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PowerColor Radeon HD 5870 Review

Date: 2009-9-24

   The Road to EvergreenThe ATI Radeon HD 4000 series made its debut with the Radeon HD 4870 and HD 4850 in June last year. Little did we know that these were the cards that heralded the comeback ...

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Even with a 40nm manufacturing process and a redesigned cooler, the Radeon HD 5870 remains a hot card. The card felt warm to touch during operation and it was emitting much warm air through its rear exhaust vents. Nevertheless, 78 degrees Celsius for a card with such high performance is acceptable.

PowerColor Radeon HD 5870 Review

Power Consumption

ATI promised lower power consumption with the Radeon HD 5870 and it duly delivered. At idle, it recorded a lowly 141W, which is considerably lower than both the Radeon HD 4890 and the GeForce GTX 285. In fact, its idle power draw is lower than that of the Radeon HD 4850.

At load, a reading of 285W was still hefty, but taking into its account its performance, it certainly delivers a higher performance per watt ratio than the older generation Radeon 4800 series cards and NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 295 and GTX 285.

PowerColor Radeon HD 5870 Review


The Radeon HD 4890 was famous for being the first GPU to cross the 1GHz barrier. We intended to replicate that with the new card, but sadly, ATI's Overdrive overclocking utility limited us to only 900MHz at the core and 1300MHz (5200MHz DDR) for the memory. We could safely run the Radeon HD 5870 at those speeds and it gave us a 5% increase in performance when running the Extreme preset on 3DMark Vantage. We could be lucky with our card, but it seems to us that the Radeon HD 5870 has much untapped overclocking potential. Hopefully we'll be able to explore this aspect in the coming weeks.

PowerColor Radeon HD 5870 Review

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