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 Post subject: 7850 vs. 7870
PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 11:03 am 
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Howdy!

I'm possibly in the market for a new video card, which will be used purely for gaming.

At the moment I'm using a 2500k@4.0GHz coupled with an HD 5770, so CPU bottlenecking shouldn't be too much of a problem.

My monitor's native resolution is 1980x1080.

The most appealing options seem to be the HD 7850 and HD 7870 cards. Here the Sapphire RADEON HD 7850 (1 GB) is ~170€, the Club 3D Radeon HD 7850 CoolStream Edition (2 GB) is ~192€ and the Sapphire RADEON HD 7870 GHz Edition (2 GB) is ~227€.

I'm primarily trying to decide between the 1GB 7850 and the 7870, as I don't think the 2GB 7850 seems to represent as good of a value option at the resolution I will be using the card at.

Other vendors are of course also available, but these are the cheapest ones in their respective categories.

So basically, the 7870 is about 34% more expensive than the 1GB 7850, but "only" gives a ~20% performance gain according to this

This card should ideally last at least two years (my current video card was bought in early 2010), so I'm leaning towards the HD 7870.

Also, are any of the 7850/7870 cards considered significantly quieter than others out of the box? I'd prefer not buying and mounting an aftermarket cooler, as that would void my two-year right to invoke lack of conformity (we have a law guaranteeing this in my country).

Any thoughts?


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 Post subject: Re: 7850 vs. 7870
PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 1:28 pm 
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For 1080p, I agree the 7850 and 7870 are a good fit as are the GTX 660 and GTX 660 Ti. Best bet is to spend a bit more time looking at the games you like and see what meets your needs. In particular, take a look at the Tech Report reviews as they look at frame times and potential stutter and at HT4U for noise levels. I lean toward the Nvidia 6xx because they use much less power with two monitors, when playing multimedia, and for gaming @ similar frame frates.

I was tracking HD 7850 reviews with noise measurements when the card first came out. Wasn't interested in the 7870 at the time, so no thread for that. Also have GTX 660 and GTX 660 Ti threads.

My perception over the last couple of gpu purchases is (after the pricing settles down) you spend $200 for a card that's good for 2 years and $300 for a card that's good for 3 years. Beyond that, it's just not worth the bucks unless you are driving >>1080p.

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 Post subject: Re: 7850 vs. 7870
PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 2:54 pm 
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I think GTX 660 Ti is a bit too much in terms of what I'm willing to pay. They start at 290€ for me, and the jump in performance from a GTX 660 at 217€ just isn't significant enough to warrant the price gap.

The GTX 660 is also an option to consider, true, especially for a dual monitor setup as you point out, as its idle power consumption is significantly lower, but in my case I'm only using a single monitor and I don't see that changing anytime soon. In that case, the difference in idle power consumption seems to be aboiut at most 5W compared to 7850 and 7870, which isn't a concern to me (again, referring to Techpowerup's findings).

On a somewhat related note, it seems that some HD 77xx and 78xx boards are getting further price slashes - see here


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 Post subject: Re: 7850 vs. 7870
PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 2:57 pm 
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nice - I like price drops :)

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 Post subject: Re: 7850 vs. 7870
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 1:57 pm 
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Kralnor wrote:
On a somewhat related note, it seems that some HD 77xx and 78xx boards are getting further price slashes - see here


Those prices reflect current street prices anyway.

As to what card to get I've gone through two 7870's now and rejected the first one because of acoustics

First card
HIS 7870 ICEQX OC

At idle it is pretty quiet. The single fan moves at 900rpm. With MSI afterburner software at 0% fan speed the fan moves at about 800rpm
At load the noise is moderate. I wouldn't call it loud but certainly audible

Second Card
Gigabyte 7870 OC

At idle it is not quiet. I think it uses voltage control so I'm not getting an RPM speed but if i had to guess it's about 1200rpm (and it has 3 fans). It runs at "40%" fan speed. However with afterburner you can get it to run at 0% fan speed and it shuts the fans off. Cooled passively at idle you are looking at temps in the mid/high 30's somewhere which is more than acceptable. At load pretty similar noise to the ICEQX.

