AMD Radeon 7870 and 7850 cards debuted

AMD has launched two new cards to the 7000 series lineup, the 7870 and 7850 with partners debuting several different variants.

Available for pre-order at most mainstream retailers, the cards come sporting the new Graphics Core Next Architecture which is built upon the impressive 28nm process which has already shown serious gains in performance over last generation graphics processing units (GPU).

The stock versions of these cards both come with 2GB of GDDR5 memory and will support PCIexpress 3.0 and the latest version of AMD's Eyefinity 2.0 technology. The 7870 GHZ edition comes with a 1000MHz core clock, while the memory is clocked at 1200MHz. The 7850 is a little more modest, with the core clocking in at 860MHz. Memory speed however is the same as its bigger brother at 1200MHz.

Each of the main manufacturers have been showing off their own versions of the cards, alongside the stock variants, most with different cooling options and tweaked factory clocks. Club3D is using its 'CoolStream' cooler which uses "high performance heatpipes" to reduce temperatures and therefore allow for potentially higher overclocks.This is available for both the 7870 and 7850 models.

MSI is doing something similar, though its version is known as Twin Frozr. These cards use two fans instead of one, which according to the release reduces noise output by 9 decibels, and drops temperatures by 15 degrees C. It also claims to improve overclocking performance by up to 20 per cent, but we'll have to wait for the reviews to test that claim.

Asus has gone the direct connect route, meaning the heatpipes themselves contact the core. Also using a twin fan setup, Asus claims that this allows its versions of the 7800 cards to operate with a 20 per cent reduction in temperature and a 10 decibel drop in noise levels.

Other manufacturers that have their own versions include: Diamond, Gigabyte, HIS, Powercolor, Sapphire, VisionTek and XFX.