Many months ago AMD informed us that the Radeon HD 7800 series would have roughly the same performance as the Radeon HD 6900 series and do so for less money and with better power efficiency. After spending some time with the Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition and the Radeon HD 7850 it appears that is exactly what they have done.
The AMD Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition ($349) performed better than the AMD Radeon HD 6970 ($364.09) and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570 ($329.99) and in some cases it was trading blows with the mighty GeForce GTX 580 ($449.99). When this card becomes available on March 19th, 2012 we expect that pricing on other cards on the market will be adjusted. This card was very powerful and in some benchmarks and games we found it being only slightly slower than a stock Radeon HD 7950 3GB card that costs nearly $100 more. The AMD Radeon HD 7870 GHz edition card is solid and ideal for those running any monitor sizes other than a 30-inch. Considering how fast, quiet, overclocking friendly and power efficient the Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition is, we can see this card selling very well. Overclocked up to 1.2GHz this card screamed and was an impressive DX11 graphics card.
The AMD Radeon HD 7850 was also a decent little card, but we did all of our testing on a reference design that will never see the consumer market. It’s hard to come to a conclusion on this card when the PCB and GPU cooler will be totally different on the retail cards. Our numbers should it performed better than the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Ti (slower than the GTX 560 Ti-448 Core) and Radeon HD 6950 1GB video cards. Overclocking the core clocks on the card was straight forward and easy, but overclocking the memory was a nightmare. We’ll have to see if the retail cards are any better! Just looking at the performance numbers and the $249 price tag, it looks like this card will be solid as well.
Now that AMD has released the Radeon HD 7900, 7800 and 7700 series of video cards it will be interesting to see what NVIDIA is cooking up. Rumor has it that NVIDIA will begin introducing their next-generation Kepler GPUs for desktops in April/May, so things will certainly get very competitive once those cards are released. Many gamers and enthusiasts feel that AMD has priced their Radeon HD 7000 series cards too high, but why not when you are the first out the door and have a solid product. If NVIDIA is competitive with Kepler it allows for them to adjust the price down if needed. Right now the pricing makes sense and the graphics card market is full of cards to pick from. The AMD Radeon HD 7800 series based off the Pitcairn GPU are a welcomed addition for those looking to spend between $250-$350!
Legit Bottom Line: The AMD Radeon HD 7800 series helps fill the void in the $250 to $350 price range and are great gaming graphics cards for those running 1920×1080 monitors and like to crank up the image quality!