When it was released last December, the Radeon HD 7970 was the fastest single-GPU video card available on the market. However, the GeForce GTX 680, released in April, proved to be faster. To counter the faster GPU from NVIDIA, AMD first dropped the price of the Radeon HD 7970, and now is releasing a second version of the Radeon HD 7970, dubbed “GHz Edition,” with higher clock rates. Was the increase of the clock rates enough to take the crown away from the GeForce GTX 680? Let’s check it out.
As you can see in the table below, the Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition’s core clock rate was increased 75 MHz, from 925 MHz to 1 GHz, an 8.1% increase. The memory clock rate was increased 500 MHz, from 5.5 GHz to 6 GHz, a 9% increase. All other specifications remained the same, so the Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition is simply an overclocked Radeon HD 7970. For a more complete analysis of features present on the Radeon 7970 GHz Edition, please read our review for the original Radeon HD 7970.
In the table below, we compare the main specifications of the video cards included in our review. The prices listed below do not include rebates. The prices for the original Radeon HD 7970 were researched at Newegg.com, and the prices for the GeForce GTX 680 were researched at Tigerdirect.com on the day we published this review. The price for the Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition is the price advertised by AMD. Due to availability issues, the price for the GeForce GTX 680 is above NVIDIA’s suggested price of USD 500. It is interesting to see that the suggested price for the Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition is USD 50 lower than the suggested price for the original Radeon HD 7970 when it was launched.
|Video Card||Core Clock||Memory Clock (Effective)||Memory Interface||Memory Transfer Rate||Memory||Shaders||DirectX||Price|
|Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition||1 GHz||6 GHz||384-bit||288 GB/s||3 GB GDDR5||2,048||11.1||USD 500|
|Radeon HD 7970||925 MHz||5.5 GHz||384-bit||264 GB/s||3 GB GDDR5||2,048||11.1||USD 440 – 530|
|GeForce GTX 680||1,006 MHz||6,008 MHz||256-bit||192.2 GB/s||2 GB GDDR5||1,536||11||USD 530|
Now let’s take a complete look at the AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition.