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Powercolor PCS+ 4870 1GB (buy or not)

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October 6, 2008 9:06:34 AM

Hi all. I am ready to buy the Powercolor PCS+ 4870 1GB GDDR5. I have read a few reviews from various sites and all say its a very good card. I would like to read owners opinions after using it for a while. Are you happy after using it for a week / month? As happy as you were when you bought it? Do you reccomend it over other variations?

A few review sites for anyone interested:
http://hothardware.com/Articles/PowerColor-PCS-HD-4870-1GB-GDDR5/
http://www.hexus.net/content/item.php?item=15463

ThankYou in advance.
Jim
October 6, 2008 9:42:50 AM

I have this one: http://www.overclockersclub.com/reviews/powercolor_4870...

which is 512MB version, and I have to say that this cooler is prety good. The fan is ramping as it supposed to be, keeps the card cool.
Measured temps(by GPU-Z) are as follows: Iddle: 45-47 C (22C ambient) Full load(crysis warhed 2 hours play) GPU reaches 64 C at peak!
About the performance, I can't say if it is true or not because I have been limited by my CPU (AMD X2 @ 3.0Ghz). I'm not sure if I have better CPU will this inprove my fps, but with current CPU I have scored lower results for games and 3D marks than ones provided in the review.
Make sure you have 2 PCIE 6pin power connectors available, and at least 500W power supply because the card is draining 180W+
October 6, 2008 11:00:49 AM

I only buy a video card with lifetime warranty any more.
Related resources
October 6, 2008 12:16:37 PM

What good is lifetime warranty in graphics cards, which we (I) change every 2 years max bobbknight?
So the Powercolor is an excellent choice for its money? Very nice :) 
ty for replies
October 6, 2008 12:35:39 PM

If it is a concern, I did not get my rebate from PowerColor. Newegg had to pay it to me.
October 8, 2008 7:23:34 AM

I want to buy it, but can't find the thing for sale anywhere in the UK or Holland :( 
October 8, 2008 8:38:03 AM



That is not the PCS+ version, which is factory overclocked. It's the standard one with the standard cooler. I have seen these cards in Singapore, in Sim Lim Square. More than 20 copies too. But nowhere else so far :( 
October 8, 2008 9:30:36 AM

sorry, my bad :) 
I've searched around for 1GB PCS+ version but havn't found it in UK, only USA.
October 8, 2008 9:58:57 AM

I've found a lot online in the US, Germany, France, Spain, and Australia. But not here - what gives?
October 9, 2008 11:42:25 AM

I just recieved one from the Egg but in the US however, I have read there are some problems with some of these cards. this has been my experience so far and I am going to RMA it today I guess. Not to hijack the thread but if anyone has any ideas as I think it is a windows conflict but it could be the card fails! There are some reports that some GPU/VRM chips cannot handle the PCS+ OC and fail during apps such as Futuremark. Many HD4870s have a max OC of 780-790mhz core/ sub 1100mhz memory. This card may just not be able to handle the 800 mhz core even with Windows. Thoughts?


Problem: Tried to install the PowerColor HD4870 1gb card. After removing and cleaning the old drivers I installed the new card but I get the BSOD before Windows (XP SP3) completes it's installation during the desktop. I am unable to run the Catalyst install. I reset the bios to default with no results. My PSU is a PC&P 610 Silencer so I think I have plenty of power available.
October 10, 2008 7:55:45 AM

2 things u can try. 1 is formatting your PC. This way you will know for sure if it's software or hardware problem. 2 is taking the card to a friends place and testing it there. Either way GL
October 10, 2008 8:12:59 AM

mybad that's the 512 and it wont let me edit
October 10, 2008 6:22:13 PM

im looking at this card alos for a possible buy... anyone have one and have any real feedback? is the improved cooling on it any good?

tks
October 11, 2008 8:07:50 AM

As I said before:
yonef said:
I have this one: http://www.overclockersclub.com/reviews/powercolor_4870...

