XFX Radeon HD 7950 FX-795A-TDFC Video Card Review
By Olin Coles and David Ramsey
Manufacturer: PINE Technology Holdings Limited, dba XFX
Product Name: BLACK DD RADEON 7950 900M 3GB D5 2XmDP HDMI 2XDVI
Model Number: FX-795A-TDFC
Price: Starting at $314.99 (Amazon | Newegg)
Full Disclosure: The product sample used in this article has been provided by XFX.
Who makes a better graphics card for PC video games: AMD Radeon or NVIDIA GeForce? This question has divided PC hardware enthusiasts for many years, and often creates some of the most heated arguments between technical types. Fortunately the desktop computer platform is no longer a place where people merely playing video games, because now GPU-enhanced compute tasks are earning a larger role for themselves and expanding the possibilities. Additionally, each of these brands has employed cutting-edge technologies to improve picture quality and level of entertainment. Nevertheless, the question still remains unanswered.
AMD have been working to extend their graphics reach into emerging markets, primarily through the use of integrated GPUs. This hasn’t slowed their pursuit in the discrete graphics market, where the AMD Radeon series continues to battle for supremacy in some of the most demanding DirectX 11 video games available on PC. The AMD Radeon HD 7950 is an example of this effort, employing 28 Compute Units (1792 Stream Processors) with 3GB GDDR5 memory. In this article Benchmark Reviews tests the custom-designed XFX Radeon HD 7950 Double-Dissipation Black Edition video card, model FX-795A-TDFC, using several highly-demanding DX11 video games such as Metro: Last Light, Batman: Arkham City, and Battlefield 3.
The AMD Radeon HD 7950 is designed with a 850MHz GPU engine clock speed, which XFX extends to 900MHz with a factory overclocked speed that remains stable under demand. The reference AMD Radeon HD 7950 also comes equipped with 3GB of GDDR5 video memory clocked to 1250MHz (5000MHz data rate), which XFX cranks up to 1375MHz (5500MHz data rate). Add to this the custom ’Double-D’ thermal management system to keep this Black Edition video card cool, and you’ve got an ideal formula for top-end graphics performance.
AMD might have trouble keeping up with the competition in the CPU arena, but their acquisition of ATI allowed them to become a major player in the graphics world. AMD and NVIDIA regularly trade places in the “fastest video card” rankings, and while NVIDIA’s been good holding down the title with its current high-end, the Fermi-based GTX 580, AMD’s new “Tahiti” GPU decisively stole the performance crown in its 7970 form.
Like its big brother, this card comes with a factory overclock and an elaborate dual-fan cooling system. I’ll compare its performance against NVIDIA and AMD’s current top-end cards, as well as the R7970 we tested recently, to see how well it performs.