AMD's Radeon HD 7950 is out, at long last

As soon as the clocks struck midnight, the world and its dog in the hardware review business posted multiple reviews of AMD’s Radeon HD 7950 and its various tweaked versions. The NDA was over.

As expected, AMD’s Radeon HD 7950 (Tahiti Pro) is a slightly slimmed-down HD 7970 (Tahiti XT), bearing 256 stream processors less (16 texture units), a lower GPU clock (800 MHz) and memory (1.25 GHz). The TDP also comes down from 250W to 200W.

So far the reviews have been very positive about the cards, with several reviewers portraying them as an affordable HD 7970 with some very impressive power saving and performance, where Nvidia will find a match for its GTX 580.

As an aside, we’re very eager to see what Nvidia has up its Kepler sleeve.

Not only is it a decent overclocker, but the card’s idle power sent shivers down more than one reviewer’s spine, with 2.9W idle consumption registered on the reference HD 7950. Here are a few of the reviews we’ve spotted and enjoyed reading:

Guru 3D – HIS Radeon HD 7950

Guru 3D – Powercolor Radeon HD 7950 PCS+

Guru 3D – Radeon HD 7950 Crossfire

Hardware Canucks – AMD Radeon HD 7950

Hardware Canucks – XFX Radeon HD 7950 Black Edition DD

Hardware Canucks – Sapphire HD 7950 Dual Fan OC

Hardware Heaven – XFX Radeon HD 7950 Black Edition

Hardware Heaven – Radeon HD 7950 Crossfire

Anandtech – AMD Radeon HD 7950 Sapphire & XFX

One thing is for sure, AMD and its partners have spared no expense in getting plenty of cards out to reviewers. It feels a bit like overcompensation for the limited availability its big brother had on launch last year but, hey, who’s complaining.

*EyeSee Well, AMD was complaining, because someone broke the embargo and talked to one of its channel partners. The partner hadn’t a clue. Then Text 100 began using an eBuyer Powercolor slip-up as a price guide, annoying the other partners in the process. Read all of that here.

A spokesperson said: “We are having ongoing discussions regarding NDA dates and embargo breaks, and doing everything we can to ensure this doesn’t happen again.”