AMD’s Next Generation Radeon HD 7970 GPU’s Performance Comparable to HD 6990

Hassan Mujtaba
Posted Nov 4, 2011
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Recent details on AMD’s Next Generation HD 7000 Series suggest that the performance of the fastest single core GPU aka HD 7970 would be comparable to the current flagship dual core HD 6990 GPU. AMD’s upcoming High End HD 7000 Series cards would use the GNC (Graphics Next Core) Architecture which would feature XDR2 Memory, The low end models would continue to use the VLIW4 and GDDR5 CPU/Memory Architecture.

Codenames of various HD 7000 Series Graphic Cores were leaked in Catalyst 11.7 (Details here) while complete specs of each core have been thoroughly detailed here. The Tahiti XT based HD 7970 is said to perform equivalent to the Dual chip based HD 6990 which features two HD 6970 Cayman XT Cores.

The HD 7970/7950 are expected to use the XDR2 memory which would provide double the memory bandwidth when compared to GDDR5, 6Gbit/s (GDDR5) Vs 12.8Gbit/s (XDR2) while reducing the total power consumption to nearly 30%, This means that the card would not only perform better but also feature better Power/Thermal efficiency then previous HD 6000 Series cores.

However, The GNC Architecture and use of XDR2 is only limited to the High End Chips, Details on Key features of AMD’s HD 7000 Series Architecture below:

* L1 and L2 read / write caching
* Out of order resource allocation
* ECC data protection on SRAMs and global memory
* Parallel primitive

  • A few highlights from the talk: Multiple primitive pipelines for setup, etc.
  • Real caching in L1, L2, separate color / z caches for graphics and atomics
  • Concurrent tasks
  • Out of order resource allocation
  • ECC on srams and drams
Release date however is expected sometime between Q2/Q3 2012 since TSMC’s 28nm yield and manufacturing issues for both Nvidia Kepler and AMD 7000 Series. Lower end chips and mobile variants are expected to release earlier in Q4 2011/Q1 2012. Details:
NVIDIA and AMD’s Next Gen GPU’s to Arrive in Q2 2012

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