The Radeon HD 7870 just really helps AMD complete that $250+ line up as we go from the $249 HD 7850 all the way up to the $549 HD 7970. Throw in pre-overclocked models from partners and cards with different coolers and you manage to hit most price points between that range.
AMD really have hit the mark with the HD 7800 series and the HD 7900 series. With the HD 6900's really not being available on the market anymore, they've had a chance just to swoop in, hit a price point that had disappeared from AMD and offer us some great performance.
All in the mean time we continue to wait for NVIDIA to start filling out its 600 series that should start to trickle in from the end of this month. The issue for NVIDIA, though, is as soon as we start talking about the high-end NVIDIA offerings, AMD are going to pounce with its dual GPU HD 7990 that is set to hit in April. The HD 7700 is also going to find its place in time. Once AMD clean out the $150 priced HD 6800 series cards, the HD 7700 will be able to step in and fill that price point helping AMD have a full top to bottom HD 7000 series range on the market.
Looking a bit closer at the HD 7870, though, it's a nice offering over the HD 7850. The $249 HD 7850 is a great card for people who are gaming at 1680 x 1050 and we can see it has no issue dealing with that resolution. If you're moving over to a 1920 x 1080 or 1920 x 1200 screen, though, the HD 7850 tends to fall behind that 60 FPS average we aim for. Spend a little more, in this case an extra $100, and the HD 7870 fills that gap, offering us great performance under 1920 x 1200 in some of the most intensive game engines on the market.
Of course if you want to move to a higher resolution, start to move in to high FPS AA and AF or get closer to that 120 FPS mark for 120Hz monitor users, then you start to dive into the HD 7900 series.
Now we hope to see the HD 7800 series share the same CrossFire and overclocking success as its big brother, the HD 7900 series. If what AMD has said is anything to go by, then we should be able to get a strong overclock out of these new models. They're both areas we'll be getting into later on.