AMD Radeon HD 7870 and 7850 GPU Previews

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How We Configured Our Test Systems: We tested the graphics cards in this article on an Asus P9X79 Deluxe motherboard powered by a Core i7-3960X six-core processor and 16GB of G.SKILL DDR3-1600 RAM. The first thing we did when configuring the test system was enter the system UEFI and set all values to their "optimized" or "high performance" default settings and disabled any integrated peripherals that wouldn't be put to use. The hard drive was then formatted and Windows 7 Ultimate x64 was installed. When the installation was complete we fully updated the OS and installed the latest DirectX redist, along with the necessary drivers, games, and benchmark applications.

HotHardware's Test System
Intel Core i7 Powered

Hardware Used:
Intel Core i7-3960X
(3.3GHz, Six-Core)
Asus P9X79 Deluxe
(Intel X79 Express)

Radeon HD 7870
Radeon HD 7850
Radeon HD 7950
Radeon HD 7970
Radeon HD 6870
Radeon HD 6970
Radeon HD 6970
GeForce GTX 580
GeForce GTX 570
GeForce GTX 560 Ti

16GB OCZ DDR3-1600
Western Digital Raptor 150GB
Integrated Audio
Integrated Network

Relevant Software:
Windows 7 Ultimate x64
DirectX April 2011 Redist
ATI Catalyst v12.2b
NVIDIA GeForce Drivers 295.73

Benchmarks Used:

Unigine Heaven v2.5
3DMark 11
Batman: Arkham City
Just Cause 2
Alien vs. Predator
Metro 2033
Lost Planet 2
Dirt 3

Unigine Heaven v2.5 Benchmark
Pseudo-DirectX 11 Gaming


Unigine Heaven

Unigine's Heaven Benchmark v2.5 is built around the Unigine game engine. Unigine is a cross-platform, real-time 3D engine, with support for DirectX 9, DirectX 10, DirectX 11 and OpenGL. The Heaven benchmark--when run in DX11 mode--also makes comprehensive use of tessellation technology and advanced SSAO (screen-space ambient occlusion) It also features volumetric cumulonimbus clouds generated by a physically accurate algorithm and a dynamic sky with light scattering.

The new Radeon HD 7800 series cards performed well in the tessellation-heavy Unigine Heaven benchmark. In this test, the Radeon HD 7870 was able to squeak past the GeForce GTX 570, while the Radeon HD 7850 landed right in between the GeForce GTX 560 Ti and GTX 570. Both of the 7800 series cards, however, had no trouble besting any of the 6900/6800-series Radeons.

Article Index:

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Sounds like AMD is on a roll with their gpus.At the $350 price point I don't think a $20 premium is too much to ask for the increase in power and efficiency that these next gen cards bring to the table vs the older cards. Whether that will hold true when Kepler arrives, whenever that is, we'll have to wait and see.

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SSAA for DX11 titles; I must be in heaven right now. Anyways, it looks to be a good deal; performance comparable to a GTX 570, the ability to crossfire these for further performance. I agree that it's not that much more powerful compared to the previous generation but the popularity of these cards will ultimately lay in the ability to buy two of these babies and crossfire them; plus they're within my price range, and that's always a plus.

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I really like new AMD Radeon 7850. It look faster than 6850. It look peferct for upgrade.for me. New 7850 and 6850 both watts of power is very close same. but the clock is bit faster than 6850.. Might get that 7850 video card for myself. BUT i am not sure about that.

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Fun fun fun. For AMD's sake let's hope they get the majority of their cards out before Keplar comes out. I have a feeling the green team is going seriously beat these babies at least in the performance end.

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