The Radeon HD 7900 series, which ushered in the Graphics Core Next architecture, was released almost 16 months ago, but that doesn’t mean newer variations of existing hardware cannot come out. Today I’ll be looking at the PowerColor HD 7950 Boost State card that comes with a beefy 3GB of memory.
The interesting thing about this new card is the heatsink being used here, which PowerColor have also applied on their HD 7970 lineup. Basically you have a long aluminum heatsink that covers almost the entire PCB, but not in direct contact with anything except the main GPU. This is also the place where five fat copper heatpipes travel out into the aluminum fins above. Topping it off are two massive 92mm fans which are decorated with a plastic cover.
The PowerColor HD 7950 Boost State uses two 6-pin power connectors and requires a 500W PSU to power itself. The card comes with stock speeds of 850MHz, boosting up to 925MHz on the core clock, while the memory is rated at 1250MHz (5000MHz effective).
Let’s have a look at our testbed below:
Using the latest AMD Catalyst 13.3 beta, these were the settings used to benchmark the PowerColor HD 7950 Boost State:
The PowerColor HD 7950 Boost State is a very decent performer, and with recent price reductions it makes for an excellent choice for high-end gaming rigs. The heatsink itself remained extremely quiet during the tests, with idle temperatures hovering at 35°C, going up to a maximum of 65°C under stress. I did try to overclock the card, but the highest stable results I got were 951MHz which didn’t provide any performance improvement over 3%.
Obviously if you want a CrossFire setup, the PowerColor HD 7950 Boost State can handle that easily thanks to the impressive heatsink. Sure competition is tough as prices are coming down on most cards, but the HD 7950 has been a compelling product since launch, and it certainly holds its ground.