Recommendation is the Gigabyte for it's large heatsink and minimum noise of effectively 0 at idle (with software fan control)


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 Post subject: Re: 7850 vs. 7870
PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 12:00 pm 
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Well, the Club 3D Radeon HD 7850 royalQueen (1 GB) just dropped to ~150€ for me, which seems to be an extremely attractive price.

Unfortunately, the only dbA measurement that I am able to find is this one

Does anyone have experience with this particular card or know of any other reviews that I have missed?

EDIT: Found another review at Guru3D but the dbA readings don't seem very reliable with a mere ~2 dbA spread between idle and load.


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 Post subject: Re: 7850 vs. 7870
PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 12:54 pm 
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Kralnor wrote:
Well, the Club 3D Radeon HD 7850 royalQueen (1 GB) just dropped to ~150€ for me, which seems to be an extremely attractive price.

Unfortunately, the only dbA measurement that I am able to find is this one

Does anyone have experience with this particular card or know of any other reviews that I have missed?

EDIT: Found another review at Guru3D but the dbA readings don't seem very reliable with a mere ~2 dbA spread between idle and load.

The techpowerup review you linked has much more serious acoustics measurements. They cite 25/33 dBA @ 1m idle/load... not quiet by SPCR standards but quieter than the vast majority of graphics cards they tested. The card seems to run a bit cooler than some of the other 7850s, so maybe you can tweak the fan speed down to leverage that thermal headroom for lower noise.

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 Post subject: Re: 7850 vs. 7870
PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 1:32 pm 
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Cheers for the reply.

I also noticed the decent thermal performance, so I figured there would be headroom to lower the speed by a notch. I usually make my own fan profiles.

Very tempting offer, especially as I don't see myself going higher than 1920x1080 anytime soon (seems the 1GB 7850 cards suffer a bit at higher resolutions). Also, jumping to a 7870 would mean an expense of at least ~215€ - quite a price gap from the 7850 that I listed.


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 Post subject: Re: 7850 vs. 7870
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 10:44 pm 
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Kralnor wrote:
Cheers for the reply.

I usually make my own fan profiles.

.


Be aware that the problem for us silencers it that most fans have a minimum speed. Bumping the fan to 0% may still run the fan at close 1000rpm + depending on the cooling solution. What would be great is if we could make a database of the latest cards and tell us which standard cooling solutions allow the fans to be turned off. I would have considered a 660ti if that was the case but i couldn't risk it.


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 Post subject: Re: 7850 vs. 7870
PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 1:48 am 
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Immortals wrote:
Be aware that the problem for us silencers it that most fans have a minimum speed. Bumping the fan to 0% may still run the fan at close 1000rpm + depending on the cooling solution.


Yes, I'm fully aware of that fact. My current XFX HD 5770 seems to have a minimum fan speed of "20%", which I believe in this case is actually 1000RPM.


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 Post subject: Re: 7850 vs. 7870
PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2012 11:42 am 
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Well, I gave in and grabbed the Club 3D Radeon HD 7850 royalQueen (1 GB) for ~149€.

Installing drivers proved to be a bit troublesome as I kept getting BSODs 5-10 seconds after Windows had booted to dekstop. I used AMD's own uninstaller to remove previous drivers for my HD 5770, but that did not help at all. Only after I used a tool called Driver Fusion to completely remove the previous Catalyst drivers would a fresh install sort things.

I'm happy to report that MSI Afterburner indeed makes it possible to completely shut off the fan! However, I can barely hear any difference between 0 and 1k RPM. I suspect it's my PSU fan (Corsair HX620) that makes a low humming.

