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Graphics A bit of fun - HD7850 1GB meets Eyefinity

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by xaser04, 21 Jan 2014.

  1. xaser04

    xaser04 Ba Ba Ba BANANA!

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    Hi all,

    Let me start this thread off my stating that the following benchmarks are a bit of fun. Whilst the performance shown reflects the performance experienced in all of the games tested, I am not suggesting anyone should use this as a purchashing decider.

    Back Story: (please skip if you just want to laugh (or maybe not?!) at the benchmarks)

    I recently built my wife a little gaming pc as she loves playing Left for Dead (1 & 2) via co-op, and since getting rid of my main system this was no longer possible. I had some parts left over from that build (case, psu, DVD-RW, RAM, HD & SSD), and running with a very strict £300 budget I put together the following:

    - Fractal Design Define R3
    - Thermaltake Toughpower XT675
    - Asus A88X-A FM2+
    - AMD Athlon II X4 760K (Richland) - clocked to 4.2Ghz on all four cores
    - Antec Kuhler 620
    - 4GB DDR3 1600MT/s @ 9-9-9-24 1T
    - MSI HD7850 1GB
    - Crucial C300 64GB boot drive
    - 500GB HD (Steam)
    - DVD-RW
    - Win 8.1 x64

    Overall it is a nice little system. It runs cool and quiet and handles everything my wife wants to play without an issue - and more as we will see below ;).

    If you were to build this system brand new it would run to around £450 all in. Again not bad for something that will easily handle 1080p medium / high settings in all current games.

    Anyway my wife is now happy with the system but I am wondering, will it be able to handle Eyefinity in a number of titles I have to hand (read: installed)?

    Let's find out....


    The Benchmarks

    Test Setup

    - Athlon X4 760K @ 4.2Ghz QC
    - 4GB DDR3 1600MT/s
    - MSI HD7850 @ 860/4800 Stock & 1000/5200 OC
    - C300 SSD
    - 3 x LG IPS231P monitors @ 5888x1080 (Bezel corrected)

    - Windows 8.1 x64

    Games Tested

    Battlefied 3 - Medium settings - 5 minute playthrough of Operation Swordbreaker, starting once you leave APC
    Left For Dead 2 - Max in game settings with 4xMSAA - 3 minute playthrough of Hard Rain - Return to town
    Dishonoured - High in game settings with MLAA - 3 minute playthrough of Distillery District
    Just Cause 2 - Max in game settings with 2xMSAA - In game benchmark "The Dark Tower"

    Note - the colour coding is reversed on the FPS over time graphs. This was something I had meant to of changed last night but forgot.

    Battlefied 3

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    With a mild OC on the HD7850 this is suprisingly playable. If I were to max out the OC to say 1200/5500 this would be breaking through the 50FPS average mark. Memory usage was in the high 800's meaning the card had no issue running at these settings.

    Unsuprisingly turning the textures up to high made the game completely unplayable. The FPS counter was reading in the 30's but it was a stuttery mess. Interestingly though the memory read out didn't go above 1000MB. I am assuming that there was a lot of caching going on in the background preventing a breach but the game was requiring more VRAM than the card has.

    Left For Dead 2

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Absolutely maxed out Left For Dead 2 runs beautifully on the HD7850 1GB. No VRAM issues, no stuttering, just buttery smooth infected killing action. This is how my wife is actually playing L4D2 now. Everything else might be in 1080p but she has to have her triple screen fix.

    Dishonoured

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    There is no minimum FPS shown for this game as there was a noticable period of stutter right at the beginning of the benchmark run. The game also behaved oddly with FRAPS running intially. This happened on both the stock and OC runs so is directly comparable. Once this stutter passed the game was perfectly playable at around 45FPS average. Running on the Unreal 3 engine I wasn't sure how this game would run but the 7850 1GB suprises me again by not batting an eyelid. I actually played this for a while after benchmarking and it played very nicely in Eyefinity.

    Just Cause 2

    [​IMG]

    This is the one game that I felt wasn't particularly playable on the 1GB 7850, at least not maxed out like I benchmarked it. Dropping MSAA completely improved things a bit but it still wasn't quite right. VRAM usage was low so I don't think that was the problem. It doesn't really stutter but there is a very subtle rubber banding type effect going on when gaming. I havn't played JC2 in quite a while so maybe this just how it is?!


