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MSI Radeon HD 7850 1GB review

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Spreadie 5th November 2012, 09:58 Quote
It does look like a proper bargain - although I expected it to run into memory problems, and get shaded by the 2GB model, even at 1920x1080.

What is even more surprising is the 15% performance gain from overclocking!
TheDodoKiller 5th November 2012, 10:35 Quote
Stonking value.

I think for a while, there was a general lack of decent mid range cards, and the 650 & 650ti didn't exactly help.

What's Nvidia going to do now? 650ti 888? Goodness knows.

Mind you, the amount of staff being laid off at AMD isn't something to be proud of. Hopefully they can pick it back up with Piledriver and the 8XXX Series.

(I do think AM3+ needs to be gone, though. It's a limiting factor)
yanglu 5th November 2012, 10:42 Quote
Why are you testing with Catalyst 12.8???

Using Catalyst 12.11 would give another 10% boost in performance...
Shirty 5th November 2012, 11:02 Quote
Hmm. Do I sell the 670 on the marketplace and buy this, using the proceeds for a new pair of lenses of my Oakleys, or do I sit tight knowing the 670 will probably buy me another year of gaming after the 7850 is no longer good enough?
Spreadie 5th November 2012, 11:08 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shirty
Hmm. Do I sell the 670 on the marketplace and buy this, using the proceeds for a new pair of lenses of my Oakleys, or do I sit tight knowing the 670 will probably buy me another year of gaming after the 7850 is no longer good enough?

I reckon your 670 will for last years at 19x10.
Shirty 5th November 2012, 11:11 Quote
I reckon it'll still be playing most things on high in 2015 :D

The 7850 will probably start to get left behind in the next 12-18 months.

Problem is that all I'm playing at the moment is Torchlight 2, so the 670 feels a bit wasted...
Bloodburgers 5th November 2012, 11:16 Quote
Really good timing on the review have been weighing up a replacement for my HD4870 went to go play Arkham city on full on my 40" and it started to show its age.

Although if you could pick up a ASUS RADEON HD 7870 2GB DIRECTCU II for £180 what would be the best option?
Baz 5th November 2012, 11:35 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by yanglu
Why are you testing with Catalyst 12.8???

Using Catalyst 12.11 would give another 10% boost in performance...

Because re-testing 20 graphics cards everytime Nvidia and AMD get into a driver argument would mean we'd never stop benchmarking GPUs. We think it's more useful to see the whole market in our graphs, not just 2 or 3 comparable cards.
Baz 5th November 2012, 11:36 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shirty
Hmm. Do I sell the 670 on the marketplace and buy this, using the proceeds for a new pair of lenses of my Oakleys, or do I sit tight knowing the 670 will probably buy me another year of gaming after the 7850 is no longer good enough?

Sit on the 670; great card, will age very well.
Shirty 5th November 2012, 11:45 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baz
Sit on the 670; great card, will age very well.

;) I thought that would be the general consensus. Problem is I'm not ageing very well, so good sunglasses are a must :p
Hustler 5th November 2012, 11:50 Quote
The BF3 results surprise me, I've seen benchmarks with Vram usage at over 1.5Gb on the settings used in your tests.
Kodongo 5th November 2012, 12:06 Quote
I don't actually have this exact card, I have the MSi 7850 2GB Power Edition. For that card, I found that I was initially unable to overvolt at all either.

The resolution is to download MSi Afterburner 2.2.1 - emphasis on the version - and keep a copy of the file 'atipdlxx.dll'. Then once you update Afterburner to the latest version, just drop the 'atipdlxx.dll' copy in the install folder. After a reboot, you should be able to overvolt all the way 1300mV and overclock past 1050MHz assuming you have enabled the unofficial overclocking.

I would be really interested to see if MSi has actually locked this card from overvolting or whether the steps above would unlock overvoltage. If this card could get to 1250MHz with a slight voltage bump, its value becomes that much greater.

With regards to the 1GB not being limiting, I have noticed when games like Crysis 2 at 1080p with the second highest settings and 4xAA, my card ends up using 1.9GB of memory. Even a relatively simple game like F1 2012 maxed out at 1080p uses 950MB. Maybe there is some kind of dynamic memory management whereby the games loads more things into graphics memory only if it's available.
Baz 5th November 2012, 12:37 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kodongo
I don't actually have this exact card, I have the MSi 7850 2GB Power Edition. For that card, I found that I was initially unable to overvolt at all either.

