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Powercolor HD 5870 PCS+ Review

Rating: 9.0.

KitGuru has looked at many flavours of HD5870 over the last two months. Today we are going to look at a Powercolor version which is moderately overclocked and comes preinstalled with a hefty heatpipe cooler.

The HD5870 is still ATI’s flagship single core card and has been paving the performance path for many months, only recently usurped by the new nVidia GTX 480. All is not lost for ATI however as the HD5870 is still a big seller, thanks to cooler temperatures, lower power drain and quieter performance. It is also around £70-100 less expensive, which makes for a considerable saving.

The Powercolor card we are looking at today has a core speed bump of 25mhz and the memory also gets a 100mhz effective increase.

Both the cooler and the PCB are a non reference design and after looking at the Powercolor HD5850 PCS+ we have high hopes this card will be just as impressive.

HD 5850
HD 5870
Powercolor HD 5870 PCS+
Core Clock 725 MHz 850 MHZ 875 MHZ
Memory Clock 1000 MHz 1200 MHz 1225 MHz
Memory Size 1024 MB 1024 MB 1024 MB
Memory Bus Width 256 bit 256 bit 256 bit
Shader units 1440 1600 1600
ROPs 32 32 32

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  • Tech Head

    Christ you review a lot of video cards man, you must be burning out. Great review.

  • Eric K

    Falls in line with what I would expect performance wise. Quite disappointed on the overclock and I think what you said in the conclusion was spot on. I would think they have brought these cards out, realised how much more they can do, updated the bios. put an extra + on the box, and are charging £10 more for the ‘extra’. Id get the PCS+ and overclock it, like in this review.

  • Tim

    Those noise levels are remarkable, it may not be the fastest HD5870, that goes to the MSI lightning, but its the quietest. id take this one over any other performance card, just due to that.

  • Stefan

    Shame there was no GTX480 tested in this review, would be good to see performance against it.

  • Tri Color

    I love the HD5870 series, best high cards on the market right now. HD5970 and GTX480 dont count, they are far too loud.


    Thats an awesome board, love the noise figures, think its quieter than the GTX460 which I didnt think was possible. right?

  • fluffychicken

    Very impressive card this, price isnt too bad either considering a reference, loud, hot running GTX480 is £50 more.

  • derek

    I like the cooler, but it looks quite large, might not fit into some small chassis.

  • dilbert

    @ Stefan, there is a head to head on kitguru with the HD5870 sapphire card and a GTX480. check the review index 🙂 shows t he figures, which would be almost identical for this card too.

  • Flo

    havent read it all yet, but I always check out the dBA pages on kitguru as I love that testing methodology you use. On this alone the powercolor card is massively impressive.

  • Trev Mang

    Its impressive, but most of these overclocked cards are very similar in the HD58xx range. hard to get excited anymore.

  • Jeo

    That overclock on the manual page is insane, why the hell are they selling them with such crap overclocks?

  • Francois lebon

    the overclock is too weak, for such a good product. the PCS++ is clearly out to fix that mistake. seems a bit sly to me.

  • Fred

    Isnt there a rule book guide that ATI send out to their partners about not overclocking past specific speeds? I think this has something to do with it.

  • Brad

    nah. The only rules I know are the memory speeds have to fall into guidelines, so legally they could have put the memory at 1250mhz, to give samsungs 5000mhz rating, any higher is dodgy and I think they would be open for suing.

    The core, thats different, its clearly capable of 950mhz easily, even across a range of cards, and they are doing this now with the secondary PCS++ card just released. I suppose they had to charge £10 so people who bought the PCS+ werent pissed off it was the same price.

  • Samuel Perk

    best graphics card reviews on the net. just enough useful info to help me work out what to buy. love the db testing and power consumption testing. sites that test power over a complete system load are wasting their time, I can’t tell what is the card or the system. much too difficult to work out.

  • Cecil

    I dont know, I still wouldnt touch powercolor, they seem like a mickey mouse eastern make to me.

  • Frank Smith

    Decent pricing really considering the product. Looks good too, shame the black cooler is a bit boring looking, more heatpipe showing would look better 🙂

  • Luke Trent

    Powercolor are a really good make, as far as I know most companies get these cards made in the same factory anyway. palit make most of them.

  • hank the tank

    Any place selling these in canada?

  • dark knight

    MSI Lightning or this? hard choice. MSI lightning is faster, more expensive, but slightly louder. I hate noise and think id opt for this and just overclock it a bit more. views?

  • gareth cringle

    this is quite close against the sapphire toxic card. which is quieter?

  • Steven

    I would assume going on the results that this is quieter than the sapphire toxic, but kitguru changed testing methods a while ago so hard to tell.

  • hairy beast

    Lovely review of a very sexy product. I cant get enough of the ATI reviews on this site.

  • Fraline

    Powercolor are really good, I feel the need to defend them. I had a few of their cards in the past, as they are normally cheaper than sapphire. never had a problem, they are still working in older machine actually !

  • Davey

    The power consumption is a little high, but the efficiency seems good, thanks to the cooling system, low noise, great performance, high overclocking options. good well done I say !

  • Brad

    These are too expensive for me, but I like this 5870 more than the others reviewed here. why? the noise levels are class leading. I hate fan noise.

  • dbdb

    excellent review of a very good product.

  • Rockstar lover

    Very impressed with this card. love the design and looks.

  • When bobby met berty

    I still think the HD5850 is the best value card on the market as you can overclock most of them to reach HD5870 performance levels.

  • lars

    I resently bought Vertex3D 5870 (its the same company just different name in EU) and couldnt be more satisfied with the card. First thing I was worried was the heat but it seems these cards run very cool and are quiet. Performance is ofcourse the same as it has been since the launch and what PC users now lack are GAMEs that actually utilize thse amazing beasts.