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  • mak360 - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    Enjoy, now go and buy Reply
  • ImSpartacus - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    Yeah, I'm trying to figure out if a 7850 could go in an Alienware X51. It looks like it uses a 6 pin power connector and puts out 150W of heat.

    While we would lose Optimus, would it work?
    Reply
  • taltamir - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    optimus is laptops only. You do not have optimus with your desktop. Reply
  • ImSpartacus - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    The X51 has desktop Optimus.

    "The icing on the graphics cake is that the X51 is the first instance of desktop Optimus we've seen. That's right: you can actually plug your monitor into the IGP's HDMI port and the tower will power down the GPU when it's not in use. This implementation functions just like the notebook version does, and it's a welcome addition."

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/5543/alienware-x51-t...

    In reality, if I owned an X51, I would wait so I could shove the biggest 150W Kepler GPU in there for some real gaming.

    But I'm sure the X51 will be updated for Kepler and Ivy Bridge, so now wouldn't be the best time to get an X51.

    Waiting games are lame...
    Reply
  • scook9 - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    Wrong. Read a review.....The bigger issue will be the orientation of the PCIe Power Connector I expect. I have a tightly spaced HTPC that currently uses a GTX 570 HD from EVGA because it was the best card I could fit in the Antec Fusion enclosure. If the PCIe power plugs were facing out the side of the card and not the back I would have not been able to use it. I expect the same consideration will apply to the even smaller X51 Reply
  • kungfujedis - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    he does. x51 is a desktop with optimus.

    http://www.theverge.com/2012/2/3/2768359/alienware...
    Reply
  • Samus - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    EA really screwed AMD over with Battlefield 3. There's basically no reason to consider a Radeon card if you plan on heavily playing BF3, especially since most other games like Skyrim, Star Wars, Rage, etc, all run excellent on any $200+ card, with anything $300+ being simply overkill.

    The obvious best card for Battlefield 3 is a Geforce GTX 560 TI 448 Cores for $250-$280, basically identical in performance to the GTX570 in BF3. Even those on a budget would be better served with a low-end GTX560 series card unless you run resolutions above 1920x1200.

    If I were AMD, I'd concentrate on increasing Battlefield 3 performance with driver tweaks, because it's obvious their architecture is superior to nVidia's, but these 'exclusive' titles are tainted.
    Reply
  • kn00tcn - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    screwed how? only the 7850 is slightly lagging behind, & historically BC2 was consistently a little faster on nv

    also BF3 has a large consistent boost since feb14 drivers (there was another boost sometime in december, benchmark3d should have the info for both)
    Reply
  • chizow - Tuesday, March 06, 2012 - link

    @ Samus

    BF3 isn't an Nvidia "exclusive", they made sure to remain vendor agnostic and participate in both IHV's vendor programs. No pointing the finger and crying foul on this game, it just runs better on Nvidia hardware but I do agree it should be running better than it does on this new gen of AMD hardware.

    http://www.amd4u.com/freebattlefield3/
    http://sites.amd.com/us/game/games/Pages/battlefie...
    Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Monday, March 26, 2012 - link

    In the reviews here SHOGUN 2 total war is said to be the very hardest on hardware, and Nvidia wins that - all the way to the top.
    --
    So on the most difficult game, Nvidia wins.
    Certainly other factors are at play on these amd favored games like C1 and M2033 and other amd optimized games.
    --
    Once again, on the MOST DIFFICULT to render Nvidia has won.
    Reply
  • Taft12 - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    Or don't. It's not on sale for 2 weeks yet. Reply
  • MySchizoBuddy - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    NOT with 1/16 the FP64 performance. Reply
  • Zoomer - Wednesday, March 07, 2012 - link

    FP64 is useless for games for the foreseeable future. Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Thursday, March 08, 2012 - link

    I love the "further image quality improvements page" which delicately and carefully explains how amd did a wonderful job of making things better as the image quality degrades...
    After noting the degredation very, very lightly and tossing out the problem, it is declared "unnoticable" for "all intents and purposes".
    Eventually amd's IQ is going to be so far behind nvidia's the endless denials and it doesn't matters - will just continue since amd can crank an extra 20 fps doing it...
    LOL
    A "gift" from amd.
    Reply
  • MySchizoBuddy - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    where is the double precision compute benchmarks Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    Article: " As AMD began winding down Cayman (6900 series) almost immediately with the launch of the 7900 series, at this point the 6900 market has effectively dried up. Having taken themselves out of competition with themselves, AMD’s only competition is NVIDIA’s lineup."
    --
    And there we have it - AMD and their evil plot to squeeze every last dollar out of those "they care about", the gamers...
    I don't want to hear Nvidia is evil anymore.
    Time to look in the mirror amd users.
    --
    Furthermore, it's time the reviewers start slamming AMD the way they slam Nvidia, in this case, one can consider it PRAISE for AMD "drying up their own card channels"- and if that isn't bias I don't know what is.
    Reply
  • dagamer34 - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    These cards don't seem like such a wonderful value considering what the 6900 series was offering, but since those cards have gone poof, I guess you'll have to settle for the 7800 series? It really just seems like they are adjusting their pricing scheme to be less compressed than it was before.

    TL: DR; If you've got a 6900 series card, the 7000 series is not for you.
    Reply
  • Jedi2155 - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    I still have my wonderful 5870 I purchased in 2009 (which now is not far from 3 years ago...), and still waiting for something that offers more performance than the 7970. Com'on Nvidia! Blow everything out of the water please.... Reply
  • Death666Angel - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    "TL: DR; If you've got a 6900 series card, the 7000 series is not for you."
    I'd say the 30 to 50% increase of the 79xx to 69xx cards could be well worth it. However, unless you run a multi-monitor setup or have a 2560 resolution, you really should think twice about spending that amount of money on these cards. But I guess people with that kind of cash can either do their own thinking or don't have to care too much about spending and can afford to "BUY ALL THE CARDS".
    I'm still running a HD5770 and have a newly acquired 27" monitor here that is really stressing it. I think I'll go for a 78xx and later upgrade to CF because my 550W PSU can handle it with these cards, whereas HD69xx would be stressing it too much. :-)
    Reply
  • cactusdog - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    "TL: DR; If you've got a 6900 series card, the 7000 series is not for you."

    Thats the dumbest statement I have ever read here. The 7970 is DOUBLE the performance of the 6970 with overclocking. Even the $250 7850 beats the 6970 with overclocking.

    The 7 series is the biggest performance jump over the previous series since I have followed graphics cards, since 1998.
    Reply
  • DeViLzzz - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    It is not the dumbest statement ever. Have you looked at multiple sites benchmarks ? Clearly a 2 GB 6950 Power Color flashed to a 6970 or a 6970 is worth keeping. Hardly an improvement over those situations for the price you would be paying for a 7870 and 7850. Reply
  • ExarKun333 - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    Then you don't follow the graphic card industry very well at all. Reply
  • MadAd - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    did i just read a different review? looking at this i did - Im on the 6950 and no theres not enough performance difference.

    also, comparing apples to oranges and saying theres a gain isnt going to work - if someones going to OC a 7*** then im sure they have also OC their 6***, so comparing a straight 6*** to the 7*** OC results and calling it a difference is smoke and mirrors.
    Reply
  • cactusdog - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    You guys dont get it. Why are you comparing the 7870 to a 6950? Should be the 6870 but even then The 7870 smashes the 6950 when overclocked. the 7870 performs like a stock 7970 when overclocked. You cant compare overclocking on the 6 series to the 7 series. The 7 series is the sandy bridge of GPUs.

    Why compare last gens high end to this gens mid range? If you have a 6950/6970 you should be looking at a 7950/7970. A 7950/7970 will give you 70% increase in performance when overclocked. AMD left heaps of overclocking headroom for easy overclocking.

    Sure, the price is a little high now, but just wait a few weeks until Nvidia cards arrive and prices will come down. New tech is always a little expensive when it first comes out but no one is forcing you to buy now. Just wait a couple of weeks
    Reply
  • Kiste - Tuesday, March 06, 2012 - link

    "Why compare last gens high end to this gens mid range?"

    Because were introduced at the same price point. Video card names/numbers are completely arbitrary, you have to compare cards at a given price point.
    Reply
  • xrror - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    So I have one the the early 6950 2GB cards unlocked to 1536 shaders, and a 935/1275 overclock.

