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Discussion on Article:
Catch Me if You Can: Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 OC 3 GB Graphics Card Review

Started by: Yorgos | Date 02/16/12 05:04:06 AM
Comments: 7 | Last Comment:  02/21/12 11:54:11 AM

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0 4 [Posted by: Yorgos  | Date: 02/16/12 05:04:06 AM]
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Excellent performance when overclocked. 1100 overclock from stock speeds of 800 is an incredible ~38% overclock.

Having said that, I would expect NV to come out with something competitive too. Comments such as Nvidia leaking slides on how much better its card will overclock are unnecessary when you analyze their launch history.

Think about it, it took AMD almost 15 months to release an HD7950 that's only 10% faster than a GTX580, but is manufactured not only on the more advanced 28nm process node, but also was designed on a new architecture. It took NV less than that to produce a simple refresh of GTX480 and in the process achieve a 15% more increase from the GTX580 (on the same 40nm process, using the same architecture).

Kepler will be an entirely new architecture and also benefit from all the advantages that a new 28nm node brings.

Looking back historically:

New Mid-Range vs. Previous High-end from NV:

GeForce 4 4200 > GeForce 3 Ti 500
GeForce FX 5700 Ultra > GeForce 4 4800
GeForce 6600GT > Geforce FX 5950 Ultra
GeForce 7600GT > GeForce 6800 Ultra (in modern games)
GeForce 8800GT/9600GT > 7900GTX
Geforce GTS250 512MB > 8800GTX 768mb/ 9800GTX+
GeForce GTX460 1GB > GTX280/285

It's logical to assume that if NV follows this path, GTX660 Ti will be nearly as fast as a GTX580, if not faster. Since that card will be mid-range, it will probably have a much lower price-point than the HD7950.

Also, don't forget that NV had a very advanced geometry/tessellation-capable architecture with Fermi. Kepler will only improve upon that while Tahiti barely surpasses the original Fermi, albeit ~2 years later.

I am not saying NV is 100% guaranteed to beat Tahiti since AMD can always release a faster HD7980 card, but you can't discount Nvidia's response just yet by implying they'd need to resort to overclocking to stay in the game.
1 2 [Posted by: BestJinjo  | Date: 02/16/12 06:06:39 AM]

With regards to memory overclocking it is important to check that the memory bandwidth is still improving. The current implementation has error correction so when pushed past the stability point it will still work without apparent artefacts but the performance will plateau.
2 0 [Posted by: pondermotive  | Date: 02/16/12 06:03:08 AM]

I just finished building my new computer. I installed the HD7950 and now I am able to play all video games with everything maxed out at 1920x1080. My frames-per-second (fps) rate is always greater than 30fps. I cant wait to buy another HD7950 for CrossFire. The graphics card is also extremely quiet.;creativeASIN=B0070APVQ6
0 1 [Posted by: amythompson172  | Date: 02/17/12 12:26:38 AM]
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It doesn't sound like you need a second card now or anytime soon. You'll get marginal benefits from it in general, and almost nothing in minimum frame rates. Plus, cross-fire drivers are often behind the curve. If you have the board space, cooling, money, and you really want to try it, go ahead. But you'd probably be better off saving that cash for next year's gfx.
0 0 [Posted by: Papoulka  | Date: 02/17/12 11:42:06 AM]

I just got my Sapphire 7950 OC last week and I absolutely love the card so far. Amazing overclocker.......1260/7000 @ 1.25v.....maybe more but not sure yet as I am still testing. Temps remain cool and even with a slightly aggressive fan profile, noise is still pretty low. At that speed my 3dMark11 score matches my overclocked and unlocked 6950's which is not to shabby.
1 0 [Posted by: jhatfie  | Date: 02/19/12 11:12:51 AM]
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That's an awesome overclock jhatfie. At those speeds, it's probably within 10-15% of a heavily overclocked 7970.

How much is your overclock on 1.20V?
0 1 [Posted by: BestJinjo  | Date: 02/21/12 11:54:11 AM]


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