AMD Radeon HD 7850 and 7870 review -
AMD today releases the third product series within the Radeon HD 7000 series of cards. It's the series that most of you have been waiting for, the Radeon HD 7800 line-up, specificly the Radeon HD 7850 and 7870.
These two new mid-range cards are going to shift the dynamics in the graphics arena alright, as the entire package including performance is really impressive for the 7800 series.
So with AMD's 7700 Series barely released we now see Pitcairn, AKA the 7800-Series. A product series that is to replace the 6800-series performance-wise, it is based on AMD's 28nm process and of course the latest Graphics Core Next GPU architecture.
As stated there are two graphics cards released today, Pitcairn XT (GPU codename) is the AMD Radeon HD HD7870 - it will have 20 Compute Units carrying 1280 Stream Processors, 80 texture units and 32 ROPs. Core and memory frequencies will clock in at an impressive 1000 MHz on the GPU and 1200MHz (4800MHz effective GDDR5) on the memory, this product is equipped with 2GB memory running over a 256-bit memory interface. AMD brands this product the "One GHz Edition" due to the reference clock frequency. This means that AMD's partners can release product clocked even higher.
Pitcairn Pro is what you'll learn to know as the Radeon HD 7850, it features 16 Compute Units, 1024 Stream (shader) Processors, 64 texture units and 32 ROPs. It's core and memory frequencies fall behind that of the 7870 but is still clocked at a good 860 MHz core with 1.20GHz (4800 MHz effective) on the memory. The 7850 tested has 2GB of graphics memory, but for this model we expect to see both 2GB and 1GB memory variants in the stores, again the memory is based on a 256-bit interface.
The 7870 is expected to have an MSRP of $349 USD, whereas the 7850 will be available for $249 (2GB). Typically prices in EUR would be slightly lower.
AMD has been focusing on three primary features and key selling points ever since the series 5000 products were released. First off, the new graphics adapters are of course DirectX 11 ready. With Windows 7 and Vista being DX11 ready all we need are some games to take advantage of DirectCompute, multi-threading, Hardware Tessellation and new shader 5.0 extensions.
Another big feature of the product that you already learned about is of course Eyefinity, the ability to connect many monitors (depending on AIC/AIB choices in outputs) to your videocard and use it in a desktop environment, or to create an incredibly wide monitor resolution to play games in. The third big and prominent feature is of course performance for money. It's new, it's affordable, it has AMD written all over it.
Head on over to the next page where we'll meet and greet Pitcairn, aka the Radeon HD 7800 series.
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