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Texture Optimizations And The Radeon HD 7000s

AMD Radeon HD 7870 And 7850 Review: Pitcairn Gets Benchmarked
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As we go through the benchmarks, you’ll see that the Radeon HD 7800s do an incredibly good job of applying Adaptive anti-aliasing to our Skyrim benchmark sequence. The numbers were so impressive, in fact, that we went out of our way to snap screenshots in order to validate the resulting image quality, too. As it turns out, they do; Adaptive AA on the 7800s looks similar to the Radeon HD 6900s, putting our minds at ease.

While we were scrutinizing those Adaptive AA results, however, we couldn’t help but notice that some textures appeared noticeably blurrier in the Radeon HD 7800 screenshots. We first assumed a setting had changed in the game or driver. But double-checking proved that wasn’t the case. Further investigation showed that the Radeon HD 7800-series cards match the Radeon HD 6900’s crisper output if the Catalyst A.I. texture filtering quality slider is moved from its default (Quality) to the highest (High Quality) setting.

So, to be clear, using the exact same 8.95.5 driver at its default settings, the Radeon HD 7800s deliver blurrier textures than the Radeon HD 6900s. Take a look:

The differences are not colossal, and you probably wouldn’t notice them during game play (we didn’t). But they're easily identifiable in screen shots. We don’t want to overstate the impact of what we’re seeing. But, on the other hand, we take reductions in image quality seriously because the slope is slippery, and we’ve seen this before.

This issue came up very late in our testing. We asked AMD for comment, but don’t have an official response as of yet. Moreover, questions remain: Are the Radeon HD 7800 cards enjoying higher performance as a result of an optimization? Could this be an unintentional bug? How much better would the Radeon HD 6900s look if we also bumped their Catalyst A.I. slider up to High Quality? We absolutely plan to answer all of those questions after we collect more data. And we’ll update the story once we get some more feedback from AMD.

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Top Comments
  • 52 Hide
    alidan , March 5, 2012 6:28 AM
    can someone tell me why
    low settings were benched at the lowest resolution
    mid settings at 1920x1080
    and the highest at 2560x1440 (and not 2560x1600)

    i mean most of us play games in the 1920x1080(1200) range, and if we are spending 200+ on a gpu, we will have about that kind of monitor... while if you have a 2560x1440(1600) monitor, you aren't wasting your time with these cards, even if its for crossfire.

    what im saying is i would rather see the 1920x1080 resolution get the highest possible settings, as thats what most of us who want to max the settings will play at.
  • 31 Hide
    hardcore_gamer , March 5, 2012 5:06 AM
    Wow..7870 has nearly half the power-draw of GTX 570 and performs better . IMO this is the most impressive card in GCN line up so far.
  • 23 Hide
    ilysaml , March 5, 2012 5:11 AM
    Watch the benches well, the HD 7870 almost beating the GTX 580.
Other Comments
  • 31 Hide
    hardcore_gamer , March 5, 2012 5:06 AM
    Wow..7870 has nearly half the power-draw of GTX 570 and performs better . IMO this is the most impressive card in GCN line up so far.
  • 23 Hide
    ilysaml , March 5, 2012 5:11 AM
    Watch the benches well, the HD 7870 almost beating the GTX 580.
  • 20 Hide
    esrever , March 5, 2012 5:16 AM
    AMD saved the best for last it seems. Although a bit over priced, these cards are amazing performance/watt with all the new features. Nice to see the 7870 take a few blows at the 580 in a few games. Can't wait to see what kepler can do as well!
  • -6 Hide
    alex3064 , March 5, 2012 5:16 AM
    alex3064what date is this 7850/7870 actually launched

    i mean when will it be launched in market
  • 4 Hide
    theuniquegamer , March 5, 2012 5:24 AM
    impressive performance of 7870 (i was disappointed by the 7770's performance )And what about microshuttering? Is it present in 7870 CF?
  • 16 Hide
    hardcore_gamer , March 5, 2012 5:29 AM
    ilysamlWatch the benches well, the HD 7870 almost beating the GTX 580.


