A Closer Look
AMD's heatsink uses a central copper copper core and heatpipes to keep their card cool. You can also see the white pads that transport heat away from the memory chips.
The HD 7870 requires two 6-pin PCI-Express power cables for operation, whereas there is only one 6-pin on the HD 7850. This power configuration is good for up to 225 W of power draw for the former and 150 W for the latter.
For voltage control both cards use the CHil CHL8225 controller, which is essentially the same as the CHL 8228 that's used on many high-end cards. It does offer extensive software voltage control and monitoring features and is well-supported by most overclocking software.
Retail HD 7850 boards will likely feature a lower cost voltage controller, like NCP5395 which has no software voltage control.
The GDDR5 memory chips are made by Hynix, and carry the model number H5GQ2H24MFR-T2C. They are specified to run at 1250 MHz (5000 MHz GDDR5 effective).
AMD's new Pitcairn graphics processor completes the AMD 28 nm GPU stack. It is produced on a 28 nm process at TSMC, with a transistor count of 2.8 billion. (HD 7850 GPU in the 2nd picture).