    Running at 1920x1200 in skyrim with the high resolution texture packs from Bethesda starts to lag.

    Yes I'm being petty, but as a PC gaming smoe, I'm looking for a card that's under $300 that will dominate what I have.

    I can't find a confident vote for a strong successor in the sub $300 range to replace my current card.

    This makes me sad. Also with all the growing pains 69xx series had - and AMD's dumping of VLIW4 makes me pretty sure 69xx is a dead end for any future driver improvements.

    Maybe I can sell my 6950 for $100 to subsidize a 79xx or a Kepler?
    Reply
  • Zoomer - Wednesday, March 07, 2012 - link

    I'll take it. Reply
  • mpschan - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    I'd tend to agree with your assessment. Only those looking for bleeding edge performance should consider the upgrade to the 7900 series.

    The price/performance curve is a little disappointing, but not unexpected. This is what happens when you:

    a) Move to a new process
    b) Implement a new architecture
    c) (Most importantly) Have no competition

    They need to make their money back on the first two, and having no competition allows them to do that and then some.

    But look at the thermals and power draw. Decreased power usage with a small gain in performance? Where have I seen that before ... oh I know, Intel!

    Welcome to tick-tock folks. They took their process shrink and used it to allow them to draw less power, not tear up the performance charts.

    This means the next generation on 28nm has room to expand. 1280 SP for the 7870 can be 1600 for the 8870. A 212mm2 die can be 300mm2. 190w can be 220w.

    Ultimately the performance of these cards will come down to power drawn. The huge jumps in performance that we used to see existed because of drastically improving fabrication technologies combined with better ways of rendering screens. I think those days will be few and far between now.
    Reply
  • arjuna1 - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    You have a point, this generation is not worth spending the $$$ to "sidegrade". I don't kepler doing anything to change that other than forcing AMD to have decent prices. Reply
  • cactusdog - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    How is a 7950/7970 a "sidegrade"?? To a 6950/6970? Its a massive performance increase. If you have a highend 6 series GPU you should be looking at highend 7 series. Not midrange. Reply
  • arjuna1 - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    Metro 2033 (the highest settings bench)

    Radeon 7950 33fps
    Radeon 6970 27.5fps

    Radeon 6870 32fps (the second highest bench)

    Weee!!! $400+ for 5.5fps more.

    Not sure about you, but to me, spending that kind of cash for an imperceptible increase in performance is having no sense of money's worth.

    This generation of cards can safely be skipped until the 8xxx/7xx series from both AMD and NVIDIA.
    Reply
  • Death666Angel - Tuesday, March 06, 2012 - link

    Picking up one specific benchmark to underline your point. Great reasoning skills, you should join a debate team! Also, that 5.5fps is still 20%, with the good track record of overclockability, it can reach as much as 40%. But you stick to your point. Reply
  • arjuna1 - Tuesday, March 06, 2012 - link

    What? were you expecting me to post a powerpoint presentation for just for you??

    The numbers are there, look at them if you want, but hey, be stuck in your point, only a frustrated basement geek can think in way to justify spending $400 +/- for less than 50% increase in performance.

    Be careful of not falling of that horse, seems pretty high.
    Reply
  • sseemaku - Tuesday, March 06, 2012 - link

    Please check the avg frame rate improvements, not some specific results. But everyone agrees that 7xxx cards are a bit overpriced and that's because they don't have competition right now. If you worry about power consumption, buy these cards now. Or more interested in price/performance, wait till Kepler is released. Reply
  • arjuna1 - Tuesday, March 06, 2012 - link

    I can agree with that, after Kepler is release prices will go down and maybe then the 7xxx series will increase in the perceived value. Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Thursday, March 08, 2012 - link

    If there's no competition then they aren't overpriced because they cannot be touched by anything, hence making their price absolutely correct !!!
    I call that "reality".
    If Kepler blows their doors off, their price will fall. That's reality too.
    It's time for all the amd is cheaper crud to go the way of the dinosaur.
    Recently a 460 was an unbeatable value. Then a 560ti was as unbeatable value. Currently a 6870 is an unbeatable value.
    These things happen, and a deal is not the general aspect of the video card prices, which generally speaking wind up right where they should be.
    The deal is the exception to the usual rule across the board, and "the deal" as in "big price drop" is usually just one card here or there for a short period of time.
    Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Thursday, March 08, 2012 - link

    Radeon cards have been coming out at $700 and $600 and $500+ for a long time man - even with competition.
    I don't know what planet you people come from when the constant repetition of "it sounds good" becomes an absolute meme and ongoing restated theme but in no way reflects even a tiny kernel of truth as far as reality goes.
    Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    Yes dagamer34, Ryan praises amd for drying up their 6000 series channel with such precision. Then we get this praise - the perfect price structure by AMD, and "it's conservative pricing" according to the author even though it's $40 and $30 higher than it's Nvidia counterpart...
    " With AMD targeting the ~$320 570 and ~$210 560 Ti and given their conservative pricing on the rest of Southern Islands, it should come as no surprise that the 7800 series is priced equally conservatively. The 7870 will have an MSRP of $350, while the 7850 will have an MSRP of $250. With the 7800 series completing the launch of Southern Islands, this gives AMD a consistent price structure for the entire family: $550, $450, $350, $250, $159, and $109."
    ---
    I see. So more expensive is conservative, and the 6 AMD price figures are perfect and consistent...
    I am so sick of it...
    Reply
  • Falkenad2 - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    Thus far, AMD's first foray into 28nm graphics has been unimpressive. From a price/performance standpoint, the 7000 series has not given the usual incentives for upgrading that is regularly associated with the move to a new node. I hope a strong competitor from nVidia is on the way, as that would bode well for consumers such as ourselves. As it stands, the 7000 series lacks value except at the very high end, where price/performance is of little concern. Reply
  • Kaboose - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    Price vs. performance is not the only factor, some people are concerned with power draw as well. Others are interested in temps, and noise. The price could use some work (come on Nvidia) but besides that the 7xxx series has been fairly impressive in regards to overclocking, power, temp, and noise. Reply
  • Kiste - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    So, how many people do you know who would spend a few hundred bucks for a performance "sidegrade" that saves them a few bucks per year on their energy bill?

    Price/performance is still the relevant metric for most people, with everything else being secondary. Not unimportant, but secondary. Noise can also be addressed on cards with high power draw by buying a card with a custom cooler or using a 3rd party cooler.
    Reply
  • Kaboose - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    Some people are just entering the market, some people are coming from 3+ generations ago, some people are looking for HTPC's that can game and need low power and low temp cards that provide solid performance. It isn't a sidegrade for someone who is coming from integrated graphics or maybe a 7800GT etc. It is easy to think that everyone who buys these types of GPU's are knowledgeable and already have high performing GPU's. But that just isn't the case a lot of the time. If you have a high end 5xxx or a mid-high range 6xxx GPU already then there is no reason to upgrade, frankly with the 68xx series AMD isn't looking to grab that market. Reply
  • Kiste - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    If you're looking for great price/performance, there are plenty of cards that offer more bang for your bucks.

    If you're looking for raw performance, you look elsewhere, too.

    Though I'll happily concede that the 7850/7870 are great absolutely fabulous for everyone who is building a "HTPC that can game".
    Reply
  • medi01 - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    And exactly where do you look for raw performance, pretty please? Maybe at nVidia 570, that costs 80$, consumes more energy yet is outperformed in most tests by 7850? Reply
  • Kiste - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    Where would you look for raw performance? How about the 79xx line?

    And what the hell are you talking about anyway? The 7850 does not "outperform" the 570 in most tests, unless you're again back at comparing an overclocked card to a non-overclocked card. Most 570 cards can do a 15-20% OC easily, btw.

    Hell, I bought my GTX570 about 12 months ago for €289. And I'm supposed to be blown away by something like the 7870 in 2012?

    The GTX570 became available about 14 months ago. It took AMD 14 frigging month to come up with a card like the 7870 that is 9% faster on average at the same price point?

    Gee, what a marvel of technology.
    Reply
  • krumme - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    570 is 250% larger and 9% slower
    Its a giant leap
    talk about marvel of technology
    Your card is tech from stone age compared to a 7870.
    Old tech is old
    Reply
  • SlyNine - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    I'm running a 5870 which is basically 75% the performance of a 7970, and I paid 379 for the 5870. Which is also 75% of the cost of a 7970. The price of a 7970 is basically the exact same price structure as the 2 1/2 year old 5870, So we are stuck where we were in 2009, yay.

