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Gaming Performance Comparison

Recommended System Requirements
Game Radeon HD 7970 PowerColor OC Edition Radeon HD 7850 XFX Core Edition
Halo: Reach 52% 18%
Cyberpunk 2077 107% 254%
Red Dead Redemption 2 51% 158%
Dragon Ball Z Kakarot 7% 59%
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 51% 158%
Doom Eternal 29% 122%
Microsoft Flight Simulator 107% 254%
Grand Theft Auto VI 130% 294%
FIFA 20 20% 37%
Need For Speed Heat 51% 158%

In terms of overall gaming performance, the graphical capabilities of the AMD Radeon HD 7970 PowerColor OC Edition are significantly better than the AMD Radeon HD 7850 XFX Core Edition.

The HD 7970 has a 95 MHz higher core clock speed and 64 more Texture Mapping Units than the HD 7850. This results in the HD 7970 providing 67.2 GTexel/s better texturing performance. This still holds weight but shader performance is generally more relevant, particularly since both of these GPUs support at least DirectX 10.

The HD 7970 has a 95 MHz higher core clock speed than the HD 7850 and the same number of Render Output Units. This results in the HD 7970 providing 3.1 GPixel/s better pixeling performance. However, both GPUs support DirectX 9 or above, and pixeling performance is only really relevant when comparing older cards.

The HD 7850 was released less than a year after the HD 7970, and so they are likely to have similar driver support for optimizing performance when running the latest games.

The HD 7970 has 2048 MB more video memory than the HD 7850, so is likely to be much better at displaying game textures at higher resolutions. This is supported by the fact that the HD 7970 also has superior memory performance overall.

The HD 7970 has 104 GB/sec greater memory bandwidth than the HD 7850, which means that the memory performance of the HD 7970 is massively better than the HD 7850.

The Radeon HD 7970 PowerColor OC Edition has 2048 Shader Processing Units and the Radeon HD 7850 XFX Core Edition has 1024. However, the actual shader performance of the HD 7970 is 1662 and the actual shader performance of the HD 7850 is 749. The HD 7970 having 913 better shader performance and an altogether better performance when taking into account other relevant data means that the HD 7970 delivers a massively smoother and more efficient experience when processing graphical data than the HD 7850.

We would recommend a PSU with at least 500 Watts for the HD 7970 and a PSU with at least 500 Watts for the HD 7850. The two GPUs have been recommended a PSU with the same amount of wattage. As such, there is no need to worry about which will more significantly affect your yearly electricity bills.

Game FPS Benchmarks On Ultra

GPU Architecture

Core Speed955 MHzvs860 MHz
Boost Clock-vs-
ArchitectureGCN 1.0 Tahiti XTGCN 1.0 Pitcairn PRO
OC Potential Fair vs Good
Driver Support Good vs Good
Release Date01 Feb 2012vs01 Mar 2012
GPU LinkGD LinkGD Link

Resolution Performance

1366x768 - green tick vs green tick -
green tick vs
green tick vs
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GPU Memory

Memory3072 MBvs1024 MB
Memory Speed1375 MHzvs1250 MHz
Memory Bus384 Bitvs256 Bit
Memory TypeGDDR5vsGDDR5
Memory Bandwidth264GB/secvs160GB/sec
L2 Cache 768 KB green tick vs 512 KB
Delta Color Compression no vs no
Memory Performance 0% green tick vs green tick 0%

GPU Display

Shader Processing Units2048vs1024
Actual Shader Performance80%vs36%
Texture Mapping Units128vs64
Texture Rate122.2 GTexel/svs55 GTexel/s
Render Output Units32vs32
Pixel Rate30.6 GPixel/svs27.5 GPixel/s

GPU Outputs

Max Digital Resolution (WxH)4096x2160vs4096x2160
VGA Connections0vs0
DVI Connections2vs2
HDMI Connections1vs1
DisplayPort Connections-vs-

GPU Power Requirements

Max Power--
Recommended PSU500 Wattsvs500 Watts

GPU Features

Shader Model5.0vs5.0
Open GL4.4vs4.4
Open CL-vs-
Notebook GPUnono

GPU Supporting Hardware

Recommended ProcessorIntel Core i5-2500K 3.3GHzvsIntel Core i5-3330 3.0GHz
Recommended RAM8 GBvs8 GB
Maximum Recommended Gaming Resolution1920x1080vs1920x1080

Gaming Performance Value

Performance Value

GPU Mini Review

Mini ReviewRadeon HD 7970 PowerColor OC Edition is a special Edition of the Radeon HD 7970. See the page of the standard edition for more information.
It features overclocking out of the box in the core-clock which went from 925MHz to 955MHz.
Benchmarks indicate a 1.5% performance boost when compared to the standard Radeon HD 7970.
Radeon HD 7850 XFX Core Edition is a special edition of the powerful Radeon HD 7850. See the standard version for more information about it.
This edition features a special cooling system that allows twice as much heat dissipation when compared to the reference AMD cooling system but its performance is still the same, as there's no over-clocking out of the box.
Recommended CPU
Possible GPU Upgrades
GPU Variants