Select any two GPUs for comparison
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Gaming Performance Comparison

Recommended System Requirements
Game Radeon R9 290 XFX Black Edition Radeon HD 7870 PCS+ Vortex II Edition
Cyberpunk 2077 19% 103%
Assassins Creed: Valhalla 9% 86%
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War 6% 80%
FIFA 21 40% 2%
Microsoft Flight Simulator 6% 80%
Watch Dogs Legion 15% 96%
World of Warcraft: Shadowlands 71% 191%
Grand Theft Auto VI 68% 186%
Horizon: Zero Dawn 13% 92%
Genshin Impact 19% 103%

In terms of overall gaming performance, the graphical capabilities of the AMD Radeon R9 290 XFX Black Edition are significantly better than the AMD Radeon HD 7870 PCS+ Vortex II Edition.

The HD 7870 has a 170 MHz higher core clock speed than the R9 290, but the R9 290 has 80 more Texture Mapping Units than the HD 7870. As a result, the R9 290 exhibits a 64.8 GTexel/s better Texture Fill Rate than the HD 7870. This still holds weight but shader performance is generally more relevant, particularly since both of these GPUs support at least DirectX 10.

The HD 7870 has a 170 MHz higher core clock speed than the R9 290, but the R9 290 has 32 more Render Output Units than the HD 7870. As a result, the R9 290 exhibits a 25.9 GPixel/s better Pixel Fill Rate than the HD 7870. However, both GPUs support DirectX 9 or above, and pixeling performance is only really relevant when comparing older cards.

The R9 290 was released over a year more recently than the HD 7870, and so the R9 290 is likely to have better driver support, meaning it will be more optimized for running the latest games when compared to the HD 7870.

Both GPUs exhibit very powerful performance, so it probably isn't worth upgrading from one to the other, as both are capable of running even the most demanding games at the highest settings.

The R9 290 has 2048 MB more video memory than the HD 7870, so is likely to be much better at displaying game textures at higher resolutions. This is supported by the fact that the R9 290 also has superior memory performance overall.

The R9 290 has 160 GB/sec greater memory bandwidth than the HD 7870, which means that the memory performance of the R9 290 is massively better than the HD 7870.

The Radeon R9 290 XFX Black Edition has 2560 Shader Processing Units and the Radeon HD 7870 PCS+ Vortex II Edition has 1280. However, the actual shader performance of the R9 290 is 2132 and the actual shader performance of the HD 7870 is 1251. The R9 290 having 881 better shader performance and an altogether better performance when taking into account other relevant data means that the R9 290 delivers a massively smoother and more efficient experience when processing graphical data than the HD 7870.

The Radeon R9 290 XFX Black Edition requires 250 Watts to run but there is no entry for the Radeon HD 7870 PCS+ Vortex II Edition. We would recommend a PSU with at least 750 Watts for the R9 290 and a PSU with at least 500 Watts for the HD 7870. The R9 290 has been recommended a PSU with 250 Watts more than the HD 7870. The difference is significant enough that the R9 290 may have an adverse affect on your yearly electricity bills in comparison to the HD 7870.

Game FPS Benchmarks On Ultra

GPU Architecture

Core Speed980 MHzvs1150 MHz
Boost Clock-vs-
ArchitectureGCN 1.1 Hawaii PROGCN 1.0 Pitcairn XT
OC Potential Poor vs Poor
Driver Support Great vs Good
Release Date05 Nov 2013vs01 Sep 2012
GPU LinkGD LinkGD Link
Approved
Comparison

Resolution Performance

1366x768
10
green tick vs -
1600x900
10
green tick vs
9.5
1920x1080
9.6
green tick vs
7.5
2560x1440
7.3
green tick vs
5.5
3840x2160
5.6
green tick vs
3.9

GPU Memory

Memory4096 MBvs2048 MB
Memory Speed1250 MHzvs1250 MHz
Memory Bus512 Bitvs256 Bit
Memory TypeGDDR5vsGDDR5
Memory Bandwidth320GB/secvs160GB/sec
L2 Cache 1024 KB green tick vs 512 KB
Delta Color Compression no vs no
Memory Performance 0% green tick vs green tick 0%
Comparison

GPU Display

Shader Processing Units2560vs1280
Actual Shader Performance100%vs60%
Technology28nmvs28nm
Texture Mapping Units160vs80
Texture Rate156.8 GTexel/svs92 GTexel/s
Render Output Units64vs32
Pixel Rate62.7 GPixel/svs36.8 GPixel/s
Comparison

GPU Outputs

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

GPU Power Requirements

Max Power250 Watts-
Recommended PSU750 Wattsvs500 Watts

GPU Features

DirectX12.0vs12.0
Shader Model5.0vs5.0
Open GL4.4vs4.4
Open CL-vs-
Notebook GPUnono
SLI/Crossfireyesvsyes
Dedicatedyesvsyes
Comparison

GPU Supporting Hardware

Recommended ProcessorIntel Core i7-4770K 4-Core 3.5GHzvsIntel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz
Recommended RAM8 GBvs8 GB
Maximum Recommended Gaming Resolution2560x1440vs1920x1080

Gaming Performance Value

Performance Value

GPU Mini Review

Mini ReviewRadeon R9 290 XFX Black Edition is a special edition of the high-end Radeon R9 290.
This edition features a custom cooling solution and comes overclocked out of the box in the central unit which was increased from 947MHz to 980MHz.
Benchmarks indicate a 1% performance boost over the reference card.
Radeon HD 7870 PCS+ Vortex II Edition is a special edition of Radeon HD 7870.
This is one of today's most powerful editions of the reference as it features increases in both the core and memory clocks that went from 1000MHz to 1150MHz and from 1200MHz to 1250MHz.
Benchmarks indicate the performance boost is quite extreme and around 8% when compared to the reference Radeon HD 7870.
Recommended CPU
Possible GPU Upgrades
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GPU Variants
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