AMD Radeon HD 7970 & HD 7950 - Heading to Southern Islands with Tahiti

By Wong Chung Wee - 13 Feb 2012

Roundup of the Tahiti GPU Based Cards

Big Brother, Little Brother

To the casual observer, there is little difference between the AMD Radeon HD 7970 and AMD Radeon HD 7950 refernce cards. As we have highlighted earlier, AMD Radeon HD 7950 features the same Tahiti GPU, but with a slightly lower number of 28 GCN CU versus the 7970's 32 GCN CU units while the number of TMU units also differ at 112 and 128 respectively. Additionally, memory clock speed has been clocked down to 5000MHz instead of 5500MHz on the top model. Such seemingly miniscule differences are typical of SKU differentiation for graphic cards.

 As the big brother, AMD Radeon HD 7970 is in the foreground while its little brother AMD Radeon HD 7950 takes a backseat in this family portrait. From the back view, they are almost impossible to differentiate except for their tell-tale SKU labels (pale lime green in color). The card on top features the Radeon HD 7970 while the bottom one features the Radeon HD 7950.

In terms of size, both cards occupy two full expansion slots and are as long as their Radeon HD 6900 predecessors at 10.5 inches long or about 27cm.


Power and Molex Connectors Configuration

Big brother Radeon HD 7970 is rated at 250W for its maximum power draw of its circuit board while the Radeon HD 7950 is rated at 200W. That said, for a simple and straightforward gaming rig, you probably won't require anything more than a well-built 550W PSU to get these GPUs going.

At the top, Radeon HD 7970 has one 6-pin PCIe power connector and an 8-pin one. Its younger brother, Radeon HD 7950, has a pair of 6-pin PCIe power connectors.

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