AMD have lifted their partner NDA today, and in this review we will be looking at the performance of two HIS HD7970’s in a Crossfire configuration. We already know that one of these cards has claimed the top ‘single GPU’ performance spot from Nvidia’s GTX580, so how will two of them handle a variety of DX10/11 game engines across both single screen and multi screen configurations?
There is little to fault with AMD’s latest flagship discrete solution, however it is worth pointing out that they have marketed the HD7970 as the direct replacement for the HD6970, which seems rather optimistic considering the pricing. The HD6970 can be picked up for well under £300, and the HD7970 is around 50 percent more expensive, in stores at £450 inc vat. This means if you want to run in Crossfire, then you will be paying the guts of a grand before considering any of the other components.
The HIS HD7970 we are looking at today is built to AMD’s reference design, identical in all regards. There will be so many of these reference cards available this week that the battle for sales will surely come down to pricing. We don’t have the retail price for the HIS version yet, but we would assume it will be around the £450 inc vat mark.
Above, the AMD specifications graph. A significant architectural improvement, but it comes at a cost … almost 50 percent more than the last generation card. Worthy of note, the power consumption figures are almost identical between the cards, not an easy thing to achieve with such a huge increase in overall performance.