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AMD Denies Any Hidden Cores in Radeon HD 7970 (Tahiti XT)




Late last week, we started hearing a rumor considering recently launched Radeon HD 7970. The rumor was based on leaked Sapphire documents that were mentioning insanely high clocks for their upcoming parts, but also specified parts featuring the Tahiti GPU with 2304 cores. Given that AMD did not deliver die shots of Southern Islands GPU architecture, it wasn’t too hard to see the tech media and consumers spreading like wildfire. AMD did not help the matter by not returning the early calls but in all fairness, it was New Year weekend.

We contacted AMD’s representatives such as Mr. Chris Hook and Eric Demers and received a straight answer from the company, represented by Mr. Hook, Senior PR exec:

“There are no hidden cores…”

There you go – unlike Intel that had serious issues with power consumption and heat dissipation on their Sandy Bridge-Extreme processors and had to disable two processing cores and 5MB of L3 cache, or NVIDIA that had 512-cores inside their GF100 (GeForce GTX 480) chip and had to disable 32 processing cores in order to get acceptable yields – AMD has 4.3 billion transistors which pack a 384-bit interface, 2048 processing cores in 32 Compute Units (CU0-CU31) and there is no room for couple of hundred million additional transistors “doing nothing.”

To us, this was more an excercise in giving partners different information about the clocks in order to find out who will leak the specifications to members of the press and receive a slap from AMD. Then again, we had the information of 2048 cores as of late July, and we know we weren’t the only ones. Given by the benchmark results and absolutely phenomenal overclocking scores on air, yet alone when using liquid or more extreme versions of cooling – we can say that AMD did an excellent job with Tahiti die.

Which again, has 2048 cores. Get it?

Original Author: Theo Valich

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