We will take a look at the ATI Radeon HD 7870 and review the features and specifications of this great graphics card, plus some benchmark figures , as well as see who should be looking to install it on their PC. ATI has released such a large number of graphics cards that it can be more than the average person is prepared for to keep track of the small tweaks and changes that differentiate one model from the next. That said, ATI does its best to make things as simple as possible with its naming system, but with such complex technology it is hard to put it all in a name, this review will help you pinpoint the graphics performance of this little beast.
Radeon 7870 Specs
The first thing AMD itself will tell you about the 7870 is that it sports a 1 GHz GPU. If that is not enough, the 2 gigs of DDR5 memory will power through most mainstream computer games. The card is compatible with PCI 3.0, has support for Crossfire displays, and has your standard array of ATI goodies like Eyefinity with 3 monitors, CrossFire, and ZeroCore technologies. Connectivity options include an HDMI slot, two DVI-I slots, and two Mini ports.
Consumer reviews for the card are overwhelmingly positive with a few outlying negative comments. The dual fan setup was noted for being both quiet and cool. The only negative review for the card was due to it not being compatible with Windows XP, but if you are spending hundreds on a card of this power you should not be on such a dated operating system. Reviewers noted the card easily rendered games such as Battlefield 3, Metro 2033, and Skyrim on high settings. The idle temperature was consistently noted to be around 29 Celsius.
What games can the 7870 handle, and who should be looking to buy it?
If you are just venturing into building a gaming computer rig, you should look into snatching up this card. It is not a top of the line model, but it is a great performer that you can find for around $250 with a good deal. You may run crazy games like Crysis 2 or Metro 2033 on max settings at 1920×1080 resolution, with a small overclock and it could be a plausiblity with the rest of your hardware being up to par. Other games will be a breeze for this card. So, if you want to get top end graphics at a good price for a gaming computer for League of Legends, CS: GO, the next Call of Duty, and so on, then this is a definite option.
Hd7870 Benchmark System
This is our sites main benchmark system. You will not see a very big difference in frames rates as the resolutions tested are mainly gpu dependant, anything from an i5 2500k and upwards will yield similar framerates.
7870 Skyrim Benchmark
If you were playing games around 2002 you for sure know Morrowind, this is the sequel to the Elder Scroll Series called Skyrim. With a larger gaming environment,improved artificial intelligence, Direct x 11 support and some amazing visuals. You can also add some texture packs to increase the graphics quality, thats for the fanatics of the game so lets just get down to benchmarking Ati’s beast on Skyrim to see what its worth.
As most of todays monitors are either of these two resolutions, we thought that it would be logical to benchmark with them. We chose to test at ultra settings, as I doubt anyone would buy this card to play at low or medium settings with its price tag at over $200. As I have seen on most review and benchmark sites that they never test ubersampling with Antialiasing and Anisotropic filtering at full force, we have decided to test all cards at this level to really get the feel of what they are capable of.
We see here that the 7870 handles Skyrim very easily boasting great frame rates on the highest of resolutions and settings .
One of the oldest titles in our benchmarks. The reason for benching it is because it gives a good beating to even the latest of graphic cards. We see the normal 1920×1080 resolution to be very playable, now for 2560×1440 we see a 24 fps drop. This drop is not because the Radeon 7870 can’t handle it but because of the game not being well optimized.
1920×1080 : 58.9fps
2560×1440 : 34.9fps
Metro 2033 the benchmark standard, not a lot of people play it anymore but it’s a good metric for graphic card power. Turn everything up to maximum setting with depth of field (dof) and watch any graphic card dip frame rates close to unplayable. With the 7870 we see the fps going below 30fps with dof on , but with this off it is playable. Similar to crysis 2 we we see this low frame rate mainly because of some programming mistakes from the game developer.
1920×1080 : 29.1fps
2560×1440 : 22.9fps
Battlefield 3 is without doubt one of the best games released in terms of gameplay and graphics. A step up from other games in its genre the single player and multiplayer eye candy when on ultra settings is amazing. We see that Ati’s mid-high range hd7870 video card handles it at a solid 30-50fps around the board with ultra high settings. If you are playing online on multiplayer servers of 48-64 players and don’t have a powerful cpu just drop antialiasing or ultra settings to high and you should be playing the game smoothly above the 50fps range.
1920×1080 : 47.3fps
2560×1440 : 29.4fps
World of Warcraft Mists of Pandaria Benchmark
Just wanted to test out a Mmorpg game for those that play these types of games. The power needed for these types of games is not enormous, any newer graphic card release can handle it with ease. The same with Guild Wars 2, League of Legends 2 and Diablo 3, the 7870 will eat them alive.
1920×1080 : 83.3
2560×1440 : 71.3
I willl assume you are not looking at this card for your average computer usage. If you put this card in a PC that only sees Minesweeper and Firefox, then it would be a waste. The Hd7870 card is for your gamer who is looking to not miss a single frame of action in competitive games or to see every possible detail in a fantasy world. Some video editing tasks might need such a powerful card, but otherwise leave this one in the hands of the gamer crowd.