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Powercolor HD 5870 PCS+ Review

When testing video cards, it is important to use a system which would suit the target audience. For this review we are using a Intel Core i7 980x processor paired with the excellent, KitGuru award winning Asus Rampage III Extreme Motherboard – check out the review here if you missed it.

We will compare the card to the reference HD 5870 model as well as a reference HD5850 and pre-overclocked Sapphire Toxic Edition HD5850. A very small percentage of the audience (1%)  use a 30 inch screen so we like to include 24 inch resolutions when possible (1920×1200). Keeping in HD5850 results is also a good indication of what people can expect if they sold a 5850 and wanted to upgrade to the higher end model.

Test System:
Powercolor HD5870 PCS+
Sapphire HD5850 Toxic 1GB Edition
AMD Reference HD5870
AMD Reference HD5850
Intel Core i7 980x
Coolit ECO A.L.C.
Asus Rampage III Extreme Motherboard
6GB Corsair DDR3 1866mhz Memory
Intel 160GB SSD Drive
Lacie 730 30 inch screen.
Western Digital Raid 0 (2×1TB Drives)
Enermax 1250W Revolution PSU
Thermaltake Armor A60 Chassis

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit – all newest patches applied
Fraps Professional
Catalyst 10.6 driver

Keithley Integra unit
Thermal Diodes
Raytek Laser Temp Gun 3i LSRC/MT4 Mini Temp
Digital Sound Level Noise Decibel Meter Style 2

Resident Evil 5
Batman Arkham Asylum
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Call of Pripyat
Left 4 Dead 2
Colin McRae Dirt 2
Crysis Warhead
3dMark Vantage
UniGine Heaven Benchmark 2.1

All the latest bios updates and drivers are used during testing. We perform under real world conditions, meaning KitGuru test all games across five closely matched runs and average out the results to get an accurate median figure.

Our minimum frame rate game graphs have three main zones. These are sampled over a specific 30 interval period of time and then mapped into a chart. These are handy reference guides to detail worst case performance of the product being reviewed.

Over 30fps is the zone most people want at all times, this means perfectly smooth frame rates with no hitching.

Between 30fps and 25fps is the KitGuru ‘Playable’ zone, although some people might notice occasional stuttering in specific scenes.

Under 25fps is classed as the KitGuru ‘Danger Zone’ which means that the game experience will be less than impressive. Settings and/or resolution would need lowered to help smooth out the frame rate.

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