    Overall Thoughts

    Suprising. This one word sums up my feelings after running these benchmarks. I knew the HD7850 technically had the grunt to run Eyefinity, however I genuinely thought the 1GB of VRAM would be a major hinderance. Ultimately whilst it is obviously holding things back somwhat, it wasn't really a problem in any of the games I played.

    Again as I said at the start this was just a bit of fun. I am not suggesting anyone goes out and buys a HD7850 to run games in Eyefinity, or should look to upgrade to Eyefinity if you already run a HD7850. However, these results do show that a ~£120 mid range card can quite happily run some of the less demanding titles in Eyefinity whilst also remaining playable.

    Now who's up for some Crysis 3.... :D (I think I actually heard the card cry a little then..)

    Anyway, hope you enjoyed and stay tuned for some further benchmaking action in the future. I am going to see just how far a GTX780M can be pushed... :)
     
    Last edited: 11 May 2014
  2. xaser04

    xaser04 Ba Ba Ba BANANA!

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    Quick update as I have been messing around with the system a bit more (don't get me started on the amount of times I have had to re-install the AMD drivers to get my Eyefinity profile back...:eek:).

    So far after a little tinkering I have got the HD7850 up to 1150/5400 stable in everything I have thrown at it, and boy does it fly! I have also squeezed the 760K up to 4.4Ghz on all four cores and stuck the NB frequency to 2200Mhz, just to give it that little bit more welly :).

    I have re-run my BF3 Eyefinity benchmark and these are the results:

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    Near as makes no difference 50fps average and a minimum over 40. A very nice improvement over the previous results.

    Overall I am seeing a ~25% improvement over a "stock" HD7850 which a little bit more left in the tank to take it over the 50fps threshold.

    I was going to get a faster GPU to do some Eyefinity testing but frankly I am having too much fun.

    Oh and to finish, Crysis 3.... Yeah, No. Even with the clocks above it barely moved above 30fps at medium settings. I could run low settings but honestly, I have already completed the game and can't be bothered to play it again for a while.
     
  3. Nealieboyee

    Nealieboyee Packaging Master!

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    Not game related, but I have a few questions about your x4 760k.

    1. What cooling are you using on it?
    2. Are you cooling your motherboard VRM's?
    3. If you have a BIOS overclocking screenshot, may you post that please?

    Thanks!
     
  4. GeorgeStorm

    GeorgeStorm Aggressive PC Builder

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    Nice results, the 760k is a little corker :D
     
  5. xaser04

    xaser04 Ba Ba Ba BANANA!

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    To answer your queries:

    1. Antec Kuhler 620
    2. No, well not beyond the usual air flow anyway. I am running a small voltage offset which is only marginal above stock. I did have it set to auto but it was given all manner of strange readings in CPU-Z.
    3. I havn't got one unfortunately. I am simply running a straight x44 multiplier with the NB set to 2200 manually. My RAM is running @ 1600MT/s 9-9-9-24 1T @ 1.5v. Nothing fancy TBH

    4.5Ghz will require a lot more tinkering as it crashed within windows. 4.4ghz seems to be the max for this chip with simple multiplier overclocking. Honestly though as this is my wife's pc I am not going to push the CPU any further.

    Yes it is. Not the fastest thing around but for £50 I can't knock it.
     
  6. Nealieboyee

    Nealieboyee Packaging Master!

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    Thanks for the reply! So you just went for straight multi overclocking and upped the voltage a little bit? I did the same with my 750K and it worked well. Got up to 4.4GHz stable too, but my VRMs under load felt really hot. They were probably fine, but I was paranoid about it. With the back wall of my case being so close to the cooler, I couldn't fit a fan in there to blow onto the VRMs (at least nothing bigger than a 60mm fan).
     
  7. GeorgeStorm

    GeorgeStorm Aggressive PC Builder

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    Just try to increase general airflow around them if you're worried, a 120mm fan going over the motherboard in general etc.

    Also if they felt hot then that's probably fine, if they're too hot that you need be worried then you probably wouldn't be able to touch them at all :p
     
  8. Nealieboyee

    Nealieboyee Packaging Master!

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    Thanks George. I've heard that VRMs can handle a lot more heat than the CPU or GPU can, but i'm not sure how accurate/reliable that info is. I'll just try to pump more air over/around them. I don't want my 750K sitting at stock. I bought it because its unlocked and basically begging for a decent overclock.
     

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