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AMD Radeon HD 7870 review

An unassuming graphics card... 'til you unleash the beast within

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Our Verdict

At stock speeds it's fairly dull, with a little light tweaking however you can turn it into a serious hot hatchback with the horsepower to match.

For

  • Southern Island/GCN goodies
  • Serious overclocking potential

Against

  • Fairly uninspiring stock performance
  • Needs overclocking to be relevant

AMD radeon hd 7870

Performance at the AMD Radeon HD 7870's stock speeds isn't particularly spectacular. Compared with the HD 6970 there isn't a lot of extra performance in the newer silicon. In certain cases the older card actually takes a bit of a lead.

That said in the very niche field of tessellation, in both OpenGL and DirectX 11 APIs, the HD 7870 takes the previous generation to task.

Nvidia's GTX 580 and GTX 570 both have a bit of an edge over the HD 7870 in most benchmarks too, except when you start waving around that magic overclocking wand.

Thanks to the massive amount of performance headroom AMD has deliberately left these chips with you can push them well over the already high reference clock to something that will make the more expensive Nvidia cards sit up and take notice.

When you can rival the competition's top single-GPU card with your mid-range card then you know you're doing something right.

DirectX 11 tessellation performance

AMD radeon hd 7870 benchmarks

OpenGL tessellation performance

AMD radeon hd 7870 benchmarks

DirectX 11 gaming performance

AMD radeon hd 7870 benchmarks

AMD radeon hd 7870 benchmarks

AMD radeon hd 7870 benchmarks

Overclocking performance

AMD radeon hd 7870 benchmarks

AMD radeon hd 7870 benchmarks

AMD radeon hd 7870 benchmarks