Crysis, Metro, DiRT 3, Shogun 2, & Batman

CPU: Intel Core i7-3960X @ 4.3GHz
Motherboard: EVGA X79 SLI
Chipset Drivers: Intel 9.​2.​3.​1022
Power Supply: Antec True Power Quattro 1200
Hard Disk: Samsung 470 (256GB)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws DDR3-1867 4 x 4GB (8-10-9-26)
Case: Thermaltake Spedo Advance
Video Cards: AMD Radeon HD 7970
AMD Radeon HD 7950
AMD Radeon HD 7870
AMD Radeon HD 7850
AMD Radeon HD 7770
AMD Radeon HD 6970
AMD Radeon HD 6950
AMD Radeon HD 6870
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Ti
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 1GB
Video Drivers: NVIDIA ForceWare 295.73
AMD Catalyst Beta 8.95.5
OS: Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit

As both the PCS+ HD7870 and the IceQ Turbo 7870 ship with an identical core overclock and similar memory clocks, the performance of the two will be nearly identical. The PCS+ has an edge (however slim) in all situations, but as we’ll see there’s very little separating the two cards when it comes to performance.

Overall the factory overclocks on the PCS+ HD7870 and IceQ Turbo 7870 net about a 5% to 7% increase in game performance compared to the stock 7870. The lack of a significant memory overclock on either card appears to be holding back performance some, keeping game performance gains from reaching parity with the core overclocks.

Interestingly, because of the same frontend & ROP reasons we saw the 7870 do so well relative to the 7950 in our initial review, these factory overclocked cards do one better. Both cards overtake the 7950 at times, such as under DiRT 3 and Total War. More interestingly perhaps is that with the 7870 already nipping at the GTX 580’s heels in these games, the overclocked cards also regularly surpass the GTX 580 in 3 out of the 5 games so far.

HIS 7870 IceQ Turbo & PowerColor PCS+ HD7870 Portal 2, Battlefield 3, Starcraft II, Skyrim, & CivV
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  • Zebo - Monday, March 19, 2012 - link

    I wish they were mistaken on the price.
  • LuxZg - Monday, March 19, 2012 - link

    They were actually... not that it helps much ;->
  • Jephph - Monday, March 19, 2012 - link

    Don't worry, they fixed it.

    "Numerous times before we’ve seen loud & cool cards, but it’s rare to come across a quiet and quiet card.

    Now, it's not loud and quiet, It's just quiet and quiet.
  • doylecc - Monday, March 19, 2012 - link

    "but it’s rare to come across a quiet and quiet card."

    Perhaps we should try "cool and quiet", yes?

    "In spite of the large blower on the card and the temperatures we’ve seen, the IceQ Turbo well for itself,"

    Perhaps "...the IceQ Turbo does well for itself."

    Thanks for a very interesting article. I would also like to see an AMD OC v. Nvidia OC article.
  • nitrousoxide - Monday, March 19, 2012 - link

    "A loud and quiet card" --> "a quiet and quiet card"

    Gosh I just can't help laughing...
  • LuxZg - Monday, March 19, 2012 - link

    "OCCT on the other hand finally sees every card jump up above 50C, with both cards tying or beating the reference 7870 by a fraction of a degree."

    Aren't you talking about noise here? And not temperature? Tsk tsk ;)
  • Death666Angel - Monday, March 19, 2012 - link

    Especially in the OC section! I don't know how many people are looking at 7970 and 7870 cards, but I for one do like to know how much extra performance that money gives me, especially compared to 7870 OC'ed.
    As for the cards, they are good enough, but I hate seeing these anaemic factory memory overclocks or no overclocks at all.
    Two more things: Is there a chance you will add your OC results to bench in the future? And can you explain why the 7950 beats the 7970 in min. frames Crysis? Doesn't make sense to me. :-)
  • Ryan Smith - Monday, March 19, 2012 - link

    The 7950 only beats the 7970 in Crysis when you use the launch numbers for the 7970. It's been taken care of.
  • Creig - Monday, March 19, 2012 - link

    "Idle noise levels are consistent. Both cards are ever so marginally quitter than the reference 7870 at idle."

    Nobody likes a video card that's a quitter. But I'm sure they'd love one that's quieter.
  • Roland00Address - Monday, March 19, 2012 - link

    I am curious how crossfire 7800 series cards compare to the 7900 series cards

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