AMD Radeon HD 7950 review

The best HD 7000 series card so far

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As with any graphics card release it's all about performance and the AMD HD 7950 has got it in spades, and with a fair amount in reserve too.

At stock speeds the pace the AMD HD 7970 sets is tough for the HD 7950 to follow, leaving it at least 10% slower than its big brother. Sometimes that gap widens leaving the HD 7950 around 20% behind.

That's something that we would normally expect between the top two cards of a manufacturer's new generation.

But what of our assurances the AMD Radeon HD 7950 was almost as good a card?

AMD radeon hd 7950

Well as soon as you start waving around that familiar overclocking stick you can quickly see much of the difference between the two cards was taken up with the separation in core clockspeed.

Of course there's no guarantee that every Tahiti Pro GPU will be capable of these feats of overclocking, but the yields of these chips are only going to improve so I wouldn't be in the least surprised to see every Tahiti Pro capable of topping the 1GHz mark.

Like the HD 7970 before it we were able to drop into AMD's Overdrive software and push all the clock and memory sliders to their maximum settings without a problem.

In the case of the AMD Radeon HD 7950 that meant we hit 1,100MHz on the core and 1,575MHz for the memory.

That's fast.

And, as you can see from the benchmarks on the previous page, when the clockspeeds are pushed to the same limits there is almost nothing between the two top AMD HD 7000 series cards.

Considering the HD 7950 is over £100 cheaper than the HD 7970, that's quite impressive.

Interestingly though you don't even need to overclock the cards to make that difference disappear in CrossFire.

When the HD 7000 series cards are paired up there is again very little to separate them in terms of performance, and nothing that couldn't be closed if you just pushed the HD 7950 up to 925MHz.

Tech Specs

Product TypeGraphic Card
Chipset ManufacturerAMD
Chipset ModelHD 7950
Chipset LineRadeon
Chipset SeriesHD 7000
Maximum Resolution4096 x 3112
Brand NameAMD
Standard Memory3 GB
Host InterfacePCI Express 3.0 x16
HDCP SupportedYes
Multi-GPU TechnologyCrossFire
Analog SignalYes
Digital SignalYes
Dual Link DVI SupportedYes
Number of VGA Outputs1
Number of DVI Outputs1
Number of HDMI Outputs1
Memory TechnologyGDDR5 SDRAM
Form FactorPlug-in Card
ManufacturerAdvanced Micro Devices, Inc
Memory Speed1250 MHz
Product NameRadeon HD 7950 Graphics
Manufacturer Part Numberecx-Mes-UK-1008089
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information
  • The world's first 28nm GPU. The revolutionary new GCN Architecture. Ready for DirectX® 11. PCI Express 3.0. The AMD Radeon™ HD 7950 is your personal checklist for ground-breaking technology
  • The next generation of AMD Eyefinity technology is here, featuring all-new support for stereo 3D, universal bezel compensation and brand new display configurations. Face it: the best just got better
  • Armed with the new PCI Express 3.0 standard, multi-GPU configurations with AMD CrossFire™ technology are just another way to obliterate the competition with the revolutionary AMD Radeon™ HD 7950
  • Leave no performance behind. Get higher clocks and faster gaming with AMD PowerTune technology on AMD Radeon™ HD 7950 Graphics
  • Fold and mine faster than ever with AMD App Acceleration powered by the unprecedented 28nm GCN Architecture
  • The market isn't ready for 4k video, but Radeon™ is. With full support for 3GHz HDMI 1.4a and DisplayPort 1.2 HBR2, the AMD Radeon™ HD 7950 is set for quad HD
API SupportedDirectCompute 11, OpenGL 4.2, OpenCL 1.2, DirectX 11.0