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Tom's GPU Hierarchy Chart

I notice in the August 2012 Graphics Card Hierarchy Chart at Tom's, they have the HD 7850 ranked quite high. Higher than I would expect it to be. Are we to assume that ranking is with a PCIe 3.0 board? If so, I would imagine it would be down a bit lower on a PCIe 2.0 board.
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  1. I don't imagine PCI-E version would make any difference at all in a card of that class, especially comparing 2.0 and 3.0. I guess they put it there because it is closer to GTX 570/6970 performance than it is to 560Ti/6950 performance. Though in that case, it does raise the question of why the 560Ti 448 isn't further up too.

    Oh well, arbitrary distinction for cards that don't quite fit the current tiers set up.
  2. Well, since the 3.0 spec doubles the bandwidth of the 2.0 spec... I would think there'd be a difference in whether or not the card was installed on a 3.0 board.
  3. Best answer
    The GTX 680 and 7970 don't even fully saturate all 16 lanes of PCI-E 2.0, so there would be no difference when it comes to the 7850. PCI-E 3.0 might only make a slight difference if you were running the cards in SLI/Crossfire in x8 x8 mode.
  4. I wouldn't think it would really matter at this time in the market, as GPU's aren't strong enough to use all 16 lanes of 2.0 let alone 3.0
  5. The ATI cards have a larger bandwidth than the Nvidia cards, but that doesn't stop the Nvidia cards from being faster. So yeah, I agree, 2.0 or 3.0 doesn't really matter that much atm.
  6. So, you all agree then that the HD 7850 does in fact belong in that tier of the chart... even when installed on a 2.0 board?
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-card-review,3107-7.html
  7. The card will perform the same on a 2.0 board as it will on a 3.0 board. And I would say it's where it should be on the chart with the existing tiers. You could make the argument that the 7850 and 560Ti 448 should have their own tier in between the 6950/560Ti tier and the 6970/570 tier. I do see why they probably didn't do that, as that would make a difference of less than 5% between tiers. At that point, it does make more sense to just 'round' the cards in question to the closest performance tier.
  8. OK. Thank you all for your expert opinions. After doing a bit of review research on the HD 7000 series, I guess I now would have to agree with you all.
    Ex: http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/AMD/HD_7850_HD_7870/

    It appears AMD made some great strides moving from the HD 6000 series to the newer 7000 series. I guess I can no longer assume the 7850 is simply a newer version of the 6850.
  9. Best answer selected by clutchc.
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