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PowerColor RADEON 5870 PCS+ Print E-mail
Written by Michael Schuette   
May 07, 2010 at 04:52 PM

In our previous articles featuring some of the ASUS Extreme series graphics cards we covered how allowing custom implementations of the Evergreen GPUs has rekindled some of the fire of AMD’s latest graphics card line-ups. Essentially, every AMD partner is able to throw their own customization in the mix, some of it is higher quality parts, some of it is cosmetics, some of it is redesigning the circuit board layout in order to add tweaks and some of it is omission of unnecessary ports to cut production cost and/or reduce electromagnetic interference. By the end of the day all of these customizations serve two purposes, that is, on the one side are performance gains that underscore the leading role of AMD graphics solutions, on the other side is the fact that deviations from the reference design will drop, almost by definition, the liability with respect to performance and reliability in the partner’s lap. The consumer wins, AMD wins, the partner wins, it is pretty much as easy as that. On the downside – for the competition – is the fact that every comparison now becomes a moving target.

One of AMD’s strongest channel partners is PowerColor, a subsidiary of Taiwanese Technology Unlimited (TUL) Corporation and headquartered in City of Industry in SoCal. As one of the top three graphics card manufacturers, along with ASUS and Sapphire, PowerColor can throw in some weight to procure some of the highest binned GPUs and tie them into their top of the line specialty cards. Interestingly enough, PowerColor doesn’t stop at having one standard and one extreme solution, rather, to use the RADEON 5870 as example, the repertoire encompasses no less than eight different solutions characterized by GPU frequency, memory amount and speed and the game bundled with the card. Accordingly, aside from LES, PCS++ and PCS+, we can be looking at a Dirt2 edition or a Call of Duty Edition with otherwise identical specs. The latter, specifically COD Modern Warfare2 edition is what we have here today on the butcher’s block.

ATI Radeon 5850
ATI Radeon 5870
GeForce GTX280 GeForce GTX285
Manufacturing Process
40 nm
65 nm 55 nm
Grapics Core Freq.
725 MHz
875 MHz
850 MHz
602 MHz 648 MHz
Stream Processor Freq.
725 MHz
875 MHz
850 MHz
1296 MHz 1476 MHz
No. of Stream Processors
240 240
Memory Technology
Memory Clock/Data Rate
1107/2214 1240/2480
Memory Bus Width
256 bit
512 bit
Memory Bandwidth
128 GB/sec
160 GB/sec
153.6 GB/sec
141.7 GB/sec 159 GB/sec
On-Board Memory
1 GB
1 - 2 GB
1 GB
1 - 2 GB
Texture Units
Texture Rate
52.2 GT/s
70 GT/s
68 GT/s
48.2 GT/s 51.8 GT/s
Fill Rate
23.2 GP/s
28 GP/s
27.2 GP/s
19.3 GP/s 21.4 GP/s
Power Connectors
2*6 pin
2*6 pin pin
1*6/1*8 pin
1*6/1*8 pin 2*6 pin
Max Power
151 W
195 W
188 W
236 W 183 W

Compared to a standard off the shelf RADEON HD5870, the overclocking is moderate, 25 extra MHz on the GPU and 50 MHz on the memory clock (200 MHz data rate) are not really earth shattering but it is enough to at least stay abreast of the default cards. Needless to say that no matter which flavor of a 5870 it is, it will have enough power for most applications, with maybe the exception of some Eyefinity configurations.

Other Features and Specs

The general features and specs of AMD's RADEON lineup are essentially the same as those of any other offering.

  • PCI Express 2.1 x16 bus interface
  • DirectX® 11 support
    • Shader Model 5.0
    • DirectCompute 11
    • Programmable hardware tessellation unit
    • Accelerated multi-threading
    • HDR texture compression
    • Order-independent transparency
  • OpenGL 3.2 support
  • Image quality enhancement technology
    • Up to 24x multi-sample and super-sample anti-aliasing modes
    • Adaptive anti-aliasing
    • 16x angle independent anisotropic texture filtering
    • 128-bit floating point HDR rendering
  • ATI Eyefinity multi-display technology
    • Three independent display controllers
      • Drive three displays simultaneously with independent resolutions, refresh rates, color controls, and video overlays
    • Display grouping
      • Combine multiple displays to behave like a single large display
  • ATI Stream acceleration technology
      OpenCL support14
    • DirectCompute 11
    • Accelerated video encoding, transcoding, and upscaling
  • ATI CrossFireX™ multi-GPU technology
    • Dual GPU scaling
  • ATI Avivo™ HD Video & Display technology
    • UVD 2 dedicated video playback accelerator
    • Advanced post-processing and scaling8
    • Dynamic contrast enhancement and color correction
    • Brighter whites processing (Blue Stretch)
    • Independent video gamma control
    • Dynamic video range control
    • Support for H.264, VC-1, and MPEG-2
    • Dual-stream 1080p playback support9,10
    • DXVA 1.0 & 2.0 support
    • Integrated dual-link DVI output with HDCP
      • Max resolution: 2560x1600
    • Integrated DisplayPort output
      • Max resolution: 2560x1600
    • Integrated HDMI 1.3 output with Deep Color, xvYCC wide gamut support and high bit-rate audio
      • Max resolution: 1920x1200
      • Integrated VGA output
      • Max resolution: 2048x1536
      • 3D stereoscopic display/glasses support
    • Integrated HD audio controller
        • Output protected high bit rate 7.1 channel surround sound over HDMI with no additional cables required
        • Supports AC-3, AAC, Dolby TrueHD and DTS Master Audio formats
  • ATI PowerPlay™ power management technology7
    • Dynamic power management with low power idle state
    • Ultra-low power state support for multi-GPU configurations

Last Updated ( Jun 02, 2010 at 02:12 PM )
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