Test Setup

CPU: Intel Core i7-3960X @ 4817MHz 1.52v
Motherboard: ASUS Rampage IV Extreme (Bios 1005)
Memory: G.Skills RipJawsZ 2133Mhz DDR3 16GB  Kit
Power Supply: Antec True Quattro Pro 1200W
Storage: Intel 520 series 250GB SSD
Graphics Cards / Drivers:

8.960 beta drivers:


AMD Reference Radeon HD 7870

AMD Reference Radeon HD 7850

AMD Reference Radeon HD 7970 3GB

Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 OC Edition

ASUS Radeon HD 6970 DirectCU II 2GB

AMD Reference Radeon HD 6990 4GB


295.73 drivers:

MSI N580GTX Lightning Xtreme Edition 3GB (Nvidia 290.36)




3DMark11 Performance Preset – At 720p resolutions where things are more cpu bound, the ASUS excellent overclocks helped the HD7850 to catch up with its more illustrous brothers, even beating the significantly more expensive HD 7950 (which was at stock of course).


3DMark11 Xtreme Preset – No fairy tales here at 1080p, but the high frequencies does help the comparatively cheap HD 7850 to make a better impression of itself.


Unigine Heaven 2.5 and Game Tests – When tested at 2560×1600 (to eliminate any CPU bottleneck), the superior fillrate and memory bandwidth of the HD7970/7950 helps them to pull away from the rest. Again with the overclock, the ASUS card beats the stock HD7870 and even threatens the GTX580, which today costs almost US$100 and US$200 more respectively.


In our GPGPU test, it becomes a test of raw compute muscle. The GTX 580 performs badly because double precision floating point, some parties speculate, is deliberately castrated to protect Quadro/Tesla sales.


The ASUS HD7850 does consume abit more power than the reference card, probably due to a less efficient VRM design and its stock overclock.

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