Back in the beginning of 2012, AMD started the ball rolling by releasing their highest-end single GPU graphic cards based on their new Radeon HD 7000 series of GPUs. The GPUs used a new architecture called GCN or Graphics Core Next and was AMD’s take on the 28nm fabrication process.
The move to release early let AMD price their flagship cards rather high with early launch prices fetching around $550 to $700. Now at the beginning of 2013, these prices have dropped down drastically especially since NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 600 series came out around the middle of the year.
We’re not sure if it was through design but while NVIDIA’s cards continue to trickle down to the impatiently waiting hordes, more and more are making the move to AMD not only because of impatience but also because the value proposition is awesome. In this article we list 3 of the best AMD Radeon HD 7000 series graphic cards we found on Amazon.
Gigabyte AMD Radeon HD 7970 OC 3GB GDDR5 (http://www.amazon.com/Gigabyte-Radeon-Mini-Displayport-Graphics-GV-R797OC-3GD/dp/B00752QYLK/ref=sr_1_8?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1357309266&sr=1-8&keywords=radeon)
When the standard AMD Radeon HD 7970 first came out it was priced well above $500 but now you can get a pre-overclocked AMD Radeon HD 7970 with 3GB worth of GDDR5 memory and Gigabyte’s custom Windforce cooler fans all for the mere price of $400 to $450. This is well below even the lowest priced standard GTX 680 and should make this card even more tempting for those hardcore gamers looking for a bit more bang for their buck.
While the card has been pre-overclocked, past reviewers have shown that you can overclock the card a bit further provided that you have better cooling options, which is exactly what this card offers on top of Gigabyte’s proprietary Ultra Durable VGA build quality.
ONE-LINER: Perfectly priced overclocking ready HD 7970 for the performance junkie.
Performance Sweet spot: MSI AMD Radeon HD 7950 3GB GDDR5 (http://www.amazon.com/MSI-R7950-TWIN-FROZR-3GD5/dp/B007NG3WR2/ref=sr_1_10?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1357309266&sr=1-10&keywords=radeon)
At just a step lower than the aforementioned HD 7970, this HD 7950 card delivers great performance to price ratios with its 3GB of GDDR5 memory, custom cooling fans and pre-overclocked performance.
Surprisingly enough, the prices have dropped so much so that there is at least a $100 to $120 gap between this card and a top-of-the-line HD 7970, despite them being nearly carbon copies of each other in terms of features.
At a mere $320 the card is a steal and should let your hardcore gamers on a budget play 1920 x 1080 games with maximum settings on with no real issues or problems. While MSI’s build quality isn’t as extreme as Gigabyte, they still deliver some pretty good performance. While many users have reported great overclocking with the card, a few have also reported that overclocking performance could increase significantly with just a change in heatsink thermal paste, something which overclockers (and MSI) should bear in mind.
ONE-LINER: Great pre-overclocked HD 7950 performance card with custom cooling and cutthroat price.
Value Sweet Spot: XFX FX777AZDF4 Double D HD 7770 1 GB DDR5 (http://www.amazon.com/XFX-FX777AZDF4-Double-1000MHz-miniDP/dp/B00792VT98/ref=sr_1_89?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1357317854&sr=1-89&keywords=radeon)
While we’re a bit iffy on choosing XFX (not very good experience in terms of support) this HD 7770 based graphic card is too good to miss. Featuring double custom cooling fans that run silent, the card nicely straddles the below $150 price to performance sweet spot.
While the GPU itself is less of a performer and more of a steady all-rounder, it does provide more than enough power to play most games at 60fps (frames per second) on maximum to medium settings at 1680 x 1050 resolutions.
It can even handle 1920 x 1080 pixel resolutions but with some settings tweaked down to medium. The price remains its biggest attraction though as similarly featured cards are also available from other brands at more or less the same $130 price range. Overclockers may find that it has a little less headroom for overclocking but you can do a bit more than usual thanks to the custom cooling fans.
ONE-LINER: Steady performer provides great bang for your buck performance at hugely discounted price.
Jim Bibby is a consultant and a PC Technician for PC and MAC s Computers, tablets and Servers. As an author his training articles have been published regarding hardware and software products and A+ training news.
This article is courtesy of Netwind Learning Center