AMD Radeon HD 7970M

AMD Radeon HD 7970M

The AMD Radeon HD 7970M is a 28nm DirectX 11 graphics card based on the GCN (Graphics Core Next) architecture. Built primarily for large laptops, the advanced card is positioned near the top of the high-end category as of 2012.

The design of the Radeon 7900M series has its roots to the Pitcairn chip as found, for example, on the desktop Radeon HD 7870. The 7970M in particular is similar to its desktop 7870 counterpart with 1280 1D shader cores and 80 texture units, but has a core clock of only 850 MHz versus the 1000 MHz of the HD 7870.  As a result, general performance of the HD 7970M is expected to lie somewhere between the 7850 and 7870 desktop Radeon cards.

When compared to mobile Nvidia GPUs, the HD 7970M performs significantly faster than the GeForce GTX 675M and roughly on par with the GTX 680M. In fact, the card scores P5900 in 3DMark 11, while the GTX 680M achieves P6000. Therefore, almost all demanding games of 2012 will run fluently with maxed out details and 1080p resolution.

Features of the 7970M include the new UVD3 video decoder for decoding MPEG-4 AVC/H.264, VC-1, MPEG-2, Flash and now also Multi-View Codec (MVC) and MPEG-4 part 2 (DivX, xVid) HD videos directly from the AMD GPU.

The 7900M series also supports automatic graphics switching between the integrated GPU and discrete GPU. Called Enduro, the technology supersedes AMD's Dynamic Switchable Graphics and is similar to Nvidia's Optimus. Furthermore, the 7970M can directly support up to 6 connected monitors using Eyefinity Technology if Enduro is disabled.

Other features of the 7900M series include ZeroCore for reducing power consumption when the display is turned off. Power Gating, however, is not supported according to AMD. PowerTune allows automatic overclocking and underclocking of the graphics card as long as the GPU is within its TDP range. For example, the chip may be underclocked when running FurMark and OCCT, but will overclock in certain games like Lost Planet, Crysis or Resident Evil 5.

The integrated HD audio processor is able to transmit HD Audio (TrueHD or DTS Master Audio) over HDMI and DisplayPort (e.g., for Blu-Ray videos). Additionally, it now allows audio to output simultaneously and in parallel to multiple devices with the new Discrete Digital Multipoint Audio (DDMA) feature.

Power consumption of the 7970M is in the same ballpark as the GeForce GTX 675M. According to Dell, users can expect a 100 Watt TDP from the AMD GPU. The subsequently large heat output suits the 7970M as an option only for large laptops or DTRs (desktop replacements) that have relatively powerful cooling solutions.

Radeon HD 7900M Series
Radeon HD 7970M Crossfire (compare) 2560 @ 850 MHz2x 256 Bit @ 4800 MHz
Radeon HD 7970M 1280 @ 850 MHz256 Bit @ 4800 MHz
Radeon HD 7950M (compare) 1280 @ 700 MHz256 Bit @ 4000 MHz
CodenameWimbledon XT
Pipelines1280 - unified
Core Speed850 MHz
Memory Speed4800 MHz
Memory Bus Width256 Bit
Memory TypeGDDR5
Shared Memoryno
DirectXDirectX 11.1, Shader 5.0
technology28 nm
Notebook Sizelarge
Date of Announcement01.05.2012


3DMark 11 - Performance 1280x720
min: 4633     avg: 5881     median: 5907 (17%)     max: 6525 points
3DMark 11 - Performance GPU 1280x720
min: 5447     avg: 5884.9     median: 5645 (11%)     max: 6423 points
3DMark Vantage
P Result 1280x1024 +
P GPU no PhysX 1280x1024 +
3DMark 03 - Standard 1024x768
min: 44561     avg: 53442.2     median: 45299 (24%)     max: 94730 Points
3DMark 05 - Standard 1024x768
min: 13708     avg: 24337.2     median: 25433 (48%)     max: 29121 Points
3DMark 06 Standard 1280x1024 +
Unigine Heaven 3.0 - DX 11, Normal Tessellation, High Shaders 1920x1080
min: 57     avg: 57.9     median: 57 (21%)     max: 59 fps
Unigine Heaven 2.1 - high, Tesselation (normal), DirectX11 1280x1024
min: 68     avg: 76.8     median: 77 (33%)     max: 83 fps
SPECviewperf 11
Siemens NX 1920x1080 +
Tcvis 1920x1080 +
SolidWorks 1920x1080 +
Pro/ENGINEER 1920x1080 +
Maya 1920x1080 +
Lightwave 1920x1080 +
Ensight 1920x1080 +
Catia 1920x1080 +
Windows 7 Experience Index - Gaming graphics
7.6 points (109%)
Windows 7 Experience Index - Graphics
7.6 points (109%)
Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit +
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit +
- Range of benchmark values for this graphics card
- Average benchmark values for this graphics card
* Smaller numbers mean a higher performance

Game Benchmarks

The following benchmarks stem from our benchmarks of review laptops. The performance depends on the used graphics memory, clock rate, processor, system settings, drivers, and operating systems. So the results don't have to be representative for all laptops with this GPU. For detailed information on the benchmark results, click on the fps number.



low 1024x768
60  fps    + Compare
med. 1366x768
60  fps    + Compare
high 1366x768
59.7  fps    + Compare
ultra 1920x1080
58.3  fps    + Compare
» With all tested laptops playable in detail settings ultra.


low 1024x768
49.5  fps    + Compare
med. 1366x768
45.3  fps    + Compare
high 1366x768
44.6  fps    + Compare
ultra 1920x1080
33.5  fps    + Compare
» With all tested laptops playable in detail settings high.
low 1024x768
44.6  fps    + Compare
med. 1366x768
42.4  fps    + Compare
high 1366x768
40.9  fps    + Compare
ultra 1920x1080
26.7  fps    + Compare
» With all tested laptops playable in detail settings high.
low 1024x768
67.9  fps    + Compare
med. 1366x768
38.8  fps    + Compare
high 1366x768
20.2  fps    + Compare
ultra 1920x1080
14.7  fps    + Compare
» With all tested laptops playable in detail settings med..