The resolution is to download MSi Afterburner 2.2.1 - emphasis on the version - and keep a copy of the file 'atipdlxx.dll'. Then once you update Afterburner to the latest version, just drop the 'atipdlxx.dll' copy in the install folder. After a reboot, you should be able to overvolt all the way 1300mV and overclock past 1050MHz assuming you have enabled the unofficial overclocking.

I would be really interested to see if MSi has actually locked this card from overvolting or whether the steps above would unlock overvoltage. If this card could get to 1250MHz with a slight voltage bump, its value becomes that much greater.

With regards to the 1GB not being limiting, I have noticed when games like Crysis 2 at 1080p with the second highest settings and 4xAA, my card ends up using 1.9GB of memory. Even a relatively simple game like F1 2012 maxed out at 1080p uses 950MB. Maybe there is some kind of dynamic memory management whereby the games loads more things into graphics memory only if it's available.

I think it's similar to having 4GB vs 8GB of DDR3 system memory. If it's there, the system will use it, but when it's not allowances are made to negate any tangible drop in performance. We test Crysis 2 at the ultra settings with high-res textures and DX11, so if it's ever going to get limited, those would be the settings to do so.
lepre 5th November 2012, 12:45 Quote
I ordered this card yesterday evening. The review was somehow relieving for the choice. :)
rollo 5th November 2012, 13:00 Quote
As i and others have said before at 1920x1080 1gb 2gb frame buffer will never be the limit to your gpus performance it will just be sheer grunt or lack of as the case maybe.

Where the 2gb frame buffer would help is above that rez but this card will never run those resolutions so the extra 1gb does crap all, The tests I have run and others on this forum proved you got the same fps with 2gb or 4gb when we were comparing the 680s to each other. Till you go into multimonitor resolutions then things change.
MrJay 5th November 2012, 13:23 Quote
Some comparison against the 6850 would be nice : )
Spreadie 5th November 2012, 13:27 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrJay
Some comparison against the 6850 would be nice : )
Well, seeing as there was nothing between the 1GB and 2GB models at 19x10, this should give you a pretty good idea.
stupido 5th November 2012, 13:30 Quote
+1 to the above...
because 6850 & 7850 are just generation apart...
MrJay 5th November 2012, 14:01 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spreadie
Well, seeing as there was nothing between the 1GB and 2GB models at 19x10, this should give you a pretty good idea.

Cheers for the link, very useful : )
Quote:
Originally Posted by stupido
+1 to the above...
because 6850 & 7850 are just generation apart...

I only ask because the Sapphire 6850 i have is a cracking card, Just the right amout of power draw for me, however is getting on a bit now.

So its only logical if im looking for an upgrade in the same 'Package' first place id look would be the next gen verson of that same card (Yes i know its a different process and double the memory).

Judging buy link

It gives a marked increse in performance for the same wattage...
Matticus 5th November 2012, 14:09 Quote
Looks to be a very nice upgrade from my 5850. If my gaming choices and technology don't change much it should last me a few years too. I game at 1080 and other than Borderlands 2, and the odd shooter I have mainly been playing stuff like Limbo and FTL.

Though I am still tempted to wait it out for the next generation, purely because my 5850 still does everything I want, we will see how long that lasts...
Domestic_ginger 5th November 2012, 16:31 Quote
RE:overvolting. Would be interesting to know what voltage controller the card uses.

Kodongo; Trixx as well requires those two files AMD seem surplus to requirements from modern driver packs.
Tomrh99 5th November 2012, 16:51 Quote
I kind of wish these had 2 dvi ports... I have a spare vga monitor that would benefit from a dvi to vga port on a spare dvi port... Oh well, I can find a cheap adaptor for the price I can save on getting this rather than the 2 dvi 2gb version from saphire.
Anfield 5th November 2012, 17:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hustler
The BF3 results surprise me, I've seen benchmarks with Vram usage at over 1.5Gb on the settings used in your tests.

There are two big unanswered questions on that though:

How reliable is the software measuring vram use?
Secondly, What assurance is there that BF3 doesn't deal with cards that have different amounts of memory in different ways?


Anyway, back to topic, the 1GB versions of the 7850 sure are nice little budget cards for htpcs / light gaming and unlike the budge nvidia cards are even affordable for the performance.
bawjaws 5th November 2012, 21:34 Quote
Interesting to see that 1GB and 2GB cards perform identically at 1920 x 1080. I'd suspected as much, but it's good to see confirmation. Makes this card very tempting indeed - I'm in need of a new card to replace my recently deceased MSI 8800GT and this looks just the ticket :D
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