AMD Radeon HD 7950 Launch Review

Product: AMD Radeon HD 7950 Video Card
Company: AMD
Author: James Prior
Editor: Charles Oliver
Date: January 31st, 2012

AA, AF, Tesselation Scaling

Performance scaling


To test the Anti-aliasing modes performance hit we used Battlefield: Bad Company 2 - Heavy Metal beginning of level, at 1920x1080 with AAsettings as below (high in game settings with HBAO on).

The best image quality was deliver with Adaptive AA at 8xMSAA in game setting, and SSAA. However, SSAA was unplayable, managing only 24FPS average.

To test Anti-aliasing performance hit, we used DiRT 3 and various AA modes to see the % of no-AA performance. Tests were performed at 1920x1080 with Ultra preset, benchmark using Finland race. Normalized results are below.

The results indicate 2xAA is around 2% performance hit, ~4% for 4xAA, ~12% for 8xAA and ~32% for MLAA. The EQAA hit at 4xAA is ~11%, 4xEDAA (12xMSAA) is ~54%, 4xAdaptive AA is ~20% and 4xSSAA is ~35%. The best in game image was provided by 4xAAA, which at these settings was able to maintain an eminently playable average of 60fps.

Anisotropic Filtering

To test Anisotropic filtering performance hit, we used Aliens Vs. Predator benchmark and varied AF with all other settings on high, no AA. Normalized results are below.

The results indicate that 2xAF is a ~2% performance hit, 4xAF is a ~4% hit, 8xAF is a ~6% hit and 16xAF is an ~8% hit. The performance hit of AF is about the same on the HD 7950 as on the 7970.


To test tessellation performance, we used Crysis 2 and the Adrenaline benchmark tool Times Square level. With Performance setting and no AA/no Edge AA, we varied AMD Tessellation cap level to see if it affected performance, using application controlled tessellation as the baseline. Normalized results below:

The results show that capping tessellation to 4x increase performance by ~6%. A cap of 8x increases performance by just under 3%. 16x tessellation cap improves performance by ~2%. A 32x cap is within 1% of the performance of application controlled, where using the AMD optimized checkbox in CCC provides a .2% performance drop; within the margin of error; a 10th of a frame per second time.