titleYesterday we took a look at the XFX R7870 Black Edition OC and really liked it. It seemed to fall into a nice sweet spot between price and performance. Today we are going to take a look at what looks to be the same card but bring the R7850 not the R7870, there are a few key differences. There are major differences in both power usage and compute performance between the two cards. I am really curious how this will translate to the performance and ultimately the price/performance that make the R7870 an idea card to pick up.  Will the R7850 be an even better deal or a card to pass on?

Product Name: XFX R7850 Black Edition OC

Review Sample Provided by: XFX

Review by: Wes

Pictures by: Wes

AMD HD 7870 and HD 7850 Reference Specifications




Processor & Bus

Chipset version

ATI Radeon HD 7850

GPU Clock

975 MHz


Memory Bus

256 bit

Memory Clock

5.0 GHz

Memory Size

2 GB

Memory Type


Feature Technologies

AMD Eyefinity Technology


AMD HD3D Technology


AMD - CrossFire ready


Display Output

HDMI Ready


Max Supported Resolution (ANALOG)

2048 x 1536

Max Supported Resolution (DIGITAL)

2560 x 1600

Output - DL-DVI-I


Output - HDMI


Output - mini DP


Output - SL-DVI-D


Dual link Support


Display Port ready



Card Dimension (cm)

24.1 x 11.12 x 3.81

Card Dimension (inch)

9.5 x 4.4 x 1.5

Card Profile


Package Dimensions (cm)

32.1 x 16 x 9.8

Package Dimensions (inch)

12.6 x 6.3 x 3.9

Package Weight (lb)

2.76 est.

Thermal Solution


Thermal Type

Dual slot


Promotional Bundles:PSU Cross Marketing Insert

Quick Installation Guide:1

XFX Serial Number Door Hanger :1

XFX BE badge:1

Installation CD with Multi-Language User Guide:1

Cross Fire Bridge:1

Driver CD Installation Guide:1


External Power - 6-Pins:2

Minimum Power Supply Requirement:500 watt

XFX Recommended Power Supply:XFX 650W PSU


Customers may have a little trouble distinguishing between the different 7xxx series from XFX. Aside from a few minor font differences and of course model name itself, the packaging is practically identical. We usually see wider, elongated box with video cards; the current family of cards feature a taller box much closer the actual dimensions of the card. Other manufactures typically use the extra space for accessories and insert, XFX has still managed to pack quite a bit.

The box is littered with information, from screenshot comparison to feature badges, and even has a nice output diagram that can be used to ensure the card you're buying will have your desired port. As you put the card in your cart, you'll be further convinced you made the right choice with a collection of XFX's review awards, enjoying the company of LanOC Reviews' Editor's Choice and Top Honors awards.

Inside we see the space management XFX has engineered, the card itself secured in an anti-static bag and tucked under an cardboard insert that houses a plethora of extras, including install guides, warranty information, product catalogs, a unique Do Not Disturb doorhanger with the card's serial number and tech support information, a metal case badge, and a Crossfire bridge.

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Card Layout and Photos

From the outside there isn’t anything that makes the R7850 stand apart from the R7870 other than the obvious name on the top. They went with the same cooler and PCB. Not that there is a problem with that. The fact is the Double Dissipation heatsink XFX is using is the best looking cooling solution on the market. These cards are dead sexy! The entire cooler is made out of aluminum and the black strip does a great job of accenting the raised and machined rings around the fans and the XFX logo in the middle.

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Up top you have full view of the red strip across the card made out of aluminum. Not only is this perfect for a case modder to color to match his theme, but it’s also one of the only parts of the card you will see in most cases. Because of that its great to see that it looks better than the typical plastic shroud that we normally would see.

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With power requirements even lower than the R7870, the R7850 still has the same two 6 pin connections. This may seem a little odd to those of you who have seen reference HD 7850’s as they only have a single 6 pin header. Like I said before the two cards look identical. The R7850 is running on a very similar or the same PCB as its bigger brother, something that the reference card did NOT do.  

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Such a sexy card

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A peak at the back PCB. I love that they went with black as it matches the look with the Double Dissipation heatsink. But as you can see, this is much longer than a standard HD 7850 PCB also.

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For the back PCI slots the R7850 has two DVI connections, one HDMI, and two mini display ports. It’s always nice to see the two DVI ports as some are starting to move over to one with an HDMI to DVI adapter. For ventilation the XFX logo is cut out and according to XFX this actually flows more than a stock vent.

