Every PC gamer who doesn't have an aversion to AMD would love to own a dual-GPU Radeon HD 7990 when it ships in March 2012, but not everyone can afford (or justify) an $849 investment on a graphics card. By that same token, $549 for a Radeon HD 7970 is also beyond some people's budgets, which is why AMD will also release a Radeon HD 7950 based on its Tahiti Pro chipset. Two questions come to mind: How much and when will it launch?
On hindsight, one of the wisest decisions AMD ever made was acquiring ATI Technologies, a costly and controversial move at the time, but one in which the Santa Clara chip designer has been kicking ass with ever since. This point is underscored with AMD's Radeon HD 7000 series (see our Radeon HD 7970 preview here), a killer GPU family that will culminate with the Radeon HD 7990, a monster of a card with two 7970 GPUs and 6GB of total graphics memory.
We knew this was coming. We saw all the signs: The rumors. The price drops on existing videocards. The tweaked versions of old standbys masquerading as “new” GPUs. But more than anything, it’s been too long since we’ve had something fresh to sink our teeth into. And as has been the case in each of the last several big product launches, AMD is serving the first course.
GPU-Z is one of our favorite tell-all utilities to carry around on a USB stick. It doesn't require any installation, it has a small footprint (around 900KB), and it reveals just about everything you could want to know about your videocard, from the BIOS version to the number of ROPs. TechPowerUp is pretty good about keeping GPU-Z updated, and the latest build adds support for AMD's Radeon HD 7970 and 7350 graphics, as well as a few other enhancements.
A slide leaked on Orb-Hardware reveals some pretty gnarly specifications for AMD's upcoming Radeon HD 7970 card. If the slide is accurate -- and Orb-Hardware thinks it is, though admits it's a "little bit old" -- the Radeon HD 7970 will come with a core clockspeed of 925MHz and a whole bunch of onboard memory (3GB of GDDR5 to be exact).
One hit wonders stick in our collective consciousness, but it pays to diversify – just ask MC Hammer. Along those lines, Zalman – which you probably know mainly for its lineup of cooling gear and PSUs – may be preparing to spread its wings and expand into the ultra-competitive world of Radeon graphics cards, if some slides leaked to the Web over the weekend turn out to be legit.
With a minimum of fuss and fanfare, AMD and NVidia have made some changes to their mobile lineup over the past few days. First off, AMD quietly released seven new Llano A-series APUs to its lineup, but that’s overshadowed by the launch of the new Radeon HD 7000M graphics chips. Actually, the Radeon HD 7000M series only sort of launched. Rather than unveiling new, awesome 28nm GPUs, the HD 7000M models announced yesterday are basically just rebranded 40nm HD 6000M chips. Nvidia's new GeForce 600M series is likewise pretty much rebranded 500M chips.
The only thing missing from Sapphire's new Radeon HD 6970 2GB graphics card is a pack of DoubleMint gum. Otherwise, this card is all about doubling up what it has to offer (outside of the GPU), including a "super efficient" dual-fan cooler with two 90mm fans, and a dual-BIOS design that lets users choose between fast and quiet or really fast and not so quiet to allow for overclocking.
It's said the devil is in the details, but for Powercolor, it's all about the bundle and firery red design. We're talking about Powercolor's new Devil 13 HD6970 graphics card. This Devil edition card tries to tempt enthusiasts and overclockers with an aggressive heatsink design, high end components, and a bundled screwdriver toolkit.
History tells us not to expect a whole lot from entry-level graphics solutions. You're not going to fire up a demanding DirectX 11 title and crank up the settings on a lower end graphics card, for example, and while that holds true for AMD's new Radeon E6460 embedded discrete GPU, this entry-level graphics chip sports other talents, like the ability to support up to four simultaneous displays.