Looking at the AMD HD 7950 reference card you instantly get the feel you're checking out a HD 7970. Really the only change that stands out when comparing the two models comes in turn of the power side which consists of dual 6-Pin PCIe power connectors instead of the 6-Pin / 8-Pin PCIe power connector setup seen on the HD 7970.
Closer to the front we've got two CrossFire connectors and we've again got a dual BIOS switch that at the moment we don't have much use for. Hopefully that changes in the coming weeks.
Looking at the I/O side of things, we've got a Dual-Link DVI connector, HDMI and two mini DisplayPort connectors across the bottom half. The top half is just a bunch of vents which is going to help push the hot air out of the case.
Out of the box this AMD HD 7950 of course just carries with it the reference clock speeds. That means that the core comes in at 800MHz and the 3GB of GDDR5 carries a clock speed of 5000MHz QDR. As we mentioned, though, since we tested our HIS card at these speeds, we'd instead go down the overclocking path and see what kind of performance we could get out of the AMD HD 7950 under MSI Afterburner.
Overclocking actually took ages because the ceiling was considerably higher than I thought it would be. I spoke to a few companies and they said we should expect around the 1100MHz mark, but as you can see above, our core ended up running at a massive 1215MHz. As for the 3GB of GDDR5, that got a really nice speed boost to 5800MHz QDR too.
This is a really strong overclock and should yield some massive performance gains when compared to the stock numbers. Before we get into the performance side of things, though, we need to look at the testbed setup on the next page.
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