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Discussion on Article:
AMD to Refresh Radeon HD Family, Introduce New Game Bundle Deals in First Half of 2013.
Without even going into the improvements of HD 8000 series. The HD 7000 series with the first gen GCN is the biggest change in GPU architecture in the company's history ever since unified shaders came into play, compared to all other steady changes that had happened prior to that.
That is really a strange statement to make.
No major improvements since HD5xxx series? HD7970GE without any overclocking is nearly 2x faster than HD5870 in modern games. Ok sure, for card that came out September 2009 HD5870 is a rock star, but HD7970GE is a pretty big step up.
HD5870 was 62% faster than HD4870 at 1080P 4AA, and 68% faster at 1600P 4AA:
925mhz HD7970 was 51% faster than HD6950~5870 at 1080P 4AA, and 61% faster at 1600P 4AA:
But AMD left a ton of overclocking headroom on the 7970, allowing most enthusiasts to OC from 925mhz to 1150-1200mhz. With overclocking, HD7970 is actually 90-100% faster than an HD5870 and it has 3GB of VRAM for mods.
HD7970 is a bigger improvement over 5870 than 5870 was over 4870 if you consider overclocking. The downside is AMD raised prices to $550 and there is a larger gap between 5870's and 7970's release dates than between 4870's and 5870's, due to 28nm node issues. Prices also had to rise due to a rise in 28nm wafer costs. Nvidia sold 294mm2 GK104 for $499 while they sold 480/580 chips for $499 despite their 500mm2+ die sizes.
Did you also forget that 5870 falls apart in DX11 games with tessellation?
HD7970 is a big upgrade from the 5870. I don't expect the next big upgrade on AMD side until 20nm though. HD8970 should be a mild upgrade (15-20%).
There are some novel ideas right now but 3D engine makers also need input to have their say in what they feel is best for the graphics industry. A lot of good ideas never see the light of day but then go on to serve as primer for better tech to be used in future iterations of DX.
1180mhz HD7970 is 96% faster than HD6950~HD5870 at 1080P and 104% at 1600P. It is also 72% and 79% faster than HD6970 at these respective resolutions. Those are larger differences than 5870 had over 4870 (see my post above).
But the performance progress is slowing down, just like for CPU.
Performance matters but convenience and productivity matters just as much.
P.S. I hope AMD can price their cards right this time! and have drivers optimized before release. It looked rather silly being higher priced, then slightly slower performance vs competition, then drop prices, then gain big performance over nvidia and be stuck with low prices till next gen. AMD should let nvidia make the next move 1st.
HSA is doing just that and its progressing very well towards enabling its key goals.
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