Radeon HD 7950: characteristics, comparison with peers and reviews
This article will be entirely devoted to the graphics accelerator model Radeon HD 7950 from the company AMD. Its parameters, capabilities and other important characteristics will be considered in detail. Also within the framework of this material, test results will be shown and the video card will be compared with direct competitors.
Distribution of AMD graphics cards within 7000th. Positioning the decision in question
AMD 7000 series video adapters shared as follows:
- The discrete accelerators of the initial level belonged to the model series 77XX. They had very modest parameters and specifications. As a result, the level of performance allowed them to solve only the most simple tasks. Among the advantages in this case, it is possible to note the low cost and the ability to install passive cooling systems. The last nuance minimized the requirements for the power supply of a personal computer, and also allowed the discrete graphics subsystem to occupy only one slot in the PC case.Another advantage of this arrangement is the minimum level of noise during operation.
- Solutions of the mid-range included adapters of the 78XX series. In this case, both the characteristics and the level of performance improved significantly. As a result, personal computers with such video subsystems could solve a wider range of tasks. In turn, only active heat removal systems were used to cool such accelerators. This feature increases the noise level and causes the adapter to occupy 2 expansion slots.
- The premium discrete accelerators were in this case the devices of the 79XX series. They provided an uncompromisingly high level of performance, but they had a corresponding price tag. It was to this group of devices that the Radeon HD 7950 belonged. Also, the owners of such accelerators could launch any toys or application software without any particular problems.
As it was already noted earlier, premium-level graphics adapters should include the Radeon HD 7950. Accordingly, the package bundle should have the proper level and include not only the main components, but additional ones. As a result, the manufacturer included the following in it:
- Discrete adapter.
- Disk with a full set of utilities and drivers. Also, if necessary, you can find an expanded user manual in electronic format.
- Warranty card.
- DVI - VGA and DVI - HDMI adapters.
- A set of promotional brochures with a full list of device capabilities.
- Connector wired for catering.
- User guide.
In a typical layout, as for a premium graphics card, the Radeon HD 7950 is supplied. Its characteristics are quite solid and, as a result, it cannot work without active cooling. Therefore, on top of the accelerator PCB is a system of copper tubes and a cooler. Some manufacturers carry out "factory overclocking" of such an adapter, and in this case, instead of one fan, there may be two or even three such active cooling elements.
On one side of the board, there is a typical PCI-E slot in the 16X version, with which such an accelerator can be installed in the expansion slot of the motherboard. On a metal plate of such a video card there are 4 ports for connecting monitors. One of them is DVI, the second is HDMI. Also, this list is complemented by 2 mini-format ports - DisplayPort.
Whatever it was, and the main element that has the greatest impact on the performance of the video subsystem of a PC is a graphics processor. The Tahiti Pro GPU is at the core of the AMD Radeon HD 7950. The characteristics of this semiconductor chip indicate the presence of 4,312 million transistor elements, which are manufactured using the 28nm process technology. Its clock frequency can in the nominal mode is 800 MHz. The shader units on this semiconductor base are 1792, the rasterization modules are 32, and the number of TMUs is 112.
Energy consumption. Power Supply
The presence of an accelerator model ATI Radeon HD 7950 puts forward very high demands on the power supply system. The characteristics of the accelerator itself indicate that in the nominal mode it needs 200W of electrical energy. But the power supply at the same time should produce about 500 watts or more. In reality, the last value should be at least 750 watts.
The main video memory for the Radeon HD 7950 - 3Gb series. In combination with any other buffer size, this video card cannot be met for the reason that the smaller size in conjunction with the premium accelerator is unjustified, and the larger one could not be physically addressed.The type of RAM is the most common GDDR5 today. The nominal frequency of memory chips is 5000 MHz, and the bus width of their connection is 384 bits. The capacity of the video memory subsystem in this case is 240 Gbit / s.
Of course, against the background of modern graphics adapters, these parameters look quite modest, but by the standards of 2012, these characteristics were simply phenomenal and made it possible to solve any problems. And even at the moment, this adapter is still relevant and is able to solve any problems. In some cases, it will, of course, not give the most maximum settings, but this is for such a video card, which was released 5 years ago, it is natural.
Graphic AMD Radeon HD 7950 is supplied with a sufficiently large set of various application and diagnostic software. The driver is included in the Catalyst package. In addition to him, this software also includes a special utility that provides direct control of the monitor. Separately, it is also necessary to note a mini-program that allows you to track the main parameters of the adapter (temperature, number of revolutions of the cooling system).
