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AMD HD7870 and HD7850 Graphics Card Review

Today we had to rely on AMD’s Catalyst Control Center for our overclocking adventures. Sapphire’s excellent TriXX tool has not yet been updated to support the latest AMD hardware.

As we mentioned earlier in the review for this overclocking section today we decided to push the cards to the limit, when paired up with a state of the art Core i7 3960X Extreme Edition system and 16gb of 2400mhz memory.

Processor: Intel i7 3960X EE @ 4.4ghz
Motherboard: Asus Rampage IV Extreme
: Antec H20 920
: 16GB G.Skill 2,400mhz memory
Power Supply: Enermax Platimax 1200W
: Lian Li PC-A77FR Aluminium Red Full Tower Case
Boot Drive: Patriot WildFire 120GB
Secondary Drive: 1TB Samsung

Both cards have plenty of headroom, with the AMD HD7850 running out of ‘slider’ room in Catalyst Control Center. It was stable at the maximum setting of 1050mhz, which translates to a 22 percent increase on the core. Both cards achieved a 12.5 increase on the GDDR5 memory, peaking at 1,350mhz. We could overclock the HD7870 core from 1,000mhz to 1,155 mhz, a 15.5 percent increase. Any higher and the system would hardlock.

A final score of 28,524 and 24,377 points is extremely impressive and shows the potential performance possible with one of the latest high end Intel Core i7 systems.

When both cards are overclocked to the limits and partnered up with the Core i7 3960x system the gains are immense. The HD7870 score jumps from 6,549 points to 7,750 points, positioning it just behind the flagship HD7970.

A similar pattern to the other synthetic benchmarks. The overclocked HD7850 manages to outperform the reference clocked HD7870 running on the Core i7 970 system. The overclocked HD7870 passes the Crossfire HD7770 configuration, averaging over 70 frames per second.

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