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AMD Radeon HD 7870 and HD 7850 detailed

by Parm Mann on 21 February 2012, 10:27

Tags: AMD (NYSE:AMD)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qabcwj

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Impressed by the Radeon HD 7900-series but put off by price? Enticed by the Radeon HD 7700-series but yearning for higher performance? You're not alone, as this particular predicament is the one facing many PC gamers, and, as you've frequently stated in the HEXUS forums, there's hope that the new Radeon HD 7800-series will step in to fill the void.

The two upcoming cards - Radeon HD 7870 and Radeon HD 7850 - are believed to be on schedule for a March launch (around CeBIT on March 6th would be our best guess), and detailed specifications for both cards have already surfaced online.

According to Chinese website expreview.com, AMD's next 28nm GPUs - codenamed Pitcairn - will land with a healthy compliment of 22 and 20 compute units, respectively. That's more than double what's on offer from the HD 7700 series, and it represents a cut back of roughly 30 per cent when compared to the top-of-the-line HD 7900 series.

Radeon HD 7000-series specification

GPU HD 7970 HD 7950 HD 7870 HD 7850 HD 7770 HD 7750
Codename Tahiti XT Tahiti Pro Pitcairn XT Pitcairn Pro Cape Verde XT Cape Verde Pro
Release Date January 9, 2012 January 31, 2012 March, 2012 March, 2012 February 15, 2012 February 15, 2012
Memory 3,072MB 3,072MB 2,048MB 2,048MB /
1,024MB
1,024MB 1,024MB
Processors 2,048 1,792 1,408 1,280 640 512
Compute units 32 28 22 20 10 8
Texture Units 128 112 88 80 40 32
ROP Units 32 32 24 24 16 16
Core Clock (MHz) 925 800 950 900 1,000 800
Memory Clock (MHz) 5,500 5,000 5,500 5,000 4,500 4,500
Memory Bus (bits) 384 384 256 256 128 128
DX API 11.1 11.1 11.1 11.1 11.1 11.1
Architecture GCN GCN GCN GCN GCN GCN
Process 28nm 28nm 28nm 28nm 28nm 28nm
Launch MSRP $549 $449 $299 $249 /
$219
$159 $109

The complete specifications are depicted in easy-to-digest tablet form above, and if these numbers are indeed accurate, they're an almost exact match to our earlier guesstimates.

Converting the supposed MSRPs to British Pounds puts the HD 7870 at roughly £225 - a price point at which it would battle it out with a GeForce GTX 560 Ti 448 and AMD's own Radeon HD 6950. Should the UK launch price get inflated (and let's be honest, if often does), the same card could be up against the GeForce GTX 570.

The HD 7850, meanwhile, is said to be arriving in both 1GB and 2GB capacities, priced at around £165 and £190, respectively, inclusive of VAT. The pricing suggests that Radeon HD 7850 will be gunning for arguably one of the best last-gen cards; the 384-core GeForce GTX 560 Ti.



HEXUS Forums :: 11 Comments

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What I find amazing is that at release the consumer will be faced with an option around £240 for the 7870 (a price point they could've already had a GTX570 at for the best part of a year). I expect performance to be around 5-10% better than the GTX570, with slightly lower power consumption at the same price point.

That's not a technical analysis of the hardware, just a practical assessment of what they'll be aiming for to make it marketable (in their opinion).

I say marketable, but I honestly don't see this as a victory. Releasing something that can only best a product on the market by 5% in a whole 8/9 months extra development time for a similar price means your behind the curve.

While I like the 7950, the market position they've placed it by charging £350 has really been an insult to their customers.

Right now I could pick up a pair of 6870's from Scan and Crossfire them, for less than £240. You only need to look at the GTX 570 Super Overclock review to see this nets you typically 50% more performance than a GTX570, and so very likely approximately the same improvement over this new 7870.

I'll reserve final judgement till the numbers are in, but it's clearly not going to best a pair of 6870 in CF at the moment.
cptwhite_uk
What I find amazing is that at release the consumer will be faced with an option around £240 for the 7870 (a price point they could've already had a GTX570 at for the best part of a year). I expect performance to be around 5-10% better than the GTX570, with slightly lower power consumption at the same price point.

That's not a technical analysis of the hardware, just a practical assessment of what they'll be aiming for to make it marketable (in their opinion).

I say marketable, but I honestly don't see this as a victory. Releasing something that can only best a product on the market by 5% in a whole 8/9 months extra development time for a similar price means your behind the curve.

While I like the 7950, the market position they've placed it by charging £350 has really been an insult to their customers.

Right now I could pick up a pair of 6870's from Scan and Crossfire them, for less than £240. You only need to look at the GTX 570 Super Overclock review to see this nets you typically 50% more performance than a GTX570, and so very likely approximately the same improvement over this new 7870.

