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Sapphire HD7870 W/ Boost (Tahiti LE) Review

For our review today we are using an overclocked, liquid cooled Core i7 3960X system. We are using the latest Catalyst 12.11 beta driver for the AMD cards, and the latest Nvidia 310.90 driver for the MSI GTX660 OC Edition.

All of the cards are manually overclocked past their default states to their respective limits (detailed below).

We have not yet adopted Windows 8 for these reviews, as the polls on our home page and Facebook page show it is extremely unpopular with our audience. We will address this again in a couple of months time when the new operating system has had time to mature.

We managed to push the Sapphire HD7870 w/Boost to 1235mhz core and 1645mhz memory. Any higher and very minor artifacting would occur (analysed with software).

Test System:
Processor
: Core i7 3960 X Extreme Edition @ 4.4ghz
Graphics Card
: Sapphire HD7870 W/Boost Tahiti LE (Catalyst 12.11 Beta) @ 1,235mhz core and 1,645mhz memory.
Cooler: Antec 920 H20
Memory: 16GB G.Skill 2,400mhz @ 10-11-10-30
Motherboard: Asus Rampage IV Extreme
Power Supply: Seasonic Platinum 1,000W
Optical Drive: Asus BluRay Drive
Chassis: Lian Li PC-A77FR Aluminium Red Full Tower Case
Boot Drive: Patriot WildFire 120GB
Secondary Drive: 1TB Samsung
Monitors: Dell U3011.

Comparison Cards:
MSI GTX660 OC Edition (ref: 1033mhz core and 1500mhz memory) @ 1127mhz core and 1587mhz memory.
HIS HD7950 IceQ (ref: 925mhz core and 1250mhz memory) @ 1083mhz core and 1463mhz memory.

Software:
Windows 7 Enterprise 64 bit
Unigine Heaven Benchmark
3DMark Vantage
3DMark 11
Fraps Professional
Steam Client
FurMark

Games:
Max Payne 3 (DX 11)
Far Cry 2 (DX 10)
Far Cry 3 (DX 11)
Total War: Shogun 2 (DX 11)
Dirt Showdown (DX 11)
Sleeping Dogs (DX 11)
Alien V Predator (DX 11)

All the latest BIOS updates and drivers are used during testing. We perform generally under real world conditions, meaning KitGuru tests games across five closely matched runs and then average out the results to get an accurate median figure. If we use scripted benchmarks, they are mentioned on the relevant page.

Some game descriptions are edited from Wikipedia.

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