AMD Radeon HD 7850 Video Card Review

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The new Radeon HD 7850 is a mid-range video card based on the latest GPU architecture from AMD, dubbed “Graphics Core Next” or simply “GCN,” which supports the new PCI Express 3.0 connection and the latest DirectX version (11.1). Let’s compare it to its main competitor, the GeForce GTX 560 Ti.

For a detailed explanation of the new features present on this new architecture, please read our Radeon HD 7970 review.

The Radeon HD 7850 and Radeon HD 7870 use the codename “Pitcairn,” which is an island in the South Pacific, matching the codename used for this new GPU architecture from AMD, “Southern Islands.”

In the table below, we compare the main specifications of the video cards included in our review. The prices listed below do not include rebates and are for the models with the clock and memory configurations listed below. Prices were researched at on the day we published this review, except for the Radeon HD 7850 and the Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition, which are the prices advertised by AMD.

Video Card Core Clock Shader Clock Memory Clock (Effective) Memory Interface Memory Transfer Rate Memory Shaders DirectX Price
Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition 1 GHz 1 GHz 4.8 GHz 256-bit 153.6 GB/s 2 GB GDDR5 1,280 11.1 USD 350
Radeon HD 7850 860 MHz 860 MHz 4.8 GHz 256-bit 153.6 GB/s 2 GB GDDR5 1,024 11.1 USD 250
GeForce GTX 560 Ti 822 MHz 1,644 MHz 4,008 MHz 256-bit 128.3 GB/s 1 GB GDDR5 384 11 USD 210-245

You can compare the specs of these video cards with other video cards by taking a look at our “AMD ATI Chips Comparison Table” and “NVIDIA Chips Comparison Table” tutorials. 

Today, only the LGA2011 Core i7 processors (“Sandy Bridge-E”) have a PCI Express 3.0 controller. Therefore, we tested the video cards using a Core i7-3960X processor on a motherboard based on the Intel X79 chipset. In our Radeon HD 7970 review, we discovered that, at this time, there is no difference between using a PCI Express 2.0 or a PCI Express 3.0 connection. We also discovered that if you are using a high-end video card, the CPU doesn’t affect gaming performance.

Now let’s take a complete look at the AMD Radeon HD 7850 reference model.

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Author: Gabriel Torres

Gabriel Torres is a Brazilian best-selling ICT expert, with 24 books published. He started his online career in 1996, when he launched Clube do Hardware, which is one of the oldest and largest websites about technology in Brazil. He created Hardware Secrets in 1999 to expand his knowledge outside his home country.

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