We heard couple of weeks ago that AMD might roll out a new version of Radeon HD 7950. Back then we called it a HD 7950 GHz Edition. Today, we learn that there’s no such card, because the new one will indeed have a higher clock, but only by 125 MHz.
PCPerspective had the oportunity to test the new BIOS for HD 7950. They literally updated the firmware in their reference card from official launch, so this is not a new card. Firmware adds a PowerTune Boost, which is known as a AMD’s Boost Clock from HD 7970 GHz Edition. So this is basically a technology similar to NVIDIA Boost clock, which adds more speed to the GPU clock if needed (and if possible).
The new base clock of the HD 7950 is 850 MHz, while the boost clock would be set to 925 MHz. So the card would receive 125 MHz faster frequency. This is nothing that HD 7950 can’t handle.
This new feature would obviously raise the performance. Unless your card is already overclocked you might be interested in grabbing this firmware. AMD has agreed to share it so here you have it.
It should officially be available before August 16th (smells like a fight against GTX 660 Ti). AIB partners should provide the specific BIOS versions for their models later. Remember to use dual BIOS switch, unless you want to risk bricking you card.
AMD is still working on the new API to read the actual clock. Although the clock is oscillating from 850MHz to 925MHz with 4MHz increments, application like GPU-Z will report a full 925MHz clock. There no way of checking the real-time clock at the moment.
Anyway, how does this new clock affect the performance? Depends on the game, in Battlefield 3, Metro 2033 and Deus EX the performance gain is about 5%. In Dirt 3 it’s almost 20%, in Batman 10%. Still this is nothing you can’t manually do with your overclocking skills.
Total power consumption of the whole system has increased from 294 to 317 Watts (23 more). The temperature of the GPU only by one degree C. For more details head on to PC Perspective’s review (link at the bottom).