XFX Double D Black Edition HD 7850 and HD 7870 Review: Kings of the Midrange?

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Who is this XFX? This is a brand that I have not dealt with in a long time. In fact, the last time I had an XFX card was some five years ago, and it was in the form of the GeForce 8800 GTX XXX Edition. This was a pretty awesome card for the time, and it seemed to last forever in terms of performance and features in the new DX 10 world that was 2007/2008. This was a heavily overclocked card, and it would get really loud during gaming sessions. I can honestly say though that this particular card was troublefree and well built.



XFX has not always had a great reputation though, and the company has gone through some very interesting twists and turns over the years. XFX is a subsidiary of Pine Technologies. Initially XFX dealt strictly with NVIDIA based products, but a few years back when the graphics market became really tight, NVIDIA dropped several manufacturers and focused their attention on the bigger partners. Among the victims of this tightening were BFG Technologies and XFX. Unlike BFG, XFX was able to negotiate successfully with AMD to transition their product lineup to Radeon products. Since then XFX has been very aggressive in pursuing unique designs based on these AMD products. While previous generation designs did not step far from the reference products, this latest generation is a big step forward for XFX.


Click to continue reading the entire review.


In terms of quality XFX had it rough for a while. Return rates appeared to be much higher than other players in the market, and there were a lot of complaints about customer service. XFX took this to heart and introduced their Double Lifetime warranty. This promised the initial user/buyer a full, lifetime warranty. If that user decided to give or sell the card to another, then they had the option of transferring the lifetime warranty to that other person. This unfortunately came to a screeching halt early this year. XFX discontinued the double lifetime warranty concept, but they did replace it with something that was still “ok” in terms of industry standards. XFX now offers a 2 year limited warranty on their products with an optional 1 year extension. They do still offer the ability to transfer the warranty to another user, so that is a definite plus when we consider that upgrade cycles are sometimes pretty compressed in the graphics market.

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Lifting the lid reveals the included pack materials.? Again, not entirely impressive, but not bad either.


The HD 7000 series of products from XFX are a massive shift for them in terms of design. While the PCBs all look to be reference products, XFX has taken a keen interest in thermals and have introduced a whole new series of coolers that hope to catch up to the competition. The competition in this case is MSI and Asus. These two companies have done more to push unique cooling solutions than any other. MSI in particular was one that redefined graphics cooling with their “Superpipe” and Twin Frozr products, not to mention pushing the limits of design with their Lightning series of cards. XFX appears halfway there with their cooler designs.

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The card is fairly well protected, but not a piece of foam in sight.? The card is essentially triple boxed in, so shipping damage would have to be extreme to actually hurt the card.


Today we are looking at a pair of cards from XFX that represent the high end of the HD 7850 and HD 7870 series of cards. These products are both Black Editions of the Double Dissipation class of cooling. These products are overclocked out of the box and they introduce a new set of specifications for the entire card as a whole.

New Features and Components ?
Review Index: XFX Throws into the Midrange RingNew Features and ComponentsImpressions of the XFX Double-D Black Edition HD 7870 and HD 7850Test Setup and Results: 3D Mark 2011Results: 3D Mark VantageResults: AvPResults: SkyrimResults: Battlefield 3Results: DiRT 3Power, Temperature, and OverclockingConclusion: Wrapping up the XFX 7800 Cards Comments Post a comment May 26, 2012 | 02:13 AM – Posted by bjv2370

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HP dm4 Beats Edition Available For As Little As $798

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HP dm4 Beats Edition Available For As Little As $798 | PC Perspective PC Perspective PCPER WEB HomeReviewsNewsForumsPodcastHW LeaderboardSSD Decoder Graphics CardsMotherboardsCases/CoolingProcessorsChipsetsMemoryDisplaysSystemsStorageMobileShows/Expos Username: * Password: * Register | Password Reminder Home ? News HP dm4 Beats Edition Available For As Little As $798 Subject: Mobile | April 9, 2012 – 01:40 PM | Matt Smith
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Pricing research is an important part of our laptop reviews. We always price out the laptops we receive on the website of the manufacturer and popular e-tailers, such as Amazon and Newegg. We also look at similarly priced laptops to judge how well a product’s value stacks up against the competition. ?

Still, mistakes happen. HP altered us to one such error in our recent HP dm4 review. In that review we discovered that the HP dm4 Beats Edition cost $1169 if customized with the hardware we received, which was far too much given the laptop’s entry-level roots. However, we missed a quick-ship option that configures the laptop as it was received for just $899. That’s $270 less.?

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HP also told us that Wal-Mart is selling the HP dm4 Beats Edition. We looked in to it and found that the review configuration is currently out of stock, but if you don’t mind a slight downgrade in processor performance and the loss of the solid state drive, you can pick up the laptop for $798.?

Such a large difference in price would have an impact on any review, but it’s particularly important in this case. We didn’t find anything wrong with the laptop’s performance. We also praised its 1600×900 matte display and decent, though not excellent, user interface. It was the price we could not tolerate – paying HP Envy bucks for a gussied-up dm4 didn’t strike us as a great value.

