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Review: AMD Radeon HD 7950 graphics processor

by Tarinder Sandhu on 31 January 2012, 05:00 4.0


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Take two at the reference card

The reference Radeon HD 7950 3GB card will be taken up by the majority of AMD's add-in board partners, we reckon, but, given the underlying similarities between this and the range-topping HD 7970, custom-cooled solutions will also be available on launch day.


AMD plays it sensible for the press card. Take one look at it and it seems to be identical to the HD 7970. And it is, save for the substituting of a six-pin PCIe connector for the eight-pin found on the top model.


Radeon HD 7950's lower TDP should also make this a quieter card than its bigger brother. The chunky heatsink is more than capable of handling extra power, be it additional frequency and/or voltage.

Two CrossFire fingers enable up to four-way multi-GPU support, and the BIOS switch, right next door, can be flicked to a custom implementation that can either perform as a fallback or, most likely, as a performance BIOS with different frequencies and fan-speed profiles.


Dual-link DVI, HDMI v1.4a, and two mini-DisplayPort v1.2 are AMD flavours of the year as far as outputs are concerned. New to the 7900-series line is discrete digital multi-point audio and fast HDMI; you can read more about them here.

11in long, just over 1kg in weight and taking up two slots, the form factor should present no problems to users with mid- and full-tower chassis. Readers with a penchant for more pictures, especially of the naked GPU, are directed right over here.

There's nothing surprising in the way the reference card looks, but why should there be? The HD 7970's red-and-black heatsink, which is also on this model, ticks all the right boxes.