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PowerColor Radeon HD 5870 PCS+ Review


Closer Look:

Proving to look similar to the box art car picture, the heat sink fan assembly/shroud boasts vent holes at the rear and a large impeller in the center. Directly underneath is the quad heat-piped heat sink. A pair of stickers to the left say PCS+ and Radeon HD 5870 - both are dark and shiny. The heat pipes stick out a fair distance making this card wider than the reference design by approximately an inch. The back is empty of anything spectacular - the heat sink bolts on with spring retention from the rear. If the heat sink is tweaked too much during installation, the bond of thermal paste between the core and base of the heat sink could be disturbed from being mounted this way. The CrossFireX slots and video output area have been capped off to help keep them safe from possibly dust and oxidation. Two six-pin power connections are mounted at the rear of the card, and also near the rear is a heat sink for the voltage regulation circuits that uses spring loaded plastic hooks. The core runs at 875 MHz while the memory runs at 1225 MHz. The core has extensive cooling provided by the quad-piped heat sink while the memory gets passing air across their bare surfaces. Hopefully the card will allow software voltage modification to best make use of the massive core cooling!












The side shot shows the staggered heat pies and capped-off CrossFireX slot well, and also gives a glimpse at the smaller heat sink that lays near the power plugs behind a wall of capacitors - this area provides power to the memory and core. The shroud sits high above the PCB and allows hot air to easily be exhausted back into the case - users who purchase this will want good airflow, or they could find their case to get hot easily.



The expansion slot bracket is the default design used on the reference 5870 design - a half-width exhaust grill and stacked DVI ports give it away. The card also has HDMI and a DisplayPort - all of these can be used together with ATI Eyefinity technology to span multiple monitors for massive resolutions! Three bolts and our hex-head standoffs, bolt the bracket to the card. The rear has many vents and openings to allow airflow dissipation from the fan. Capacitors are spaced far apart allowing air to glide between them from the heat sinks. Sitting together are two 6-pin PCI Express power connections opposite the fan header.



Time to play with the drivers!

  1. Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Closer Look (The Video Card)
  3. Closer Look (Drivers & Programs)
  4. Specifications & Features
  5. Testing: Setup & Overclocking
  6. Testing: Far Cry 2
  7. Testing: Crysis Warhead
  8. Testing: Darkest of Days
  9. Testing: Call of Duty World at War
  10. Testing: Warhammer 40,000 Dawn of War II
  11. Testing: Batman Arkham Asylum
  12. Testing: Resident Evil 5
  13. Testing: Left 4 Dead
  14. Testing: 3DMark 06
  15. Testing: 3DMark Vantage
  16. Conclusion
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