AMD continues the shiny plastic look that we have seen on other models of the HD 7000 Series. The high gloss surface and the 1 GHz sticker certainly attract attention.
Please note that the HD 7850 (on bottom) uses the same thermal solution and PCB as the HD 7870. Actual retail boards will use a completely different design with lower-cost coolers and PCB. According to AMD we received the HD 7850 like for "logistical" reasons and the board is equal to what AIBs will receive for their product engineering.
Throughout this review we will show both cards when there are noteworthy differences and point them out in the text, otherwise assume that what you see is the same for both reviewed cards.
The card requires two slots in your system.
Display connectivity options include one DVI port, one full size HDMI port and two mini-DisplayPorts. You may use all the outputs at the same time, thanks to AMD's superior display output architecture.
An HDMI sound device is included in the GPU, too. It is HDMI 1.4a compatible which includes HD audio and support for Blu-ray 3D movies. The DisplayPort outputs are version 1.2 which enables the use of hubs and Multi-Stream transport.
You may combine up to two HD 7850/HD7870 cards from any vendor in a multi-GPU CrossFire configuration for higher framerates or better image quality settings.
Pictured above are photos of the front and back, of the HD 7870, showing the disassembled board. High-res versions are also available (front, back). If you choose to use these images for voltmods etc, please include a link back to this site or let us post your article.
Above the same for HD 7850. High-res: front, back.