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PowerColor Radeon PCS+ 6870

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Posted November 29, 2010 by Jake in Video Cards

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by Jake
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Summary

There are a several points to consider as we look at the 6800 cards, but there are a few major ones to note. The first is that the 6870 technically isn’t a successor to the 5870, even though we saw the performance is almost identical. The reason is that the 5870 was the flagship model, but the 6870 isn’t. Believe it or not, it’s much lower on the performance ladder of the new 6000 series cards; it must be remembered that this "mid-range" gaming card actually matches the previous flagship model. That’s pretty impressive when you think about it. We are still baffled, though, by AMD’s decision to name the cards so similar and yet they are not the successors to the previous models. It is confusing in our opinion.

There are also some other appealing new features brought into the mix, notably 3D and tessellation, though these really do appeal to a very small niche market at this point in time. Our gaming results showed a bit of a mixed bag where a couple game titles were concerned, with a few drops where the AMD cards were trounced across the board.

Against the GTX 470, the 6870 does reasonably well but stumbles in a few games, so there’s some consideration to take into account there, plus the lack of PhysX and CUDA obviously can be a factor, particularly if you’re into Folding @ Home. The PowerColor PCS+ 6870 retails for $275 USD, in line with other manufacturers’ non-reference, overclocked cards. We also can’t forget that a copy of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is included, which boosts the value here. On the Nvidia side of the equation, however, a reference GTX 470 costs $260, but it sucks considerably more power and run far hotter and noisier as well. As a result, the choice of card depends on your preferences and criteria: temperatures, noise, power consumption, PhysX, and triple screen gaming are potential factors that can influence your decision.

However, we do know that PowerColor PCS+ 6870 can be overclocked very far and with little effort, so at this price point, the gaming horsepower and value is impressive. There’s no real knockout punch here for AMD, but the new features here are very enticing. There’s some considerable gaming horsepower in this PowerColor Radeon PCS+ 6870 card, and it is a great option.

PowerColor Radeon PCS+ 6870

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