Final Thoughts and Conclusion
With a current price point of $429.99 as shown here or $409.99 without Dirt2, the HIS Radeon HD5870 may not be for everyone. Though for those looking for a top of the line card the HIS Radeon HD5870 may be the card for you. Being a reference HD5870 there is little about the card that makes it stand out from the crowd. The only real difference on the card is the graphics that each company uses on the heat sink assembly. Don't get me wrong there is absolutely nothing wrong with a reference card. All I am saying is that you are going to have to take other things into consideration. Things like the bundle and brand preference may play more of a part in your decision. I have always had my preferred brands in the past, being the second HIS card I have used I can honestly tell you I wouldn't hesitated to purchase a HIS graphics card in the future.
The HIS Radeon HD 5870 is by no means a small card. In fact it measures just over 11 inches long. Being that long could potentially cause some fitment issues in some mid-tower cases. Above I mounted the HIS Radeon HD5870 into a ThermalTake Element G. As you can see it does fit but if the hard drive cage had been mounted the other direction it may not have. At the very least you would have lost a couple of 3.5" drive bays inside the case.
When it comes to gaming frame-rates can make or break the quality of the experience. Despite the fact that the pair of XFX GTX 260 Black Editions did score higher on most of the benchmarks, I do think the HIS Radeon HD5870 may be the better choice if torn between those two choice. As demonstrated in Colin McRae: DiRT 2 SLI doesn't always improve performance. In fact having SLI enabled we can actually see a hit in performance in DiRT 2. That is just one of many games that may experience an effect like that. Add to that the fact that you cut down the overall power consumption of your computer by nearly 200 Watts, in my opinion it is a clear choice. Don't forget to consider the fact that the ATI Radeon 5000 series is currently the only DirectX 11 platform if you are looking to get the best visual experience in the latest DirectX 11 games.
With the exception of a couple of slightly overclocked HD5870's the HIS Radeon HD5870 is among the fastest single GPU graphics cards in production today. I really do not have any issues with the HIS Radeon HD5870. The only concern I do have is the short warranty. A one year warranty on a $400+ graphics card seems a bit lacking to me. Granted if it doesn't fail in the first year it's likely it may never fail. My other thought on the warranty is I am not likely to keep a card past 1 year. I have a bad addiction of trying to pick up the latest and greatest toys, and I am sure I am not the only one out there. As it is most companies don't let you transfer warranties if you were to sell the card 9-12 months down the road it would make no difference at all.
Legit Bottom Line: The HIS Radeon HD5870 it offers massive performance gains over all the single cards I have tested. If you are looking for the fastest of the fast this may be the right card for you.
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