    Looking at the performance graphs, 7870 performs very close to 7950 which has 40% more SPs and a 384 bit memory interface. I think AMD reduced the performance of 79xx series on purpose so that they can release a better card just before the launch of Kepler.
  • 18 Hide
    _Pez_ , March 5, 2012 5:34 AM
    the 7870 is quite impressive. O.O almost the same gaming capability of the 580 for 350. OMG!
  • 11 Hide
    hardcore_gamer , March 5, 2012 5:36 AM
    alex3064i mean when will it be launched in market


    It is there in the first page. "you won’t be able to buy the card until at least March 19th, AMD tells us."
  • 17 Hide
    Onikage , March 5, 2012 6:02 AM
    7870 is a sensational card !!! even at this given price!!!
    what a card !!!
    DAY 1 BUY !
  • 11 Hide
    Memnarchon , March 5, 2012 6:15 AM
    From what I read from other sites also, the performance is a little bit lower (7850 is between 6950 and 6970 and 7870 is between 6970 and 7950 like: Clicky-Clicky ) but their power consumption is amzing. I mean, the 7850 draws only 100 watt and requires only one 6pin while it offers performance of 6950+5%!!!!!!!! This along with a sandybridge (with its low power consumption) will make a powerful gaming system with only a $40 corsair/antec psu!!!! Now the only thing that is left is an answer from nvidia so we can see prices going down.
  • 6 Hide
    agnickolov , March 5, 2012 6:18 AM
    Whatever happened to the 2D benches?
  • 17 Hide
    dragonsqrrl , March 5, 2012 6:25 AM
    Wow. In my opinion the HD7870 is the most impressive card in the 7000 series lineup thus far. It outperforms the HD6970 by a wide margin and comes damn close to the GTX580. Performance, price, power, temperature, noise... all positive.

    And all of this can be had for $350. Without question the best deal in the lineup.
  • 6 Hide
    tomfreak , March 5, 2012 6:26 AM
    Only 7000 series card that isnt priced stupidly.

    btw, none of the AMD partners use blower design cooler? wtf!!! Blower card is what I need! Especially my existing mid tower ATX aluminium case are old design from way back in AthlonXP.
  • 52 Hide
    alidan , March 5, 2012 6:28 AM
    can someone tell me why
    low settings were benched at the lowest resolution
    mid settings at 1920x1080
    and the highest at 2560x1440 (and not 2560x1600)

    i mean most of us play games in the 1920x1080(1200) range, and if we are spending 200+ on a gpu, we will have about that kind of monitor... while if you have a 2560x1440(1600) monitor, you aren't wasting your time with these cards, even if its for crossfire.

    what im saying is i would rather see the 1920x1080 resolution get the highest possible settings, as thats what most of us who want to max the settings will play at.
  • 7 Hide
    beetlejuicegr , March 5, 2012 6:34 AM
    Ahh i knew 78xx cards would be awesome, i am still very happy with my 5870. 7870 with just 1-2 fps difference from 580s and 7970s at some games is so impressive! I will totally recommend these two cards to friends, maybe me, if my wife doesn't notice haha
  • 19 Hide
    beetlejuicegr , March 5, 2012 6:35 AM
    alidancan someone tell me why low settings were benched at the lowest resolutionmid settings at 1920x1080and the highest at 2560x1440 (and not 2560x1600)i mean most of us play games in the 1920x1080(1200) range, and if we are spending 200+ on a gpu, we will have about that kind of monitor... while if you have a 2560x1440(1600) monitor, you aren't wasting your time with these cards, even if its for crossfire. what im saying is i would rather see the 1920x1080 resolution get the highest possible settings, as thats what most of us who want to max the settings will play at.


    Your are definitely right here m8
  • -6 Hide
    devils_advocate , March 5, 2012 6:49 AM
    I cant wait to see some one add one more PCI E on 7850. That will really allow it to O.C well. Easily match 7870 stock and probably more.
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