PowerColor Radeon HD 5870 and 5850 PCS+ - HotHardware

PowerColor Radeon HD 5870 and 5850 PCS+

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At first glance, it's obvious that PowerColor's Radeon HD 5800 series PCS+ offerings are quite different than AMD's reference design. Take a look for yourselves...

  

We evaluate both the Radeon HD 5870 and 5850 PCS+ in this article, but only have one set of pictures above. We've done this to keep image-clutter to a minimum and because the cards look essentially identical. The cooler's on the front are the same, everything is colored the same, and the PCBs are the same length. The only visible difference is that the 5870 PCS+ has some extra components in its voltage regulation module.

   

The cards feature dual DVI outputs, and HDMI and DisplayPort outputs, and of course support ATI's Eyefinity Technology, and dual 6-Pin PCI Express power feeds are necessary for operation.

Whereas reference Radeon HD 5870 cards feature an 850MHz GPU clock with 1.2GHz memory, PowerColor's Radeon HD 5870 PCS+ sports an 875MHz GPU clock with 1.225GHz memory--increases of 25MHz for each. The PowerColor Radeon HD 5850 PCS+'s overclock is a little more pronounced. Stock reference cards ship with 725MHz and 1GHz GPU and memory clocks, respectively, while PowerColor's PCS+ offering has a 760MHz GPU and 1.05GHz memory--increases of 35MHz and 50MHz.

   

Perhaps more interesting than the factor overclocks, however, is the PCS+ cooler. The cooler on these cards sports four, thick copper heatpipes that rest atop the GPU and curl upwards and outwards though an array of aluminum cooling fins. Moving air through the entire assembly is a relatively large 92mm fan. Quite simple, we love this cooler. These cards are always quiet and they run significantly cooler than reference cards. Whereas the stock Radeon HD 5870 typically idles with a GPU temperature around 42's and peaks around 87'C under load, PowerColor's PCS+ card idles in the mid 30's C and under load it barely tickles the 80'C mark. Same with the 5850 for the most part, although it's load temp was a few degrees lower.

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The price and performance looks good, but that heat-shroud looks like a cheap/ugly plastic toy compared to what we've been seeing, eh?

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I agree about the cheap/ugly and also it looks as though the way the pipes stick out, it might be a problem in some cases. Nice to see you threw the GTX 480 in the mix... sure is a BEAST albeit power hungry, hot, noisy and expensive. lol

If I had to chose between this OC'ed 5870 and the GTX 480, I'd take the 5870 personally.

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recoveringknowitall:

I agree about the cheap/ugly and also it looks as though the way the pipes stick out, it might be a problem in some cases.

Just cut a hole in the window of your case so that they have room to stick out and call them a feature:  "Now with Thermal Interaction Points for pets and toddlers!".

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3vi1:
Just cut a hole in the window of your case so that they have room to stick out and call them a feature:  "Now with Thermal Interacation Points for pets and toddlers!".

Why... whatever do you mean? rofl

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The shroud may look "cheap" but the PCS+ cooler is excellent.

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Good to know, but I still think it needs a sticker with a picture of a lady holding a sword. Cards perform better when they have stickers of ladies holding swords.

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Well, everyone knows that's true.

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Morning Marco.

Nice card there, but what is up with its really weak factory OC?  There are cards out there with a much higher factory OC on them (such as the top model Gigabyte UD).

Are you guys going to OC it to see just how far you can push it?

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Actually I think it needs a picture of a woman in a bathing suit holding 2 swords. Those also seem to perform way better than the picture of a woman with a sword, and these are the + models so it would be fitting. I will say one thing seeing as I have a 5850 and a 5870 in cross fire! They can both be overclocked rather easily, are very efficient on energy usage, perform great in stock form anyway, and can be overclocked quite easily as well. That is in bone stock form! The main advantage I see here is these are OC'd with a factory warranty. The only thing I could think of that beats them is an XFX card with a transferable double lifetime warranty that can also be oc'd with ease.

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>> and these are the + models so it would be fitting.

No thank you; No video cards with plus sized models in bathing suits. You gotsta draw the line on performance somewhere, and that's where I draws it.

Then again, this gives me a business idea where I could make a fortune selling curtains for case windows.

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