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7850 1GB vs 7870XT for Core 2 Quad

crazzyeddie

Junior Member
Apr 4, 2007
9
0
0
Hey guys. I've been thinking about this for a few weeks, but can't make up my mind. I currently have both a 7850 (1GB) and a 7870XT (2GB) in my possession, but can't figure out which one to keep. The biggest dilemma is the price. The 7850 is $150 after MIR, and the 7870XT is $209, no rebate. I'm trying to figure out if the $60 difference make keeping the 7870XT worthwhile, given my specs (which I'm not planning on upgrading anytime soon). On that note, I would like this card to last for 3-4 years, but I find myself doing less and less frequent/extended gaming and usually just picking something up once a week for a few hours. I'll be gaming exclusively on a 1920x1080 television or monitor.

System Specifications:
Core 2 Quad 9300 @ 3.4ghz
4GB DDR2
770W PS
1920x1080 resolution
HD4830 512MB

Purchase Details:
I don't care about brand.
I don't want Crossfire.
I will be overclocking.
I'll be playing Civ 5, Sim City 5, and probably a few next-gen FPS (not intensely).

Notes: The 7870XT seems to be stable OC at 1200/1600mhz, whereas it seems that most 7850's top out at 1000/1200?
 

Jimzz

Diamond Member
Oct 23, 2012
4,389
187
106
If you want the card to last 3-4 years then go 7870 2Gb.

Your current CPU will hold it back a little but when haswell comes out you can upgrade and be set.
 

raghu78

Diamond Member
Aug 23, 2012
4,093
1,474
136
HD 7870 XT has 1536 stream processors compared to 1024 on HD 7850. HD 7870 XT has 256 bit memory at 6 Ghz (192 Gb/s) compared to 256 bit memory at 5 Ghz (160 Gb/s) on HD 7850. 50% more stream processors and 20% more bandwidth is significant.

at stock speeds the HD 7870 XT (Tahiti LE) is 35% faster than HD 7850. i understand you will be overclocking. but even at same clocks you are looking at atleast 25% faster card.

http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Club_3D/HD_7870_jokerCard_Tahiti_LE/28.html
http://www.hardocp.com/article/2013/01/01/powercolor_radeon_hd_7870_myst_edition_review/

HD 7870 XT (Tahiti LE) at 1.2 Ghz matches a HD 7970(925 Mhz). its a much better card. so keep the HD 7870 XT (Tahiti LE). also HD 7850 has just 1GB i, which is a bad idea for 1080p gaming.
 

aaksheytalwar

Diamond Member
Feb 17, 2012
3,389
0
76
with such a slow cpu you will even bottleneck a 6950 1gb to a point where changing to a second gen core i3 will benefit more.
 

Yuriman

Diamond Member
Jun 25, 2004
5,530
141
106
IMO the 7850 is actually a decent match for the Q9300. At 3.4ghz it's much better than any Ivy Bridge i3.

Eddie, have you considered selling the included game bundle on ebay? You can get around $70 for it.

Also, my 7850 is stable at 1150/1500 without a voltage bump.
 
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crazzyeddie

Junior Member
Apr 4, 2007
9
0
0
I have definitely thought about selling the included game bundle, but I'm not taking that into account here because both the 7850 and 7870XT come with the same bundle, so same net discount...

I realize that my Q9300 might bottleneck on some demanding games, which is why I'm considering keeping the 7850 over the 7870, but I do worry about the 1GB vs 2GB issue.

To add to that, the additional 50% of stream processors in the 78070XT costs about 33% more ($150/$60), which would seem like a good deal on the surface, but I just don't know how that will actually translate into game performance given the specs on my machine, hence this thread.
 

willomz

Senior member
Sep 12, 2012
334
0
0
Your CPU will bottleneck you in some games, but in other games the 7870 will be able to unleash its full power. Anyway won't you be upgrading your CPU within the next 2-3 years?
 

Midwayman

Diamond Member
Jan 28, 2000
5,723
325
126
I wouldn't be buying a 1gb video card right now. Bad investment. Either card will run into cpu limited situations though. You'll need a new cpu to take full advantage.
 

KevinH

Diamond Member
Nov 19, 2000
3,110
7
81
Hey guys. I've been thinking about this for a few weeks, but can't make up my mind. I currently have both a 7850 (1GB) and a 7870XT (2GB) in my possession, but can't figure out which one to keep. The biggest dilemma is the price. The 7850 is $150 after MIR, and the 7870XT is $209, no rebate. I'm trying to figure out if the $60 difference make keeping the 7870XT worthwhile, given my specs (which I'm not planning on upgrading anytime soon). On that note, I would like this card to last for 3-4 years, but I find myself doing less and less frequent/extended gaming and usually just picking something up once a week for a few hours. I'll be gaming exclusively on a 1920x1080 television or monitor.

System Specifications:
Core 2 Quad 9300 @ 3.4ghz
4GB DDR2
770W PS
1920x1080 resolution
HD4830 512MB

Purchase Details:
I don't care about brand.
I don't want Crossfire.
I will be overclocking.
I'll be playing Civ 5, Sim City 5, and probably a few next-gen FPS (not intensely).

Notes: The 7870XT seems to be stable OC at 1200/1600mhz, whereas it seems that most 7850's top out at 1000/1200?
"but I find myself doing less and less frequent/extended gaming and usually just picking something up once a week for a few hours".

Guess no one cared to read this portion lol. I'll take the opposite stance, if you're gaming less and less...3-4 hours a week now and see even less in the future? Choice is obvious. Even my Gtx 460 in my 2nd box plays just about EVERY game without AA in 1080p. Sold my 2nd GTX I had in SLI for $80 bucks a few weeks ago when I moved over to a 7870 for my gaming rig. Guess how much I paid for that 460 3 years ago after rebate? $80 bucks.

