Radeon HD 5870 Shootout - When Juggernauts Clash

Introducing the Cards (contd.)

PowerColor PCS+ HD 5870

PowerColor's PCS+ line of cards represents the 'crack elite' from the company. PCS stands for Professional Cooling System and the PCS+ HD 5870 comes with a custom-designed cooler that has a large 90mm fan as well as four thick copper heat pipes, two of which are 8mm thick and the other two 6mm thick. The card comes factory overclocked, of course, but modestly – 875MHz at the core and 4900MHz DDR at the memory.

The 90mm fan employed by PowerColor is one of the largest we've ever seen on any graphics card.

The PowerColor card keeps up with the same two DVI ports and single HDMI and DisplayPort.

A close up of the card's four copper heat pipes.


Sapphire HD 5870 Toxic Edition

Sapphire's HD 5870 Vapor-X was one of the first custom designed Radeon HD 5870 to hit the market and they are back with a vengeance. Although this card sports the same vapor chamber technology cooler, it is more aggressively clocked. In fact, the Toxic Edition is running at 925MHz at the core and 4900MHz DDR – a substantial increase of 75MHz at the core and 100MHz DDR. Furthermore, the Sapphire HD 5870 Toxic Edition comes with 2GB of framebuffer, which might come in handy on the higher resolution, more intensive runs when we enable anti-aliasing. It's also a great choice if going for a CrossFire setup with more memory to aid two super fast GPUs.

The cooler of the Toxic Edition is identical to the one found on Vapor-X Edition, which we have reviewed previously.

The usual two DVI ports, single HDMI and DisplayPort.

Concealed by the cooler cover are thick copper heat pipes that help draw heat away from the GPU core.


XFX HD 5870 XXX Edition

Rounding up our list of contenders is the XFX HD 5870 XXX Edition. The card is clocked at 875MHz at the core, which is a little too conservative; but it makes up for that by having its memory clocked at 5000MHz DDR. It also comes with a customized cooler, which, on the outset, resembles ATI's reference design, with the only difference being the placement of the cooling fan. That aside, we must say that the color scheme of the XFX card is pretty attractive.

The XFX card looks somewhat similar to ATI's reference design, but we really dig its funky color scheme.

Again, we see the usual twin DVI and single HDMI and DisplayPort on the backplate of the XFX card.

We can see copper heat pipes peeking from underneath the cooler's fan.