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Home » Video
AMD Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition Video Card Review
Author: Gabriel Torres
Type: Reviews Last Updated: March 4, 2012
Page: 1 of 14
Introduction
Hardware Secrets Silver Award

The new Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition is targeted to users who want a high-end video card but don’t want to pay an arm and a leg to buy one. Let’s take a look at its performance.



This new video card is based on the latest GPU architecture from AMD, dubbed “Graphics Core Next” or simply “GCN,” and supports the new PCI Express 3.0 connection and the latest DirectX version (11.1). For a detailed explanation of the new features present on this new architecture, please read our Radeon HD 7970 review.

AMD is also releasing a cheaper version of this video card, the Radeon HD 7850, which we will cover in a separate 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.”

At USD 350, the Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition replaces the Radeon HD 6970, and competes with the GeForce GTX 570.

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 Newegg.com on the day we published this review, except for the Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition, which is the price 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 6970

880 MHz

880 MHz

5.5 GHz

256-bit

176 GB/s

2 GB GDDR5

1,536

11

USD 350-370

GeForce GTX 570

732 MHz

1,464 MHz

3.8 GHz

320-bit

152 GB/s

1.28 GB GDDR5

480

11

USD 320-340

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 7870 GHz Edition reference model.

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