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Second Thoughts on Getting a 7870

Trizzay

Senior member
Jan 23, 2003
224
0
0
I'm putting together my new build and was all set to spend $350 on a 7870. After reading through some threads though regarding the value of the 7850 compared to these, I'm having second thoughts.

I've never been an overclocker, but from what I've gathered the consensus seems to be it is a waste of money to purchase a 7870 when a 7850 can easily be overclocked to achieve the same performance. Is that accurate? If so, which 7850 to go with? I see that the Asus gets a lot of praise, but it's impossible to find. I have a Gigabyte Z77 board, so I was looking at this card: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814125419

Thanks for any input. I'm pretty OCD about new hardware and have trouble pulling the trigger. Just want to make sure making the right choice for my budget of $350. Thanks.
 

lopri

Elite Member
Jul 27, 2002
12,842
325
126
You're rightly having a second thought for a $350 HD 7870. I'm waiting for the HD 7970 to drop close to $400. A $250 HD 7850 makes a whole lot more sense than a HD 7870.
 

mple

Senior member
Oct 10, 2011
278
0
71
7870 for $350 is a terrible buy. May as well budget another $50 for the 670. (Note: GPUs are the only component of a new build that I would ever consider stretching my budget for).

If you want to save money, go for the 7850 and just OC it. There's literally no reason at all to run that card at stock. AMD purposely kept the clocks on it low in order to mark up the 7870.
 

RussianSensation

Elite Member
Sep 5, 2003
19,458
746
126
If you are going to overclock and want to save some $, get HD7850. If you are not going to overclock and your budget is $350, spend $50 extra for GTX670.

HD7870 simply makes no sense. For $50 more something like a Gigabyte Windforce 3x GTX670 OC = GTX680 is 40% faster at 1080P. Compared to HD7850, that card out of the box would be 70% faster.

Just want to make it clear: if you are NOT going to overclock, it takes 2x HD7850s in CF to often match a stock GTX670.



It's fairly easy to overclock, but without overclocking, HD7850 is nothing special.

I think HD7850 is a good card, but imo it's been extremely overhyped. It does well in 3dMark11 scores but that doesn't translate into real world gaming benchmarks since 3dMark11 is heavily weighted towards tessellation.

 
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Jaydip

Diamond Member
Mar 29, 2010
3,691
21
81
I'm putting together my new build and was all set to spend $350 on a 7870. After reading through some threads though regarding the value of the 7850 compared to these, I'm having second thoughts.

I've never been an overclocker, but from what I've gathered the consensus seems to be it is a waste of money to purchase a 7870 when a 7850 can easily be overclocked to achieve the same performance. Is that accurate? If so, which 7850 to go with? I see that the Asus gets a lot of praise, but it's impossible to find. I have a Gigabyte Z77 board, so I was looking at this card: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814125419

Thanks for any input. I'm pretty OCD about new hardware and have trouble pulling the trigger. Just want to make sure making the right choice for my budget of $350. Thanks.
Op check this as well
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814131472
 

Ieat

Senior member
Jan 18, 2012
260
0
76
At $350 the 7870 makes zero sense. Even if your an ati only guy might as well get a hd 7950 for $380 to $400 and get the 3 free games.

But looking at newegg the lowest 7870 is now $309 after rebate with Dirt showdown for free. That does make it more interesting but still probably not good value.
 

azeem40

Senior member
Mar 11, 2012
244
0
0
I don't see how a certain price for the 7870 isn't worth it, but another price for another GPU is...
 

blastingcap

Diamond Member
Sep 16, 2010
6,654
5
76
7850 isn't overhyped; it's just the default winner when matched up against any of its rivals in the same general price league, such as the 6950/70, GTX 560 Ti/448, GTX 570, and GTX 580.

- much more energy efficient than any 40nm equivalent card which impacts not only power, but also heat and noise

- 2GB VRAM matches or beats any other card with similar GPU performance and is important for those with higher resolutions or who want to run lots of MSAA

- overclocks like a dream to about a stock GTX 580 in speed (or higher with a little luck and good cooling)

In order to definitively beat the 7850 at the above, you need a 28nm card with 2GB+ VRAM. A 7870 can barely do it and costs $100 more. A 7950 will easily beat the 7850 even when both are overclocked but costs ~$130-150 more. A GTX 670 costs $150 more, or 60% more, and it isn't 60% faster than the 7850 when both are overclocked. 7970/680 are priced even higher.

The 7850's only price/perf-at-28nm competition in the foreseeable future is the yet-unreleased GTX 660, which OCUK pegged as being released 5 months from now.
 

Dark Shroud

Golden Member
Mar 26, 2010
1,576
0
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I'm waiting for the HD 7970 to drop close to $400.
That's not really going to happen without a massive combo of discounts & rebates.

