AMD Radeon HD 7850 & HD 7870 Launch Review

Product: AMD Radeon HD 7800 Series
Company: AMD
Author: James Prior
Editor: Charles Oliver
Date: March 4th, 2012

Test Setup

Our test platform is an all-AMD affair, using AMD FX processor and requisite AM3+/990FX equipped mainboard. Details below:

Test Platform

Component Specification
Mainboard ASUS R.o.G. Formula Crosshair V
Processor FX-8150 @4560MHz (215x21)
Graphics Card AMD Radeon HD 7870 1GHz Edition
  AMD Radeon HD 7850
  EVGA GeForce GTX 570SC
  NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580
  Sapphire Radeon HD 6970
Memory 2x4GB AMD Radeon Entertainment @DDR3-1720
  2x2GB G.Skill RipJaws @DDR3-1720 [Total 12GB]
Audio Creative X-Fi MB 2
PSU Corsair HX850
Case CoolerMaster HAF 932
Storage Controller Adaptec 5405 PCI-E Hybrid RAID card
Storage Drives 2ea Corsair Force 120 + 2ea Seagate 15K4 SAS 146GB
Heatsink/Fan AMD FX Liquid Cooler
Display Dell P2210H
Operating System Windows 7 64-bit Ultimate SP1
Driver Catalyst 8.95.5 / 12.3Preview
Forceware 295.73
AMD Product Positioning

For today's comparison we're going to use NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 570 (in EVGA superclock form) and GTX 580, and AMD's Radeon HD 6970.

Product Specification Comparison

  HD 7870 HD 7850 GTX 570 SC GTX 580 HD 6950
SEP (USD) $349 $249 $349 $449 $349
Engine Clock 1000MHz 860MHz 797/1494MHz 772/1544MHz 880MHz
Cores 1280 1024 480 512 1536
Architecture GCN GCN Fermi Fermi VLIW-4
Memory Capacity 2GB 2GB 1.28GB 1.5GB 2GB
Memory Speed 1200MHz / 4.8Gbps QDR 1200MHz / 4.8Gbps QDR 975MHz / 3.9Gbps QDR 1002MHz / 4Gbps QDR 1375MHz / 5.5Gbps QDR
Bus Width 256-bit 256-bit 320-bit 384-bit 256-bit
Power <3W / 130W <3W / 180W 219W 244W 20W / 200W
AMD Radeon HD 7870 1GHZ Edition
HIS Radeon HD 7850
EVGA GeForce GTX 570 SC
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580
AMD Radeon HD 6970