Currently two of the more value oriented product series in the AMD Radeon range are the Radeon HD 7850 and 7870. AMD's partners are very savvy to release products based on these cute products as they perform well, quite well actually.
For those that missed it or need a little extra information, two graphics cards have been released in the 7800 series; Pitcairn XT (GPU codename) is the AMD Radeon HD HD7870 - it comes with 20 Compute Units carrying 1280 Stream Processors, 80 texture units and 32 ROPs. The AMD reference core and memory frequencies 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 products clocked even higher.
Pitcairn Pro is the GPU that empowers the Radeon HD 7850, it features 16 Compute Units, 1024 Stream (shader) Processors, 64 texture units and 32 ROPs. Its core and memory frequencies fall behind that of the 7870 but it 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.
MSI releases their Radeon HD 7870 TwinFrozr III OC series, a factory overclocked (50 MHz higher at 1050 MHz) Radeon HD 7870 solution with room for even higher tweaks.
As its name implies the graphics card utilizes MSIs proprietary TwinFrozr III cooling system that packs 8mm thick nickel-plated copper heatpipes to convey heat drawn directly from the GPU to a large aluminum fin array, ventilated by two 80 mm fans.
The graphics card will receive power from two 6-pin PCIe power connectors, as is the norm with other AMD Radeon HD 7870 graphics cards.
As mentioned the card comes factory overclocked, as the GPU core is running at 1050 MHz whereas the memory is clocked at reference frequencies.
Have a peek at the card resting in our test system, and then let's start up this review.