If anything AMD will EOL 7970s some time before the 8970 is launched to clear the channel of inventory.
 

RussianSensation

Elite Member
Sep 5, 2003
19,458
746
126
7850 isn't overhyped;
Ya, it is overhyped when people say HD7850 can reach the high-end cards. People make it sound like it can be overclocked to surpass GTX580 but the GTX580 has 20% overclocking headroom too which makes it as fast as a stock 7970. Actually in BF3, GTX580 even beats an HD7950. An overclocked 7850 cannot touch HD7970 on air cooling and barely comes close to a 7950. So not even an overclocked 7850 can beat an overclocked 580. HD7850 is great for $250 since NV has no alternative at that price, but it will hopelessly lose to an overclocked 7950/GTX670 by a lot. That's why those cards cost $400.

This is not the same situation like HD6950 which literally unlocked and overclocked to match a 6970. HD7850 overclocks 30%, but so does 7950 and GTX670 @ 1250mhz will still be 30-40% faster. Actually GTX580 is 30% faster at stock. It's simply not possible to make HD7850 perform like the higher end cards since they also have overclocking headroom. It's a good card but it's overhyped from that perspective. In other words, people make it sound like HD7850 is the next GeForce 4 Ti 4200 or X800GTO2 or 9500Pro. It's good, but not that good. Those cards could be within 10% of an overclocked Ti 4600, X800XT and 9700Pro.

Thanks all for the input. I saw the MSI 7850 pop up as available on newegg today, so I went ahead and got that.
I'm only going to be running a single monitor at 1920x1080.
Good choice. Twin Frozr cooler is sweet.
 
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jacktesterson

Diamond Member
Sep 28, 2001
5,493
3
81
Ya, it is overhyped when people say HD7850 can reach the high-end cards. People make it sound like it can be overclocked to surpass GTX580 but the GTX580 has 20% overclocking headroom too which makes it as fast as a stock 7970. Actually in BF3, GTX580 even beats an HD7950. An overclocked 7850 cannot touch HD7970 on air cooling and barely comes close to a 7950. So not even an overclocked 7850 can beat an overclocked 580. HD7850 is great for $250 since NV has no alternative at that price, but it will hopelessly lose to an overclocked 7950/GTX670 by a lot. That's why those cards cost $400.

This is not the same situation like HD6950 which literally unlocked and overclocked to match a 6970. HD7850 overclocks 30%, but so does 7950 and GTX670 @ 1250mhz will still be 30-40% faster. Actually GTX580 is 30% faster at stock. It's simply not possible to make HD7850 perform like the higher end cards since they also have overclocking headroom. It's a good card but it's overhyped from that perspective. In other words, people make it sound like HD7850 is the next GeForce 4 Ti 4200 or X800GTO2 or 9500Pro. It's good, but not that good. Those cards could be within 10% of an overclocked Ti 4600, X800XT and 9700Pro.



Good choice. Twin Frozr cooler is sweet.

Your comparing a $500 video card to a $250 video card. Yes it can reach the levels of a 580. Isn't that the point? Who cares if it can't reach 580 O/C'd? I think reaching 580 performance, one generation after, for $250, is quite reasonable, no?

Even now that the 580's are being phased out, there still $350.00

I think they warrant being a good bang for the buck.

edit: why are you talking about a 6950? You own one is why? Big deal it unlocks, whats that gain? 5%? It O/C's to what, 15% on average? It was a great card, but the 7850 is a superior card.

You make little sense, all cards have the capabilty of overclocking. Some a little, some a lot. The 7850's OC ALOT, so I think the hype is quite valid. Nobody is expecting a $250 card to perform like a $350 card, its just a bonus since most OC well. The point is you can get the performance of a $350 card (580) or $400 card (some hit 7950 levels) for $250.00 quite consistently. Don't believe me, check out the 7850 owners club.
 
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blastingcap

Diamond Member
Sep 16, 2010
6,654
5
76
Ya, it is overhyped when people say HD7850 can reach the high-end cards. People make it sound like it can be overclocked to surpass GTX580 but the GTX580 has 20% overclocking headroom too which makes it as fast as a stock 7970. Actually in BF3, GTX580 even beats an HD7950. An overclocked 7850 cannot touch HD7970 on air cooling and barely comes close to a 7950. So not even an overclocked 7850 can beat an overclocked 580. HD7850 is great for $250 since NV has no alternative at that price, but it will hopelessly lose to an overclocked 7950/GTX670 by a lot. That's why those cards cost $400.

This is not the same situation like HD6950 which literally unlocked and overclocked to match a 6970. HD7850 overclocks 30%, but so does 7950 and GTX670 @ 1250mhz will still be 30-40% faster. Actually GTX580 is 30% faster at stock. It's simply not possible to make HD7850 perform like the higher end cards since they also have overclocking headroom. It's a good card but it's overhyped from that perspective. In other words, people make it sound like HD7850 is the next GeForce 4 Ti 4200 or X800GTO2 or 9500Pro. It's good, but not that good. Those cards could be within 10% of an overclocked Ti 4600, X800XT and 9700Pro.