    Yea we are sure moving forward...
    Reply
  • morfinx - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    75% performance of 7970 would mean that it's 33% faster than a 5870. And that's just not accurate. I have a 5870 as well, so I was paying a lot of attention on how much faster the 7970 is in various reviews. Everything I've read indicates that it's anywhere from 70-110% faster at 2560x1600 resolution (I run 3600x1920, so likely even even more of a difference). That's not even even considering the massive overclocking headroom of the 7970 vs barely any OC headroom of the 5870. Overclocked, a 7970 is easily twice as fast as a 5870. Reply
  • RaistlinZ - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    This is true. I came from a 5870 to a 7970 and at 2560x1600 the 7970 is easily twice as fast.

    And that's even before overclocking. My 5870 could barely overclock for crap, whereas my 7970 overclocks 27% on core and 18% on memory.
    Reply
  • SlyNine - Thursday, March 08, 2012 - link

    Not according to Anandtechs benchmarks. Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Thursday, March 08, 2012 - link

    Yet if one is not running gigantic resolutions, they look at the usual, 1920 and 1650 p resolutions, and likely want to crank all the eye candy to the limit, which is still IMPOSSIBLE at those common resolutions with 60+ frames in so many of the popular games.
    So the real problem is you go from "can't do it all" to "still can't do it all" but at least you've got 40 frames going to 55 on your one screen... with maybe one more setting of 7 at ultra...
    ---
    For others with 3x 2560 most of us really don't give a crap if they claim they get 2x frames - because if they don't have 2 or 3 or 4 of them running, they are stuck in turn down the eye candy crapsville TOO.
    --
    We almost always hear that we are stuck with console ports, the exact opposite of the real truth in the real problem.
    A 570 is NOT ENOUGH, a 7870 is not either, nor is a 7970 for 1900x1200.
    IT'S NOT GOOD ENOUGH.
    Reply
  • SlyNine - Thursday, March 08, 2012 - link

    75% was wrong, but so is 70-110% faster.

    Crysis 2560x1600 at the MAX settings its 20 vx 33, which is just over 60%

    Drop down to 1920x1200 at the advantage drops to 50%.

    Metro its 60% at max res/settings (36vs22.5)

    Drop that down to 1920X1200 and its just over 50%

    Dirt 3 its just over 50% at max res/settings Drop that down to 1920x1200 and its remains just above 50% ( 104 vs 68.4)

    Battlefield 3 its 50% (49.7 vs 32.6) at max settings/res.

    So where the heck are you getting 70% to 110% ??

    2 1/2 years ago I payed around 66% of your price, and I'm getting 66% of your performence, ALMOST 3 YEARS. THIS IS NOT MOVING THINGS FORWARD
    Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Thursday, March 08, 2012 - link

    Get back to us krummer when the 7870 is "released" and has "stable drivers" that "work most of the time" in "most of the games" and the IQ cheats of 10% driver default plus ever more now with this new blur job called MLAA and the lack of LOD bias up high enough that "in the case of SSAA" it's another low detail IQ cut down, not to mention other things like PhysX and tessellation above 10 all the way to 32...the other "unneeded" "eye candy" that "sucks" because amd sucks at doing it.
    *
    9% , minus 10% standardized cheat, minus SSAA LOD bias cheat, minus MLAA blur cheat, minus PhysX, minus 8 other things I won't take time to mention doesn't sound like "faster" to me.
    I mean come on, if the arch is so superior, why all the hack and cheats and crappy blurring and lack of features ?
    Are the drivers going to be another ongoing nightmare for 47% of all ibm pc implementations ?
    Reply
  • chizow - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    @ Kiste: Agreed.

    The "competition is necessary" meme needs to die in the tech sector because it isn't necessary.

    Most of this stuff doesn't expire or die on its own, not before it becomes obsolete anyways and in order for it to become obsolete there needs to be innovation and performance increases.

    That's what drives innovation with technology and it certainly exists without competition.
    Reply
  • medi01 - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    What are you talking about, considering AMD 7850 is faster in most tests than nVidia's 80$ more expensive 570, at the same time consuming 25% less energy. Reply
  • Malih - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    I think this is the decision of the new management, they decide to price something that performs better to price higher.

    Probably will drop the price in the future, but it would require a new release from nVidia with agressive pricing. It is rumored nVidia will release new cards near the end of March.
    Reply
  • biassj - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    Shitty pricing again, if the pricing was 50 bucks cheaper I would probably consider buying 7870 or 7950 at this moment. These high prices will just have me wait to see what Nvidia has to offer. Reply
  • piroroadkill - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    Huh, I thought it was GTX 570 class for less.

    Seems solid enough.
    Reply
  • piroroadkill - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    For the 7850, I mean. Reply
  • chizow - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    This pricing isn't nearly as bad as the 7770 or 7950/7970, but its still pretty poor overall given it once again, slides right in to existing price structures offering very little incentive to upgrade and very little price performance value compared to what has been available for 14+ months. Reply
  • Galidou - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    Yep, this must be the best price/performance ratio the 7xxx series has to offer yet but still nothing worth of buying unless you got a 3 years old plus video card...

    7870 priced at 300$ I wouldn't mind changing my 6850 crossfire for one of those considering the wattage and temperature of my actual setup. I was considering a gtx580 as they can be found on ebay for around 400$ used but this 7870 is around the same in every game I play at the resolution I play them. Plus the 2gb memory and cheaper price tag for a new one...

    But I'll still wait for the price to drop or switch to kepler if price/performance is amazing... Heard it should be but it's all speculation on something that's not out yet...
    Reply
  • chizow - Tuesday, March 06, 2012 - link

    Only took 4th product launch from AMD for you to see what I was saying was true, but better late than never. ;)

    But yeah the real value right now is the last-gen parts going EOL and selling for extremely low prices. The 6950/6970s are mostly dried up in the channel, but there were GTX 480s for $219 last week, up next on the chopping block should be the 560Ti448/570/580 for great prices ahead of Kepler's launch.
    Reply
  • Galidou - Tuesday, March 06, 2012 - link

    I never said that you were totally wrong, I was only saying that it's not the worst thing that's ever happened in computer's history, while you were making a freaking case of it because I spoke against Nvidia...

    And you still can't name even an older radeon card in your short list of cheap video cards to get... At 130$ and 160$ for a radeon 6850 and 6870 respectively you still get ALOT for what you pay for. Radeon 6870 isn't far from gtx 560ti. Why mentioning it when you're being paid by the green goblin, they would stop sending your fanboy checks I guess, just teasing :P

    There's one thing extraordinary about this gen, the size plus wattage used for THAT kind of performance... is quite amazing, it should just be priced accordingly to it's die size and it would be dirt cheap LOL... but no bang for your bucks here...while in this segment of the market where you usually ''get it all'' about price/performance ratio. Lower the price of 50$ for every 7xxx video card and it will be ALOT better.
    Reply
  • BPB - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    If nothing else I gotta believe that the new nVidia cards will force a quick price adjustment from AMD. I think we'll see the AMD cards drop $25 to $50 when the nvidia cards come out. Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    After running blackbox 2.3 and wenning to the Turkish site I find something very interesting on Kepler:
    " Nvidia 's next-generation family of Kepler frequencies, dynamic graphics cards needed to improve their own work. Rumor has officially been confirmed as yet have the ability to dynamically overclock Kepler cards will leave a strong impact in the markets."
    --
    LOL - Dynamic Overclocking of Kepler similar to Intel turbo... very nice Nvidia...
    http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl...
    Reply
  • mak360 - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    "but $199 for a GTX 560 Ti is going to be hard to pass up while it lasts" I see you have to get a boot in there to AMD when possible. lol

    Most of the games are nvidia optimized where the 7850 loses one or two to the 560ti old tech.

    AMD`s been quite merciful to nvidia in regards to price points, when nvidia brings it on and the same happens (cards slot in without a challenge to AMD) I call shady business between the two or they don`t want to compete with each other, which is understandable i guess..

