Date: December 21st, 2010
Article by: Nathan Glentworth (Owner / Head Editor)
Product was submitted by: PowerColor
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PRODUCT PICTORIAL & WALKTHROUGH
Let's take a virtual walk around PowerColor's PCS+ version of ATI's HD 5870.
First off we start at this videocard's VPU. Powercolor's use of the 40nm manufactured Cypress RV870 core is complimented with a stock clock of 875Mhz core and 1250Mhz DDR5 memory. The HD5870 has 1600 shader pipelines whereas the HD5830 has only 1120 with the HD5850 falling exactly in the middle. In addition, the HD5870 will have an overall higher peak memory bandwidth due to its higher memory clock at 160.0Gb/sec, but the HD5850 and the HD5830 are exactly the same at 128Gb/sec.
As mentioned earlier, PowerColor's use of four 8mm copper heatpipes is targeted mainly to cool the GPU alone. The fan blows air over the cooler and the DDR5 memory and has part of its exhaust being blown back into the case, and part is exhausted out the rear (ppppfffft...). To me, this seems to be an awfully big cooler for one chip and having these hot GDDR5 memory not being directly cooled at all seems to be an oversight. Although the memory will be exposed to airflow, it will very soon be known whether it will affect the overclocking potential. I am more of a fan of the coolers that intake air on one end of the card and blow the hot exhaust directly out the cards rear exhaust port and out of the case.
Stock temperature testing had this cooler resting at 28c in an ambient room
temperature of 21c in an open air environment. Under a 100% GPU FurMark load, this cooler still remained very quiet, and maintained a very respectable 68c. Under the overclock which will be mentioned within the next couple pages, again the idle was 28c with the load temperatures creeping up to 74c which is still very good. No game will have this card at a constant 1 hour 100% load so consider these temperatures a worst case scenario.
The back of the card is simple and unobstructed so that it won't interfere with any motherboard northbridge cooling solutions. Keep in mind though that this card will take up two rear slots when installed and for better cooling I wouldn't be installed and PCI device immediately under it if it can be avoided.