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PowerColor PCS+ HD 7870 Myst Edition Review

ccokeman    -   January 3, 2013
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PowerColor HD 7870 Myst Edition Conclusion:

Looking deeper into the PowerColor PCS+ HD 7870 Myst Edition is an interesting exercise once you realize that it is put together using AMD's Tahiti core for its base rather than the Pitcairn core used on the HD 78XX cards that precede it in AMD's product stack. As a way to improve performance in the HD 7800 series without having to bin Pitcairn parts for guaranteed higher clock speeds it is a win. However it may provide some heartburn on the back end when customers have to distinguish between Tahiti LE and Pitcairn parts if and when deciding to run a Crossfire setup as the two are incompatible. Naming the Tahiti LE parts as a something in the HD 79XX range may have been a better idea.

PowerColor has put together this card and priced it aggressively enough to put it right in between the GTX 660, HD 7950, and GTX 660Ti with the hope that it out performs the higher priced GTX 660Ti. Something it does in several of the game tests. Performance wise PowerColor's HD 7870 Myst Edition delivers excellent gaming performance in all of the tests at a resolution of 1920x1080 finishing ahead of the GTX 660 in all but one test. Two of the highlighted features include the Gold Power Kit power system and the PCS+ cooling solution. The cooling tests show that the PCS+ HD 7870 provided decent temperatures even with the smallish heat pipe direct contact cooling solution. A total of three heat pipes are employed to transfer the load to the aluminum fin array delivering maximum temperatures of 70 °C stock and 61 °C overclocked. Not bad when you look at it.

By keeping temperatures close to 60 °C along with the digital VRM control overclocking was fairly robust with a 27%+ boost in GPU core clock speed to 1180MHz. Memory overclocking with the use of Elpida GDDR5 delivered a 7%+ increase in clock speed to 1618MHz. Well within the expectations of AMD's Tahiti core. Results include improved gaming performance across the board.

Priced at $239 with rebate the PowerColor PCS+ HD 7870 is a unique step to take to reach a performance/price point. The card offers performance above that of the GTX 660 and at times the GTX 660Ti for this price. A little noisy when manually controlling the fan speed it still offers great gaming and overclocking for your dollar. Add in the free Far Cry 3 game being used to sweeten the pot and the value adds up.

 

Pros:

  • Overclocking
  • Performance
  • Free Game

 

Cons:

  • Crossfire Options
  • Power Consumption
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