    Or maybe people need to forget the past and move on with "oh how nice and cheap prices were"
    Reply
  • sofreshsoclean2 - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    smoking card, faster than the 6970, fast as a gtx580 in a lot of those test but 150 smackeroos cheaper It is very close 7950 as well, finally a super fast card that is not 500 bucks. amazing card!! and nice review.

    thanks
    Reply
  • Devoteicon - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    Upgrade my overclocked 5850 for one of these? Thanks but no thanks. Reply
  • geniusloci - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    I'm going to be getting one or the other. I'll have to decide if the 7870 is worth the additional cash or not. They will most assuredly drop in price once Nvidia launches its product. Having come from a 560Ti this will feel something like a side grade in performance, but having found out how much better ATIs cards do 2D and video I simply can't return to the blurry mess which is Nvidia right now. Reply
  • Kiste - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    So it's 2012 and AMD gives us two cards that do little more than match the GTX 570 and 580 in price/performance.

    Southern Island has been a huge disappointment so far.
    Reply
  • Kaboose - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    7870, beats GTX 570 and is about even with the GTX 580, uses 150watts less power at load, is quieter, is cooler, and has idle power draw > 23watts less. How is this a disappointment? The only disappointment i see is the price which is the result of no competition from Nvidia. Reply
  • Kiste - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    A new generation of GPUs used to give us a whole hell of a lot more performance at any given price point. The current AMD stuff does not and that is a disappointment.

    Case in point: you even have to talk these things up by basically saying "oh, well, at least they draw less power".
    Reply
  • Kaboose - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    dropping power consumption by over 50% is something of a gimmick? Dropping load temps by 14c compared to the GTX 570 is not significant? 14c is a fairly large degree of deference, this gives higher room for overclocking as well as a cooler system overall. When Nvidia releases Kepler and we have both companies with 28nm then we can (hopefully) see some competition in price. In my opinion the 7870 at $325 would be a great card right now. Once Kepler is out $285-300 I think would be nice. I agree it is over priced right now however.

    If Nvidia releases Kepler and gives us a LOT more performance over last generation then I will concede that the 7xxx series is a failure. However from the way AMD is behaving it doesn't appear Kepler is going to do much in terms of raw performance either.
    Reply
  • Kiste - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    While reducing power consumption might not be a gimmick, it is the result of the new process node and thus in itself not particularly impressive, especially when you more or less keep the performance the same as with the previous generation.

    I'm still not impressed, sorry. Price/performance plain and simply sucks ass with these cards, barely beating the stuff that's on the market right now in that regard.

    And even with the high-end SI cards there's barely much of a performance boost compared to what's already been on the market for months.

    Sure, less power draw is nice. I won't complain about it but if a brand new generation of GPUs comes out and I am not even one little bit compelled to upgrade from my aging, heavily overclocked GTX570, then something is cleary wrong here.
    Reply
  • Exodite - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    We'll just have to wait and see what Nvidia provides when they finally decide to put competition on the market, won't we?

    I'd happily agree to finding the 7900-series not as high-performing as I'd like, and the 7700-series too expensive.

    From the reviews I've read so far the 7800-series, the 7850 especially, is pretty much the perfect card ATM.

    Low power, low noise, cool, 2GB VRAM and runs between a 560 Ti and 570 in performance.

    It's definitely the card I'd recommend to anyone at this point, especially given the fact that we'll see better coolers than AMDs atrocities once we get release versions.
    Reply
  • Iketh - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    You must live in a cold climate. You're happy with a heavily overclocked 570?? I live in FL, and that card increases my power bill $30-$70 each month over my 6870 during 3 of the 4 seasons, and I'm talking from experience. Do you have any idea how hard an A/C has to work in a small 2 bedroom house to counter the blast of heat from an overclocked gaming rig??

    If you live in a hot climate, test it for yourself.

    You don't compare just the power draw of the cards themselves....
    Reply
  • Kiste - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    I'm not quite sure if you're actually expecting a serious answer to that kind of hyperbolic drivel. Reply
  • Jamahl - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    You really don't get it do you? These cards REALLY DO heat up rooms. Where do you think the heat goes? Ever heard of the law of conservation of energy? Reply
  • londiste - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    oh damn, i need to get two of those, maybe they'll reduce my heating bill at winter :) Reply
  • Kiste - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    Spelling "really do" in capital letter doesn't make it any more less ridiculous a statement.

    My whole PC (GPU, OCed CPU, 4 HDDS) draws slightly more than 300W under typical gaming loads. You can't "heat up a room" with that, much less with just the GPU.
    Reply
  • medi01 - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    AMD released cards that are better than competitors in all areas: pricing, power consumption, performance, yet he found a way to be "dissapointed"

    You can't reason with fanboi.
    Reply
  • Kiste - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    You're the one who seems obsessed with which company releases the "better cards".

    I'm merely commenting on the 78xx line of cards, which I find underwhelming in terms of price/performance ration - and I am not alone wiht this if you bothered reading the other comments here.

    So who's the fanboy?
    Reply
  • formulav8 - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    You are. Your annoying as well. Reply
  • chizow - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    Try laying off the personal attacks and focus on the arguments instead.

    I don't see how anyone can defend the pricing of AMD's 7 series stack in good conscience though, if roles were reversed and Nvidia were the one doing this, EVERYONE would be disappointed too I'm sure.
    Reply
  • Kaboose - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    wasn't it everyone who said the 6000 series was too expensive back in october of 2010 and when Nvidia released the 500 series prices would come down a lot, then Nvidia released the 500 series right in between what AMD had and neither company really lowered prices for months. I think we will keep seeing more of that when the 600 series is released. This way BOTH companies profit. Reply
  • chizow - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    Not sure what you're referring to, Nvidia launched GTX 570/580 before AMD launched the 6-series.

    And no Nvidia didn't raise prices on their 470/480 at the time which were at the same price points even though the 500 series extended that lead.

    AMD priced the 6000 series accordingly, and I don't recall anyone complaining other than being disappointed it didn't offer more performance.
    Reply
  • SlyNine - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    5870 user here. What everyone defending the 7xxx node change doesn't consider that most of us dissopointed in SI are compairing it to other fab shrinks. Reply
  • Iketh - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    You're on nvidia's payroll. Get off this site. Reply
  • sseemaku - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    Are engineers in nvidia thinking in the same way and not releasing their cards! Good for AMD. Reply
  • medi01 - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    7850 outperforms 570 while costing 80$ less.
    nFanboi much?
    Reply
  • chizow - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    Sorry, fact checking 101 says the 7850 is still clearly behind the 570, about 10% faster than the GTX 560Ti ($200). The 7870 may be the SKU you're referring to but it costs $350, which again, brings very little movement on pricing:performance relative to 14-16 month old parts. Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Thursday, March 08, 2012 - link

    Hey don't be so factual. medi01 can also look forward to blurred up MLAA, lack of LOD detail compensation, no PhysX, drivers crashing like mad inexplicably for a year or two until things get "ironed out", new games "not running", mouse cursors stuck in corners, whining about tessellation levels in games "it can't handle", and generally blaming nvidia for all it's failures...
    The "$80" imaginary dollars he saves he can "reinvest" in a "solid" with a "for sure" payoff - his endless hours "fixing" his 7850 "issues".
    Reply
  • SlyNine - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    That's a very 1 dimensional opinion. Compared to the 5870 node change which equaled 2x performance for around the same price, A fab shrink that doesn't double your performance for the money is disappointing.

    We are comparing it to how past node changes changed the price/performance model. This one is HORRIBLE because it basically slides right in to the old one, so now we have a node change that does very little for price.

    I'm running a 5870 which is basically 75% the performance of a 7970, and I paid 379 for the 5870. Which is also 75% of the cost of a 7970. The price of a 7970 is basically the exact same price structure as the 2 1/2 year old 5870, So we are stuck where we were in 2009, yay.
    Reply
  • morfinx - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    75% performance of 7970 would mean that it's 33% faster than a 5870. And that's just not accurate. I have a 5870 as well, so I was paying a lot of attention on how much faster the 7970 is in various reviews. Everything I've read indicates that it's anywhere from 70-110% faster at 2560x1600 resolution (I run 3600x1920, so likely even even more of a difference). That's not even even considering the massive overclocking headroom of the 7970 vs barely any OC headroom of the 5870. Overclocked, a 7970 is easily twice as fast as a 5870. Reply
  • SlyNine - Thursday, March 08, 2012 - link

    I should have said 66% for 66% of the price. Point being the price/Performance has not improved...

    Its around 40-60% faster according to Anandtech's benchmarks.

