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XFX HD7850 Black Edition Review

Rating: 9.0.

Last week we reviewed the excellent Sapphire HD7850 Overclock Edition and XFX have sent us their competing part – the XFX HD7850 Black Edition. This card features a even higher overclock, to 975mhz on the core with a custom two fan metal cooling solution. The big question, is this better than the Sapphire solution?

XFX and Sapphire have been head to head in battle for the last year, targeting various sectors with custom, overclocked graphics cards. The XFX HD7850 Black Edition looks a little more exciting than the HD7870 Black Edition we reviewed last week thanks to more daring core overclock speeds.

XFX are keen to highlight their ‘Ghost Thermal technology’.

What is this? Well XFX say “Through rigorous testing and analysis we have discovered the optimal thermal design that allows air to pass through the heatsink directly to the PCB and core components. Older enclosed designs often trapped the heat, creating a bottle neck at the exhaust, this can be remedied but at the cost of a higher fan speed which creates excess noise. Our design allows us to keep the fan speeds lower while allowing the heat to dissipate evenly throughout the card.”

Product AMD HD7970 AMD HD7950 AMD HD7870
Core Clock speed 925mhz 800mhz 1000mhz 860mhz (975mhz)
Transistors 4.31 billion 4.31 billion 2.8 billion 2.8 billion
Stream Processors 2,048 1,792 1,280 1,024
Compute Performance 3.79 TFLOPS 2.87 TFLOPS 2.56 TFLOPS 1.76 TFLOPS
Texture Units 128 112 80 64
Texture Fillrate 118.4 GT/s 89.6 GT/s 80 GT/s 55.0 GT/s
ROPs 32 32 32 32
Pixel Fillrate 29.6 GP/s 25.6 GP/s 32.0 GP/s 27.52 GP/s
Z/Stencil 128 128 128 128
Memory Clock 1,375mhz 1,250mhz 1,200mhz 1,200mhz (1,250mhz)
Memory Data Rate 5.5 GBps 5.0 Gbps 4.8 Gbps
4.8 Gbps (5.0Gbps)
Memory Bandwidth 264 GB/s 240 GB/s 153.6 GB/s 153.6 GB/s

XFX have opted for a generous 115mhz overclock on the core, raising the speed from 860mhz to 975mhz, this should have a dramatic impact on the overall performance. The 2GB of GDDR5 memory has been overclocked by 50mhz from 1,200mhz to 1,250mhz (from 4.8Gbps to 5.0Gbps effective).

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