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AMD Radeon HD 7970 3GB Review

Author: SKYMTL
Date: December 21, 2011
Product Name: Radeon HD 7970 3GB
 
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Increased Geometry Processing & ROP Efficiency



Look familiar? Upon first glance there really isnít all that much different between the geometry processing engines in the current and next generation architectures but there are several optimizations built in for increased efficiency and throughput.

Letís start with the obvious first. Much like Cayman, Tahiti uses two distinct geometry processing engines that are accessed through a common Command Processor which takes care of load balancing and scheduling. The fixed function stages are broken up into the two engines that work in parallel and contain what AMD calls their ďninth generationĒ tessellators. Alongside other small changes, these new tessellation units still feature off-chip buffering which allows geometry data from tessellated workloads to be stored in the DRAM if the on-chip cache becomes saturated. However, due to the large amount of fast L2 cache available in the Tahiti core, tessellation performance has been increased by an order of magnitude over Cayman.


The result of these changes to the tessellation engine is a vast improvement over the HD 6900-series at higher levels of tessellation. Many people may clue into the seemingly lackluster increase at lower levels but we have to remember that the previous architecture already brought a ton of potential to the table in exactly these situations. Once everything is taken into account, Tahiti should offer more balanced performance in DX11 games that demand all levels of geometry processing.


Once again there really doesnít seem to be much in the way of changes to the ROP layout either with partitions of four ROPs and 16 z-stencil units throughout the core. However, AMD makes better use of these ROPs by leveraging Tahitiís increased memory bandwidth for a 50% theoretical fillrate increase over the previous generation.
 
 
 

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