The correction in pricing has resulted in a change in the review’s conclusion. The laptop now earns a Gold Award. ?In fact, buying the pre-configured dm4 Beats Edition actually appears less expensive than buying the basic HP dm4 when it is configured to match the hardware found in our review unit. So-so battery life and unexceptional design are now the only traits holding it back from an Editor’s Choice.

Source: HP Comments Post a comment April 9, 2012 | 01:54 PM – Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

With a display adapter like that, who needs enemies?

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HP dm4-3000ea Beats Edition

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 HP dm4-3000ea Beats Edition

HP’s Pavilion range was never going to offer the same ‘wow factor’ as its premium Envy line and we couldn’t pick out its previous dm4 Pavilion in a line up.

But HP’s new dm4-3000ea Pavilion Beats Edition is far from anonymous.

Thanks to the ubiquity of Beats Audio technology, HP has decided to give its non-descript dm4 Pavilion a chassis overhaul and specs update. That upgrade does bump up the price to £849, so it’s not the very best value for money, but the Beats redesign is a success for various reasons.

It looks super-modern without being too cool for school, enjoys a solid feel for a 14-inch multimedia portable and – most importantly – it sounds absolutely fantastic.

Punching above its weight

Despite its slinky dimensions (338 x 225 x 32 mm), the dm4-3000ea is fairly heavy. A weight of 2kg for such a small chassis is surprising, but every component – including the great backlit keyboard – feels robust and well-made (although it’s not the solid mag-alloy chassis that HP puts in its Envy laptops; just serviceable plastic here).

The board marries the same soft red and matte black hues that adorns the case. The Beats logo also sits front and centre, which could annoy, but the font design is so nice it actually really works.

It can be hard to type on dinkier laptops’ keyboards, but the dm4-3000ea Pavilion Beats Edition is the exception to the rule . It felt much better than the first dm4 Pavilion board and has isolated chiclet keys with a solid bounce.

HP has also binned the miniature navigation keys, making it fine to use for long periods for multi-tasking and browsing online. Our only bone of contention was the unresponsive touch tech on the trackpad which is still a novelty.

The 14-inch display is powered by 1366 x 768 LED-backlit BrightView screen, which works perfectly well in most brightness conditions. It’s not over-glossy and coped admirably with the darker hues of The Dark Knight. We also had no problems streaming high-definition video content. Clearly, the HP dm4-3000ea Pavilion Beats Edition won’t have any problems performing most multimedia tasks.

HP also gets bonus points for adding one of the better in-built webcams available. Thanks to the TrueVision low-light tech, it managed to pick us out accurately enough in murky lighting.

Under the hood

HP beats laptop

The rest of the specs under the hood are decent enough to make sure HP’s dm4-3000ea Pavilion Beats Edition didn’t suffer any staccato playback – even on number crunching apps.

HP has bundled a 2.5 GHz Intel Core i5-2450M processor, a 500GB SATA hard drive and 4GB of memory with space for two more sticks if you fancy an upgrade. That should be enough oomph to boot the OS from cold in no time at all… but, irritatingly, HP has added the usual bloatware gubbins to slow everything down. That said, some of the pre-loaded software, like Norton and Windows Office Starter Edition is actually useful.

TechRadar Labs

tech labs

Battery Eater ’05: 174 minutes
Cinebench: 5629
3DMark 2006: 5622

Performance in our lab tests produced steady if unspectacular results, especially when you consider the power available from that Intel Core i5 chip. A score of 5629 in our processor benchmarks means that it’s more than adept at multitasking, but it does seem low when compared with laptops such as the Packard Bell TS11 which achieved better lab tests.

Graphics were equally unspectacular, and we also got a mid-range score of 5622 in our 3D Mark tests. This is enough for light gaming, thanks to 1GB of dedicated graphics on its AMD Radeon HD 7470M GPU. Just don’t expect to get anything out of Battlefield 3 or Modern Warfare 3, though.

The 174-minute battery life using Battery Eater Pro’s Readers’ Test was pretty good – especially when you bear in mind that it has a 6-cell battery.

So, the question remains, how do you get enjoy audio fidelity on such a small laptop? The simple answer is to plug in decent headphones and bypass the traditionally tinny laptop speakers.

If you’re not a fan of headphones, a more permanent solution is to upgrade to superior audio components.

While the Beats audio results good, you still can’t been hooking up a decent set of speakers. That said, for audio on the go, the dm4-3000ea Pavilion Beats Edition comes highly recommended – and HP even throws in a pair of Dr Dre’s Solo headphones as part of the package.

Overall the HP dm4-3000sa is a capable portable laptop, for those who want style while they’re on the move. Admittedly, it’s not packed with power, and there are lighter machines for the money, but the Beats credentials give it cool credibility that will attract students and younger users.

Anyone who does invest will be rewarded with a solid performer capable of work and play on the move, but those with demanding needs will want to look at portables backed up by a bit more grunt.

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