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Powercolor HD 5870 PCS+ Review

The Powercolor HD5870 PCS+ left the KitGuru lab assistants with very positive feelings. The heatpipe cooler is extremely capable and due to its thermal effectiveness Powercolor are able to spin the fan much slower than the reference design.

We are slightly bewildered as to why Powercolor have opted for such a modest overclock ‘out of the box’, we already are aware that no two cards are created equal but with such massive headroom they could easily be shipping these at 900-925mhz core and 1250-1275 mhz memory. The performance increases therefore as they stand over a reference card are minimal, but they could have been so much more. In fact we can only imagine that a portion of the audience buying this card won’t touch the core or memory speeds and may very well not be getting anywhere near the performance levels they could be.

Checking for a UK price we were slightly surprised to see a new PCS++ model (yes two plus signs, it isn’t a typo), which is retailing for £10 more than the PCS+ Edition at £350 inc vat. The PCS+ we reviewed today is £340 inc vat and now comes with Call Of Duty Modern Warfare 2. The differences between the two? The PCS++ has a 950mhz core speed. I would be surprised if the PCS++ was an entirely different batch of cards, so it seems that Powercolor have just adjusted the bios with the higher core frequency and slapped another £10 to the asking price. Could they be hand picking cards for the PCS++ range? It is not something I could confirm, I would need a broader selection of samples in our labs to verify how many could easily hit 950mhz core … but ours did easily.

KitGuru says: The Powercolor HD5870 PCS+ is one of the quietest graphics cards we have yet to test, which is some achievement, especially considering the HD5870 is a performance card. It overclocks like hell and will make a perfect match for a performance oriented enthusiast with a big monitor and sensitive ears.

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Rating: 9.0.

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