iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






Gigabyte HD 5870 SOC, PowerColor PCS+ HD5870 Graphics Cards

Best-in-class performance.

June 16, 2010

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Performance tests


  • Intel Core i7-975 (3340 MHz) CPU
  • ASUS P6T Deluxe motherboard with the Intel X58 chipset
  • 6GB of 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM from Corsair
  • WD Caviar SE WD1600JD 160GB SATA HDD
  • Tagan TG900-BZ 900W PSU
  • Windows 7 Ultimate 32-bit, DirectX 11
  • Dell 3007WFP 30-inch monitor
  • ATI CATALYST 10.4; NVIDIA Drivers 197.57/197.75.
  • VSync disabled


  • Far Cry 2 (Ubisoft) -- DirectX 10.0, shaders 4.0 (HDR), built-in benchmarking utility (the Middle level), maximum settings.
  • Crysis 1.2 (Crytek/EA) -- Rescue, DirectX 10.0, shaders 4.0, Very High settings, batch file, timedemo available by e-mail request.
  • Crysis Warhead (Crytek/EA) -- Cargo, DirectX 10.0, shaders 4.0, Very High settings, batch file, timedemo available by e-mail request.
  • Colin McRae: DiRT 2 (Codemasters) -- DirectX 10.0/11.0, Ultra High settings, run the benchmark as follows: "dirt2.exe -benchmark example_benchmark.xml".
  • Warhammer 40.000: Dawn Of War II (Relic Entertainment/THQ) -- DirectX 10.0, Super High settings, run the benchmark from the in-game menu.
  • Just Cause 2 (Avalanche Studios/Eidos Interactive) -- DirectX 11.0, Super High settings, run the benchmark from the in-game menu.

  • Tropics Benchmark 1.3 (Unigine) -- DirectX 10.0, High settings.
  • Heaven Benchmark 2.0 (Unigine) -- DirectX 10.0, High settings.
  • Heaven Benchmark 2.0 (Unigine) -- DirectX 11.0, High settings.
  • 3DMark Vantage 1.02 (FutureMark) -- DirectX 10.0, shaders 4.0, multitexturing, Extreme settings.

We'd like to thank Unigine for helping us set up their benchmarks.

Long ago we proved how unreliable were test results obtained with the FRAPS utility. Sadly, this only leaves us benchmarks built into games. For this reason we prefer to use a small number of tests, but all of those are transparent and precise. What's more important, they accurately show the correlation of graphics card performance.

Far Cry 2

Crysis, Rescue

Crysis Warhead, Cargo

Colin McRae: DiRT 2

Warhammer 40.000: Dawn Of War II

Just Cause 2

Unigine Tropics Benchmark

Unigine Heaven Benchmark DirectX 10.0

Unigine Heaven Benchmark DirectX 11.0

3DMark Vantage Graphics Marks


PowerColor PCS+ HD5870 1GB GDDR5 (AX5870 1GBD5-PPDHG2) is a nice solution with a flawless cooler. On the downside, factory overclocking doesn't yield much, just about 3%-4% more performance.

Gigabyte GV-R587SO-1GD is an excellent solution. The combination of factory overclocking with a highly efficient cooler yields a great result. There's just one thing: that's not a unique advantage of GV-R587SO-1GD, this is relevant to all Radeon HD 5870 products. The 100MHz increase in core clock rate gives just 8%-10% more performance. The latter is obviously bottlenecked by memory bus bandwidth. Manufacturers will have to move back to wider buses in their future products -- to 384-bit, 448-bit, or even 512-bit ones. Even GDDR5 doesn't help, today's cores are just too powerful and demanding.

We express gratitude to PowerColor and Gigabyte for the provided graphics cards. The PSU is provided by TAGAN, the monitor is provided by NVIDIA.

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Page 1: Introduction, design

Page 2: Cooling

Page 3: Bundles, boxes

Page 4: Performance tests

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