    Overclocked, don't make me laugh.
    Reply
  • chizow - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    @Kiste: Agreed, don't worry about the criticism you're taking. This site has a lot of readers with very low standards or very limited perspective when it comes to the GPU industry.

    7000 series pricing and performance is a disappointment so far, there's no doubt about it. You can throw as much historical perspective and factual pricing/performance at them but you''ll just be greeted with blank stares and accusations of fanboyism.

    Bottomline is this, if Nvidia follows this price and performance structure, EVERYONE would be disappointed.

    If Nvidia took 14-16 months and only improved their entire product stack 15-25% on a new architecture and new process node with Kepler while increasing prices accordingly, it'd be a colossal failure.

    It makes you wonder why the AMD fans don't see it the same way?
    Reply
  • Kaboose - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    you're acting like Kepler has been released and Nvidia won't be doing the same exact thing, I really doubt we will see Nvidia releasing higher performing cards then AMD at much lower prices like you see to think. Reply
  • chizow - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    I didn't say we know what Kepler holds, what I'm saying is *IF* Nvidia did this, it would be a colossal failure and we could just write off 28nm entirely. That's why it makes you wonder why AMD fans are giving them a pass for such little improvement in performance and pricing.

    Honestly, with 15-25% improvement top to bottom over existing SKUs, Nvidia could have simply refreshed their entire Fermi line-up and hit those targets with just clockspeed increases from the smaller process.

    At no other point in the history of GPUs has a new process/architecture from either IHV brought so little movement in price and performance. There's no innovation here and no incentive for anyone who bought in the last few generations to bother upgrading.

    If you have a 5850/470 or better, there is VERY little reason to upgrade right now especially at the asking prices.
    Reply
  • Kaboose - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    What % of people have 5850/470 or better GPUs though? Im going to say not many. 7850/7870 are good cards for people entering the market on mid range desktops that want to add a GPU for gaming. As well as HTPC use. And for system builders who are looking for a good OC and current gen. technology. Reply
  • Ananke - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    See Steam statistics. The 5th series was the majority. The largest target market are owners of 5850/5870. I have 5850 and I can afford any card, but I see no reason to upgrade. At this price point gaming is not the only usage, I want quality hardware video encoding acceleration by MANY software packages, GPGPU applications. Today, in those areas, AMD has actually even less applications than when they launched the 5th series.

    For SO much money and NO applications outside gaming the ONLY reason not to use NVidia would be heat dissipation. If Kepler cards are colder, NVidia has a win.
    Reply
  • Zumzifero - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    I agree with you about some of your statements but not all.
    Price are too high and everybody seems to agree.
    Then, if you are just aiming at performances I think you may find good use for some of those 69x0 still on shelves.
    These 7xx0 cards have some use anyway: 7750 are great for all those budget HP and similiar you can buy in mega-store. You can play decently phasing out hose horrendous GeF 320 you get inside.
    About apps supporting AMD vs Nvidia, I' may point out that recent NV drivers are castrated by choice with everything supporting a super expensive Quadro line, meaning you may find yourself much more comfortable with an obsolete GF260 then with a GT560ti. This does not applies for AMD that (as fare as it lasts) is not jeopardizing our effort to actually "work" on a "non pro" rig. I doubt you'd really need an HD7970 for Solidworks or 3DStudio (if you do, better go with a pro card), but if you spend several hours on a PC with these programs, I guess you may find interesting stuff like the much despised HD7850, which can play games, video, multi monitor systems and professional apps without killing you with the energy bill.
    HD7970 may not be a wonder in terms of raw power (albeit being almost as fast as a 6990 or a 590) but it actually draws less then previous generations while being so much faster.
    Still, prices are high, which I don't like, but, would you be the CEO at AMD, how would you have behaved knowing that, until Nvidia comes out with it's line costumers have no alternatives for PCI 3.0 and DX 11.1? they know they will be able to lower these prices substancially if needed.
    I'm a causal gamer, and an architect, and the programs I need are not Quadro or FirePro certified so I can happily live with mainstream graphic cards. I'm using a GTX560ti but I plan to build a new rig based on Ivy Bridge 3770, ITX 2HD Raid 1, 2 SSD (one for HD caching) inside quite small Lian Li P08...
    Since IvyB is not out yet I guess I'll wait and see what nVidia has to offer, but how bad do you think a 7850 would be in it?
    Last but not least, US is not the world, and AMD sells globally: do you know how much higher are energy bills outside your country? You can find nfo on this site if you are interested.
    Given the nVidia trend since GT200 serie (meaning horrendous power/speed ratio), I don't held my finger crossed about Kepler. I hope I'm wrong.
    Reply
  • chizow - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    Its not about the % of people who own those cards, its that those are the people who would most likely be in the market for one of these GPUs since they've already bought in that range.

    Anyone who bought a GPU in the last 24-30 months has very little reason to buy one of these cards as its really not offering any significant increase in performance that they couldn't have gotten at the same price points over the last 24-30 months. That's the problem.

    Sure there's some power consumption benefits from these new parts, but that's usually just a by-product of the die shrink that's a bonus that's far lower concern than actual price and performance.

    For someone buying their 1st GPU today yeah it makes more sense to buy this over an older part, but for the rest of the market, there's really no progress here with AMD's 7-series line-up.
    Reply
  • Alpert - Tuesday, March 06, 2012 - link

    I registered a account here just to reply to you, now don't you feel special. Well you should because you can't see that the 7870 is priced $200 below that of a GTX580. So I don't understand what you mean by saying

    "price/performance. Southern Island has been a huge disappointment so far".

    That don't make sense, My only complaint is a miserable $20 that is the cards being $20 over priced.
    Reply
  • Zoomer - Wednesday, March 07, 2012 - link

    SI is about compute, not raw gaming performance. That's where much of the transistor budget went.

    The deep idle state probably didn't help as well. Wonder how much area that took. I doubt 7W in a desktop environment matters, as even in a crossfire setup, that's just 14 W. For laptops, sure. For dense compute clusters, maybe, if it's going to be idle.
    Reply
  • steambuns - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    Never expected them to be this fast!!

    they have not shown up with online stores yet, cannot wait to pick one up

    $350 for the speed of $500 cards works for me.. 7870 in my future plans.
    Reply
  • venomblade - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    The 7870 looks perfect for me! Was kinda hoping for a $300 pricepoint, but for this kind of performance I'd be more than willing to shell out a bit more. And wow looking at the skyrim benchmarks when the vram made the fps crash was just daunting. At first glance I was wondering how could the 570 and up be two times faster than a 560 ti in Skyrim. Also, not a big deal but you put "GTX 570 ti collapses beyond 1920." Reply
  • jjj - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    This is not even funny and the sad part is that AMD is being nasty and pullng the 69xx series since they were a better deal (the 6970 started at 300$ after price cuts and/or MIR).
    The entire 7xxx prod line is a huge dissapointment price wise,for now.
    Reply
  • tynopik - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    why don't you use the gpu benchmarks that people actually care about? bitcoin, F@H, even RC5-72

    also various elcomsoft and other password recovery tools use the GPU
    Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    Hi tynopik;

    We've actually considered all of those programs, but we've rejected them for various reasons.

    Bitcoin: Hand optimized assembly that works poorly with brand-new cards

    F@H: Works poorly with new AMD cards. Also, difficult to benchmark

    RC5-72:Hand optimized assembly that works poorly with brand-new cards. Also, it's basically a proxy test for a fast ROTL operation.

    Password Tools: Basically a proxy test for having many simple shaders, and a proxy test for a fast ROTL operation

    Basically with the possible exception of F@H, all of those programs are the same type of edge case for AMD's old generation hardware. Which is not to say that they're not important, but we don't pick our compute benchmarks just to evaluate the relative performance of video cards. We also pick them to better understand their architectures and their strengths & weaknesses; those benchmarks would not have told us much of value about Fermi or GCN.
    Reply
  • kreacher - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    I was also considering an upgrade from my 5850 and was waiting for 7800 series. Really disappointed to see the small performance gains after two generations. Reply
  • ET - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    I agree it's kind of disappointing. Even a 5750 was a good improvement over a 3870, and here there's nothing approaching this kind of performance benefit over the 5870 from these. Though I think part of it is that the 5870 still holds up well in many games, as these benchmarks show. Reply
  • Kjella - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    I don't think it's that terrible... the 7870 fits pretty much the exact same power envelope as the 5850 and is starting to be a pretty solid performance upgrade. Yes it's a $350 card but inflation adjusted the $279 (pre-hike) 5850 is nearing $300 in 2012 dollars. A good deal and a good cooler (the reference cooler on the 5850 works, but is hardly quiet) and they may get a sale. Just waiting for Ivy Bridge, if nVidia hasn't shown a stunning Kepler by then I think the 7870 is it. Reply
  • Death666Angel - Tuesday, March 06, 2012 - link

    Average increase of 40% in performance and you are comparing a high-end graphics card to a mid-range graphics card. Reply
  • DominionSeraph - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    So, AMD discontinued the $250 6950 and $350 6970 to give us... a $250 6950 and $350 6970.

