ASUS Radeon HD 7850 DirectCU
Up for review today is the ASUS Radeon HD 7850 1GB DirectCU graphics card. This "Windows 8 Ready" AMD Radeon graphics card is being benchmarked under Ubuntu Linux and compared to an assortment of AMD Radeon and NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards.
The AMD Radeon HD 7850 GPU core is clocked at 860MHz and the reference design calls for 2GB of GDDR5 memory clock at a 1200MHz clock speed. There are 1024 Stream Processors, 64 Texture Units, 128 Z/Stencil ROP Units, 32 Color ROP Units, Dual Geometry Engines, and Dual A-Sync Compute Engines to this "GCN" GPU. The HD 7850 also boasts the other usual Radeon HD 7000 series features like PCI Express 3.0 x16 support, OpenGL 4.2 support, Eyefinity, App Acceleration, CrossFire, PowerPlay, etc.
The ASUS Radeon HD 7850 is clocked similarly to the other HD 7850 graphics cards on the market but boasts the company's own "DirectCU" cooling technology that they say is 20% cooler than the reference heatsink while being vastly quieter. Another difference with this ASUS graphics card from the reference design is that there's only 1GB of GDDR5 video memory rather than 2GB as found with most of the other HD 7850 graphics cards. ASUS also promotes its own GPU Tweak software for "real-time graphics tuning" with this graphics card, but for Linux users it's irrelevant due to ASUS not shipping any Linux software for the product.
Also being promoted on the product is a DIGI+ VRM 10-phase power design for minimizing power noise by 30% and enhancing power efficiency by 15%. ASUS claims this leads to improved stability and a longevity by 2.5 times longer than the reference design.
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