I guess we just disagree to what extent the card has been hyped. Aside from the few forumers here and there, I have not seen such hype across the internet. As it is, it's the winner by default in that for the time being, there is no other card that can match its price/perf without sacrificing power/heat/noise and/or VRAM. It's easily the king of ~$250 budgets for 28nm GPUs.

Even if we extend the search to 40nm, the closest rival is probably an unlocked HD6950 w/ 2GB VRAM but those aren't necessarily so easy to find these days for a price that would make it a better buy than a HD7850. GTX 5xx have more power/heat/noise and less VRAM and aren't priced much lower and have less OC headroom as a percentage of stock. You talk about the gx 580 a lot, using a benchmark that favors NV cards as an example, but across more than just a handful of games, it's basically tied with an oc'd 7850. A very heavily oc'd 7850 can actually beat it. If you compare oc vs oc the 580 can pull ahead again, but at an even bigger power/noise/heat deficit. Not to mention VRAM deficit unless you have one of the costly extra-VRAM 580's which makes it an even worse bargain.
 

Trizzay

Senior member
Jan 23, 2003
224
0
0
Well, I just called Newegg to cancel my order and now I'm going to get the MSI 670. Lol, I told you guys I was OCD about new hardware!

I just figured I only build a new machine every 3 years or so, so I shouldn't let $150 stand in the way of getting one of the top components. At least that's what I'm telling myself. :)
 

FalconHorse

Member
Jul 22, 2011
169
0
76
Seems like 7850 and 670 are the only cards to consider (maybe 7950 too?). Unless you could have put that $150 to better use in your new build (you do have SSD yes?), why not.
 

Trizzay

Senior member
Jan 23, 2003
224
0
0
Seems like 7850 and 670 are the only cards to consider (maybe 7950 too?). Unless you could have put that $150 to better use in your new build (you do have SSD yes?), why not.
Yep, I've got a Crucial M4 on the way.

My original plan was to get a 3770K, which I've since decided to get a 3570K instead. So that almost makes up the difference right there.
 

blastingcap

Diamond Member
Sep 16, 2010
6,654
5
76
Yep, I've got a Crucial M4 on the way.

My original plan was to get a 3770K, which I've since decided to get a 3570K instead. So that almost makes up the difference right there.
For pure gaming purposes a 3770K is overkill. A 3570K or 2500K is more like it. You will get overall better performance by shifting CPU money over to a faster GPU like you did. Congrats on the M4; I wish I bought one now when they are not as expensive, but I got mine almost a full year ago, ugh.
 

Madpacket

Platinum Member
Nov 15, 2005
2,068
326
126
Should have stuck with the 7850 if you're only gaming at 1080p. 670 is great but a bit of a waste of money at that resolution.
 

RussianSensation

Elite Member
Sep 5, 2003
19,458
746
126
Should have stuck with the 7850 if you're only gaming at 1080p. 670 is great but a bit of a waste of money at that resolution.
Right but he says he intends to keep this card for 3 years and not upgrade. In that case think about BF3 expansions, all the upcoming Dirt games on Ego engine, Crysis 3, and newer games with tessellation. GTX670 will mop the floor with HD7850 in those types of games.

In Crysis 2, GTX670 is 69% faster than an HD7850 at 4xMSAA 1080P. In Batman AC, GTX670 is 66% faster with 8AA. That's remarkable. We can sit here and argue that those games are "NV-biased" which is a moot point since there most likely will be more Batman games, more Crysis games and more games in the future with tessellation.

Now take a look at world's first MMO with tessellation (as far as I am aware).



Unless you think tessellation is a fad, things are only going to get worse for 7850 in 12 months. No amount of overclocking will help since GCN tessellation units are 1 generation behind Kepler. My prediction is when Crysis 3 ships next year, HD7850 will fall flat on its face.
 
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blastingcap

Diamond Member
Sep 16, 2010
6,654
5
76
In one post you decry consolification and in the next you make it sound like we won't be limited by cross platform development. Also, tess scales with clock iirc so a heavy overclock of a 7850 will increase that. In any case by the time massive tessellation matters, which may be in decades because tacking it on as an extra does little, all existing cards will be obsolete anyway. Note that multiple sources say next gen consoles will be powered by something like 6670s.

P.s. if a mmo game barely breaks 30fps at 1080p even with a 560ti, it risks failure simply due to the limited audience, so I hope for their sake they can optimize their engine better. And I don't mean overtessellating flat surfaces either. Crysis got away with it but an mmo? Uh, no.
 
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