Radeon 5870 Roundup
It’s been just over six months since ATI first introduced the Radeon 5870. For most of that time, shipping retail cards based on the 5870 GPU have utilized the same ATI reference design and cooling, resulting in cards that were literally identical to each other: other than the sticker on the card’s fan, the hardware was the same. Besides price and software bundle, there was very little differentiation amongst the various Radeon 5870 cards on the market.
That was then.
In the last month or two, a wave of new Radeon 5870 cards have hit the market with custom board designs, cooling, or clock speeds, and many feature all three. And in the weeks ahead, the first Radeon 5870 boards with 2GB of memory will hit shelves. In some newer games the 1GB 5870 runs out of frame buffer memory at 2560x1600 with high levels of AA, these 2GB Radeon 5870 boards should address this issue.
Before the 2GB Radeon 5870 cards arrive though we’ve assembled a collection of some of the best custom 5870 boards on the market today. All of the cards represented here today are OC’ed from the factory for better performance, and they all feature custom cooling.
Instead of prepping a newer “5890” chip with higher clock speeds, ATI has chosen to counter NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 480 with these faster OC’ed 5870 cards. But are they capable of dethroning NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 480?
Despite its higher power draw and temps, the GTX 480 is considered to be the world’s fastest GPU. If a factory OC’ed 5870 were capable of outrunning the GTX 480, it would justify ATI’s decision not to introduce a 5890 to counter NVIDIA’s new flagship GPUs.
For today’s article we’ve assembled three different 5870 cards. From MSI we’ve got their R5870 Lightning, which is certainly one of the most unique single-GPU card we’ve seen in quite some time. It has a custom PCB, dual 8-pin PCIe power connectors, dual fans with custom cooling, and more.
From Gigabyte we have their 5870 Super Overclock, the GV-R587SO-1GD. As its name implies, this board is factory OC’ed, in fact it’s overclocked further than any other air-cooled 5870 card. It also features custom cooling with dual fans.
Finally, there’s HIS, with their 5870 TurboX. This is the board we mentioned in our GeForce GTX 480 article which ships with a copy of Modern Warfare 2, custom clocks, and unique cooling.
|Radeon 5870 Comparison|
|Radeon 5870 Stock||Gigabyte 5870 Super OC||HIS 5870 TurboX||MSI R5870 Lightning|
|Graphics Core Clock||850MHz||950MHz||900MHz||900MHz|