Sapphire Radeon HD 7850 2GB review

1GB or 2GB? That is the question

TODO alt text


  • Good price/performance ratio
  • Good compute-centric performance


  • 2GB of memory not the boost you'd expect
  • 1GB brother too close in performance at cheaper price

The performance of the HD 7850 when it first came out, combined with its relatively low price tag, made for a very enticing mid-range card. That impressive start has only gotten better as time has moved on and the price has dropped ever lower.

Once it dropped below £200 it was hard to really recommend anyone with a 1080p screen spending more. Now it's sub-£200 graphics card crown has slipped as its HD 7870 big brother has usurped the HD 7850's place by making itself a whole lot cheaper than it used to be.

Still, at £150 you'd surely expect us to still be pretty taken with the HD 7850. And while it's still a great mid-range card, there has been one other sibling to make us take a second look. And that's the 1GB version of this GPU.

You might expect the extra gigabyte of graphics memory to push this graphics card significantly ahead in the high-res benchmarks - but you'd be wrong. That said, you're not going to feel the fool for having one of these full-fat 2GB Pitcairn Pro cards in your rig.

It falls a little short of the performance of the slightly pricier GTX 660, but only by a hair's breadth. In fact in some of the more compute-centric benchmarks - usually the domain of the AMD GPU - the HD 7850 pulls ahead. But still, in terms of value for money at least, the Nvidia cards are failing to deliver in this segment.

The 2GB HD 7850 is still an impressive card, but it's the AMD family, both big and little brothers, that are pushing it out of the running.

Tech Specs

Product TypeGraphic Card
Chipset ManufacturerAMD
Chipset ModelHD 7850
Chipset LineRadeon
Chipset SeriesHD 7000
Maximum Resolution4096 x 2160
Brand NameSapphire
Standard Memory2 GB
Host InterfacePCI Express 3.0 x16
Bus Width256 bit
Multi-GPU TechnologyCrossFireX
RAMDAC Speed400 MHz
Analog SignalYes
Digital SignalYes
Dual Link DVI SupportedYes
Number of DisplayPort Outputs1
Number of DVI Outputs2
Number of HDMI Outputs1
Height105 mm
Cooler TypeFan Cooler
Memory TechnologyGDDR5 SDRAM
Form FactorPlug-in Card
Length207 mm
ManufacturerSapphire, Inc
Memory Speed4800 MHz
Product NameRadeon HD 7850 Graphic Card
Package TypeRetail
Manufacturer Part Number11200-07-20G
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

The Sapphire new model in the HD 7850 family of graphics cards based on the revolutionary new graphics GCN (Graphics Core Next) architecture from AMD. Offering excellent performance at an even keener price point, SAPPHIRE HD 7850 2GB GDDR5 model will ship with core clock of 860MHz and memory at 1200MHz (4.8Gb/s effective). Equipped with a dual BIOS, and the new output configuration of Dual link DVI-I, Dual link DVI-D, HDMI and Display Port.

SAPPHIRE HD 7850 2GB GDDR5 also features SAPPHIRE's latest dual-extractor cooler technology - Dual-X - a highly efficient multi-heatpipe cooler with dual fans providing quiet and very cool operation during normal operating conditions, and superb cooling performance even under extreme load.

Package Contents
  • Radeon HD 7850 Graphic Card
  • Driver CD
  • CrossFire Bridge Interconnect Cable
  • DVI to VGA Adapter
  • 2 x 6-pin to 4-pin Power Cable
  • HDMI 1.4a High Speed 1.8 Meter Cable
Limited Warranty2 Year
Thickness35 mm
API SupportedDirectX 11.0, OpenGL 4.2, DirectCompute, OpenCL