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Buying a Radeon HD graphics card today (7870 or 7850). Things I should look out for?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I've decided to grab a new video card today. I'm currently running a Radeon HD 5450. Yes, I know.. it's old. I do not do gaming. I do however now score film to video, so I think I need a new card. My video playback is horrible. Hope the new card fixes it. (If not.. i'm returning it).

Current Specs:
i7 3820
ASUS P9X79
32 GB 1600MHz Ram
Samsung Pro 128GB SSD (OS)
San Disk Ultra 256GB SSD (holds the videos)
RME UCX (audio interface)

Next week I will have my i7 3930K reinstalled into my system. Very excited about that.



So.. i'm looking between the 7870 and 7850. I know absolutely NOTHING about video... and even less about video cards. But I need to learn since I'm scoring film. So I could use your help. I like buying from my local Micro Center. The prices are good, and I have the ability to pick up the same day (immediate satisfatction), and i can physically return items easily if necessary, without much hassle or fight.

So... to my understanding, there's not much difference between the 7870 and 7850 other than clock speed.

I see an open box item for an ASUS 7870, which is actually a few bucks less than a 7850, so i'm inclined to pull the trigger on it. But before I do that..... is there anything I should take into consideration about the 7870?

For example: The specs on Micro Center say the 7870 is DirectX10... whereas it says the specs for the 7850 are DirectX11. Should I be concerned about that? Or is that not even accurate?


Is there any way this could be a bad choice? Lol I'm nervous because of my lack of knowledge about video cards.
This is the one i'd be getting: http://www.microcenter.com/product/405812/HD7870-DC2-2GD5-V2_AMD_Radeon_HD_7870_2048MB_GDDR5_PCIe_30_x16_Video_Card


I can't afford any more than $220. That's my absolutel max. All of the threads I visited that were based on "7870 vs 7850" always end up recommending the 7950. I can not spend the extra money for a 7950.. and i will not be saving extra money for it. I do not do ANY gaming whatsoever. I just want something that can keep up with these videos i'm getting, without having to do all of these different codec adjusts and etc. I want to be able to "set it and forget it". I probably won't even overclock this thing b/c I don't know much about overclocking a video card... and i don't want to mess up my i7 overclock.

So yeah... any last minute help on my decision here before i pull the trigger would be much appreciated. And thanks to the folks who helped me out in my prior threads too! I've concinved myself i need to pull the trigger on a new card after speaking with some folks who saw dramatic improvements in my line of work from a good current video card. Now it's just a matter of ironing out the details.
post #2 of 6
Thread Starter 
Also... are the specs of the ASUS 7870 the same as say the MSI 7870 etc?

I'm going to stay away from the bargain brands like HIS and Diamond, b/c I want the fan quality of a more respected brand. But... between these respected brand, the SPECS seem to be likely different for the same card.

Should I be concerned about the SPEC sheets? Am I looking at them too closely? They don't really seem to be accurate. I see al ot of "N/A", which makes no sense to me.
post #3 of 6
Go for the cheapest HD 7870 you can find and OC the crap out of it, I'd recommend the Sapphire GHz one, it's currently going for $215 over at both Amazon and Newegg.

The HIS one actually has some pretty good scores all around, and it's going for only $199, but I know you're trying to stay away from certain manufacturers, I personally wouldn't have a problem with that, it depends on the card/cooler, and this HIS one seems pretty solid all around IMO: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814161404

And don't worry, all current video cards from both sides are DirectX11.
Edited by SlackerITGuy - 7/10/13 at 8:49am
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
If I OC it... what clock speeds could I expect?

1) I wouldn't be buying any extra cooling for it.

2) I care most about my CPU overclock, since I'm doing audio production. Would the GPU overclock effect the CPU core speeds? If so.. i'm likely to stay away from it. I tried to overclock my RAM and as a result my CPU clock seemed to suffer a little bit.
post #5 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by CPhoenix View Post

If I OC it... what clock speeds could I expect?

1) I wouldn't be buying any extra cooling for it.

2) I care most about my CPU overclock, since I'm doing audio production. Would the GPU overclock effect the CPU core speeds? If so.. i'm likely to stay away from it. I tried to overclock my RAM and as a result my CPU clock seemed to suffer a little bit.

I'm not sure if I'm the right person to answer this lol, I really have no idea what clock speeds could you expect out of either card, I actually read a couple of reviews on the Sapphire one, and both of them were able to get it stable at ~1200MHz, so that seems like a pretty good target for me.

And no, it won't have any effect on your CPU OC AFAIK.
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
New thread on this. i grabbed the 7870, could use some help getting the GPU clock to stick. Is this even possible if i'm not gaming? (This high performance mode note is ridiculous)

http://www.overclock.net/t/1408669/help-with-gpu-clock-of-radeon-7870-high-performance-mode-issue
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