AMD's Radeon HD 7800-series showed a lot of potential in our review earlier this month, but while we got a good look at the performance on offer from the Pitcairn GPUs, we've had to wait a fortnight for retail availability.
Today, March 19, that wait comes to an end as a slew of AMD partners unveil a wide range of cards aimed at gamers looking to spend between £200 and £300.
One such example is the XFX HD 7870 Double Dissipation edition, which is now available to pre-order from Scan.co.uk* priced at roughly £295.
The card, pictured above, features a Pitcairn XT core running at its default 1,000MHz and a 2GB frame buffer operating at an effective 4,800MHz. The headline figures are exactly what you'd get from a cheaper card based on AMD's reference design, but what sets XFX's model apart is the Double Dissipation cooler, which, as the name suggests, features twin fans for beefed-up cooling performance.
We've been impressed by the dual-fan cooler in the past, but for those hoping to shave a few pounds off the asking, XFX also has a HD 7870 Core edition armed with a single fan and a £270 price tag.
Interesting to note that AMD's partners appear to be holding firm on price, despite the fact that NVIDIA recently slashed the cost of certain GTX 500-series cards. Radeon HD 7870 is good, no doubt about that, but does it warrant the extra outlay when a similar-performance GeForce GTX 570 is available for £220?
It's a tough one, and the lack of HD 7870 stock isn't helping the Radeon's case. Though we were told to expect availability in the week beginning March 19, the likes of Scan, Dabs and Ebuyer currently only have cards up for pre-order.