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

Overclocking, Power & Noise


VECC GPU Overdrive

We used AMD Vision Engine Control Center to overclock, using GPU Overdrive to set +20% PowerTune and then increase memory and core clocks. Interestingly the normal ~10% range of clocks was expanded on our press driver, offering up to 1400MHz engine and 1400MHz memory clocks. We achieved a final overclock of 1230MHz engine and 1350MHz memory for our Pitcairn XT board, and 1000MHz engine and 1400MHz memory for Pitcairn Pro.

HD 7870 Overclock
HD 7850 Overclock
  HD 7870 HD 7850
Core [Stock] 1000 860
Core [OC] 1250 1000
Increase +25% +16.2%
Memory [Stock] 1200 1200
Core [OC] 1375 1400
Increase +14.6% +16.66%

System Power Draw - long idle and 3DMark11 GPU Test 2 looping load:

GPU Temperature - long idle and 3DMark11 GPU Test 2 looping load:


The Pitcairn cards are quiet in operation, thanks to the large vapor chamber cooling and low TDP rating. The much maligned blower fans work well here, keeping the cards cooler than the competition while not being too noisy. As most of the AIB partners are going to switch out their versions of single or dual axial fans instead, there should be plenty of nicely overclockable yet quiet boards available when Pitcairn finally launches.