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 Newegg.com 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|
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.