A simple and intuitive way to configure the graphics accelerator considered in this article. It consists of the following main stages:
- We retrieve the video card from the cardboard box along with the rest of the delivery items.
- In the off state, dismantle the side panels from the PC case.
- Prepare a place to install the metal plate of the accelerator in the rear wall of the computer (remove the plug).
- Install the system video card in the expansion slot.
- We fix the metal plate with the ports with the help of a screw in the rear wall of the computer system case.
- After that, we assemble the system unit back.
- We connect the monitors to the ports of the video adapter.
- Turn on the PC.
- After the end of the boot process, we launch the installation process of the branded AMD Catalyst package, which directly provides control and diagnostics of the Radeon HD 7950. The drivers, as noted earlier, are included in its composition.
- After the installation of the application software is completed, it is recommended to restart the PC.
Each of the manufacturers of computer technology tends to interest a potential buyer. It is for this reason that they in their products implement certain innovations.In this case, it is the factory overclocking and increased performance level. Of course, such products have a higher cost, but this approach to pricing is fully justified. For example, ASUS Radeon HD 7950 with the recommended 3 GB has initially increased frequencies. For a graphics chip, this value is increased from the nominal 800 MHz to 1000 MHz, and for the memory from 5000 MHz to 6300 MHz.
As a result, on average, it turns out a 20% increase in productivity. But this leads to the fact that the adapter is equipped with an advanced cooling system from an increased number of radiator plates and two coolers. Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 3Gb has a similar layout. She also has 2 fans for cooling and a greater number of radiator plates. But here its frequencies are almost completely identical to the nominal ones: 850 MHz for the chip and 5000 MHz for the memory. That is, only the processor part in this case is overclocked to 50 MHz relative to the nominal mode.
It makes sense to purchase such a board only when it is planned to overclock the adapter. The Gigabyte Radeon HD 7950 boasts an even more improved cooling system. He already has 3 coolers. And the frequency formula is 900 MHz for the 5000 MHz chip for the video buffer.The combination of all these factors allows the owners of such accelerators to rely on the possibility of overclocking such a video subsystem and obtaining even greater performance.
Results in synthetics
AMD Radeon HD 7950 boasts quite good results in modern synthetic packages. As experience shows, the hero of this article is 17-20% slower than the flagship HD7970 and faster from NVidia's GTX580 by 6-7%. But at the same time, the GTX670 of the same manufacturer is ahead of the hero of this material by an average of 10%. As a real example, consider the results in 3D Mark11. The test bench is based on the Core i7 CPU with the 3930K index from Intel. This chip has a clock frequency of 3.2-4.4 GHz and is equipped with 6 computing modules. As a result, the level of its computing power is uncompromisingly high, and it will not be a “limiting link” during testing.
Also, the computer system includes a motherboard on Intel's x79 chipset. The RAM, in turn, is represented by 4 DDR3 strips with a frequency of 2133 MHz and a total nominal volume of 16 GB (module h of 4 GB each). Power supply corresponds to 750 watts. A hard disk with a capacity of 1 TB and a rotation speed of 7200 rpm is used as a drive. It also has an integrated buffer of 12 MB.The Windows 7 SP1 Ultimate OS was used as the software for the test bench. In this case, these results were obtained in points:
- HD 7970 3Gb - 3146-3107.
- GTX 670 2Gb - 2734-3035.
- HD 7950 3Gb - 2572-2864.
- GTX580 1.5Gb - 1908-2161.
More advanced architecture and hardware specifications allow the HD7970 to bypass any direct competitor without any problems. In this case, for the same reason, the GTX670 is ahead of the HD7950. Well, the flagship of the previous generation is outdated and therefore cannot compete on equal terms with more recent counterparts.
We now turn to the AMD Radeon HD 7950 gaming tests. The test participants are the same as the test configuration. The format of the displayed image is 1920 x 1080 or FullHD. picture quality is ultra-high. First, consider Battlefield 3. In this case, the number of frames per second was this:
- GTX670 2Gb - 53-63.
- HD7970 3Gb - 46-53.
- GTX580 1,5Gb - 42-50.
- HD7950 3Gb - 36-45.
