http://www.anandtech.com/show/5261/amd- ... -review/25
Ryan put it really well:
At the end of the day the 7970 is specifically targeted as a gaming workhorse. Regardless of any architecture changes, what’s important is how fast the card is, how much it costs, whether it works correctly, and what its physical attributes are like. With respect to all of these aspects AMD has made an acceptable card, but this is not a groundbreaking product like we’ve seen in the past.
At the same time the 7970 is not the 5870. The 5870 relative to both NVIDIA and AMD’s previous generation video cards was faster on a percentage basis. It was more clearly a next-generation card, and DX11 only helped to seal the deal. Meanwhile if you look at straight averages the 7970 is only around 15-25% faster than the GTX 580 in our tests, with its advantage being highly game dependent. It always wins at 2560 and 1920, but there are some cases where it’s not much of a win. The 7970’s domination of the 6970 is more absolute, but then again the 6970 is a good $200 cheaper at this point in time.
... AMD has chosen to price the 7970 like a current generation card – it’s priced relative to a 3GB GTX 580 – and that’s a fair metric. What it isn’t is groundbreaking in any sense.
So at the end of the day AMD has once again retaken the performance crown for single-GPU cards, bringing them back to a position they last held nearly 2 years ago with the 5870. To that AMD deserves kudos, and if you’re in the market for a $500+ video card the 7970 is clearly the card to get – it’s a bit more expensive than the GTX 580, but it’s reasonably faster and cooler all at once. However if you’ve been waiting for 28nm GPUs to bring about another rapid decrease in video card prices as we saw with the 5870, you’re going to be waiting a bit longer.
i called it right in the preview.