    Not exactly impressed.

    Looks like it will be up to Nvidia to save us, just as they saved us from the price-gouged 5000 series with aggressive release price of the GTX 460 with price drops on the GTX 470. (That one action set the pricing scheme throughout the 6000/500 series)
    Reply
  • CloudFire - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    I'm not upgrading this cycle but I do wish to see Kepler out sooner to drive down prices. This is business and AMD has a few months of no competition so they are going to do all they can to reap massive profits.

    Nvidia isn't going to save you, they would do the same thing if they were in AMD's position. Remember nearly 5 years back with the 8800GTX going for 500+ for over a year? Yea......
    Reply
  • DominionSeraph - Tuesday, March 06, 2012 - link

    A halo product with no competition is beside the point. We're talking about the 7800 series which sits right in a range where there are competing products, and AMD is pricing it to suck you dry.

    The fact is that the 7000 series is not undercutting the 500 series the way Nvidia undercut the 5000 series. A $250 7850 vs a $270 + free Batman Arkham City GTX 560 Ti 448 Cores is about equal price/performance (maybe a tad in the favor of Nvidia). Contrast this to the GTX 460 being released at $200 when the 5770 was $180. The GTX 460 blew the doors off the 5770 and instantly said the appropriate price for that card is ~$130. A few months later we were seeing $110 5770's and $150 GTX 460's, and that's where we've been at ever since.

    AMD refuses to aggressively compete with Nvidia. They simply slot their products into Nvidia's pricing structure. So prices only change when Nvidia drops theirs and AMD is forced to follow. This means that we, the consumers, are dependent on Nvidia to save us, because AMD sure as hell won't.
    Reply
  • Exodite - Tuesday, March 06, 2012 - link

    Not really a valid point of comparison though.

    Looking through several reviews of the 7800-series the 7850 lies closer to a 570 than a 560 Ti most of the time, while offering more and better in every possible category.

    Sure, the 7850 isn't on the market yet but assuming the ~250 USD pricing holds true I couldn't possibly recommend a 560 Ti, or even 448 core version, over the 7850 with a straight face.

    It could still be cheaper, sure, but it's nowhere near the pricing disaster the 7900 and 7700 series are.

    To my mind the 7800 series were the ones to wait for.

    Granted, with a 6950 myself I won't be upgrading until the 8k-series at the earliest. Unless Kepler turns out truly amazing, and brings triple display functionality on a single card.
    Reply
  • tipoo - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    If I recall Nvidia hasn't really under-priced AMD in recent memory, they've always tried x more performance sold for >x price. Reply
  • ET - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    "AMD discontinued the $250 6950 and $350 6970 to give us... a $250 6950 and $350 6970."

    When you put it this way, it's quite a likeable upgrade actually. Slight boost in performance, lower power and better thermals, upgraded features, all for the same price. What's not to like?
    Reply
  • chizow - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    What's not to like is it took them 16 months to put out a greener refresh sidegrade. Reply
  • Exodite - Tuesday, March 06, 2012 - link

    I have absolutely no problem with that.

    The apt comparison would be the 7900 series though, and those only really fail on price.

    Which will likely change if Nvidia brings something competitive to the high end with Kepler.

    Lets face it, until the current consoles die in a fire and/or display makers see fit to bring sensibly priced >1080p panels to the desktop there's really no need for more performance in the desktop space.
    Reply
  • SlyNine - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    The fact the things are sitting still.

    I'm running a 5870 which is basically 75% the performance of a 7970, and I paid 379 for the 5870. Which is also 75% of the cost of a 7970. The price of a 7970 is basically the exact same price structure as the 2 1/2 year old 5870, So we are stuck where we were in 2009, yay.

    This is NOT how the computer world is supposed to work, and as big geek, I don't like it.
    Reply
  • morfinx - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    75% performance of 7970 would mean that it's 33% faster than a 5870. And that's just not accurate. I have a 5870 as well, so I was paying a lot of attention on how much faster the 7970 is in various reviews. Everything I've read indicates that it's anywhere from 70-110% faster at 2560x1600 resolution (I run 3600x1920, so likely even even more of a difference). That's not even even considering the massive overclocking headroom of the 7970 vs barely any OC headroom of the 5870. Overclocked, a 7970 is easily twice as fast as a 5870. Reply
  • Alpert - Tuesday, March 06, 2012 - link

    The 6950 retailed for $299 and the 6970 retailed for $369 when they were released. 10-25% performance increase for every new series of cards is what to expect. Now we can clearly see these card perform better then the 6950/6970, hell a 7850 overclocks to what a GTX580 is capable of.

    The value of what was a $600 GTX580 card more then a year ago, The value of a $499 GTX580 today, you get a $300 7850.

    The price you pay for performance is always going down just not in big steps.
    Reply
  • Logsdonb - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    These should be excellent cards for crossfire solutions, especially when combined with the new PCI 3.0 bus system. They represent significant improvements in heat, power, and noise at their performance levels. I think these would work well in small form factor gaming PCs, especially when combined with the upcoming Ivy Bridge CPUs, which max out at 77 watts. I don't want a loud, space heater that sucks down massive power for a computer. I have also noticed that cooler systems tend to last longer and have few problems. I feel confident that the prices will come down once the competition from Nvidia comes out next month.

    I am thinking that we are approaching a really nice time to upgrade if you like balanced systems that deliver excellent gaming performance in reasonable portable packages that wont disturb your personal environment with excess heat and noise. I intend on waiting for Ivy bridge and Kepler before pulling the trigger, but I am eagerly awaiting upgrading evertyhing.
    Reply
  • claysm - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    The price point on the 7xxx series cards seems to be a little too high at the moment, the only advantage they have is that that do outperform the GTX 5xx series cards in a number of ways (power consumption, performance, temps). The biggest problem with the 7xxx series is that they just don't perform that much higher at each price point than AMD's current 6xxx series cards. Why get a 7770 when you can, for the same money and MUCH more performance, get a 6870? The prices will drop when Kepler rolls around I'm sure, but for now, a little too high, given that most of the increases at each price point don't come in the realm of performance. Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Thursday, March 08, 2012 - link

    AMD has been listening to their little screaming fans who wailed that electric usage and core temps are all the rage....
    So now the amd fans need to PAY UP SOME $$$ for the nice electric consumption and core temp reduction... let's face it - they have told us all for years now those two things alone are well worth a purchase decision, PERIOD.
    I guess it's time for them to dig down deep since their Master has responded with everything they declared of utmost importance.
    What's wrong AMD fans ?
    Reply
  • BrightCandle - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    I would love to see Anandtech start to look into the stutter/inconsistent frame problems with these modern graphics card reviews. The techreport has been doing a good job in blowing the lid on the problem, but you guys should be able to start to apply pressure to AMD/NVidia to improve the situation. The minimum average is not the worst it can be, the worst frame time is what you need to worry about. Averages over a second just aren't accurate enough. Reply
  • loeakaodas - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    These look like great performing cards that need a $50~$100 price drop & hopefully nVidia's new offering will force AMD to compete like they did with the legendary 4800 & 5800 series. I was hoping for a sensible upgrade path from my 2x5850's but it doesn't look like that exists yet, at least not at these price points. I'm better off of putting that money towards a large SSD upgrade, otherwise this midrange 2.5 year old system doesn't really beg for an upgrade. Reply
  • ET - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    The OC 7850 beats everything hands down at the 2560x1600 resolution, which doesn't look right considering the rest of the benchmarks.

    Also, on the Skyrim benchmark page the writeup has "GPUs GPUs" on it.
    Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    Whoops, flipped a number. Thanks! Reply
  • Dark_Archonis - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    Good to see AMD providing tough competition for Nvidia.

