AMD Radeon HD 7970 Review round-up: fast and quiet

Earlier today AMD announced their new flagship Radeon HD 7970 graphics card, and while it wont hit the public shelves until mid January — and for a hefty $549 price tag we are already seeing reviews galore from the PC crowd and figured we'd round them up. What we are hoping for is just what AMD is claiming: "the fastest single-GPU card in the world". Head on down past the break to see what everyone thought — and if that claim holds true.

As long as it beats the competition in the NVIDIA GTX 580 while not being too power hungry and heating the entire house like the dual-GPU GTX 590 I'll be happy — and I'm sure the enthusiast gaming crowd will be too. Below are a few of our favorite reviews for the new AMD Radeon HD 7970 for everyone to enjoy. We'll start with the all popular Anandtech.

AnandTech's Ryan Smith says at the end of the day this graphics card is geared to be a gaming workhorse — but being their new flagship GPU I wouldn't expect anything different from AMD. He goes on to mention in most gaming scenarios the power consumption was lower than the competing GTX 580 while offering 20% better performance and sometimes more. He does mention being priced much higher than the last-gen 6970 could be a potential drawback for some.Tom's Hardware explains that this is a big improvement and a step in the right direction with the new, smaller 28 nm fabrication and called it "Fast, Forward-Looking, But Not Fully Baked." Saying that NVIDIA's upcoming Kepler GPU is still months off so they'll still retain the fastest single-GPU title for now, but without further testing they didn't want to give a recommendation just yet.HardOCP is known for breaking things down very thoroughly and have came up with some decent overall numbers. Claiming the 7970 is at least 30% or more faster than the previous generation while offering 10%+ performance increases over the current GTX 580 competition making this definitely worth the price for giving increased performance across all available games.Bit-Tech said the HD 7970 by AMD "has certainly thrown down the gauntlet. The HD 7970 3GB is a huge improvement over the HD 6970 2GB and GTX 580 1.5GB" They also mention overclocking — something many enthusiasts and water-cooling fans do daily was a huge surprise. Squeezing around 20% more performance from the card without even tweaking the voltage.

While you are at it don't forget to check out the review from HotHardware, and Hexus who claim it's a great graphics card but wont win and Bang4Buck awards. Guru3D also mentions the huge overclocking potential before and after overvolting — making this a great graphics card with plenty of potential.

So the question is: Will you be buying the AMD Radeon HD 7970? And if so will you be tossing this bad boy under a DangerDen waterblock or going all out with some LN2?