P1040686 AMD Radeon HD 7800 Series enters the fray just in time to fight GK104

The tropical island adventure continues, this time with Pitcairn – after addressing both the high end and the "mainstream" with the HD7900 and HD7700 series respectively, AMD now goes for the sweet spot in-between with the HD7800…

Contrary to its CPU line-up, AMD has enjoyed blistering success in the GPU arena for quite a while now, and its newest generation GPU continue the same – from being able to get away with charging pretty high prices for the high-end HD7970 and HD7950 yet keep the sales going, to the mainstream HD7700 parts wirh decent performance despite only 128-bit memory bus. The Catalyst drivers seem to be improving along the way too, and the OEM vendors are given more freedoms for custom designs earlier in the product lifecycle.

The new HD7800 'Pitcairn' series, that Lennard has a look at today, continues the same tradition, filling in the gap between the two already announced lines for the US$ 300-class sweet price spot that would expect higher sales volumes than the HD7900, yet at higher margins than the HD7700 parts. The 256 bit GDDR5 memory bus wih 160 GB/s memory bandwidth, and 2 GB memory capacity are the first in class for this price level, aside from 32 ROPs, 1,280 stream processors (20 Computer Units – CU) and, very importantly, 160 GFLOPs Double Precision floating point. While this is far behind the high end HD7900 series, this is the first serious DP FP performance enablement in the below US$300 price class in any GPU around, important for GPGPU applications that need double precision.
 
All these specs actually quite seriously tackle the upcoming Nvidia GK104 Kepler parts from one end, while the HD7900 does it from the other end. Remember, Nvidia had the practice to seriously curtail DP FP on all their consumer products, including the highest end ones, to keep the Quadro and Tesla going. AMD kept the full DP FP performance on the high-end consumer lines, but usually never had any DP FP in the lines below. Now that has changed – let's see the Nvidia response.
 
HD7800 Series also brings in PCIe v3 for that extra bandwidth, as well as very decent Crossfire scaling if you want to run a pair of these in parallel. And, oh yes, it is the first mainstream GPU around to ship at 1 GHz frequency as standard! For more, here is Lennard's detailed review for your pleasure…