Testing

As these are APU units, both will be being tested using their integrated graphics only. The 7870K should work in dual graphics with the same GPU combinations at the rest of the APU line, but in the interest of being a little more concise I’ve only gone with the onboard graphics here.

The test system has a Gigabyte G1.Sniper A88X motherboard, running 8GB of AMD Entertainment RAM at 1866MHz in two 4GB modules. Windows 8.1 Pro is the installed operating system, on a Corsair Force FS 120GB SSD. The 7870K required a BIOS update to be compatible, and for the sake of fairness just incase the update caused any performance gains (it doesn’t list that it does in the notes, mind) the update was performed prior to testing on the 7850K so both processors were tested on the same BIOS.

PC Mark 8

Firstly, overall system performance. Testing here is using the current version of PC Mark 8 on the Home Conventional Preset. The 7850K was tested first to get what I hoped would be the lower score in all cases:

 

The test was then run again with the 7870K, yielding higher scores but not substantially so, and interestingly being slightly slower in the photo editing category.

 

There’s so little in it between them here that for basic home use, I doubt you would be able to discern any difference at all between the two.

3D Mark

Moving on to some more graphics intensive testing, I wanted to see how good the games performance would be from the integrated GPUs. At this point I should note that AMD’s current release driver dates from December of last year which is obviously quite some time before the release of the 7870K and so likely doesn’t completely support the iGPU. Their latest beta driver doesn’t reference compatibility for the chip either, and given that I’ve heard of some stability issues wasn’t something I was wanting to test meaning that I was in the not so ideal position of testing it without a guaranteed compatible driver.

As with PC Mark, testing here is with the current version of 3D Mark. First, the 7850K:

 

I don’t believe the 7870K was in Futuremark’s database at the time that I performed testing, as it is coming up as unrecognised.

 

Here the 7870K mostly performed a fair bit better, though the Ice Storm test at the end is quite an odd one. I understand that that test is designed more for mobile hardware, so it’s possible that the 7870K doesn’t perform the calculations required in the same manner as the 7850K, but I was a little surprised to see it being lower by quite an amount.

Next, I carried out a few more 3D bechmarks as well as testing in game.