Tuesday, December 4, 2012

More fps please

My brand new HD 7850 just arrived :)

I was postponing the decision for too long in part because I'm just lazy. The sheer thought of having to change PSUs between computers made me shiver and avoid the decision. 

My i7 3770 powered desktop is running on a 400W OEM PSU while my 525W Enermax 82+ PSU is being used on my lower power server which doesn't make much sense - all thanks to the desktop case not having space for the Enermax PSU due to the case's awkward design. So I'm in the process of change hardware around pretty fun stuff -.-'.

The promise of higher FPS in Team Fortress 2 won me over so I Mann'ed upp (TF2 pun) and ended up ordering a PowerColor 2GB HD7850 PCS+. Why this particular model? Well low noise and availability of 2xDVI (my monitors support VGA and DVI only) were the factors I valued the most while researching of alternatives. So I ended up going with the PowerColor 2GB HD7850 PCS+ after reading several very positive reviews in which it presented the lowest noise.

As to why the Radeon HD7850? 

Normally I'd go for nVidia cards as I had good experience with them in the past being great both in terms of performance and Linux/BSD support. However this time around I'm into virtualization with VGA/PCI passthrough and nVidia cards expect the Quadro variant just don't support Xen (and other hypervisors for that matter) properly. The trade-off is that AMD doesn't support BSD so I'll probably passthrough 3770's HD4000 if I feel like having FreeBSD on the desktop as a domU.

With Valve's pressure on AMD regarding Steam being ported over to Linux I'm hopping that AMD own drivers mature making this a good buy in the medium term. For the moment I'm playing TF2 on a Windows 8 domU off Intel HD4000 so has soon as I get my hands on the AMD card I'll fire assign the HD7850 to this Windows domU. Afterwards I'll whip-up a Linux domU and check-out Steam and TF2.