ASUS Radeon HD 7850 DirectCU
Written by Michael Larabel in Graphics Cards on 12 March 2013. Page 9 of 9. 12 Comments

For the open-source Xonotic game, the Radeon HD 7850 was right ahead of the Radeon HD 6870 from this AMD FX-8350 "Vishera" system. The Radeon HD 7950 still maintained a clear difference to the slower Pitcairn GPU.

The AMD Radeon HD 7850 graphics card is a fairly decent mid-range performer. The cost of the ASUS Radeon HD 7850 DirectCU 1GB graphics card is currently about $180~200 USD but can be found slightly less at times (this is actually a graphics card I had purchased rather than receiving it as a review sample; during an online deal, I managed to get this HD 7850 graphics card for just $150). You can see how your particular system compares to this large selection of NVIDIA and AMD graphics cards by installing the Phoronix Test Suite and then run phoronix-test-suite benchmark 1303122-FO-AMDRADEON68 to conduct a fully-automated side-by-side performance comparison with these same benchmarks and settings. It's that easy!

Under Linux in some of the benchmarks, the Radeon HD 7850 was performing only comparable to the older Radeon HD 5830 GPU. In most of the Linux OpenGL tests with the "your mileage may vary" Catalyst Linux driver, the Radeon HD 7850 was comparable to the Radeon HD 6870 graphics card.

As detailed in the article, if you plan to use the AMD Radeon graphics card with the open-source Linux graphics driver rather than Catalyst, you're much better off going with a Radeon HD 4000/5000/6000 series graphics card instead. The "RadeonSI" support is still being improved and doesn't provide for a pleasant "out of the box" experience, but the open-source HD 7000 series tests (including from this ASUS HD 7850) will come in a later Phoronix article.

Generally speaking, if you're a Linux gamer interested in maximum OpenGL performance, NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards with their meticulously-maintained NVIDIA Linux graphics driver will suit you best. However, if you're after a mid-range AMD GPU, the Radeon HD 7850 is a decent contender worth being considered.

About The Author
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via

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