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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  • CeriseCogburn - Wednesday, March 21, 2012 - link

    But for a long period of time you kept the very same drivers in many released articles, listed right along, one run for AMD drivers was over a year long as I recall or it certainly seemed, as well as for nVidia, and those were recent. you were asked about it and claimed the 10.3a drivers or whatever it was, were nearly identical to never ones so you weren't going to redo all the tests.
    So your excuse holds no water, you never updated all the time even in regular release benches.
    If we accept your answer, it invalidates probably 90%+ of all your reviews.
  • CeriseCogburn - Wednesday, March 21, 2012 - link

    It's reasonable if here they take the short time to assemble the "overclocked chart" they obviously have the data for with all the prior released cards they include in the article, and show one fair game with the respective included cards all OC'ed.
    Without that there is no real justification, nor is it fair or equitable, or honest.
  • Peanutsrevenge - Tuesday, March 20, 2012 - link

    Thanks for the reply Ryan.
    From all the replies to replies, I think it's clear.
    You'll never be able to please everyone all the time :D

    Still, nice review and always come to Anandtech when I'm looking for trustworthy information.

    Keep up the good work and good luck with us whiners ;)
  • CeriseCogburn - Wednesday, March 21, 2012 - link

    I think that's just a cop-out. One chart of a neutral game with all the cards OC'ed would be good enough to appease everyone. It would solve the problem.
  • CeriseCogburn - Wednesday, March 21, 2012 - link

    Yes, as in the case of the highly overclockable GTX460 EVGA the complaints never ended when it was included without other cards being overclocked.
    It appears they excused themselves then, and decided promoting amd OC cards in a (near paper and completely unmentioned in the entire article) launch now was iresistable.
    I noted the excuse, that AIB's would be bypassing stock cards...(for the most part) - which isn't correct either - as the truth is permission for OC cards at launch is the near difference from the usual standard.
    All of them will still issue stock and OC for more money 'for the most part'.
    I seriously doubt you can find a single launch in the entire archive that OC's the two launching ( or even one) nVidia card and nothing else.
    That of course proves nothing since this is a very special case, one that AMD has approved.
  • johnpombrio - Monday, March 19, 2012 - link

    This will probably be the last AMD release before NVidia comes out with their GTX 680 on March 22. AMD has been making up for the different release times by putting as much product out there as possible while NVidia tries to fix their manufacturing yields. It will interesting to see what happens in the next 6 months.
    Let the games begin.
  • CeriseCogburn - Wednesday, March 21, 2012 - link

    Which isn't much product at all especially the 7870's and 7850's.
  • MrSpadge - Tuesday, March 20, 2012 - link

    I keep hearing how great the SI GPUs overclock on stock voltage. However, that voltage is set to 1.2 V. From my point of view that's already a lot - my HD6950 on a 40 nm process runs at just 1.10 V. It reminds me of AMDs 45 nm CPUs which are set to painful 1.40 V and reviewers are pleased with their overclockability.. not withstanding the fact htat it should have been 1.30 V for better stock efficiency.

    In the same spirit I think the SI GPUs should get lower stock voltages.. higher efficiency and still plenty of head room.
  • Onus - Tuesday, March 20, 2012 - link

    That was a constructive discussion on the overclocking comparison. I think it is meaningful if only because it adds another data point to the "index" we all maintain when working on configurations or contemplating upgrades. Overclocking may be extremely variable, but if all of a handful of tech sites get only a 5% OC, that tells something.
    The power usage figures of the new AMD cards look great, especially considering the performance. Now I just hope prices can come down some.
  • CeriseCogburn - Wednesday, March 21, 2012 - link

    They have the data to include a neutral type game with all the cards overclocked, and it would be helpful and easily repeatable, and the excuse that every new driver would need to be used is refuted by the entensive archive here where old drivers were used for extensive periods of time.
    It appears bias or laziness and excuses is the real answer.

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