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Gaming Performance Comparison

Recommended System Requirements
Game Radeon R9 290 Sapphire BF4 Edition Radeon HD 7870 DirectCU II 2GB Edition
Cyberpunk 2077 23% 115%
Hitman 3 60% 180%
Assassins Creed: Valhalla 12% 97%
Resident Evil 8 23% 115%
FIFA 21 38% 9%
Grand Theft Auto VI 73% 203%
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War 9% 90%
Genshin Impact 23% 115%
The Medium 53% 168%
Far Cry 6 78% 211%

In terms of overall gaming performance, the graphical capabilities of the AMD Radeon R9 290 Sapphire BF4 Edition are significantly better than the AMD Radeon HD 7870 DirectCU II 2GB Edition.

The HD 7870 has a 63 MHz higher core clock speed than the R9 290, but the R9 290 has 80 more Texture Mapping Units than the HD 7870. As a result, the R9 290 exhibits a 70.7 GTexel/s better Texture Fill Rate than the HD 7870. This still holds weight but shader performance is generally more relevant, particularly since both of these GPUs support at least DirectX 10.

The HD 7870 has a 63 MHz higher core clock speed than the R9 290, but the R9 290 has 32 more Render Output Units than the HD 7870. As a result, the R9 290 exhibits a 28.3 GPixel/s better Pixel Fill Rate than the HD 7870. However, both GPUs support DirectX 9 or above, and pixeling performance is only really relevant when comparing older cards.

The R9 290 was released over a year more recently than the HD 7870, and so the R9 290 is likely to have better driver support, meaning it will be more optimized for running the latest games when compared to the HD 7870.

Both GPUs exhibit very powerful performance, so it probably isn't worth upgrading from one to the other, as both are capable of running even the most demanding games at the highest settings.

The R9 290 has 2048 MB more video memory than the HD 7870, so is likely to be much better at displaying game textures at higher resolutions. This is supported by the fact that the R9 290 also has superior memory performance overall.

The R9 290 has 165.1 GB/sec greater memory bandwidth than the HD 7870, which means that the memory performance of the R9 290 is massively better than the HD 7870.

The Radeon R9 290 Sapphire BF4 Edition has 2560 Shader Processing Units and the Radeon HD 7870 DirectCU II 2GB Edition has 1280. However, the actual shader performance of the R9 290 is 2061 and the actual shader performance of the HD 7870 is 1099. The R9 290 having 962 better shader performance and an altogether better performance when taking into account other relevant data means that the R9 290 delivers a massively smoother and more efficient experience when processing graphical data than the HD 7870.

The Radeon R9 290 Sapphire BF4 Edition requires 275 Watts to run but there is no entry for the Radeon HD 7870 DirectCU II 2GB Edition. We would recommend a PSU with at least 750 Watts for the R9 290.

Game FPS Benchmarks On Ultra

GPU Architecture

Core Speed947 MHzvs1010 MHz
Boost Clock-vs-
ArchitectureGCN 1.1 Hawaii PROGCN 1.0 Pitcairn XT
OC Potential Fair vs Fair
Driver Support Great vs Good
Release Date05 Nov 2013vs01 Jun 2012
GPU LinkGD LinkGD Link
Approved
Comparison

Resolution Performance

1366x768
10
green tick vs -
1600x900
10
green tick vs
9.3
1920x1080
9.5
green tick vs
7.2
2560x1440
7.2
green tick vs
5.4
3840x2160
5.5
green tick vs
3.7

GPU Memory

Memory4096 MBvs2048 MB
Memory Speed1250 MHzvs1210 MHz
Memory Bus512 Bitvs256 Bit
Memory TypeGDDR5vsGDDR5
Memory Bandwidth320GB/secvs154.9GB/sec
L2 Cache 1024 KB green tick vs 512 KB
Delta Color Compression no vs no
Memory Performance 0% green tick vs green tick 0%
Comparison

GPU Display

Shader Processing Units2560vs1280
Actual Shader Performance99%vs53%
Technology28nmvs28nm
Texture Mapping Units160vs80
Texture Rate151.5 GTexel/svs80.8 GTexel/s
Render Output Units64vs32
Pixel Rate60.6 GPixel/svs32.3 GPixel/s
Comparison

GPU Outputs

Max Digital Resolution (WxH)4096x2160vs4096x2160
VGA Connections0vs0
DVI Connections2vs1
HDMI Connections1vs1
DisplayPort Connections-vs-
Comparison

GPU Power Requirements

Max Power275 Watts-
Recommended PSU750 Watts-

GPU Features

DirectX12.0vs12.0
Shader Model5.0vs5.0
Open GL4.4vs4.4
Open CL-vs-
Notebook GPUnono
SLI/Crossfireyesvsyes
Dedicatedyesvsyes
Comparison

GPU Supporting Hardware

Recommended ProcessorIntel Core i7-4770K 4-Core 3.5GHzvsIntel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz
Recommended RAM8 GBvs8 GB
Maximum Recommended Gaming Resolution2560x1440vs1920x1080

Gaming Performance Value

Performance Value

GPU Mini Review

Mini ReviewRadeon R9 290 Sapphire BF4 Edition comes with a slightly different PCB and design. Still, as soon as you close your case you stop seeing it. Don't expect any performance boost over the reference card as the specifications are exactly the same.Radeon HD 7870 DirectCU II 2GB Edition is a special edition of the powerful Radeon HD 7870. See the standard version for more information about it.
The new features include the DirectCU II cooling solution which is 20% more effective than the reference cooler, according to Asus and a small increase in the core-clock to 1010MHz as well as in the memory clock to 1210MHz.
Benchmarks indicate almost no performance boost when compared to the standard Radeon HD 7870 and so its performance is on level with the it as the boost is beneath 1%.
All games, including demanding one's, will run on the highest settings.
Recommended CPU
Possible GPU Upgrades
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GPU Variants
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