AMD HD 7950 Boost Clock BIOS Update Review 54

AMD HD 7950 Boost Clock BIOS Update Review



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AMD's Radeon HD 7950 was introduced in January 2012. The GPU was the second design using the company's Graphics Core Next shader architecture and was, also, one of the first with the 28 nanometer production process.

Now AMD has released a BIOS update that will improve the clock speeds of the card to provide a performance advantage against NVIDIA's upcoming GeForce GTX 660 Ti.

AMD's new PowerTune "boost" is an improvement to their existing power limiting algorithm which promises higher clocks/performance without exceeding the board's power limit.

The new specifications see the GPU core-frequency increased to 850 MHz (from 800 MHz), and introduces PowerTune with Boost, which sends the GPU clock speed up to 925 MHz when applications demand it. The memory frequency stays unchanged, at 1250 MHz, as do the physical specifications of the GPU such as stream processor, TMU, and ROP counts.

All newly manufactured HD 7950 graphics cards will feature the updated specifications - prices will remain unchanged.

If you have a reference design HD 7950 (compare the PCB design using our original review), you can flash your card to use these improvements with the BIOS located here.

Test System

Test System - VGA Rev. 17
Processor:Intel Core i7-3770K @ 4.7 GHz
(Ivy Bridge, 8192 KB Cache)
Motherboard:ASUS Maximus V Gene
Intel Z77
Memory:2x 4096 MB Corsair Vengeance PC3-12800 DDR3
@ 1600 MHz 9-9-9-24
Harddisk:WD Caviar Blue WD5000AAKS 500 GB
Power Supply:Antec HCP-1200 1200W
Software:Windows 7 64-bit Service Pack 1
Drivers:NVIDIA: 304.79 Beta
ATI: Catalyst 12.7 Beta
Display: LG Flatron W3000H 30" 2560x1600
3x Hanns.G HL225DBB 21.5" 1920x1080
Benchmark scores in other reviews are only comparable when this exact same configuration is used.
  • All video card results were obtained on this exact system with exactly the same configuration.
  • All games were set to their highest quality setting unless indicated otherwise.
  • AA and AF are applied via in-game settings - not via the driver's control panel.
Each benchmark was tested at the following settings and resolution:
  • 1280 x 800, 2x Anti-aliasing. Common resolution for most small flatscreens today (17" - 19"). A bit of eye candy turned on in the drivers.
  • 1680 x 1050, 4x Anti-aliasing. Most common widescreen resolution on larger displays (19" - 22"). Very good looking driver graphics settings.
  • 1920 x 1200, 4x Anti-aliasing. Typical widescreen resolution for large displays (22" - 26"). Very good looking driver graphics settings.
  • 2560 x 1600, 4x Anti-aliasing. Highest possible resolution for commonly available displays (30"). Very good looking driver graphics settings.

Alan Wake

Alan Wake, released in 2012 for the PC, is a highly successful third-person horror shooter that revolves around the adventures of novelist Alan Wake who has to battle the "darkness" which takes over living and dead things. Alan's signature flashlight is used to strip the forces of darkness of their protection, to make them vulnerable to conventional weapons.
The engine of Alan Wake uses DirectX 9, but features complex lighting effects, making it a quite demanding title. We benchmarked with the highest settings possible.

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