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PowerColor Radeon HD 7870 Myst Edition Crossfire Review

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PowerColor Radeon HD 7870 Myst Edition Crossfire Testing:

Testing of the PowerColor PCS+ HD 7870 Myst Edition in a Crossfire configuration will consist of running it and comparison cards through the OverclockersClub.com suite of games and synthetic benchmarks. This will test the performance against many popular competitors. Comparisons will be made to cards of a range of capabilities to show where each card falls on the performance ladder. The games used are some of today's newest and most popular titles, which should be able to provide an idea of how the cards perform relative to each other.

The system specifications will remain the same throughout the testing. No adjustments will be made to the respective control panels during the testing to approximate the performance the end user can expect with a stock driver installation. I will first test the cards at stock speeds, and then overclocked to see the effects of an increase in clock speed. The cards will be placed in order from highest to lowest performance in each graph to show where they fall by comparison. The NVIDIA comparison cards will be using the 320.00 drivers while AMD-based cards will be using the Catalyst 13.5 beta drivers and latest CAP profile. The results in the first section of the review are generated by FRAPS and as popular as this utility is it can give a false representation of what you see on the screen. To show this discrepancy I will also include a page of results using the latest FCAT tools to further illustrate the true picture of the gaming experience. To do so will require a second PC setup to capture the data stream generated by the compared video cards.


Testing Setup:

FCAT Capture Setup:


Comparison Video Cards:




  • PowerColor HD 7870 Myst Edition: Core 1090MHz, Memory 1633MHz

Overclocking a pair of the HD 7870 Myst Edition cards was not as fruitful as when running a single card. To reach 1090MHz on the core I had to increase the voltage to 1300mv to remove any artifacting in game. Any lower on the voltage or higher on the clock speed would start showing artifacts. This is around 50MHz less than the results I saw when working with the single card I looked at back in January. The pair would exhibit this behavior even with the GDDR5 memory running at stock speeds. Even if the clock speed on the core did not scale as well as I had hoped, the 1090MHz clock speed is a roughly 12% increase in clock speed. The GDDR5 memory let go of a 133MHz increase in clock speed or roughly a 9% boost for you time and trouble.

Cooling was not a concern when it came to overclocking as the PCS+ cooling solution on the card kept the temperatures in the 77-82 °C range. Boosting the clock speed does offer improved performance as you will see in the game testing to come. PowerColor's own Powerup Tuner can be used as well as other free utilities when you want to overclock. While each is similar in form and function it is best to find what works best for you.


Maximum Clock Speeds:

Testing for the maximum clock speed consisted of looping Unigine Heaven 4.0 for 30 minutes each to see where the clock speeds failed when pushed. If the clock speed adjustment failed, then the clock speeds and tests were rerun until they passed a full hour of testing.



  • Gaming Tests:
  1. Metro 2033
  2. Crysis 3
  3. Batman: Arkham City
  4. Battlefield 3
  5. Unigine Heaven Benchmark 4.0
  6. Borderlands 2
  7. DiRT 3
  8. Far Cry 3
  9. 3DMark


  • Usage:

  1. Temperatures
  2. Power Consumption

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