On 9th January, AMD officially launched its next generation family of graphics cards, the Radeon HD 7900 series. The successor and flagship offering from this series is the Radeon HD 7970. Today marks the launch of AMD Radeon HD 7950 which has been positioned as a little brother to the 7970 as they are hail from the same Southern Island family with the same GPU.
AMD Radeon HD 7970
|AMD Radeon HD 7950|
|Transistor Count||4300 million||4300 million|
|Stream Processors||2048 Stream processing units||1792 Stream processing units|
|Stream Processor Clock||925MHz||880MHz|
|Texture Mapping Units (TMU) or Texture Filtering (TF) units||128||112|
|Raster Operator units (ROP)||32||32|
|Memory Clock||5500MHz GDDR5||5000MHz GDDR5|
|DDR Memory Bus||384-bit||384-bit|
|PCI Express Interface||PCIe ver 3.0 x16||PCIe ver 3.0 x16|
|Molex Power Connectors||1 x 6-pin, 1 x 8-pin||1 x 6-pin, 1 x 6-pin|
|Multi GPU Technology||CrossFireX||CrossFireX|
|DVI Output Support||2 x Dual-Link||2 x Dual-Link|
|DisplayPort||2 (DisplayPort 1.2 HBR2)||2 (DisplayPort 1.2 HBR2)|
|HDCP Output Support||Yes||Yes|
|Street Price||Launch Price: US$549||~US$449|
The AMD Radeon HD 7950 has its GPU core clock rated at 800MHz and its memory clock speed is lowered to 5000MHz. It shares the same memory bus width of 384 bits as the Radeon HD 7970 but the former's memory bandwidth is expectedly a tad lower at 240GB/s. There are also other differences such as the number of active GCN compute units, which were cut back from 32 to 28, resulting in a reduced number of total stream processing units. To accompany that, the number of texture mapping units have been scaled back from 128 to 112.
In the end, these changes aren't drastic and are the usual level of differentiation applied for getting out a slightly different SKU. For a casual observer looking over the reference card, the AMD Radeon HD 7950 looks almost the same as its elder brother.
To support the official release today, a slew of AMD Radeon HD 7950 graphics cards have been released by add-in card partners ASUS, Club3D, MSI, and Sapphire to name a few. The good thing is that many of the vendors have made an effort to outfit the cards with customized designs and coolers, which are in addition to the standard editions for those on a budget. Here's a quick pictorial overview of them:-
Here are their respective press releases/product specifications:-
For those willing to get your hands a little 'dirty', you could opt to get the plain vanilla edition Radeon HD 7950 card from any of the usual board vendors and outfit it with your own choice of a third-party cooler such as the Arctic Accelero Xtreme 7970 cooler. It won't come cheap, but that's the price for personal customization.