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Should You Pull the Trigger on Radeon HD 7970 for Stereo 3D Gaming

January 19th, 2012 · 13 Comments · Other S3D Tech

About a month ago the new Radeon HD 7970 GPUs were revealed by AMD as the must have solution for gamers willing to have a really powerful next generation video card in their system. And a bit earlier than that AMD has released a Catalyst Preview driver 12.1 announcing some new and exciting features for gamers. Both of these also came with some very interesting promises for gamers interested in stereoscopic 3D as well, such as multi-gpu CrossfireX support in stereo 3D mode, HDMI 1.4a 30Hz 3D mode on supported hardware, 60Hz 3D mode support over HDMI, Eyefinity setups with active stereoscopic 3D monitors.

So the question that many gamers interested in playing their favorite game titles in stereoscopic 3D mode were asking themselves (and me too) is if they should buy a new video card based on the new AMD Radeon HD 7970 GPUs. And while a lot of people may be really tempted in pulling the trigger on a Radeon HD 7970 for stereoscopic 3D gaming platform, I would strongly suggest to wait a bit more and not to be in a hurry. There are a lot of things that we are now expecting from AMD, but they are apparently not in a hurry to deliver them, especially after the release of the HD 7970 that yet again brings some architectural changes and probably way too many features for the company to quickly bring them to the users. It has been about a month already since the official announcement of the Radeon HD 7970 and while the card is “Out of Stock” already in most places or is being sold for an extra high price where there are some quantities, there is still no proper driver available for that GPU. Let me explain what I mean by that, on AMD’s website there is still only one driver available for the AMD Radeon HD 7900 Series of GPUs, released on 1/9/2012 with no version or information what features it supports, it is only available for Windows 7 64-bit OS, so you can pretty safely assume this is not the typical official video driver you are used in getting from AMD for their products.

The problem with this driver release is that there is no information about what features it supports, not only regarding the stereo 3D, but in general what from the all new things that were announced with the release of the new GPU are already supported. The latest official Catalyst Driver 11.12 is from 12/13/2011, or over a month ago and it does not have support for the new GPUs. So AMD may need some time for releasing a proper driver and for making available all the features initially introduced in the Catalyst Preview driver 12.1 as well as all the new things announced as supported for the new GPU. And especially if you are interested in using the HD 7970 for stereoscopic 3D gaming you might have trouble not only in getting the new software related features, but also in getting the 3D-capable hardware that is going to be compatible with them. Not to mention the fact that you may have trouble finding more than one of these cards or that you will have to pay extra for them and then find out that stereo 3D mode is not yet supported in CrossfireX in the driver. Better play it safe now, instead of being sorry later on, because of being too eager to get your hands on the new hardware. I do plan to do some testing of the new AMD Radeon HD 7970 in stereo 3D mode when a proper driver for it is released…

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