My setup is a Fractal R3 with the two stock case fans running at 700RPM and all stock foam kept intact. During FurMark, I get 72C after ~15 mins (I know that's not quite enough to get an accurate result, but it shouldn't be too far off). Ambient temp is about 22C. I left the default fan profile in place for this quick test.
I suppose 72C isn't too bad as the card will never reach that temperature during normal use, but I had hoped for something slightly cooler. Still, there's a bit of headroom for making a quieter profile or for some overclocking.

On a related note, both FurMark and MSI Afterburner report the temperature as being about 5C lower than SpeedFan. Which do I trust?


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 Post subject: Re: 7850 vs. 7870
PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2012 1:22 pm 
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72C while running Furmark is fine. You'll never approach that while gaming. As for which utility to believe...I'll add a fourth: What does CCC say? :)

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 Post subject: Re: 7850 vs. 7870
PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2012 1:31 pm 
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CCC agrees with FurMark. I found the problem - I forgot that SpeedFan incorrectly measured the temperature of my XFX HD 5770 so I had previously entered an offset of 5C :)


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 Post subject: Re: 7850 vs. 7870
PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2012 3:42 pm 
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i love msi cards. Quiet monsters


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 Post subject: Re: 7850 vs. 7870
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 12:12 am 
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Sorry if I'm bumping too old of an thread, but with recent price drops 7870ghz can be bought for $180($200-$20MIR), they are looking like a much better deal vs 7850 or nvidia660/660ti.
However, I'm a bit confused about power requirements for these cards. Many reviews mention that these cards have TPD of ~170watt, yet spec sheets on mft websites say these cards require 550+watt psu.
Based on my notepad calculations and as confirmed by http://pcpartpicker.com/p/oXqz(this a system I'm currently building) built-in power calculator, ~$1000 system should fit within 400watts. So are mft being overly cautious/aggressive :roll: or am I missing something with these numbers?


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 Post subject: Re: 7850 vs. 7870
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 7:57 am 
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I really ought to write a system power FAQ once and then provide a link. :)

Video card manufacturers overstate the PSU requirements because they don't know what other PC components you have as well as what crappy PSU you might have and whether it'll meet current ATX specs for 12V line amperage.

Your system as shown will draw no more than 300W when stressed and maybe 250W gaming. Your video card requires 2 6-pin PEG connectors from the PSU. So, look for a PSU that meets these requirements and is quiet enough for you. This tends to be 400W class passive or 500W fanned (as many fan profiles start to ramp up at 50% load).

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1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, MSI Z87-G45, MSI GTX 760 2GB Gaming, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung Evo 250GB, Crucial MX100 256GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic X-560. 35-40W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 200-230W Rift, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)

Support SPCR through these links: NCIX, Amazon and Newegg


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 Post subject: Re: 7850 vs. 7870
PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:59 am 
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Location: Aartselaar,Vlaanderen (Europe)
Has anybody experience with the Sapphire RADEON HD 7870 GHz Edition (2 GB)?

I'm thinking of buying it, but not for gaming but for is GPU processing power.

Most of the time it will be used only for non game "normal" use (browsing, office work, a video or two).

So I want to know if it's rather quiet when almost running idle.


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 Post subject: Re: 7850 vs. 7870
PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 9:49 pm 
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I have the Sapphire 7870 in a P280 and I'm quite happy with it. At idle it is very quiet to my ears and not bothersome at all. I'm not a big gamer so I don't push it often, it was many bought to replace two separate cards driving a quad head setup.


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 Post subject: Re: 7850 vs. 7870
PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 10:50 pm 
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Location: Aartselaar,Vlaanderen (Europe)
washu wrote:
I have the Sapphire 7870 in a P280 and I'm quite happy with it. At idle it is very quiet to my ears and not bothersome at all. I'm not a big gamer so I don't push it often, it was many bought to replace two separate cards driving a quad head setup.


Thanks.


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