AMD has definitely been promoting the overclocking capabilities of the Radeon HD 7000 series and it has been able to live up to its claims so far.  With the new Pitcarin GPU AMD showed us (and you) slides showing the overclocked HD 7870 capable of competing with the GTX 580 and the overclocked HD 7850 beating the GTX 570.  We did some overclocking testing to see if it lived up to expectations.  

Our reference Radeon HD 7870 2GB card was able to run at 1200 MHz, a solid 20% boost over the reference speed of 1000 MHz.  

The result – a 3DMark11 score of 7218, nearly 10% higher than the reference performance result.  The GTX 580 stock result was 6831, so indeed, the overclocked HD 7870 was able to beat out the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580 by 5%.

Our HD 7850 card that comes with a reference clock of 860 MHz was able to hit a clock speed of 1050 MHz – a boost of 22%!

Performance jumps from 5497 up to 6231, an increase of about 14%.  Compare that to the reference GTX 570 result of 6422 and we find that HD 7850 can ALMOST match it. 

Obviously, as with all graphics cards, there is performance to be gained for almost free if you are willing to overclock.  Our overclocking testing was a simple as it got – set the clock speed via MSI’s Afterburner application and run a loop of 3DMark11 and Battlefield 3 to make sure its stable.  Once we start seeing voltage adjustment options we will likely be able to get even more out of Pitcairn.

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