Performance Summary Diagrams
The first pair of diagrams shows how faster the AMD Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition is in comparison with its junior cousin Radeon HD 7850:
The Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition is an average 18-20% ahead of the HD 7850 at 1920x1080 and 19-23% ahead at 2560x1600 across all the tests. The Radeon HD 7870 is supposed to be 40% more expensive according to the recommended price. So, we wonder if the Radeon HD 7850 overclocked to 1050/5800 MHz can match the reference Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition? The next couple of summary diagrams answer this question:
Indeed, the overclocked Radeon HD 7850 can challenge the Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition and even beat the latter in many games! It means you can get the performance of the senior card for the junior model’s price.
Well, the Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition is a real bargain in its own right. First, it is not much slower than the more expensive Radeon HD 7950 at the default frequencies: by an average 6.5-11.5% at 1920x1080 and by an average 11-13% at 2560-1600.
And when the Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition is overclocked to 1190/5800 MHz, it beats the HD 7950 in all but three games and a half.
Thus, the overclocked Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition is 4-8% ahead of the more expensive reference Radeon HD 7950 at 1920x1080 and 3-5% ahead of it at 2560x1600.
Finally, let’s make two more comparisons. First, the new AMD Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition vs. Nvidia’s ex-flagship GeForce GTX 580 3GB:
The GeForce GTX 580 wins more tests, just as expected. However, the gap from the Radeon HD 7870 is not large on average: a mere 4-11% at 1920x1080 and 2-11% at 2560x1600. And the Radeon HD 7870 can bridge the gap altogether when overclocked (except for the antialiasing mode in StarCraft II). But the GeForce GTX 580 can be overclocked as well, so we only compare them at their default clock rates.
And now let’s compare the AMD Radeon HD 7850 with the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570:
The Nvidia-based card enjoys a larger advantage here: 9-12% at 1920x1080 and 8-10% at 2560x1600. And again, the Radeon can bridge the gap if overclocked (to 1050/5800 MHz).
Here is a table with full test results: