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Is the HD 7850 a good card?

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July 20, 2012 3:36:18 PM

So I was going to do a complete upgrade in the future and I was wanting to buy a card to hold me off for about a year or so.
I was surfing the web and I found the HD 7850 iceqx, I was wondering is there a different brand that i should buy the 7850 to get faster performance or is there a different card such as the HD 6950.

my specs(as of now)
CPU- FX-8120
MOBO- GA-970a-ud3
GPU- HIS ICEQ HD 6850(this is a nice card buy just has started to not perform as well as it used too... I love MAX settings)
RAM- 8gb DDR3
CPU Cooler- Hyper 212
Case- HAF 912
HDD- Caviar Black 1TB

Thanks for your help! :D 

More about : 7850 good card

a b U Graphics card
July 20, 2012 3:40:38 PM

The 7850 is a great card for the price. It will run 1080p at max settings without too much trouble. I've read it can be overclocked quite well also, so you've got some headroom to push it harder if you find it being taxed; if you want to hold onto the card a while longer though, a 7870 may be a better investment since it should keep you going strong for several years.

I am running a 7870 and was hitting around 110 FPS on skyrim ultra (with an i7-2700k); it's good enough to run smooth in HD3d :D 
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a b U Graphics card
July 20, 2012 4:35:19 PM

The 7850 and 7870 are both good choices, although as I posted in another thread, I sort of think that the 7950 price cut eliminates some of the reason (again) to get a 7870. The 7950 has some major upgrades over the 7870--150% or more shaders/texture units/VRAM. Right now you can get a twin frozr 7950 for $310 post-rebate: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

However, you still have to ask yourself how this all compares to a 6850. That's a good card, even if it's not elite. If you're still gaming at 1080p, I would either stick with that or possibly crossfire it (though people report not such great results on 6850 crossfire for some reason). The 7850 and especially the 7870 or 7950 is probably the kind of card that will last at least two years for most people, but it's also a bigger expenditure.
a b U Graphics card
July 20, 2012 4:54:16 PM

^ I get good results with 2 x 6850s. Its cheaper than the 7870 and you will get a lot more performance with another 6850.
a b U Graphics card
July 20, 2012 4:58:39 PM

In looking through some benchmarks for 7870 vs 6850 CF, the internet is full of people dissuading the CF/SLI route, saying there are all these problems. Well, I had a great time with my first 4870, then CF'd it. Then upgraded to 6850, and then got another when the price was down.

Conclusion: I saved a lot of money and kept my rig able to play all the games I want at good settings. So far so good on buying the second card at around 60% cost of the first card. You pay a premium most of the time to buy a single card.
a b U Graphics card
July 20, 2012 5:20:16 PM

Buy the 7850 . Does your motherboard even support crossfire?
July 20, 2012 7:01:05 PM

I was thinking about getting crossfire but the i heard that my cpu(8120) would bottleneck it and i would get a *** load of microstuddering.

also yeah im trying to decide if i shoud either wait a bout 2 months and get a 7850 or just go ahead and in one month buy 1 6850 and save $100.

Note- this is a card i want to get so i can play the latest games on max out settings and last about a year because in about a year im upgrading to either a 670 or 7970(have another thread deciding :p ) and getting a i7-3770k.

So overall I guess it really comes down to this should i pay another $100 dollars for one card or just get another 6850 and crossfire so that i can play all games hopefully on max settings for at least a year?
a b U Graphics card
July 20, 2012 7:21:54 PM

Your plan seems a little strange. So you definitely know that you are getting a new computer in a year, yet you're picking cards for that now, without knowing what prices will be a year from now, and for that matter, what new cards might be out? Since a video card is something that can easily transfer to your next computer, why not just get one of those cards now? Alternatively, if you're going to wait, you should wait, not burn $200 for a year's worth of a just-okay upgrade over your 6850.

But that aside, if the question is what to get to last you a year, hands down get another 6850. It's the cheapest option, and a crossfire 6850 setup at 1080p is great. The 8120 bottlenecking stuff is likely untrue. Very few games depend much on CPU performance--this is why Tom's can get decent results in their system builder features by pairing very weak CPUs with very powerful video cards. The 8120 might not be the best processor in the world (especially not for games), but it's still fine.
July 20, 2012 7:38:40 PM

your right I guess I should start planning what I should get when i have the money for it :)  (guess it is a bit strange now that i think about it)

also yes I think your right i will get a second 6850, also do you think is should buy it new off of newegg or buy it off of ebay?
July 20, 2012 7:40:56 PM

First thing I would do is consult the Tom's Hardware VGA Hierarchy Chart to confirm your upgrade is up three tiers so that you will perceive a meaningful difference during gaming and thus feel that your received value for your money.

If you go to a 7850, you are going up three tiers.

If you go to a 6950, you would only be going up two tiers. Additionally, the 6950s use about double the electricity that a 7850 will use.

You could overclock your 7850 with ease to 7870 levels, though its hard to find titles that warrant this. My 7850 runs Mass Effect 3 at the highest settings at 160 fps, why would I need 170 fps? I run BF3 and Crysis 2 with settings maxed and its always buttery smooth. Now as newer titles come out in the next 18 months to two years, and my card starts to show its age, I will overclock it so that it runs like a 7870.

I would not advise you to do a 6850 crossfire implementation as it does not seem appropriate for you. It adds more components in your machine to fail, stresses your power supply, may give you driver issues and if you’re sensitive to microstuttering you won't like it anyway. Moreover, you have already made the assessment that your CPU would bottleneck a crossfire solution, thereby defeating the purpose of upgrading in the first place.

I would wait the 2 months for the 7850, its only 8 weeks and in the grand scheme of things its not really that long to wait for good piece of hardware that you will enjoy for two to three years.

You could also sell your 6850 on eBay to defray the costs. I recently sold an old 4850 for $35 ($50 with shipping) there, so your card would surely sell for much more.
July 20, 2012 7:54:01 PM

yeah i think it would sell for about 100... hmm I do think that your right, I pay very close attention to fps when playing games(kinda paranoid about lag)

the only thing in that list that does not affect me(atleast i think) is that it will stress my psu... I have a corsair 850w enthusiast series(kinda went overkill)
a b U Graphics card
July 20, 2012 8:18:17 PM

Haha, you are very weak! You seem to be swayed by whoever has just posted.

It's not like bunkgoats is wrong. Microstutter is bad. And the 7850 is a good card. But I don't think it makes sense to get a 7850 as some kind of stopgap measure, and the 6850 is already a pretty good 1080p card. If you're going to get a new card now, just get a new card. In particular, get a twin frozr 7950 for $310 and then transfer it to your new machine.
July 20, 2012 8:31:39 PM

I'm not weak just atcually listen to what people say and if I think that it is a good argument then I take there advice.

as for getting a 7950 in the time that i get either a 6850 or a 7850 I might decide that the difference is worth the wait and money. also your right but in my new system im going to be spending a lot of money on it so im going to get the best or near the best card so this card is just going to last until then.
July 20, 2012 9:43:42 PM

motorneuron said:
Haha, you are very weak! You seem to be swayed by whoever has just posted.

It's not like bunkgoats is wrong. Microstutter is bad. And the 7850 is a good card. But I don't think it makes sense to get a 7850 as some kind of stopgap measure, and the 6850 is already a pretty good 1080p card. If you're going to get a new card now, just get a new card. In particular, get a twin frozr 7950 for $310 and then transfer it to your new machine.


I don' think that he is weak. Clearly he is a novice and he is young (at least relative to me) and he came to the forum to talk shop and get advice and hopefully have a good time. He is learning how to analyze these things from us and will know what technical resources to reference in the future as we provide cites to at merit to our opinions. He will also gain technical competency so in the future he can read the reviews and make better sense of how they will apply to him.

I think the solution you purposed is good, i.e. add a 6850 because its pragmatic. I went a different direction than you advising a 7850. The reason for this is, that after reading his post I thought about his technical competency and don't think he is quite at the point where he can successfully implement a crossfire solution without loads of frustration and be able to troubleshoot when it doesn't work right, but he will get there eventually.

The other reason for the 7850 recommendation is that, "The latest iteration of the architecture in the AMD Radeon HD 7000 GPU features a brand new generation of Tesselator (Gen 9) in its Geometry Engine. This features optimizations such as; increased vertex re-use, off-chip buffering improvements and larger parameter caches. This helps improve performance at all tessellation factors up to 4x the throughput of AMD Radeon HD 6900 series graphics (Gen 8)." (Guru 3D).

Tessellation may not be a big deal on today’s games, but to paraphrase Wayne Greztky you need to skate to where the puck is going not where it is. My opinion is that tessellation takes 3d games and gets rid of that flat look and adds desperately needed texture, making a huge visual improvement. You should load up the Uningine Heaven demo and turn the tessellation on and off, I think you will be delighted at how fantastic it looks with tessellation on. I think this is the direction newer titles will go and having hardware that can competently handle these improvements will be a big benefit. So part of my analysis looked at certain intangibles that don't show up in most benchmarks since very few of the cannon benchmarks incorporate this newer feature.