    Now, when do we see Kepler? Nvidia has been taking their sweet ass time with Kepler, it's frustrating. Fermi overall is a frustrating architecture, in that it's only fast in mid-high and high-end specifications. In mid-range and low-end cards Fermi sucks, when compared to equivalent AMD cards.

    Well AT, how long do we have to wait for Kepler? I hope Kepler brings a big performance boost across the board for Nvidia. Intel will only keep improving their integrated graphics, so Nvidia's low and mid-range graphics offerings need to be MUCH better than they currently are, to be worth buying in the future. This is especially true in the laptop market.
    Reply
  • Radnor - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    Really for the exception of 7750 witch has a really low power draw, my i will stick with my 4850 CF for now. No reason for upgrade. I mean no new demanding games and 7xxxx ati cards are just expensive. Reply
  • Death666Angel - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    "Once again the 7970 and 7950 place quite close to each other, particularly at 1920. "
    I think you mean 7870 and 7950? :-)
    Reply
  • tech6 - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    For those waiting for nVidea to come to the rescue with an amazing next generation product, I would urge you not to get your hopes up. Nvidea sees their future in the mobile space creating Tegra APUs and mobile graphics and this is where they are spending their R&D budget. The desktop graphics market is simply not growing much anymore. Reply
  • DeViLzzz - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    some people care about Physx so we have to wait on Nvidia lol Reply
  • A5 - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    Why? There's like 2 games that use it. Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Thursday, March 08, 2012 - link

    There's actually like 2 hundred, but keep drinking the radeonaide. Reply
  • SpaceRanger - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    Consequently we’re seeing AMD roll out a well-orchestrated launch plan unhindered, with AMD launching each new Southern Islands card at exactly the place they’ve intended to from the beginning.


    The lacking of WHQL Drivers has me shaking my head. Come on AMD. It's been 3 months and you STILL can't get a WHQL driver out for the 7xxx series!
    Reply
  • DeViLzzz - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    if you already have a 560 Ti I guess you hope for another price drop on the cards so you can SLI them

    if you can get your hands on an affordable used 6970 or a new Power Color 2 GB 6950 and flash it to a 6970 then do so
    Reply
  • rburnham - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    I tend to skip one or two generations of video cards before upgrading, but the 7850 looks like a fairly respectable upgrade over my current 6850. I love that low power draw, although I might wait until someone like MSI comes out with a quieter version. Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Thursday, March 08, 2012 - link

    Your 6850 is 2 watts higher power draw at idle. But you're a gamer, so load draw is important. The 7850 is 14 watts higher power draw on normal load, and 26 watts more on high load. Powertune slider only increases that. Reply
  • smoka - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    A lot of people are saying power draw is not important, but it is for some of us upgrading. I have been running a GTX460 for about a year now and I'm finally thinking about jumping on the Eyefinity bandwagon. I was eying the 6950 a few weeks ago, but I decided to wait for the 78xx to come out. My plan is to move to a single card and run at a lower resolution (3072x768 or 3840x1024) until I can upgrade to a CF setup and run at 5760x1080.

    Also keep in mind that I have a 600W PSU, which would need an upgrade a 69xx CF or GTX570/580 SLI setup. Many people who are in the mid-high end gaming market (which the 78xx is aimed at) don't have a 1000W PSU. Upgrading to these top-tier PSUs is also another expense to add to an already expensive graphics card overhaul.

    The 7870 series fits the bill exactly for me, except for the $350 price-point. I really wanted the it to be priced at $300 or less. I am hoping it will hit this price either due to brand competition, store promotion, or after kepler release.
    Reply
  • kallogan - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    Actually i care about power consumption more than stupid power hungry raw performance.

    You are not responsible citizens when buying nvidia stuff. Buy amd and save the planet.

    HAHA
    Reply
  • compvter - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    Sure performance/price matters most, but what i find interesting in current amd generation cards is zerocore that allows me to keep my computer running with low power draw when i don't use it. I don't really care about power draw when i am using computer, but i do care about noise, and those are kind of related. Still most of the cards are silent enough for me, but most of the time my coputer is on idle (or long idle) with software running that i can't turn off (irc client), so zerocore would save me a lot of money compared to Nv offerings. Still i am interested to see what nv offers, but at the moment im considering 7870 to replace my 3870x2. Would go 79xx, but don't want to buy new case =/ Reply
  • mattgmann - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    save the planet...lol. Though saving on the electricity bill would be nice. The power hungry 4890 tandem in my rig surely adds a few tens of dollars a month to my bill. Reply
  • pieguy - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    In the paragraph about 7800 series voltage, you mention 7950 voltages but I think you mean 7850 voltage, else I am not understanding...

    Also, a question about these voltages of 1.213 - 1.219. I don't know much on the subject. If these are the voltages under load, what are they actually set to (before vdroop)? If this voltage is standard for these cards, does it mean that we shouldn't be concerned about using this voltage on other 28nm 7XXX series cards for extra OC headroom and 24/7 usage? I'm just trying to figure out a max "safe" 24/7 voltage for my 7950 since the overclocking scales really well with voltage increases.

    Thanks for the great review!
    Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    Hi Pie, thanks for the correction. As for the voltages, those are the VIDs, so it's without vdroop. As for what a safe voltage is, there's no easy answer to that. Though 1.21v is likely safe for 7900 cards that are already in the 1.17v range. Reply
  • ObeseMaurice - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    I bought a 2GB 6950 2 weeks ago for $240 and $20 mail in rebate. The 7870 is worse on all resolutions of Battlefield 3 and priced significantly higher. Very unimpressive product launch from AMD. Reply
  • silverblue - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    Has anybody stopped to think how much extra performance you might get from these cards when AMD has proper drivers for them, or is this considered a moot point? Needless to say, nowhere on the BF3 benchmarks in this review is the 7870 slower than the 6950, rather it's a consistent 20% faster. Throughout the review the 7870 ranges from about 15% (Batman 1920x1200) - 70% (Civ5 1920x1200) faster depending on the title. Granted, the gap isn't always this large at 2560x1600 but it's still sizeable in a good number of cases. Are you in fact referring to the 7850?

    AMD are pricing these cards at that level because they can. It's certainly not going to last forever.
    Reply
  • fingerbob69 - Tuesday, March 06, 2012 - link

    It ain't, the 7870 is faster by 25-33% depending on the res. Price wise it's about 30% more (UK) but that fits with the bump in performance. So, you're wrong. Reply
  • Houdani - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    Hey! My mom was born on Pitcairn. It's the top of a blown off volcano, only 1x2 miles large. No correlation, I'm sure. Interesting. Reply
  • AlB80 - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    It beats 6950. 6970 and 7850. Is it correct? Reply
  • haukionkannel - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    Well these are good card even at this moment! Ofcource we can hope cheaper prizes, but that need at least two competitors and at this moment there is none...
    And I would not wonder if Kepler will be prices accordingly. Those kepler chip are bigger, if leak are true, so they should be faster and they definitely will be more expensive (if not counting those renamed low end cards tha allso AMD is releasing this time)
    AMD is not getting profit (in total) and Nvidia has a lot of new staff going on that need a lot of money to develop, so there seems to be zero reason to both company to reduce the prices... pity but true.
    If you have good 5000 or 6000 series card you don't need these (same as if you have good 6600 serieas cpu you don't need ivy...) at this moment. But if you need a lot of power for little power usage these are extremely good and allso as someone said, these are very small chips! So there is a lot of room for a little bit bigger for 8000 series. Tick tock... Seems to be a lot like Intel Ivy vs Hasvell. Ivy does not offer a much compared to sandy, only smaller power usage and a little bit better speed. Like someone else said, very similar situation.
    Reply
  • Hubb1e - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    The upgrade from a 5800 to a 7800 may be only 20-40% on stock clocks, but add in the extra headroom the 7800 has when overclocking and you're looking at a decent upgrade. Once the prices come down on these I'm sure you'll see quite a few folks dropping their 5800 for a 7800. Reply
  • PurpleMoose - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    The 7850 (usually) slightly outperforms the 6950 despite having only 1024 shaders compared to 1408, with a ~7% core overclock (and a slight memory underclock). Even being conservative, that would make the GCN shaders about a third more efficient than the VLIW4 ones. But if we assume that a VLIW4 cluster performs more or less the same as a VLIW5 cluster, as does seem to be the case, then we can compare a hypothetical VLIW4-based 5770 with 640 shaders to the 7770. In this case the 7770 outperforms the 5770 basically by its clock speed difference, in other words clock for clock, shader for shader, VLIW4/5 vs GCN seems to be a wash.

