The AMD Radeon HD 7950 3GB reference cards run at 800MHz on the core and 1250MHz on the memory and are impressive gaming GPUs with just one in a PC. Running two of them in CrossFire for improved gaming performance was simple to do and yielded instant performance gains in the vast majority of games that we benchmarked and played. As with any multi-GPU setup, there were a few quirks here and there, but for the most part it was a solid experience. The one game that we had a number of issues in was Batman: Arkham City, which refuses to play nice with a CrossFire setup. We also ran into some issues with Furmark, but we just use that for benchmark purposes.
The AMD Radeon HD 7950 3GB video card costs $449.99 shipped, which is $100 less than the AMD Radeon HD 7970. When you factor that into a CrossFire setup there is a $200 difference and that is a nice chunk of change. With a setup like this costing $900, you are going to want great performance and we saw some good performance numbers here today during our testing of the cards. We were also happy with the overclocking potential of these cards as we were able to reach 1GHz on the core clock and 1575MHz on the GDDR5 memory on both cards in CrossFire mode. This overclock gave a nice boost in performance and with the overclock the pair of Radeon HD 7950 cards were faster than a pair of Radeon HD 7970 cards at stock clock speeds. After seeing the performance numbers you can get by overclocking these cards, we can easily suggest grabbing a pair and overclocking them to save a buck.
AMD has the top end of the product stack covered right now and is on the verge of releasing their mainstream Radeon HD 7700 series cards. It will be interesting to see how those cards do for the mainstream market as the Southern Islands cards with the Tahiti architecture look great. We can only hope that Cape Verde is also as good!
Legit Bottom Line: The AMD Radeon HD 7950 in CrossFire is a performance monster, but we still ran into a couple multi-GPU hiccups that reminded us that multi-GPU setups always have more quirks than those with a single video card.