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Sapphire HD 7870 OC Edition vs XFX R7870 Black Edition DD Review


by Stuart Davidson - 20th March 2012
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Sapphire HD 7870 GHz Edition OverClock and XFX R7870 Black Edition Overclocked Graphics Card Review

Sapphire HD 7870 OC Edition vs XFX R7870 Black Edition DD Review


When AMD launched their 7800 series at the beginning of the month they pretty much caught everyone by surprise. Partners (and journalists) initially thought they had more time to prepare but for various reasons, whether it be Cebit approaching which might see leaks, or because AMD felt confident in their product the launch was set for the first day of the show.

This meant that all initial reviews were of reference cards and the products on show at Cebit were either dummy cards or in the case of Sapphire the products were flown in on the first day and hand delivered to the stand.

Now though we are starting to see a steady stream of custom and overclocked 7870 cards hitting the street, and our test bench, so today we will put two of the top models, Sapphires OverClock Edition and XFX's DD Black Edition head to head in order to find out what they offer mainstream gamers looking for top performance in the latest games...including Mass Effect 3, Battlefield 3 and Skyrim.

Before we start though, a quick reminder on what the 7800 series is...

The 7800 series is based on the same "graphics core next" GPU as the 7900 cards (and 7700 for that matter). The main difference is the configuration of the core which is configured to fit the price and performance segment AMD are aiming for with this product. Here is the new layout:


The key point which AMD were keen to point out about this particular configuration of GCN is that the dual geometry engines and 9th generation tessellator give the 7800 series up to 425% faster performance than the 6970 in certain scenarios.

Finally, as with the 7700, AMD are keen to point out that all key GCN features from the 7900 are present here...


So let's take a look at what Sapphire and XFX have to offer...
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