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PowerColor Radeon HD 7850 PCS+ Review

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PowerColor Radeon HD 7850 PCS+ Testing:

Testing of Powercolors HD 7850 PCS+ will consist of running it and comparison cards through the OverclockersClub.com suite of games and synthetic benchmarks. This will test the performance against many popular competitors. Comparisons will be made to cards of a range of capabilities to show where each card falls on the performance ladder. The games used are some of today's newest and most popular titles, which should be able to provide an idea of how the cards perform relative to each other.

The system specifications will remain the same throughout the testing. No adjustments will be made to the respective control panels during the testing to approximate the performance the end user can expect with a stock driver installation. I will first test the cards at stock speeds, and then overclocked to see the effects of an increase in clock speed. The cards will be placed in order from highest to lowest performance in each graph to show where they fall by comparison. The NVIDIA comparison cards including the GTX 650Ti Boost  will be using the 314.21 beta drivers. AMD-based cards will be using the Catalyst 13.1 drivers and latest CAP profile with the exception of the HD 7790 which will use the release press evaluation driver.


Testing Setup:


Comparison Video Cards:




  • PowerColor HD 7850 PCS+: Core 1235Hz, Memory 1400MHz

Overclocking PowerColor's HD 7850 PCS+ is much like overclocking any of the 7XXX series of Southern Islands GCN core-based video cards as it relates strictly to overclocking. Each core and memory combination is going to to have its limits. First off using PowerColor's Powerup Tuner utility limited the clock speed on the core to a maximum of 1050MHz on the core and 1425MHz on the GDDR5 memory. Having seen speeds in excess of 1200MHz on just about every GCN card I have tested, I felt this was a bit low and moved to a different utility that allowed a higher core clock on the core. Sapphire's TriXX utility was able to deliver this added clock speed and allowed the clock speed on the core to scale well up and over the 1200MHz mark. A 235MHz boost in GPU speed is worth the added work to get there in this case. The Elpida-based memory was not as flexible when it came to overclocking with a maximum of 1400MHz stable. The memory clock speeds were not able to overclock high enough to really add a significant amount of memory bandwidth to help the benchmarking scores. Even so they still managed to improve by 175MHz.


Maximum Clock Speeds:

Testing for the maximum clock speed consisted of looping Unigine Heaven 4.0 for 30 minutes each to see where the clock speeds failed when pushed. If the clock speed adjustment failed, then the clock speeds and tests were rerun until they passed a full hour of testing.



  • Gaming Tests:
  1. Metro 2033
  2. Crysis 3
  3. Batman: Arkham City
  4. Battlefield 3
  5. Unigine Heaven Benchmark 4.0
  6. Unigine Valley 1.0
  7. Sid Meier's Civilization V
  8. DiRT 3
  9. Far Cry 3
  10. 3DMark


  • Usage:

  1. Temperatures
  2. Power Consumption

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