I think the desicion comes down to keep $100 more in his pocket, possibly get higher frame rates at the expense of microstuttering, and he can get another 6850. If he goes this route, he needs to be prepared to to deal with the technical challanges associated with Crossfire setups. If he isn't pushing mulitple monitors or really large high res monitors, the extra raw horsepower isnt needed.

Alternatively, he can wait 8 weeks, go with a single card upgrade solution and spend $100 more. FPS won't be obscenely high , but should still run all the contemporary titles at high frame rates. He will also get better tessellation preformance in future titles.

Here is a link to Crossfire preformance of 6850.
http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...

You can use the 6950 as a proxy on these graphs for the 7850, although the 7850 should preform a touch better than a 6950. The only place this breaks down is on the Uningine benchmarks since tessellation was overhauled on the 7000 series.

This should be enough information to help you make your desicion. Niether one is right, it just what is right for you.
a b U Graphics card
July 20, 2012 10:01:47 PM

Sorry if my "you are weak!" remark came off as something other than a joke--it was a joke. These decisions are not straightforward, and it's good to have an open mind.

I think bunkgoats and I are in agreement. The decision comes down to your priorities right now. It still seems to me that the 6850 crossfire setup is the best short-term solution. You may be surprised at how powerful that setup is, or you may be surprised by how much you dislike microstutter--but if that's a problem, you don't have to deal with it for that long. You could also sell the 6850 and get a 7850, but since you plan to get a new computer within a year, that seems like an expensive upgrade for the short term--unless you buy a second 7850 and crossfire them when you get your new rig.
a b U Graphics card
July 20, 2012 10:27:14 PM

PanicMaster85 said:
I was thinking about getting crossfire but the i heard that my cpu(8120) would bottleneck it and i would get a *** load of microstuddering.

also yeah im trying to decide if i shoud either wait a bout 2 months and get a 7850 or just go ahead and in one month buy 1 6850 and save $100.

Note- this is a card i want to get so i can play the latest games on max out settings and last about a year because in about a year im upgrading to either a 670 or 7970(have another thread deciding :p ) and getting a i7-3770k.

So overall I guess it really comes down to this should i pay another $100 dollars for one card or just get another 6850 and crossfire so that i can play all games hopefully on max settings for at least a year?

i highly doubt that as my friend has an FX 8150 @4.8GHz and 2x HD 7970 GHz Edition cards and it doesn't bottleneck at all ?
July 21, 2012 1:31:41 AM

WOW that is some over cloaking :p 

to-bunkgoats
Thank you for your reply... I do think that having a nice "future proof" card would be nice, I was also wondering because i was going to get a new system within a year maybe a little more(depending on how much i have to spend to buy a game or fix a problem with my comptuer) but do you think that games with the need for the over kill teselation that a 7850 gives will be out with in the time before my purchase of my system?

to-Motorneuron
Do you know of anything that can give me any idea of how much microstuddering I will get... im not to crazy about it(as in favor of it) and i notice low drops in frame rate because like i said i get paranoid because of it. but how much do you think I will be getting if you can get me a chart or a video or somthing that would be greatly appreciated.

also thank you guys for atcually giving me random benchmarks unless need :D 
July 21, 2012 1:52:53 AM

Get an hd 7870 or a GTX 670. Many reviews consider the 7870 as a steal. Consider the price to performance ratio if you are on a budget. And by the look of your character, you should get a better card like 7870. It can run games max in 1080p for a very long time.
a b U Graphics card
July 21, 2012 2:05:59 AM

I had a Sapphire HD 6950>6970 Crossfire with my AMD FX-8210 and it was great and no micro stutter what so ever. I only get micro stutter on my i2500k/Nvidia 560 ti rig. I use my AMD/ATi rig as my main gaming rig and it is great despite what I have read this CPU is really good for gaming. I have it overclocked to 4ghz on a 20x multiplier default voltage completely stable with a XSPC 750 RS240 water cooler the best rig so far that I have built.
a b U Graphics card
July 21, 2012 2:11:54 AM

I'm also opt for 7870 or 7850 especially if u can sold your old one....

Always better to buy single gpu than dual setup if u are not constrained by budget...

"AMD know that 7850 and 7870 is the king on their league, and they milking it proven by how small price cut both card get"
July 21, 2012 5:14:02 AM

AyuX said:
Get an hd 7870 or a GTX 670. Many reviews consider the 7870 as a steal. Consider the price to performance ratio if you are on a budget. And by the look of your character, you should get a better card like 7870. It can run games max in 1080p for a very long time.

:p  yea that is what i plan on getting when i get my new system but until then...
July 22, 2012 2:32:42 AM

ugh this wait will kill me... :(  :p 
July 22, 2012 2:41:40 AM

also do you guys recommend any manufacturere so gigabyte his or what?
!