AMD Radeon HD 7850 and 7870 review -
So, pictures then, below you can see the Radeon HD 7850 and 7870 GHz edition, these are 2GB model cards. Included with all cards will be manual and a demo and driver CD, power converters and monitor connector converters to get your multi-monitor freak on.
As usual we see a nice dark/red looking cards with what you may expect from AMD. The close to 3 Billion transistor encounting 28nm Pitcairn based core is tied to a nice 2GB memory -- which is plenty enough for midrange products.
The reference 7870 cards are clocked at a 1000 MHz core frequency and the GDDR5 memory runs at 4.8 Gbps (effective data rate as GDDR5 has a quad data-rate, so effectively that quadruples that number) the memory bus is 256-bit. The 7850 cards are clocked at 860 MHz.
Here we can see the backsides, the cards will fit pretty much any chassis. As you can see the cards look identical, and really they are as they both use the same PCB. One distinct difference however is that the R7850 lacks one of the two 6-pin PCIe PEG power connectors the 7870 does have.
Now AMD's board partners are free to use their own PCB's and design, so you will spot non-reference designs in the weeks to come.
Connectivity wise the output connectors will vary per brand. But on the reference 7800 cards we see four connectors supporting all high-resolution monitors. We get two display port connectors (mini), HDMI and a DVI connector.
The boards' overall power consumption from idle to load is excellent really. Expect an idle wattage of roughly 10 Watts and, when the monitor goes into power save mode, the card throttles down even lower towards 3 Watts. The TDP for the 7850 we measured at roughly 110W and the 7870 at 130 Watt.
AMD advertises the board power at 130W (7850) and 175W (7870), board power is different then the TDP. If you try and visualize the power control settings slider in the Catalyst center, then you'll realize that you can increase it 20% meaning at default the TDP is roughly 20% lower then AMD's 130W for the 7850 and 175W for the 7870.
Reverse calculate that and at default the TDP for 7850 would be 130Wx0.80=104W
Reverse calculate that and at default the TDP for 7850 would be 175Wx0.80=140W
That's close to what we have been able to measure as default TDP.
You will need to hook the 7850 up to your power supply with a 6-pin PCIe PEG connector. We recommend a 500 power supply to start with, with one card of course. The 7870 utilizes two 6-pin power connectors, a 550W PSU would be sufficient.
Now I did receive this photo of a reference shot of the more cheaper R7850. We assume this will be the more cost effective model with 1 GB of graphics memory. Bound to be released at one point as well. The thermals and noise level will definitely be different on that one. But back to what we have at hand with our two reference cards though.
The cooler applied to the reference models work fantastic, extremely silent and properly cooling down the GPU. We'll show you that on the next few pages though. Good to know is that air is sucked into the card and exhausted outside the chassis.
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