So, what products are we going to compare today? First of all, we are going to benchmark Radeon HD 7970 and HD 7950 cards at their default frequencies of 925/5500 and 800/5000 MHz, respectively. Then, we will also compare them at the identical frequencies of 925/5500 MHz to check out the effect of the lack of some functional subunits in the Tahiti Pro processor. We will also overclock our HD 7950 to its limit to see if it can beat the HD 7970. And finally, we will compare the Radeon HD 7950 with the GeForce GTX 580 at the latter’s default clock rates. Let’s get started!
Both benchmarks from Futuremark produce the same standings. The Radeon HD 7950, when clocked at its default frequencies, is as fast as the GeForce GTX 580 and 14-22% slower than the Radeon HD 7950. The HD 7950 is as close as 3-9% to its senior cousin when overclocked to 925/5500 MHz and leaves it behind by 8-12% at the maximum frequencies.
Unigine Heaven Demo
The difference between the Radeon HD 7970 and HD 7950 is very small when both are clocked at 925/5500 MHz. The latter card enjoys an impressive advantage when overclocked to 1100/7360 MHz.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat
The HD 7950 falls behind the HD 7970 when both work at the same frequencies in S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat. The gap is even larger at 23% when both work at their default clock rates. It is only through maximum overclocking that the Sapphire card goes ahead. The GeForce GTX 580 is slower than the Sapphire across all the test modes.
Left 4 Dead 2
The graphics cards deliver very high frame rates in Left 4 Dead 2, so we should compare them at 2560x1600 with 8x antialiasing: the Radeon HD 7950 is somewhat faster than the GeForce GTX 580, slower than the HD 7970 at the same clock rates, and leaves every opponent behind when overclocked to maximum frequencies.
Metro 2033: The Last Refuge
The game produced the same results irrespective of whether we enabled FSAA or not. Therefore we tested the graphics cards in the FSAA-less mode only.
This game can only run smoothly on top-end CrossFireX and SLI configurations. You won’t get a comfortable frame rate with a single graphics card, even a top-end one. The standings are the same as in the previous tests, though.