The results indicate that this toy at the program level is more optimized for NVidia solutions and the more modest results of AMD products in this case are due to this very factor. On the other hand, the difference in this case is not so significant and the presence of exclusive modifications of the hero of this article, for example, Sapphire Radeon HD 7950, allows not only to minimize it, but also to bypass the nearest adapters of the competing camp.
This modification allows you to get in the nominal mode fps at the level of 50-56.That is, the GTX580 is hopelessly behind her, and even the flagship HD 7970 slightly loses. Finally, it should be noted that all participants in the test provide a comfortable level of playability in this test. We now turn to Crisis 2. The FPS level in this situation is as follows:
- HD7970 3Gb - 25-51.
- GTX670 2Gb - 18-53.
- HD7950 3Gb - 19-45.
- GTX580 1.5Gb - 13-42.
When viewed from the perspective of gameplay, none of the adapters provide a comfortable level. Due to fewer drawdowns, the HD7970 was the winner. GTX670 breathes in his back. If it were not for drawdowns to 18 fps, then he would definitely be the winner of this test. Next comes the HD7950. The difference between the second and third position is not so significant, but NVidia has an advantage, albeit a small one. Well, the outdated flagship GTX580 is naturally an outsider. These two tests indicate that parity has been established in the world of graphics cards. In one case, NVidia is preferred, and in the other, AMD. But the difference between them is not so big. If desired, it can be minimized by overclocking. A similar picture persists to this day.
Like any other modern graphics adapter, ATI Radeon HD 7950 can be overclocked and, due to this manipulation, the performance of a computer system can be significantly increased.When performing such an operation, such accelerator parameters increase: the clock frequency of the chip and the video memory, as well as the voltage that is applied to the GPU. In the nominal mode, their values are equal, respectively, to 800 MHz, 5000 MHz, and 1.15 V. After overclocking, the frequency of the graphics accelerator processor can increase from 800 MHz to 900-1100 MHz. In percentage terms, we get 18% increase in speed. In turn, the memory frequency from 5000 MHz can be increased to 6000 - 6300 MHz. In this case, the performance gain is 26%.
Regarding the voltage applied to the processor of the HD Radeon 7950 video card, it can be noted that during overclocking it should not exceed 1.35-1.37 V. If this condition is not met, the graphics accelerator can fail. Separately, it is also necessary to note that the overclocking of any component of the PC imposes increased requirements on its configuration. First of all, you need an increased power supply. If in the basic mode this value should correspond to 500 W, then in case of overclocking it should be increased to 750-800 W. Also, the motherboard must necessarily have improved wiring and a system for stabilizing the power supply.In this case, the PC case should provide improved air circulation and is equipped with additional coolers.
As already noted, in 2012, sales of video adapters of the 7000th series started, to which ATI Radeon HD 7950 belonged. Over the past 5 years, the AMD graphics lineup has been updated several times. At the same time, the stocks of such accelerators have been sold out for a long time and very successfully. As a result, you can become the owner of such a product only in the used state. At various trading platforms on the Internet it can be found at a price of 7000-7500 rubles. For the assembly of new, modern, ultimating gaming computers, the HD7950 is certainly not suitable, but for the implementation of a mid-level PC you can quite successfully apply it.
A number of significant advantages can boast of the Radeon HD 7950 3Gb. The first of them is a high level of speed, which even still allows to solve any problems. Moreover, the most demanding toys and graphic software equally belong to the latter. It is still too early for owners of such accelerators to think about updating their computing system. At least its graphic part.Moreover, even when assembling a gaming PC of an average price range, such an adapter can still be used.
Another important plus of the product in question is a good overclocking potential. The disadvantages include the lack of VGA-out, increased power consumption and high cost at the time of release. The first problem is solved by installing the appropriate adapter, which is included in the original configuration. Well, the last two points are typical for premium accelerators.
Conclusion Adapter perspectives
In any case, the performance margin, which was laid by the developers in the Radeon HD 7950, still allows it to be an actual accelerator. Of course, it does not reach the modern premium level, but it can compete with the decisions of the middle price range. Moreover, its cost is lower. And this fact alone makes it possible at less cost to get an excellent PC for games and processing graphic content. Another possible area of use is mining. In the latter case, it is quite possible to get a phenomenally high level of return by means of minimal investments.Finally, it should be noted that after a couple of years, PCs based on such an accelerator will lose their relevance and it will be possible to think about updating the computing system. As experience shows, the life cycle of computer equipment is 7 years. After which you need to urgently update it.