We first looked at AMD's Radeon HD 7800-series cards a little more than two months ago in AMD Radeon HD 7870 And 7850 Review: Pitcairn Gets Benchmarked. At the time, we had some issues with the Radeon HD 7850 sample sent to us by AMD. Our German office had a problem with their card, too. We were bullish on the performance AMD brought to the table, though. It was only a shame the company wasn't quite ready to start selling the cards.
Now it's time to revisit that situation. Shortly after our preview, we diagnosed an incompatibility between that early sample and our X79-based test platform. All's well, and we're seeing the speed/stability we were expecting on a new build.
Today, there are plenty of Radeon HD 7870 and 7850 boards available. Although the 7870's MSRP is in the $350 range, cards are selling for as low as $330, boldly standing up to much more expensive GeForce GTX 580s. The 7850 is supposed to be a $250 product, but we've seen certain models at $240, and those easily go up against $300 GeForce GTX 570s.
Kudos to AMD for making its Radeon HD 7800 family available and offering fast mid-range boards loaded with value to gamers on a budget.