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6870 for $140 or 7850 for $235?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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Which should I get?

Total: 25 votes (7 blank votes)

  • XFX Double D 6870 for $139 after MIR
  • 28 %
  • HIS IceQ 7850 for $235 after MIR
  • 73 %
June 18, 2012 6:54:33 PM

Which is the better deal? I know the 7850 gets better performance at about equivalent power consumption or maybe a little less, but is it worth the extra $95?

More about : 6870 140 7850 235

a c 595 U Graphics card
June 18, 2012 7:28:00 PM

Overclocking, the 7850 has it, the 6870 doesn't.
June 18, 2012 8:34:33 PM

17seconds said:
Overclocking, the 7850 has it, the 6870 doesn't.
Not sure I can overclock on my system, I'm already at the upper limits of the PSU (460W) and don't want to push it (even further).
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June 18, 2012 8:59:39 PM

Get the 6870. The people that tout that the 7850 is better are just stupid. Its got what, 10% performance increase as best? It' also 50% more expensive.

Nab the 6870. 'Tis a good card.
June 18, 2012 9:00:25 PM

Get the 7850. I just got the HD 7850 myself and so far I can run basically every game I throw at it at best settings. Additionally, the 7850 is equipped AMD's new 28nm process which keeps the card running very cool because it draws less power, which makes things like OC'ing very easy. The 7850 only uses one PCIE power connector, therefore drawing less power, compared to the similarly classed GTX 560ti which uses two PCIE power connectors.

I, myself OC'ed the stock 7850 from 920Mhz core clock to 1050 as well as the memory clock from 1200Mhz stock to 1400Mhz. I stress tested the card using both Unigine and Furmark multiple times and the OC came to be very stable, Max temps for both was about 65c. During GPU intense games, The card rarely runs over 60c even when on 98%load. All of this without even touching the voltage

So far, I can run BF3 on ultra w/o MSAA at an average of about 45-50 fps on most maps, with an exception of B2K, which are very hard to run on Ultra at a stable FPS even on the best of machines.

PLUS, the 7850 has more RAM memory on it (2GB) compared to the 6870's 1GB, which makes games like BF3 play better with all settings pushed to max as the card has more memory to store the necessary calculations.

The 6870 is a last-gen card and performance wise it will definitely not match the 7850, even when overclocked, which is easier on the 7850 anyway due to the more advanced manufacturing technology.

TRUST ME, you want to shoot for quality in this situation. 7850 is the right pick.

a b U Graphics card
June 18, 2012 10:03:40 PM

Those are both good cards and good prices, so it's hard to judge it on that alone. We need to know more about your system, your monitor, your uses, and also what you expect. The 6870 for $140 is surely more performance per dollar, but that isn't surprising. The bottom line is that the 6870 will be about 15-25% lower FPS than the 7850 in most games, and that's without considering how effortlessly the 7850 overclocks. Here's a benchmark: http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/540?vs=549 (Note that if you overclock both cards, the 7850 will widen the gap, since it's a better OCer than the 6870.)

But your usage affects things a lot. Are you going to be playing only older or less demanding games? Are you running at less than 1080p? If either of those is true, paying 70% more for 25% more performance doesn't make sense. OTOH, if you're playing a lot of games on more than one monitor or going above 1080p, you should probably get the 7850. The 2GB of VRAM on the 7850, plus its newer architecture and generally better performance (and OC headroom) make it a better choice for higher-res gaming.

Bottom line, if you want more frames, it's clear you should go for the 7850. But $140 for a 6870 is a steal--as long as you're willing to tolerate a little less performance.
June 18, 2012 10:16:22 PM

I personally would choose the 6870. However, I don't need to push every game I get on highest graphical settings.
June 18, 2012 11:46:42 PM

So far the poll appears to be skewing heavily towards the 7850 which is a little surprising given the additional cost. There's also a Sapphire 6950 OC 2GB that I had not considered for $190. Does that change anyone's opinion? The performance of the 6950 and 7850 are pretty close although the 6950 has higher power consumption. Still, for $50?
June 18, 2012 11:49:12 PM

frcabot said:
So far the poll appears to be skewing heavily towards the 7850 which is a little surprising given the additional cost. There's also a Sapphire 6950 OC 2GB that I had not considered for $190. Does that change anyone's opinion? The performance of the 6950 and 7850 are pretty close although the 6950 has higher power consumption. Still, for $50?


Considering the fact that the 7850 vs OC-able to 7870 speeds but the 6950 is limited OC wise, I'd say the 50$ is justified.

