Tech Blog

Gaming with AMD: Video Cards and Processors for your Gaming Rig

by Blogger on ‎07-20-2012 09:37 AM - last edited on ‎07-20-2012 02:31 PM by Administrator

AMD Gaming.jpg

 

 

If there’s one thing PC gamers are always willing to debate it’s PC rigs.  With big CPU and graphical launches coming up one after another, names like Intel, Nvidia and AMD are the hot topic for many enthusiasts.  Things can get a little heated, with never-ending debates rising over equally stellar processors, GPUs, motherboards, or whatever else you need when building or upgrading your PC or laptop.  Company loyalty is important but so is acknowledging a nice new piece of hardware, right?

 

Here I’m going to be focusing on the latest and greatest from AMD and why their current hardware is perfect for PC gaming and your gaming rig.  

 

 

AMD Radeon 7000 Series Video Cards

 

AMD Radeon 7970.jpg

 

Back in December AMD released their Radeon 7000 series video cards set to outperform even their most rivaled competition, Nvidia.  AMD has truly proven itself with this series, particularly for gamers looking for some fresh competition. 

 

While the 7000 series has done particularly well since launch, AMD has recently prepared a round of price cuts for its series, in hopes to make them more price-competitive. Just check out these price drops:

 

Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition: $499

Radeon HD 7970: $429

Radeon HD 7950: $349

Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition: $299

Radeon HD 7850: $249 

 

Video cards certainly don’t come cheap, but price cuts like these at least help soften that blow.  If you're willing to take that jump, AMD has lots to offer.  

 

Radeon HD 7950, 7970 and 7870 in particular are a few of the most popular in the 7000 series for their excellent overclocking performance, GPU capabilities and power-saving technology.  While the 7970 is clearly the most superior, they each offer some promising competition, excelling in game performance all across the board. 

 

Here's is a comparison between the 7870, 7950 and 7970:

 

                                 Erikas AMD Thing JPEG.jpeg

 

The 7950 proves itself to be a tough customer with its solid price-performance ratio. It also has a remarkable GPU that puts it leaps and bounds over others in its price-range. The clockspeed for the 7950 in particular is fairly low, but luckily AMD hasn’t locked the overclocking possibilities like in past models. If you don’t mind sacrificing a small amount in performance, 7950 should be a potential contender for any gamer hoping to spend a little less.

 

If you'd like to spend even less and work with a middleground video card, you might want to consider the aforementioned 7870 which also offers good overclocking potential, energy efficiency, and 28% better performance since the last gen of cards.   

 

Of course, if you're willing to spend a bit more, there is the 7970 which, with its impressive GPU capabilities and overclocking potential, is quite the piece of hardware.  Some may not be able to justify this purchase, or the more expensive GHz Edition for that matter, but with the recent price cut and sheer quality in performance it can't be missed. 

 

These are by far the go-to gamer’s cards with 7970 beating Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 670 thanks to its greater overclocking potential – the Tahiti GPU compute performance is top-notch no matter how you try to put it. Of course, there are many who'd beg to differ depending upon the game you're playing.  

 

Another feature you can’t miss in either of the three is the ZeroCore Power tech’s power-efficient technology, making it a very cost-effective choice.  While energy efficiency is usually Intel’s core strength, AMD is becoming quite the competition.

 

AMD’s products are only going to improve if they’re already accomplishing such feats.  Whether you’re getting the 7970, 7950 or 7870 each are great choices depending upon your budget; in fact, you owe it to the makers to push these pixel-pushers to their limits.  

 

 

AMD Trinity Processors

 

AMD Trinity Processor.jpg

 

Released back in May, the second-gen A-series line AMD Trinity processors uses a revamped Bulldozer core processor to offer twice the performance per watt of its predecessor, Llano.

 

Going on CPU performance alone, Trinity doesn’t quite make its mark, but the chip excels in its Northern Islands GPU, which has three times the graphics performance than Intel’s Ivy Bridge. If that weren’t enough, Trinity can do all of this while consuming less power (primarily because it uses a smaller chip making it more energy efficient).

 

Trinity is a really impressive all-around processor that’s truly an efficient piece of architecture. It may not be the right choice for you depending upon your needs, but if you’re a gamer looking for top-notch graphics and longer battery life, AMD has a definite edge.     

 
While the 7000 series video cards aren't available on Future Shop, you should check out the AMD Radeon HD 6770 video card if you're looking to build or upgrade a budget gaming rig.  It's an interesting contrast from such high-priced heavy hitters like 7970 and 7950, an option definitely worth checking out.  

 

Later today I'll be covering a piece specifically on the Trinity processor, fleshing it out even further.  Stay tuned! 

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