In recent years it had looked like AMD was shifting its marketing strategy to launch mid range products first and then follow with the expensive enthusiast lineup. However with the latest line of products it has reverted, launching the ultra powerful, and ultra expensive RADEON HD 7970 late last year.
Now the second member of the 7000 series has been unveiled, the RADEON HD 7950. This is designed around a slightly cut-down version of the company’s GCN (Graphics Card Next) architecture, and still packs quite a punch. In our initial testing it outperforms NVIDIA’s flagship GeForce GTX 580 by a small amount.
While the performance is nothing short of astonishing, especially at high resolutions thanks to its standard 3GB of GDDR5 memory, we balk at the price. In the US it is priced in the same region as the GTX 580, however in Australia it is significantly more expensive. Admittedly the card only launched at 4pm today, but we worry it just doesn’t deliver enough to justify the $600 price tag being slapped on the bottom end models.
Still, the architecture is impressive and bodes well for future GPUs in the 7000 series. But the price issue is something that AMD really needs to get under control before NVIDIA launches its next generation architecture, which is currently rumoured to appear around the March/April timeframe. At the moment AMD has the two fastest single GPU cards on the market, but it also has the two most expensive products.
ASUS and XFX both have custom design cards ready for the launch of the 7950