Asus EAH5870 v2 ReviewGeekspeak411 -
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Taking the EAH5870 out of its anti-static wrapper reveals the primarily black housing with red accents. To my extreme relief, there are no gaudy stickers to be found here. The fan itself has a beefier, more imposing look to it, and the back of the card lays uncovered allowing heat to dissipate freely. This EAH5870 is no slouch based on the Cypress XT core, as it contains 2.15 billion transistors, 1600 stream processors clocked at 850 MHz, 80 texture units, and a gigabyte of extremely fast DDR5 RAM. I am talking about 2.72 TeraFLOPS of processing power on a card that idles at just 27 watts! Being such a fast card, there is a lot of heat output. To handle dissipation duties, Asus fitted this card with a custom copper heatsink to allow even more pushing and shoving in the clock speeds. Asus didn’t stop there though. By adding voltage tweaking abilities, I should be able to push this card farther than any other 5870 available, but only time will tell.
With the EAH5870, Asus decided to forgo the additional DVI connection to allow for an extended venting area. Even then I have plenty of connectivity options in the form of a single DVI port, an HDMI 1.3 port, and DisplayPort. On the opposite end of the card you can see the fan connector, and the two supplementary power ports the card requires in the form of an eight pin PCI-E, and a six pin PCI-E port. It looks like Asus was planning ahead with this card, giving it all the power it can handle. Something tells me this card will make a lot of enthusiasts happy once I get it on the test bench!
This EAH5870 is CrossfireX capable with up to four cards. There are two ports available on the upper lip of the card where the included crossfire bridge would attach.
The Cooling solution for this card is a step beyond what the stock solution provides, Asus claims that this cooler will keep the card 17% cooler than the stock design through the use of an all-copper design and an extra large fan. After removing the retention bracket and the outer screws, thirteen in total, the cooler pulls off the card fairly easily revealing the underbody of the cooler. There are two different thermal compounds in use here; a comparatively high quality thermal tape as opposed to others I’ve seen, and a high quality thermal paste on the GPU itself. After wiping the paste off the GPU and the cooler, I can see some very heavy machining marks that are pretty unacceptable. I can easily feel the marks by simply running your finger across the surface, so there is some definite room for improvement here. After removing the rest of the screws, I took off the plastic casing to have a look at the copper itself. The first thing that came to mind for me was that this is probably the largest fan I have seen in this style, and the fins are huge! I can see all three heat-pipes - two large ones and a smaller one. They each attach to the fins along the top so that the bottoms of the fins can directly dissipate the heat coming up from the mounting plate. Other than the machining marks, this looks like a very polished cooler so depending on how fast I can ratchet up that fan, I should get some pretty awesome thermal overheads.
This EAH5870 clocks it’s GPU core at 850MHz and its Samsung based memory at 1200MHz, but the enthusiast direction of this card tells me that very few owners will be keeping these stock speeds for long. I expect a lot of overhead out of this chip after voltage tweaking has been employed.
What does Asus want me to know about this card? It is all on the next page.