I'll reserve final judgement till the numbers are in, but it's clearly not going to best a pair of 6870 in CF at the moment.

yeah mate you are right except for one thing these are new so people will want them. There is a guy in the fs section selling his gtx 580 same model i have for £275 because he bought a 7950 so even if he got the cheapest one he paid £75 more than he will get for his 580 to have exactly the same performance.

for people that already have anything more powerful than a gtx560 these are a waste and overpriced too.
Think you're missing a fair bit from your analysis, simply put:

1. Crossfire/sli cant compare, personally way to much microstutter with sli and likely Crossfire, feels like the same even if double fps, so really is multicard worth it? It always will if you dont notice this and have games with terrible performance in multicard, is it more power effcient? I will cover another point shortly.

2. Cost, the old generation have had their time to recoup research and development costs, these cards havent even come out yet which is why they WILL be more expensive simply put all other cards have had massive drops, ive seen gtx560ti 448 selling for £180 on offers a fair few times, wait a few months and it will be even more competitive, the 7970/50 are already competitive (within reason, still need to be better IMO) as they beat the 570/580 but cost about £10 less and can overclock like a tank and use 1/3 of the power.

3. Other technologies, you are forgetting that an amd card has eyefinity support as standard where as Nvidia still require multiple cards UNLESS you buy the galaxy gtx580 which costs more than the 7970… yes you pay more to get nvidia with the same features. CUDA is great but AMD are pushing open tech more and more and thus its becoming hard to differentiate.


But more importantly, if you are buying a high end card (gtx580 or anything like that) you are pretty stupid in my mind to be selling it already, it doesnt take a genius to look at results and say, oh well at the minute its only X% better but if i sell my card i will lose 30% because its used, lets keep it for another few years as my games are still running fine. If you live on bleeding edge you WILL get screwed for price vs performance, exactly the same as pc games really! you can buy a single player game for £25 on release or wait a month or two and buy it for <£15 yet its the same game but with most likely more performance due to patches etc.

And drivers, AMD are in the infancy period of their drivers, this GCN can gain massive performance but drivers and optimisation is holding it back. In a few months i can see another 10 - 25% improvement across the board. May i also point out in performance, when you actually run these cards in a high end setup say 2 or 3 1080p+monitors then you actually get a differences with the 7970 beating the 580 alot more. Its because some reason people like to spend £300 - £400+ on a graphics card but just want it for a simply single 1080p monitor, baffles me!

When i finally upgrade from my gtx460(did have sli, sold the second a month after buying this year!) i will either be grabiing the 7950 or a gtx670/80 depending on performance however if it really doesnt bring much to the table in regards to competitive pricing (id like the 7950 to be £250.. LOL) then ill simply run my games at a lower quality till the 8000/700 series because i know the 8000 will be an even greater improvement just for the fact its their second attempt/optimisation of GCN and we all know it takes multiple times to get the best out of something!.



TLDR: AMD chips are competitive with Nvidia chips in price, regardless of how old one another is as Nvidia IS behind the curve (i.e not released 600 series), AMD just offers that slightly better offering with less power and more overclocking. Price vs performance will improve after a few months of R&D recouping and Nvidia release some competition. People who live on the bleeding edge and then sell for no real difference are plonkers.
cptwhite_uk
I say marketable, but I honestly don't see this as a victory. Releasing something that can only best a product on the market by 5% in a whole 8/9 months extra development time for a similar price means your behind the curve.

Nope - by definition they are ahead of the curve, because they've got the best product out for the price. It doesn't matter that it's only % percent better, or that a similar product has been out in the past - we're no longer in the past. You can only judge a product on it's real performance today. On that measure the 7950 is the better card than the 580. AMD are only interested in people buying cards today and onwards, and presumably not existing 580 owners.
kalniel
Nope - by definition they are ahead of the curve, because they've got the best product out for the price. It doesn't matter that it's only % percent better, or that a similar product has been out in the past - we're no longer in the past. You can only judge a product on it's real performance today. On that measure the 7950 is the better card than the 580. AMD are only interested in people buying cards today and onwards, and presumably not existing 580 owners.

surely by definition they have just caught up with the curve, if they are now beating nvidias last gen with kepler still to come out all amd have done is caught up with the curve. most of the selling points for these cards seem to eb on power usage and yeah that is good but the cards are priced £50 over what they should be so the 17 watts of power you save over a 580 will take a very long time to make back by then you would have sold the card.

People were going mad when the last gen of cards came out with the 6970 near £350 initially and the 580 at near £400 suddenly Amd bring out a card at £450-500 and another at £350-400 and everyone is saying how brilliant it is. they are overpriced for what they are, And there are many two card options that will work better. and yes you can get micro stutter with sli crossfire in certain games but there are ways to fix that.