How good is an AMD HD7950 right now?

#1 Posted by funkyzoom (1457 posts) -

Firstly, I haven't posted here in a while, and I'm unable to find the 'PC Hardware discussions' forum anymore. So if that still exists, please pardon me for posting this question here.

My previous graphics card (AMD HD6950) got blown up a few days ago (along with my processor and motherboard) because my naughty 3 year old nephew poured water into my PC cabinet. I'm looking for replacements. I've already bought a mid-range motherboard along with an AMD FX 8320 processor. Now I'm a bit confused about the graphics card. I did a bit of research, and realized that the Radeon HD7950 is the only card which fits within my budget at the moment. I do play the latest games, but only at 1080p (my monitor doesn't support any higher resolution). And I ALWAYS keep anti-aliasing turned off, because the performance hit is not really worth the minor improvement in image quality (at least for my eyes). Also, I always game on a single monitor and don't make use of fancy features like eye-infinity or anything.

Considering the above aspects, would it make sense to go for HD7950 now? And how better is it compared to an HD6950? Considering my overall setup - I previous had an AMD FX 4210 processor with 8GB RAM and an HD6950 (2GB) graphics card. Now, I have an AMD FX 8320 Processor and 8GB RAM (Thankfully the RAM survived my nephew's assault), to which I'd like to add a Radeon HD7950 (2GB) card. So would my new setup perform marginally better than my previous one? Please advise.

P.S. I'd like to stick with AMD, so I'm not even considering Intel/Nvidia setups. I know that AMD components consume more power, but that's fine with me (because power costs aren't that high in my country). I'm not willing to shell out extra for overpriced Intel/NVidia products. So please focus only on AMD while answering my query.

#2 Edited by mastershake575 (8363 posts) -

There is no 7950 2GB. Its 7950 3GB unless your referring to the 7870XT 2GB (7870XT is a stripped down 7950 with slightly higher clocks).

7950 is a great card that overclocks very well (most people hit around 1050mhz on stock volts). Its going to be a good 30-40% upgrade over your 6950 depending on what its clocked at (the 6950 is slightly slower than a 7850 so a 7950, especially one that's overclocked, is going to be a good jump in performance).

#4 Posted by funkyzoom (1457 posts) -

@mastershake575 said:

There is no 7950 2GB. Its 7950 3GB unless your referring to the 7870XT 2GB (7870XT is a stripped down 7950 with slightly higher clocks).

7950 is a great card that overclocks very well (most people hit around 1050mhz on stock volts). Its going to be a good 30-40% upgrade over your 6950 depending on what its clocked at (the 6950 is slightly slower than a 7850 so a 7950, especially one that's overclocked, is going to be a good jump in performance).

Oops! My bad! Yeah, the 7950 is indeed 3GB! I don't plan on overclocking it, at least not yet. I guess overclocking requires a better power supply and an aftermarket cooler as well. I only have a 500W power supply (which is just about sufficient), and due to this unexpected expenditure (after my previous components got blown), I'm not really in a position to afford an aftermarket cooler or a power supply right now. So I guess that rules out overclocking for now, but I do plan on overclocking it sometime later. Anyway, I guess the minimum of 30% performance increase you mentioned should be good enough (my 6950 was also not overclocked). Thanks for your input, much appreciated!

#5 Posted by Bikouchu35 (7599 posts) -

Which country? Cause as far as I know in the us Amds are dirt cheap on ebay after the mining crash.

I'd go for it considering that they rebranded this card as the 280 thus making it midrange. It is still good.

#6 Posted by mastershake575 (8363 posts) -

You shouldn't need that much more power for an overclock on stock volts. Most 7950s already come with an aftermarket cooler (brands like gigabyte, msi, asus, sapphire....ect) almost always use third party coolers.

#7 Posted by funkyzoom (1457 posts) -

@Bikouchu35 said:

Which country? Cause as far as I know in the us Amds are dirt cheap on ebay after the mining crash.

I'd go for it considering that they rebranded this card as the 280 thus making it midrange. It is still good.

I reside in India. The cost of buying high end PC hardware locally would actually be higher than the combined cost of the product and the shipping, when ordered from other countries. So for the graphics card, I would definitely be importing it from somewhere else, most likely through Amazon on ebay (depending on the product and shipping costs). Even my AMD 8320 processor, I ordered from ebay USA because it was extremely expensive in the local shops and local online retailers.

#8 Posted by funkyzoom (1457 posts) -

@mastershake575 said:

You shouldn't need that much more power for an overclock on stock volts. Most 7950s already come with an aftermarket cooler (brands like gigabyte, msi, asus, sapphire....ect) almost always use third party coolers.

Alright then, I'll try overclocking it. I'm fairly experienced with overclocking, but I'm still slightly worried about shortening the life of the components.

#9 Edited by mastershake575 (8363 posts) -

@funkyzoom said:

Alright then, I'll try overclocking it. I'm fairly experienced with overclocking, but I'm still slightly worried about shortening the life of the components.

A lot of it depends on which brand your getting and which 7950 your buying (the original 7950s where clocked at 800mhz while the 7950 boost edition where usually clocked around 900-925mhz). The 7950 rebadge that they sell now (R9 280) are mostly clocked in the 950-1050mhz range.

If you get a 7950 boost or R9 280 then you probably won't even need to overclock much at all (they all offer a good overclock from the stock 800mhz speed). If you do get an original 7950 then you can get the speeds of the 7950 boost/R9 280 as long as the cooler on it is decent

#10 Posted by funkyzoom (1457 posts) -

@mastershake575 said:

@funkyzoom said:

Alright then, I'll try overclocking it. I'm fairly experienced with overclocking, but I'm still slightly worried about shortening the life of the components.

A lot of it depends on which brand your getting and which 7950 your buying (the original 7950s where clocked at 800mhz while the 7950 boost edition where usually clocked around 900-925mhz). The 7950 rebadge that they sell now (R9 280) are mostly clocked in the 950-1050mhz range.

If you get a 7950 boost or R9 280 then you probably won't even need to overclock much at all (they all offer a good overclock from the stock 800mhz speed). If you do get an original 7950 then you can get the speeds of the 7950 boost/R9 280 as long as the cooler on it is decent

I've zeroed in on this card:- HIS Radeon HD 7950 3GB IceQ Boost. I suppose this one already has proper cooling, so it would be safe to overclock a bit.