Guarantee after you sell your games, that $100 into the 7850 you can resell at minimum $70 in 3 years.

Where did you find an XT for $209 no rebate?
 
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crazzyeddie

Junior Member
Apr 4, 2007
9
0
0
"but I find myself doing less and less frequent/extended gaming and usually just picking something up once a week for a few hours".

Guess no one cared to read this portion lol. I'll take the opposite stance...
Thanks for taking the time to read fully. This is the problem that I'm having. Part of me feels this way, since my HD4830 512MB has lasted so long, but the other part of me knows that the 7870XT is a really good card.

What I wonder about the most is the 1GB vs 2GB, since I can't really find a 2GB card for under $170...

Where did you find an XT for $209 no rebate?
Newegg. They've been running a sale on the Powercolor 7870XT Myst Edition off and on for the last few weeks.
 

KevinH

Diamond Member
Nov 19, 2000
3,110
7
81
Thanks for taking the time to read fully. This is the problem that I'm having. Part of me feels this way, since my HD4830 512MB has lasted so long, but the other part of me knows that the 7870XT is a really good card.

What I wonder about the most is the 1GB vs 2GB, since I can't really find a 2GB card for under $170...



Newegg. They've been running a sale on the Powercolor 7870XT Myst Edition off and on for the last few weeks.
Damn, I have that same Powercolor Myst. That one ended up in my brother's box. It was WAY too hot and loud under load...at least mine was but reading people's reviews it seems it's hit or miss. Looking for the Sapphire one at that price :).

Your 4830 lasted you this long. You already know the answer.

I know it's crazy talk on this particular board but probably 99.99999% of gamers don't need ultra settings at 1600p. I used to actually work in the industry (and still have good friends from EP's down to QA at a few of the publishers out in here in LA) and the hilarious part is most of testers spend there time playing the games instead of hand wringing over settings at the top end that don't show for jack shit unless you stop and take screenshots. These are guys that eat, breath and shit games. Playing games instead of benchmarks, I know...crazy.

As far as a 2gb card under $170...there's one right now:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...4131473&cm_sp=

Use shoprunner for free shipping.
 
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crazzyeddie

Junior Member
Apr 4, 2007
9
0
0
After some testing with my 7850 1GB, it looks like it will only reach about 1100/1350 without crashing.

So, 1100/1350 on the 7850 1GB vs. 1200/1600 on the 7870XT 2GB. It seems like a huge difference (especially given 50% more stream processors and double the VRAM), but would that extra performance make the card last an extra year or two, or by that point would the architecture be so outdated that I would need to upgrade anyway?
 
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Face2Face

Diamond Member
Jun 6, 2001
4,100
215
106
After some testing with my 7850 1GB, it looks like it will only reach about 1100/1350 without crashing.

So, 1100/1350 on the 7850 1GB vs. 1400/1600 on the 7870XT 2GB. It seems like a huge difference (especially given 50% more stream processors and double the VRAM), but would that extra performance make the card last an extra year or two, or by that point would the architecture be so outdated that I would need to upgrade anyway?
1400/1600? Good God son that is an insane clock speed!

I still think you should keep the 7870XT - VRAM is what's stopping older cards from playing modern games well IMO. I mean a GTX 560 and 570 are still pretty quick cards, but their vram is holding them back. My old 6870 was plenty quick for the games I play - but modded Skyrim would destroy the card because of vram - If the card had 2GB of vram I would have kept it and not upgraded so soon.
 

MeldarthX

Golden Member
May 8, 2010
1,026
0
76
Without a doubt; no quarms do you get rid of that 7870 TX :) those clocks are mad that puts it easy into 7970 Ghz stock placement and 680 stock placement +

keep that bad boy
 

Termie

Diamond Member
Aug 17, 2005
7,949
47
91
www.techbuyersguru.com
OP - have you run any benchmarks with these cards? I'm thinking you could answer your own question if you see how the two cards actually perform in your system. I'm sure the OC'd 7870XT will be bottlenecked significantly by your CPU, but you're in the best position to find out.
 

Termie

Diamond Member
Aug 17, 2005
7,949
47
91
www.techbuyersguru.com
What sort of benchmarks would you recommend that would stress both at the same time?
3dmark11, unigine heaven...umm...
Well, 3DMark11 is a good test of both the CPU and the GPU, but based on separate tests (graphics and physics). The combined score will be a very loose approximation of an actual gaming benchmark. Unigine is solely a GPU test, so in no way will it show you whether the CPU is holding back the GPU, although you will be able to see how much faster teh 7870XT is in theory (not in practice).

What you should do is find a game you are interested in and actually try playing it, and use FRAPS to record the frames per second during the game using each card. Three modern demos you could try on Steam are Batman Arkham City, Sleeping Dogs, and Dirt Showdown. All should be able to demonstrate the effects of a CPU bottleneck if one exists.
 

crazzyeddie

Junior Member
Apr 4, 2007
9
0
0
So I've been experimenting with the 7850 in all my games and not really noticing many slowdowns (monitored via FPS). I've swapped the 7870XT in there a few times, but haven't seen too much of a difference.

I have noticed that in Civ 5 I'm getting the "gray tiles," indicating that there isn't enough VRAM to hold all the textures at once. It makes me a little nervous about the longevity of a 1GB card. But the cheapest 2GB card is another $15, plus I would have to deal with another RMA.

So at this point, I think the 7850 is fast enough for me, but the 1GB still worries me a little.
 

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