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AMD Radeon HD 7870 And 7850 Review: Pitcairn Gets Benchmarked

Temperature And Noise

Before we discuss the following results, we need to point out that a lot of the cards in our lab come from board partners. They’re not reference designs, and so their thermal and acoustic performance will differ from the AMD’s samples. This gives them a potential advantage, depending on the vendor’s priorities. In an effort to maintain transparency, when a card isn’t a reference design, we label it as such, making sure clock rates match the reference specification.

Despite competing custom coolers, the Radeon boards demonstrate low idle temperatures. This is likely a consequence of low power use translating to modest thermal output.

Load temperatures are also conservative—impressive given the large aftermarket heat sinks with which these reference designs compete.

None of these cards make much noise at idle, but we’re more concerned with their behavior under a 3D load.

Modest thermals turn into great acoustics for both of the Radeon HD 7800s. We just wish the Radeon HD 7970 was as quiet as these two mid-range boards.