Less power Consumption
Higher Performance Ceiling
Lower temps
June 18, 2012 11:49:29 PM

motorneuron said:
Those are both good cards and good prices, so it's hard to judge it on that alone. We need to know more about your system, your monitor, your uses, and also what you expect. The 6870 for $140 is surely more performance per dollar, but that isn't surprising. The bottom line is that the 6870 will be about 15-25% lower FPS than the 7850 in most games, and that's without considering how effortlessly the 7850 overclocks. Here's a benchmark: http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/540?vs=549 (Note that if you overclock both cards, the 7850 will widen the gap, since it's a better OCer than the 6870.)

But your usage affects things a lot. Are you going to be playing only older or less demanding games? Are you running at less than 1080p? If either of those is true, paying 70% more for 25% more performance doesn't make sense. OTOH, if you're playing a lot of games on more than one monitor or going above 1080p, you should probably get the 7850. The 2GB of VRAM on the 7850, plus its newer architecture and generally better performance (and OC headroom) make it a better choice for higher-res gaming.

Bottom line, if you want more frames, it's clear you should go for the 7850. But $140 for a 6870 is a steal--as long as you're willing to tolerate a little less performance.
Not sure what I'm going to be playing. Since I'm getting a new computer, it's a safe bet that I'll be playing SOME newer games, but I don't necessarily have to play them all on Ultra to be happy. I guess the 7850 will be a little more future-proofed though. I am getting a new 27 inch 1080p monitor and will probably be getting a secondary monitor as well. will probably not overclock either of the cards much. I anticipate I would use my computer for FSX a fair amount.
June 18, 2012 11:59:41 PM

I have an i7-3770 3.4 with turbo to 3.9. FSX is a total resource hog. And Crossfire is not a problem because my motherboard only has 1 PCIx16 slot.
a c 192 U Graphics card
June 19, 2012 12:03:10 AM

frcabot said:
Not sure I can overclock on my system, I'm already at the upper limits of the PSU (460W) and don't want to push it (even further).

460W...is that a CM? This one? http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/Cooler-Master-eX...
It can't produce what's on its label, and is only good for 430W. That is not enough for either of those graphics cards. Then there's this one: http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/Cooler-Master-El... which not only has a liar label, but protection circuits it claims to have simply aren't there.
Of course, if it's the fanless Seasonic Gold, you're good. Just make sure you've got enough fans, and that contrary to the usual advice, they are unbalanced (intake and exhaust are not equal) in order to keep air moving through it.
June 19, 2012 12:11:15 AM

No it's the included Dell XPS 8500 460W power supply. Not sure who the manufacturer is but apparently the Dell PSUs are pretty reliable. If anything it is apparently a little underrated. The literature for the XPS 8500 states that the PSU can handle up to a 225W graphics card.

Wish it was 500W though.
a c 192 U Graphics card
June 19, 2012 12:25:55 AM

Ah, ok. It might be made by FSP; is it 80+ or 80+ Bronze? If so, you got a good one, and it should be able to handle those cards. I'd lean more toward the HD7850 if you can afford it. It uses less power, and generates less heat. The Dell PCs I've seen (my father used to own one before I built him a "real" PC, and various models have been inflicted on me at work over the years) did not have very good cooling.
June 19, 2012 12:37:36 AM

Usually when gaming, I think you should shoot for the highest card you can afford, given everything else is good (ie quad core cpu, sufficient psu, etc...). While the 6870 is by all means great, if your going to be playing at 1080p, might as well get the 7850 imo because if you get the 6870 now, you might find it not performing well enough by next year in which you will plunge more money into a new gpu. 7850 should last you longer and is great value at that price.
a c 192 U Graphics card
June 19, 2012 1:27:57 AM

^+1. If you can reasonably afford it, the stronger card makes sense.
June 19, 2012 2:11:57 AM

Ok I will spring for the 7850. I guess in terms of futureproofing it makes sense. And the HIS IceQ apparently has very good temps, about 62C or so. I think the PSU is 80 PLUS Bronze but would need to double check.
a b U Graphics card
June 19, 2012 2:36:18 AM

another +1 to the 7850...
June 19, 2012 2:39:51 AM

What is the difference between the HIS iceq vs the iceq turbo? Obviously the turbo is overclocked but it's nothing I couldn't do myself with the included iturbo software, right? The hardware looks the same, I think the cooler is the same, and not sure whether HIS employs binning. In any case the turbo version does not appear to be for sale anywhere, although that's the one that's being reviewed by all the benchmark sites...
a b U Graphics card
June 19, 2012 4:35:42 AM

frcabot said:
... And Crossfire is not a problem because my motherboard only has 1 PCIx16 slot.

All the more reason to go for the 7850 apart from the 7850 being more friendly to your PSU.

Looks like the IceQ have gone down further in price $224.99 (Edit: Not $124.99) after rebate:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Edit: Sorry if it freaked you out frcabot. Cheers!
June 19, 2012 4:39:06 AM

Argh. NewEgg is ridiculous.
a b U Graphics card
June 19, 2012 4:54:19 AM

^Sorry.. mistyped the $224.99. Edited.
!