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Our Test Rig

Intel i7-3960X

Asus Rampage IV X79 Motherboard 

Seagate Constellation 2tb Hard drive 

Noctua NH-D14 SE2011

Cooler Master Gold Series 1200 Watt PSU

https://www.highspeedpc.com/ Test Bench

Kingston 1600Mhz DDR3 Quad Channel Ram

Kingston Hyper X 120 SSD’s in Raid 0

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Our Testing Procedures

Battlefield Bad Company 2 (1920x1080 – high settings, first scene starting after the cut scene, recorded using fraps)
Dirt 2 (1920x1080 – 4x MSAA – high settings, in-game benchmark)
Dirt 3 (192x1080 - 4xMSAA - high settings, in-game benchmark)
Metro 2033 DX11 (built-in benchmark, 1920 x 1080; DirectX: DirectX 11; Quality: Very High; Antialiasing: MSAA 4X; Texture filtering: AF 4X; Advanced PhysX: Enabled; Tessellation: Enabled; DOF: Disabled)
Metro 2033 DX10 (built-in benchmark, 1920 x 1080; DirectX: DirectX 10; Quality: Very High; Antialiasing: MSAA 4X; Texture filtering: AF 4X; Advanced PhysX: Enabled; Tessellation: Enabled; DOF: Disabled)
Total War: Shogun 2 Direct X11 Benchmark High setting

Crysis 2 Using Adrenaline Crysis 2 benchmark two runs. The first set of runs set to ultra-settings, 1080p, 4x Anti-Aliasing, DX11, Laplace Edge Detection Edge AA, on the Times Square map, with hi res textures turned on. The second benchmark set to Xtreme at 1080p, no AA, DX9, Edge Blur, Hi-Res Textures turned off on the Times Square Map.

Battlefield 3 Using Fraps with the game set to Ultra settings with 4x MSAA Antialiasing Deferred, 16X Anisotropic Filter, at 1920x1080.

Synthetic Benchmarks For video cards our synthetic benchmarks are limited to 3DMark Vantage and 3DMark Vantage 2011. 3DMark Vantage is run with PPU turned off with results from both the performance and high settings. In 3DMark Vantage 2011 we run both performance and extreme benchmarks

FurMark We use Furmark to push the video card to the limit and test its cooling performance. Keep in mind that FurMark pushes cards well beyond what they would ever do in game. Our tests are done using the built in 1080p benchmark.


Cooling and Noise

Most of you saw the performance of the R7870’s cooling yesterday. The R7850 uses the exact same cooling setup but uses less wattage also. That means a lower overall heat output and hopefully much better temperatures. To put things to the test we ran the card through Furmark’s 1080p benchmark. This heats the card up beyond what you would ever see in game and pushes everything to the limit. As you can see the results are amazing. The massive cooling of the R7850 was very impressive keeping the card below a whopping 56 degree’s. Not bad for an overclocked card, or any card for that matter! Because of how little the card really heats up there isn’t any reason for the card to put out any noise at all. On our open air test bench I only heard a slight noise that never got any louder during testing.

wm furmark



Its bigger brother beat out the GTX 580 slightly, that is obviously not going to happen here. But where does the R7850 stand? Well it comes in just over the HD 6970, the same card that up until a few months ago was AMD’s flagship single gpu solution. From the Nvidia side of things the R6850 performs just beyond what we saw with our two 550 Ti’s in SLI. The results are consistent all the way across both 3DMark 11 and Vantage, also between performance and extreme/high settings.

wm 3dmark11perf

wm 3dmark11extreme

wm 3dmarkvantageperf

wm 3dmarkvantagehigh


In Game Performance

Even in Crysis 2 with the Ultra textures turned on we saw performance that most would consider playable. Even Battlefield is getting playable frames, although not the near perfect 60 that we saw from the R7870. Even if you wanted a flat 60 FPS it would just be a matter of turning down the settings slightly or in the case of Crysis 2, just turning off the ultra-texture pack should do it or MSAA X4.

wm bf3

wm bfbc2

wm crysis2dx9

wm crysis2dx11

wm dirt2

wm dirt3

wm metro2033

wm metro2033dx10

wm shogun2


Overall and FV

Once again we are back to comparing the amount of performance we get to the price of the R7850 and its competition. Why is that? Well at the end of the day the R7850’s performance put you at playable levels in every current game, only needing to even worry about settings on just a few games to get more than 60 FPS. So what does XFX’s overclocked overcooled R7850 cost? It comes in with a MSRP of $279.99 putting it under even the discounted HD 6970’s that it out performs and WELL below the GTX 580 that it’s not far behind. So did the R7850 maintain the nice price to performance ratio that we loved? Without a doubt it it maintains that value, only giving a good value to people who are looking to spend less. At $279.99 it really is about as low as you can go without having to give up performance on today’s games at 1080p.


Author Bio
Author: garfi3ldWebsite: https://lanoc.org
You might call him obsessed or just a hardcore geek. Wes's obsession with gaming hardware and gadgets isn't anything new, he could be found taking things apart even as a child. When not poking around in PC's he can be found playing League of Legends, Awesomenauts, or Civilization 5 or watching a wide variety of TV shows and Movies. A car guy at heart, the same things that draw him into tweaking cars apply when building good looking fast computers. If you are interested in writing for Wes here at LanOC you can reach out to him directly using our contact form.

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garfi3ld's Avatar
garfi3ld replied the topic: #24060 21 Mar 2012 18:58
XFX R7850 Black Edition Overclocked Double Dissipation for your pre LAN enjoyment
Myndmelt's Avatar
Myndmelt replied the topic: #24061 21 Mar 2012 19:19
Whyz it alwayz gottda be da "black" edition?
garfi3ld's Avatar
garfi3ld replied the topic: #24064 21 Mar 2012 19:43
No one wants to send out the reference designs because all of the company's sell them. XFX always sends out their best version to us.

But yeah, its funny when you look at the graphs with all of the Black Editions

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