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VTX3D HD7870 Black Review (Tahiti LE)

The VTX3D HD7870 Black is without question one of the best value for money high performance graphics cards that we have reviewed this year.

It is common for Nvidia and AMD to release faster clocked versions of their hardware to stay competitive throughout the year, but this new revision HD7870 is a different beast. A handful of AMD's partners will be releasing these new Tahiti LE core 7870's to grab as many sales as possible from performance junkies who want the best bang for buck card they can get their hands on.

We see absolutely no reason not to buy one of these cards. The VTX3D HD7870 Black uses a slightly ‘adjusted' high end Tahiti core, which has the ‘LE' moniker. The Tahiti core has been exclusively HD7950/70 until today. We explained the architectural changes earlier in the review, but in layman's terms, the new card is able to produce frame rate performance previously unheard of at a sub £190 AMD price point.

We feel this release will cause a problem for current AMD sales. Who would want a plain ‘Pitcairn' based HD7870 now? Who in fact would be willing to spend £260+ on a HD7950? An AMD gamer will be saving a minimum of £70-£80 to get equivalent HD7950 performance. That said, this might not be an ideal situation for stores with plenty of stock of the older cards.

The VTX3D HD7870 Black is a very impressive little card, the build quality is excellent and we like the fact that the cooler doesn't extend past the size of the PCB. It also expels hot air outside the chassis. The ‘all black' cooler and PCB design is attractive and will fit right into a windowed case without clashing with any colour scheme.

The cooler performance is commendable. Core temperatures were held at under 70c when gaming, and the single fan doesn't emit a lot of noise, even when pushed hard with a synthetic stress test such as Furmark.

Overclocking headroom on our review sample was exceptional, we almost achieved 20% from the Tahiti core, peaking at 1,155mhz without the need for any voltage increase. Temperatures only increased by a couple of degrees. This will obviously vary between samples, but we are confident there is at least 15% headroom from most of these cards.

ARIA have limited exclusive stock of this card as we go to publication, and they are selling it for £184.99 inc vat.

To sweeten the deal further they are bundling Sleeping Dogs, Hitman: Absolution, Far Cry 3, DiRT: Showdown and Medal of Honor Warfighter. If you need a new video card for some kick ass high resolution gaming and don't want to spend over £200, then this has to be the best bang for buck right now. A fantastic way for AMD to end the year.


  • quiet
  • runs cool.
  • huge overclocking headroom.
  • bargain pricepoint.
  • One of the best value for money solutions on the market today.


  • Calling it the ‘HD7890' or ‘HD7930' would make more sense.

Kitguru says: The VTX3D is one of the most memorable video cards this year, alongside the Sapphire HD7970 6GB Toxic Edition in the ultra high end.

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Rating: 9.5.

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