    So why doesn't the 7700 series show as much (ie any) improvement?

    The most obvious deficiency is the memory bus and memory bandwidth, but if thats the case why not add more? Alternatively, if you're happy with the performance as is, why not cut away a few more shader groups as it seems the card really can't use them, and save even more space? I had a very brief look for overclocked results and couldn't really find any - what I'd find really interesting is if anyone has benched a stock 7770 against a 7750 running at 7770 frequencies. I wonder how much the loss of shaders would hurt.
    Reply
  • jesh462 - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    Whenever I read an article on the new 7xxx series, I can't help but wonder if people remember what they're looking at. AMD moved to 28nm with this series. They also introduced a completely new architecture. They did so with no complications and without going overtime on the release date.
    This hasn't been done before. Even Intel doesn't attempt to do this with their CPUs. Tick, then tock, right?
    Not only did AMD manage to get their new line up out, but the new cards have performance that exceeds their Nvidia counterparts on both the gaming and compute levels, in most cases. People who buy actual retail samples of the 7xxx series are pleased with the great overclocking headroom. It's obvious that there is a lot of room, even in the 7xxx series current iteration, for growth.

    Despite all this, I still see people talk about how a 7xxx card isn't worth it, and how AMD is a sh*t company. Really? Ok.

    Disclaimer, I own an i7 laptop with a geforce 560 blah blah.. fanboy whatever. Just think about this before you post. Yeah the new cards could use a price drop. We all know they will, sooner or later. That's why it's called the waiting game.
    Reply
  • arjuna1 - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    a 7xxx card is not worth it and AMD is not a sh*t company.

    I tend to agree with you for the most part but, there are no NVIDIA's counterparts for the 7xxx series, yet, and when there is, the 7xxx will go down in prices and then their value will increase.
    Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Thursday, March 08, 2012 - link

    I'm sorry, we were promised southern islands for the 6000 series, and then, all that changed...
    What we really have here is a release that is like 2 years late.
    Apparently once AMD re-announces it's new release schedule after admitting it missed it's last release target... all you people suddenly get a gigantic case of perfect amnesia.
    To put it simply this is AN ENTIRE GENERATION LATE ON THE PROMISED RELEASE.
    Reply
  • mattgmann - Monday, March 05, 2012 - link

    Where is this misconception that the pricing is anywhere near acceptable on these new parts coming from? So they fit right in with the current price/performance ration. So what? AMD has basically put out a new line of cards that match their competitors previous generation and cost SLIGHTLY less.

    Aren't technologies supposed to get better? What's the point in upgrading if you get basically the same amount of performance for your dollar today as when you bought you last part?

    Intel's new top end processors cost the same as last generation's, and the generation before that. New products replace old ones in pricing structures. AMD is raking in cash on these cards. They're less expensive to produce than last generation and retail for MORE money.

    AMD is taking full advantage of their current market position, and instead of passing on ANYTHING to the consumer, is milking every profitable drop.

    These cards' performance is impressive when compared apples to apples against last generation's equivalents. But since they basically all occupy a price slot a full tier higher than their predecessors, the comparison is moot.

    Too bad the only 2 companies in the graphics card race are so ill equipped to advance the industry. AMD, Nvidia, get a clue.
    Reply
  • Beenthere - Tuesday, March 06, 2012 - link

    Yes at the moment AMD is most definitely getting top dollar for these Vid cards just as Intel does all of the time on their CPUs - until they have competition.

    In case you didn't notice the new 7xxx series cards surpass Nvidia's current offerings in just about every category so this IS a step forward in performance at the same or lower prices.
    Reply
  • MMoudry - Tuesday, March 06, 2012 - link

    Hello,
    Does anybody know if those two cards would work in crossfire? The Crossfire compatibility chat is not yet up to date and I can't seem to find that information anywhere....

    Sources:
    http://sites.amd.com/us/game/technology/Pages/cros...

    MM
    Reply
  • Hrel - Tuesday, March 06, 2012 - link

    Hd6870 and gtx 560 can be had for 160 and 165 respectively. WHY would anyone want the SIGNIFICANTLY slower 7770? It's not like it's directX 12 or something. Reply
  • Alpert - Tuesday, March 06, 2012 - link

    I can understand why so many get it wrong but I can also clearly see.

    7770 currently retails for $169.99 - $179.99

    6870's currently retail for $189.99 - $209.99 original price was $249.99

    I just checked these numbers from 3 retailer

    7770 is a weaker card then the 6870, sure but performance per dollar is actually a little better with the 7770. Considering the lack of competition from Nvidia why would AMD reduce the price to performance ratio that exists. AMD is selling you more features for a better value card.

    When Kepler arrives AMD price's could go down if Nvidia prices it that way. If Kepler is all the #$%^ it's hyped to be AMD will counter it with a price drop then we all win. Looking at ATI/AMD's history something they have always offered the customer, superior price/performance of the competition.

    AMD will always be better price to performance for less while Nvidia justifies there inflated prices with CUDA, PhysX, TWIMTBP and of course better driver support.

    The value of performance will remain as is. Like a commodity on the stock exchange, why would Nvidia devalue there own stock or at least so quickly?
    Reply
  • Hrel - Wednesday, March 07, 2012 - link

    I checked the prices I listed on newegg just before posting that. Not sure where you got your prices from, but shop newegg in the future... that way you aren't wrong :p. Reply
  • bozolino - Tuesday, March 06, 2012 - link

    There is something REALLY odd about 560 TI numbers on ELDERS SCROLL V.

    Under 7770 REVIEW it shows 7770 right above 550 TI and on the top of all them is a standard GTX 560 with like 46 fps and here, on this review it shows the GTX 560 TI with like 36 fps. The settings look just like the same..

    Please correct that because it is looking like the GTX 560 TI is worse than the 7770, wich it isnt by at least a mile.
    Reply
  • Alpert - Tuesday, March 06, 2012 - link

    With a 7770 the power consumption is below that of the Radeon HD 6870 and GeForce GTX 560 Ti, while still delivering the same gameplay experience of those video cards. About 2%-7% slower then 560 Ti. Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Thursday, March 08, 2012 - link

    This isn't HardOCP Alpert. Reply
  • slypher1024 - Wednesday, March 07, 2012 - link

    My 5850 still server me well @ 1600x900 res.. Not until these prices drop i'll upgrade..

    AMD is obviously maximizing profit with these products, seeing that Nvidia next launch is at least 2 months away...

    SAD
    Reply
  • gammaray - Wednesday, March 07, 2012 - link

    Price wars, really?

    seriously, 250$ for a low end video card and 350$ for a mid range video card, not even the MAIN LINE serie but somewhat weaker versions of their 7900 serie counterpart.

    Video card markets have been ripping off consumers in the past years with their super hefty high prices.

    it should be like that: 150$ for new low end video cards, 250$ for new mid-range and 350$+ for whatever they want to sell to whoever will always buy the most expensive stuff no matter.

    the price of the 6800 should all be below 100$ right now and the 6900 serie prices cut in half .
    Reply
  • slypher1024 - Thursday, March 08, 2012 - link

    Well said bro...

    Its like Nvidia and Amd secretly team up to maximizing profits.. AMD launch now, over price the product, Nvidia hold out for like 3-5 months, then launches a more powerful product knowing all too well that yes AMD will drop there prices, but we have the more powerful hardware so, persons will still gobble it up..

    You would think with the launch of a new product line, AMD would drop the price significantly so it can encourage customer to buy off the remaining stock .
    Reply
  • IceDread - Thursday, March 08, 2012 - link

    I do not think it's ok to skip hd 7970 but include nvidia 580. This makes anandtech look like it favors nvidia over amd and the entire site can be questioned. Reply
  • warmbit - Tuesday, April 10, 2012 - link

    Here is the link to an interesting overview performance 7870 and 7850 of 5 Web sites competing Nvidia cards - GTX580 and GTX570 and penalties of the previous generation AMD - 6970 and 6950.

    Analysis of the results of the Radeon 7870 and 7850 in 12 games and 5 resolutions:
    http://translate.google.pl/translate?hl=pl&sl=...

    You will know the relationship between average interest rates these cards and you will find out in which graphics card is better in the game and resolution.
    Reply

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