AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition review roundup: a big, bad bruiser of a graphics card

You know the routine: we looked this revamped card's spec sheet a few hours ago, so now it's time to find out how it fared in independent tests and whether it's worth the $499 outlay. On the face of it, this powerhouse of a card ought to be a champ, since it comes $50 cheaper than the original's launch price (although that non-GHz Edition has now dropped to $449) and brings crucial improvements in clock speed and memory bandwidth. In practice? Well, it wins -- but only on points. Read on for more.

Ryan Shrout over at PC Perspective was "pretty impressed" with the card, finding a 5-12 percent boost to gaming -- on top of improvements in the latest drivers (Catalyst 12.7). This led to a "very slight" performance lead over the GTX 680, especially at higher resolutions, but the nimbler NVIDIA card still won on power efficiency.

Tom's Hardware agreed on this final point, finding the GHz Edition to be even more of a brute than the dual-GPU GTX 690 in terms of temperature and noise under load. That said, when they switched out the stock cooler for a third-party cooler, the site achieved a big reduction in decibels, and most partner boards are expected to shift with third-party coolers in the first place.

AnandTech brought some history to mix, declaring this was the first time AMD has matched NVIDIA within a single-GPU product cycle since the Radeon X1950 hit stores back in 1950 (jk: 2006). Emphasis on the word "matched," however, because Anandtech's gaming benchmarks suggested a tie at all except multi-monitor resolutions.

Hankering for the actual benchmarks? Then click the links above and below for more.

Read -- Expert Reviews

Read -- TechSpot

Read -- VR-Zone

Read -- The Tech Report