AMD's 'sweet spot' Radeon HD 7870 and 7850 graphics cards get reviewed, recommended

AMD's Radeon HD 7000-series onslaught continues, with still no 28nm retort from NVIDIA. The latest offerings are the 7870 priced at $349, and the 7850 priced at $249. Both are based on the Pitcairn GPU and hog the mainstream gamer spot below the Tahiti-based 79xx cards and far above the 77xx options. In terms of competition, these cards go head-to-head with the older NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570 and GTX 560Ti, which currently retail for between $20 and $50 less. However, most reviewers found plenty of reasons to side with AMD despite the extra outlay, as you'll discover at the links below.

HotHardware -- hailed the performance, low power consumption, noise levels and features of both cards, but noted that they're "not much faster than previous gen counterparts." For example, 3DMark 11 benchmarks generally beat NVIDIA's rivals by around two or three percent, while the Radeon HD 7850 barely scored any higher than its predecessor, the 6850, in that test.

AnandTech -- found the 7870 to be "faster, cooler and quieter" than the GTX 570, with a roughly nine percent performance advantage that puts AMD "in the clear for the time being." As for the 7850, it was regarded as less of a steal, trailing the cheaper GTX 560Ti in some games -- including an eight percent lag in Battlefield 3.

TheTechReport -- reckoned both the 7870 and 7850 are "better options than comparable GeForces," because they deliver more FPS-per-dollar when Arkham City, Battlefield 3, Crysis 2 and Skyrim performances are averaged out.

PC Perspective -- concluded that the Radeon HD 7870 "more or less matches" the GTX 570 in the six games it compared, with two wins, two losses and two draws for the AMD card, but is still "pretty impressive" for the price. The HD 7850, meanwhile, "completely dominates the performance metrics" while using "56 fewer watts!"

TechSpot -- gave the Radeon HD 7850 slightly higher marks for being the "best mainstream card to buy at $250," while also praising the HD 7870 delivering "excellent performance and overclocking" and "almost reaching the level of the more expensive HD 7900 boards."

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AMD Radeon™ HD 7800 Series Graphics Sets Pace for Graphics Industry

Bringing to Market its Third Series of Graphics Cards Based on its New GCN Architecture

SUNNYVALE, Calif. -3/5/2012

AMD (NYSE: AMD) today announced the sleek new additions to its award-winning 28nm GPU line up, the AMD Radeon™ HD 7870 GHz Edition and AMD Radeon™ HD 7850 graphics cards. Featuring AMD's cutting-edge Graphics Core Next Architecture (GCN) for spectacular performance and efficiency, the AMD Radeon™ HD 7800 series comes equipped with PCI Express® 3.0 and the incredibly efficient AMD ZeroCore Power technology.1,3,4 Gamers can dive right in, crank up the settings and expand their gaming with AMD Eyefinity 2.0 technology thanks to the world's most advanced graphics.

The AMD Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition and AMD Radeon HD 7850 GPUs comes equipped with 2GBs of GDDR5 memory and will be available worldwide from add-in-board partners like ASUS, Club 3D, Diamond, Gigabyte, HIS, MSI, Powercolor, Sapphire, VisionTek and XFX via retailers and e-tailers, with select models starting at USD$249 SEP.

"Engineered for supremacy, designed for efficiency and packed with incredible features, the AMD Radeon HD 7800 series offers more than the just world's most advanced graphics: it offers the incredible performance every gamer deserves," said Matt Skynner corporate vice president and general manager, GPU Division, AMD. "AMD continues to lead the industry in desktop graphics innovation with unrivalled computing and unequalled technologies like our game-changing GCN Architecture."

With continued demand for increased graphics horsepower to support more visually intensive games, the AMD Radeon HD 7800 Series is set to power the next generation of games and applications. And for those looking to upgrade to a next-generation graphics card, the AMD Radeon HD 7800 Series is the ideal choice.

"AMD has launched its full suite of next-generation graphics cards in very short order," said Robert E. Bellack, CEO, Newegg North America. "With the launch of the AMD Radeon HD 7800 series, we'll now be able to offer our customers AMD's full range of 28nm graphics cards, giving them the edge they need when gaming. We're proud to work with AMD on getting these cards to market."

The AMD Radeon HD 7800 Series raises the graphics bar by providing gamers an arsenal of tools like AMD PowerTune, AMD Eyefinity 2.0 and AMD CrossFire™ technologies, and 2GBs of GDDR5 memory that empowers them to enjoy the latest games and applications on the market.

"The AMD Radeon HD 7800 series is designed to perform for serious gamers," said Chance Lyon, Zombie Studios. "'Blacklight Retribution' is set to be one of the most visually impressive games of 2012 and AMD's commitment to pushing the boundaries of graphics technology with its Graphics Core Next Architecture means players will have an optimized 'Blacklight' gaming experience when they plug in an AMD Radeon HD 7800 graphics card."