Graphics Cards

PowerColor HD 7950 PCS+ Review


AMD recently launched Radeon HD 7950; it’s one of the first graphics cards based on 28nm manufacturing process. Like its bigger brother, HD 7970, it’s also based on AMD’s latest “Tahiti” silicon. Radeon HD 7950 is actually a trimmed down version of the HD 7970. A couple of things are shaved off to decrease the cost and make it ‘affordable’ as compared to HD 7970. To being with, Graphics CoreNext Compute Units (CUs) are decreased down to 28 as compared to 32 on HD 7970; this translates into 1,792 shaders in contrast to 2,048 found on its bigger brother. TMU count has been decreased to 112 from 128. That’s marks as an ending point in the list of physical changes that AMD made to the core, everything else is exactly same. As far as memory is concerned, it adopted HD 7970’s 3GB GDDR5 memory spread across 384-bit wide interface.

Clocks have also been lowered a bit; HD 7950 comes with 800 MHz on core and 1250 MHz (actual) on the memory. Apart from that, the HD 7950 comes with a lighter VRM and two 6-pin PCIe connectors as compared to one 8-pin and one 6-pin PCIe connectors on HD 7970. All this results into a price tag of US $ 450, that’s a full 100 bucks less than its bigger brother.

Today, we’ll be having a look at PowerColor HD 7950 PCS+. It’s a fully custom card based on Radeon HD 7950 GPU. PowerColor completely revamped the PCB and slapped on a bigger and better dual fan cooler. It has two 92mm fans, large 8mm heatpipes and a pure cooper base; PowerColor claims it to be 15% cooler and 20% quieter as compared to the reference design. They also increased the core clock by 80 MHz to a final clock of 880 MHz; memory clock is still the same. It costs around US $20-30 extra over the stock model.

Talking about the PowerColor as company, it started back in 1997 and has been churning out great quality AMD products ever since and achieved the rank of being a top tier AMD partner.


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