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Sapphire HD7870 W/ Boost (Tahiti LE) Review

Rating: 9.0.

Today we are taking our second look at a HD7870 Tahiti LE card, this time from Sapphire. Our previous experiences with the HD7870 Tahiti LE have been memorable but today we wanted to show something different. We push the Sapphire card to the limit and manually overclock two competing AMD and Nvidia based ‘pre-overclocked' solutions from HIS and MSI. Is the new Sapphire HD7870 Tahiti LE good value for money?

Our last graphics review showed the HD7870 Tahiti LE when slotted into the overall market, but we received a lot of feedback after that review. People wanted to know how the HD7870 Tahiti LE would directly compare against the high value Nvidia GTX660 and it's more expensive sibling, the full fat HD7950. All running on the latest Catalyst and Forceware drivers.

The Sapphire HD7870 Tahiti LE solution is currently available for only £190 inc vat at Overclockers UK. Hitting the sweet spot of £200 is very appealing for many hard core gamers who have a limited budget.

One of our favourite cards last year was the MSI GTX660 OC Edition with Twin Frozr cooler released in September 2012. This card has recently dropped in price from £190 to £175 inc vat … it is heavily overclocked but we it will ramp it via MSI Afterburner software to around 1,110mhz. Is is wise to save the £15 over the HD7870 Tahiti LE and opt for the budget priced GTX660 OC Twin Frozr?

We all know the HD7870 Tahiti LE is faster than the vanilla HD7870, that is a no-brainer. The question is how does it compare against one of the finest HD7950 cards on the market? We decided to use the deafeningly quiet HIS HD7950 IceQ which is supplied in a pre-overclocked state. We will overclock this card to the limit, close to 1,100mhz. This is the most expensive card on test, retailing for around the £240 mark. Is it worth waiting a while longer to save up the extra £50 for an overclocked HD7950?

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