Legit Video Card Reviews
AMD Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition & 7850 Video Card Review
|Product:||Radeon HD 7870 & 7850|
|Date:||Sun, Mar 04, 2012 - 11:05 PM|
|Written By:||Nathan Kirsch -|
AMD Unleashes Pitcairn - Radeon HD 7800 Series
AMD has been quickly introducing the Radeon HD 7000 series (Southern Islands) of graphics cards over the past few months. The company first announced the AMD Radeon HD 7970 in December 2011, followed by the Radeon HD 7950 on January 2012 and then most recently the Radeon HD 7770 and 7750 in February 2012. AMD continues with what feels like the monthly blitzkrieg of video cards and are today releasing the Radeon HD 7870 and the 7850 video cards. Just like the other Radeon HD 7000 series cards, the new are again based on the 28nm manufacturing process and use a new core architecture called Graphics Core Next (GCN).
Before today, AMD had a large price gap between the Radeon HD 7770 GHz Edition ($159.99) and the Radeon HD 7950 ($449.99) With the introduction of the Radeon HD 7850 and the Radeon HD 7870 AMD hopes to tap into the $200-$400 video card market and get mainstream gamers to upgrade their current card to one of these. We have been told that the Radeon HD 7850 will be available $249 and the Radeon HD 7870 GHz edition will start at $349. Don't get too excited yet though as the today's launch date is a preview only. You can call this a paper launch of sorts, but AMD wanted to get the news out before big industry events like CeBIT and GDC take up all the headlines. AMD informed us that they expect consumer availability in mass volume should happen after March 19th, 2012.
The Radeon HD 7800 series cards are using the new 'Pitcairn' GPU core, which features 2.8 billion transistors made on the 28nm manufacturing processor by TSMC and a die size that is said to be ~212mm^2. Pircairn features 20 Graphics Core Next Compute Units (CUs), 1280 stream processors, 80 TMUs, 32 ROPs and a 256-bit wide GDDR5 memory interface in pristine form. This specifications just happen to be twice that of the AMD Radeon HD 7770 GHz Edition card, so we are expecting to see some pretty good performance numbers from these cards. AMD says that the dual geometry engines and the 9th generation tessellator allows for up to 5x better performance than the Radeon HD 6970 in benchmarks like the Heaven 2.0 benchmark.
Here you can see the full specifications of the Radeon HD 7800 series cards.
The AMD Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition comes with the 'Pitcairn' core fully enabled; it has a core clock speed of 1GHz and a memory clock of 1200MHz (4800MHz effective). This puts the card at 2.56 TFLOPS when it comes to compute power and 153.6 GB/s on memory bandwidth.
The AMD Radeon HD 7850 has 16 of the Compute Units (CU) enabled, so it has just 1024 stream processors, 64 texture units and 32 ROPs. AMD also lowered the core clock speed down to 860MHz. AMD left the memory capacity, type or the bus width, so the memory bandwidth remains at 153.6 GB/s on the Radeon HD 7850. Both the AMD Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition and the Radeon HD 7850 have 2048MB (2GB) of GDDR5 memory. We heard rumors that some companies might be coming out lower cost 1GB versions of the Radeon HD 7850 in the months to come.
AMD usually doesn't clearly highlight where their video cards fit against the competition, but they did so with this launch. They feel the AMD Radeon HD 7850 will fit between the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Ti and the GeForce GTX 570. The AMD Radeon HD 7870 GHz edition card should perform between the GeForce GTX 570 and the GeForce GTX 580. These are very good video cards, so AMD must be confident in the Radeon HD 7800 series to feel these cards will perform with the best of NVIDIA's current offerings and for at a fraction of the price.
We have both the AMD Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition and Radeon HD 7850 reference edition cards that we'll be reviewing today.
Next Page - Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition Up Close
Page 1 - AMD Unleashes Pitcairn - Radeon HD 7800 Series
Page 2 - Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition Up Close
Page 3 - Test System
Page 4 - Batman: Arkham City
Page 5 - Battlefield 3
Page 6 - Deus Ex: Human Revolution
Page 7 - DiRT 3
Page 8 - H.A.W.X. 2
Page 9 - Just Cause 2
Page 10 - Metro 2033
Page 11 - 3DMark 11
Page 12 - Power Consumption
Page 13 - Temperature & Noise Testing
Page 14 - Overclocking The Radeon HD 7850 & 7870
Page 15 - Final Thoughts and Conclusions