PowerColor PCS+ 7870
There are some interesting things happening here with the launch of the Radeon 7870. While this card could be viewed as the successor to the 6870, the reality is that it’s such a vast improvement that the two cards really don’t share much in common except nomenclature.
In terms of performance, the Radeon 7850 competes extremely well against the GTX 580.
While the 7870 is positioned a a mid-range in AMD’s lineup, it is quite a mini monster, beating the GTX 580 in almost every regard. Granted, the GTX 580 is the last-gen flagship, but currently sells for a considerably higher price. The 7870 is far more affordable at $370 and produces better framerates overall, not to mention running cooler and more power frugal.
Beyond framerates, it’s important to note the temperature output of the new 28nm manufacturing process, and specifically the load results. We know that PowerColor typically produces some excellent heatsinks, and while the PCS+ 7870 wasn’t quite as outstanding as we had hoped, it still handily beat the competition, keeping load temperatures in the low to mid-70s Celcius. Keep in mind, this is an overclocked card, so slightly higher temperatures are not unexpected.
We remain very impressed with AMD’s mid-range lineup, and this bodes well for the company, as most sales occur in this market range. It’s a lucrative segment, and Nvidia can’t compete with any of their current products when a price-to-performance view is taken. It appears AMD has a stranglehold on the mid-range, at least until Nvidia’s new-gen cards hit shelves. In the meantime, sales are AMD’s for the taking. The PowerColor PCS+ 7870 in particular is a very impressive card, and for those who want great gaming performance without dropping a fortune, this is a card to get. It looks fabulous, beats a GTX 580, is very well priced, and offers an excellent overall package.