AMD is introducing the performance mainstream Radeon HD 7870 and Radeon HD 7850 today. We'll look at performance compared to the competition and talk about pricing and explore value. If you are in the market for a video card between $249 and $349 these video cards will likely need to be on your short list.
The Radeon HD 7850 is a more affordable version of the Radeon HD 7870, competing with the GeForce GTX 560 Ti. Let’s check it out. The new Radeon HD 7850 is a mid-range video card based on the latest GPU architecture from AMD, dubbed "Graphics Core Next" or simply "GCN," which supports the new PCI Express 3.0 connection and the latest DirectX version (11.1). Let's compare it to its main competitor, the GeForce GTX 560 Ti.
Let’s check the performance of the new Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition, a USD 350 video card based on the latest architecture from AMD. The new Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition is targeted to users who want a high-end video card but don't want to pay an arm and a leg to buy one. Let's take a look at its performance.
We've mentioned a lot about our thoughts on the HD 7700 series as a whole along with the general thought process on each model and like we've said every time, while AMD has the HD 6800 series at a similar price point, the HD 7700 series continues to lose its shine as it sits slower. The HD 7800 series and HD 7900 series on the other hand don't have any competition within their own camp giving us a price point from AMD that isn't offered at the moment. So far we've seen the HD 7850 hits that $249 price tag perfectly. Now we want to find out if the extra $100 associated with the HD 7870 is worth the jump up.
So what exactly is Pitcairn? In a nutshell, take Cape Verde (7700) and double it, and you have Pitcairn. Pitcairn has twice the number of CUs, twice the number of ROPs, twice the memory bandwidth, and of particular importance twice as many geometry engines on the frontend. This works out to 1280 SPs among 20 CUs – organized as a doubling Cape Verde’s interesting 4/3/3 configuration – 80 texture units, 32 ROPs, 512KB L2 cache, and a 256-bit memory bus. Compared to Tahiti, Pitcairn still has 12 fewer CUs and as a result less shader and texturing performance along with the narrower memory bus, but it has the same number of ROPs and the same frontend as its bigger brother, which as we’ll see creates some very interesting situations.
At long last, AMD has filled the gaping hole in its next-generation Radeon lineup. A new pair of graphics cards has come to slot in right between the high-end Radeon HD 7900 series and the decidedly less high-end 7700 series, completing the Southern Islands trifecta—and offering gamers some fresh meat at $249. If you were expecting exact replacements for the 6800 series, prepare to be disappointed. The new Radeon HD 7850 is the one priced at $249; its big brother, the Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition, costs a more burdensome $349. That means today's launch leaves the $199 price point conspicuously devoid of next-generation GPUs. Perhaps that will change in the future—possibly after the arrival of Kepler parts from Nvidia, which are rumored to be coming soon—but for now, we might say the hole in AMD's lineup is only partially plugged.