Today AMD release the first card in their 7000 series – the high end HD7970, which is built on the latest 28nm manufacturing process. AMD's HD6970 was a huge success for the company, so the replacement card is certainly going to get a lot of media attention over the coming weeks. AMD claim it has ‘significantly more compute power than the HD6970' with a brand new revolutionary architecture. With new technologies such as ‘ZeroCore' power saving, is this the discrete solution to start 2012 with a bang?
The high end graphics sector has certainly no shortage of lightning quick, expensive products. Dual GPU discrete solutions such as the HD6990 and GTX590 have been leading the performance charts since they were released. In the single GPU sector it would be fair to say that AMD have not been able to oust Nvidia's GTX580 from the top slot, instead targeting the HD6970 at a lower price point. I have had a soft spot for the GTX580 now for a long time, it is one of my favourite video cards of all time.
AMD's HD7970 has been designed from the ground up redress the imbalance and to ensure that AMD remain competitive when Nvidia release their GTX580 replacement, shortly. The HD7970 has 2,047 stream processors and 3GB of GDDR5 memory connected via a 384 bit memory interface, so it certainly doesn't seem to be cutting any performance corners, but is it enough to claim the performance throne as we head into 2012?