson, Rendering Architect at DICE. ―We have worked closely with AMD during the development of the Frostbite 2 game engine to take full advantage of AMD Eyefinity multi-display technology and DirectX® 11 for a more realistic, entertaining and visceral gaming experience in Battlefield 3."
Efficient Architecture for Leading DirectX® 11 Performance
- New architecture for greater performance: AMD has further enhanced its GPU design efficiency through the introduction of the 28nm process technology and Graphics Core Next Architecture, realizing an improvement of over 150% in performance/sq mm over the prior generation.
- Refined AMD PowerTune technology: Designed with the most advanced power management features, the AMD Radeon HD 7970 is equipped with the intelligence to convert unused power headroom into extra performance by dynamically controlling clock speeds, allowing gamers advanced performance inside of the power envelope they specify.
- AMD ZeroCore Power Technology: Gamers asked, AMD delivered – the AMD ZeroCore Power technology found in the AMD Radeon HD 7970 ensures that no power is wasted when the graphics card is not in use, enabling lower idle power than any other currently available graphics card. With support for AMD CrossFire technology, AMD ZeroCore Power eliminates wasted power, as well as additional heat and noise from extra cards when you are not using them.
- PCI Express 3.0: The AMD Radeon HD 7970 comes natively equipped with support for PCI Express 3.0. With world-class performance scaling, enthusiasts' GPU experience is maximized when paired with the latest platforms.
- Discrete Digital Multi-Point (DDM) Audio: DDM Audio provides multiple independent audio streams for audio-capable displays via DisplayPort or HDMI signals. DDM Audio delivers unique experiences in cases where multi-display video conferencing, directional audio or multi-room entertainment hubs are being used.
- Enhanced Multi-GPU Capabilities: AMD CrossFire technology is the ultimate multi-GPU performance gaming platform. Unlocking game-dominating power, AMD CrossFire technology, coupled with PCI Express 3.0, will allow for unprecedented bandwidth in TriFire and QuadFire configurations.
The Ultimate Immersive Gaming Experience and Innovative AMD Eyefinity 2.0 Technology
- Next Generation AMD Eyefinity technology: AMD Eyefinity 2.0 features all-new support for stereo 3D, universal bezel compensation, brand new display configurations and an expanded and more immersive field of view. This allows users with 2560x1600 monitors in an AMD Eyefinity 5x1 landscape configuration to achieve a horizontal resolution of 12,800 pixels, driving more than 20 million pixels of screen real estate. More than 70 game titles have been AMD Eyefinity- validated, while many are AMD Eyefinity-ready, and hundreds more are AMD Eyefinity-compatible.
- DisplayPort 1.2 and HDMI 1.4a: With full support for 3GHz HDMI 1.4a and DisplayPort 1.2 HBR2, the AMD Radeon HD 7970 is set to drive next generation displays at up to 4K resolution.
- 3D entertainment choices with AMD HD3D technology: With the arrival of the latest in stereo 3D technology, AMD continues to deliver an enhanced visual experience on stereo 3D-capable desktops and notebooks powered by AMD Radeon graphics. The AMD Radeon HD 7970 is backed by AMD's open 3D initiative for stereo 3D gaming and Blu-ray 3D movies.
Better Performance through AMD App Acceleration
- AMD App Acceleration lets you do more, faster: Enthusiasts will enjoy improved GPGPU performance and new features in many top media, entertainment and everyday productivity applications with AMD App Acceleration.
- Extensive support of industry standards: AMD Radeon HD 7970 fully supports DirectCompute® and OpenCLTM technologies, enabling broad application support today and tomorrow.
The AMD Radeon HD 7970 is available January 9, 2012 from retailers worldwide, with select models starting at $549 US SEP.