which is 512MB version, and I have to say that this cooler is prety good. The fan is ramping as it supposed to be, keeps the card cool.
Measured temps(by GPU-Z) are as follows: Iddle: 45-47 C (22C ambient) Full load(crysis warhed 2 hours play) GPU reaches 64 C at peak!
About the performance, I can't say if it is true or not because I have been limited by my CPU (AMD X2 @ 3.0Ghz). I'm not sure if I have better CPU will this inprove my fps, but with current CPU I have scored lower results for games and 3D marks than ones provided in the review.
Make sure you have 2 PCIE 6pin power connectors available, and at least 500W power supply because the card is draining 180W+


and...
Craxbax said:
There are some reports that some GPU/VRM chips cannot handle the PCS+ OC and fail during apps such as Futuremark. Many HD4870s have a max OC of 780-790mhz core/ sub 1100mhz memory. This card may just not be able to handle the 800 mhz core even with Windows. Thoughts?


you are completely wrong! I have OC mine to 850/1100 easy and it is stable at all benches and games so far. I'm sure that GPU can handle more but this is the most right possition of the slider on CCC. Even at 850 GPU didn't exceed 65-70 with fan override at 55% speed. If there is any app that can push GPU more than 850 I'm willing to try and will post results here. (WITHOUT BIOS overwrite!)
October 11, 2008 12:58:22 PM

I didn't say every PCS+ GPU couldn't handle the 800mhz OC... I said some! Not all chips are created equal. Several reference clocked cards can't do 800mhz so I don't find that hard to believe some of these find a way into PCS+ cards. I have also read a review that said they got 860/1100 with PCS+ 1gb card. In any case 512mb card memory OCs better than 1gb memory possibly because voltage to VRM wasn't increased on the 1gb cards (but I can't state that as fact.) That said the Powercolor has VRM 4 phase (reference 3 phase) as well as better voltage regulator and cooling over reference. I am betting I got a defective card and that the next one will work great as I have another one coming.
October 11, 2008 1:37:15 PM

Everyone has to understand that furmark can burn your cards up. These cards have alot of potential, and furmark just guns the motor on any card. Problem is, youll never see this kind of demand from a game, only furmark, so I wouldnt use it on your cards. These cards oc like crazy. The bios is a special bios for these cards, and allow for higher voltege. I havnt heard about these particular cards VRM going bad. Links?
October 11, 2008 1:53:24 PM

yonef said:
I have this one: http://www.overclockersclub.com/reviews/powercolor_4870...

which is 512MB version, and I have to say that this cooler is prety good. The fan is ramping as it supposed to be, keeps the card cool.
Measured temps(by GPU-Z) are as follows: Iddle: 45-47 C (22C ambient) Full load(crysis warhed 2 hours play) GPU reaches 64 C at peak!
About the performance, I can't say if it is true or not because I have been limited by my CPU (AMD X2 @ 3.0Ghz). I'm not sure if I have better CPU will this inprove my fps, but with current CPU I have scored lower results for games and 3D marks than ones provided in the review.
Make sure you have 2 PCIE 6pin power connectors available, and at least 500W power supply because the card is draining 180W+


A better CPU may give you better FPS because it will handle the physics, particles and other stuff a CPU tends to do faster thus resulting in faster low end FPS. It would mainly depend on your resolution though. At 1280x1024 thats just about the threshhold where the games starts to become GPU limited. Same for the equivalent widescreen resolution.

But in the end if you play at say 1680x1050+ then the CPU wont make as much of a difference.

As for the OP, I would get the 4870 1GB. I have a HD2900Pro 1GB and the extra memory helps in some games allowing more storage for higher res games. Mainly Crysis would take advantage of this and I am sure future games will as well as they start putting higher res textures in them.
October 11, 2008 3:54:13 PM

Yes, I have to admit that 1GB will perform better on hi res and AA on; Just PCS+ 1GB is not available in UK, yet :( 
!