Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

Packaging, Features, And Pictures

Tahiti LE, Tested: PowerColor's HD7870 PCS+ Myst Edition
By

Since the PowerColor HD7870 PCS+ Myst Edition’s packaging is mostly made out of cardboard, it can go straight into the recycling bin, which may nab the company points for being green, if that's important to you in a graphics card vendor. The only exception is the obligatory bubble wrap protecting the delicate card itself.

Aside from the Tahiti LE-based board, the box includes a very small manual and a driver disc. There are no power cable adapters, CrossFire bridges, or display I/O adapters in PowerColor's bundle. Most folks are probably alright without those extras, though we have had situations where adapters have saved us a trip to the store (particularly when dealing with DisplayPort-enabled devices).

Pictures & Features

The PowerColor HD7870 PCS+ Myst Edition features a clean and simple design dominated by a dark metal shroud and a 92 mm axial fan, mounted right in the middle of the card.

Three thick copper heat pipes on the top of the card dissipate thermal energy into the cooler's fins. Two six-pin power connectors provide up to 75 W each, giving the board a total of 225 W when you count its PCI Express x16 slot. You'll need all of that available juice if you plan to overclock. After all, a Radeon HD 7950 is rated for 200 W, and that's at its reference frequencies.

CHiL's CHL8225 digital multi-phase buck controller is in charge of voltage regulation, providing the data needed to monitor this card via software in Windows. The memory modules on top of the board are made by Elpida, not Hynix. Even at 1,500 MHz (6,000 MT/s), they’re perfectly stable and do not require any additional cooling.

One dual-link DVI, one full-size HDMI, and two mini-DisplayPort connectors enable up to four simultaneous outputs on the back of PowerColor's HD7870 PCS+ Myst Edition. All four ports are on a single side of the dual-slot card, leaving a large vent for heated exhaust to escape.

That doesn't mean all of the air pushed through the heat sink by PowerColor's 92 mm fan goes out the back, though. A shroud covers much of the cooling solution, but doesn't completely envelop it. So, as with most other graphics cards with axial fans, some waste heat invariably makes its way back into your chassis.

The only real bad news here is that the GCN compute units on AMD's Tahiti LE GPU are fused off with a laser. There is no such thing as turning on disabled resources with a firmware update, unfortunately.

Ask a Category Expert

Create a new thread in the Reviews comments forum about this subject

Example: Notebook, Android, SSD hard drive

Display all 60 comments.
This thread is closed for comments
Top Comments
  • 26 Hide
    EzioAs , February 11, 2013 3:28 AM
    Quote:
    If it cant CFX with a 78xx, it has no right to be called a 7870+ . Marketing name fail +1.


    I agree. AMD has already establish good model naming scheme (X900 for high-end gaming, X800 for mid-range, X700 for low end gaming) after the 6000 series. To be honest, I say it's stupid not to call this chip the HD7930.
  • 23 Hide
    mayankleoboy1 , February 11, 2013 3:22 AM
    Isnt this review quite a bit late ? IIRC, the card came ~1.5 months back...

    If it cant CFX with a 78xx, it has no right to be called a 7870+ . Marketing name fail +1.
    The chip by itself is fine, though.
  • 16 Hide
    EzioAs , February 11, 2013 3:25 AM
    That's quite a short review. It's not anything I haven't looked at other sites. Anyway, at the current price, I really have to agree the 7870XT (Tahiti LE) are excellent cards.
Other Comments
  • 23 Hide
    mayankleoboy1 , February 11, 2013 3:22 AM
    Isnt this review quite a bit late ? IIRC, the card came ~1.5 months back...

    If it cant CFX with a 78xx, it has no right to be called a 7870+ . Marketing name fail +1.
    The chip by itself is fine, though.
  • 16 Hide
    EzioAs , February 11, 2013 3:25 AM
    That's quite a short review. It's not anything I haven't looked at other sites. Anyway, at the current price, I really have to agree the 7870XT (Tahiti LE) are excellent cards.
  • 26 Hide
    EzioAs , February 11, 2013 3:28 AM
    Quote:
    If it cant CFX with a 78xx, it has no right to be called a 7870+ . Marketing name fail +1.


    I agree. AMD has already establish good model naming scheme (X900 for high-end gaming, X800 for mid-range, X700 for low end gaming) after the 6000 series. To be honest, I say it's stupid not to call this chip the HD7930.
  • 13 Hide
    Azn Cracker , February 11, 2013 3:48 AM
    Or maybe the 7950 LE since its pretty much the same card just slower.
  • 7 Hide
    hero1 , February 11, 2013 4:06 AM
    Azn CrackerOr maybe the 7950 LE since its pretty much the same card just slower.


    I agree with you on this one. Someone need to give these guys a call and tell them how it is. What a load of bs on their naming scheme. I would absolutely call this 7950 SS or LE!
  • 7 Hide
    Anonymous , February 11, 2013 4:11 AM
    where are the frame time benches?
  • 7 Hide
    FormatC , February 11, 2013 4:19 AM
    The frametime thing (in some games) was gone (more or less) with the latest drivers and I think that AMD will handle the memory now a little bit better ;) 
  • 3 Hide
    shikamaru31789 , February 11, 2013 4:27 AM
    If only some other manufacturers were making these, Power Color's cooling solution isn't that good, 37.8 decibels while Gaming is not quiet enough for me.
  • 8 Hide
    EzioAs , February 11, 2013 4:30 AM
    Quote:
    If only some other manufacturers were making these, Power Color's cooling solution isn't that good, 37.8 decibels while Gaming is not quiet enough for me.


    Sapphire has one too, I believe
  • 6 Hide
    shikamaru31789 , February 11, 2013 4:42 AM
    EzioAsSapphire has one too, I believe

    Yeah, I just now noticed it on Newegg. Not sure why I didn't notice it before, based on the reviews it's been on there awhile. Too bad it costs $20 more than Power Color's. Still a good deal even at $260, since this review indicates that it's almost as fast as the much more expensive 7950's.
  • 13 Hide
    FormatC , February 11, 2013 4:45 AM
    It makes sense to include the frametimes if I can show something abormal. If the result is as expected in the tested games... The article was written in the begin of December and published in German first and we all knows what AMD answered about the frametime problems. I'm always using the frametime analysis to proof my benchmark results.

    BTW:
    The Powercolor card was tested a little bit later due the new BIOS. Powercolor has stopped the launch to correct some problems (Club3D and VTX3D were delivered with older BIOSes)
  • 8 Hide
    ricardok , February 11, 2013 5:13 AM
    And please, don't forget to add the Catalyst version you guys are using..

    This time we are without that info. And please say that you did the test with the newest driver.. I fail to see why you guys kept testing with 12.10..
  • 3 Hide
    iam2thecrowe , February 11, 2013 6:18 AM
    should be 7950 Le (light edition). But good card.
  • 4 Hide
    The_Trutherizer , February 11, 2013 6:31 AM
    shikamaru31789If only some other manufacturers were making these, Power Color's cooling solution isn't that good, 37.8 decibels while Gaming is not quiet enough for me.


    I remember about 10-5 years ago 40 decibels was considered whisper quiet.
  • 4 Hide
    JJ1217 , February 11, 2013 7:49 AM
    shikamaru31789Yeah, I just now noticed it on Newegg. Not sure why I didn't notice it before, based on the reviews it's been on there awhile. Too bad it costs $20 more than Power Color's. Still a good deal even at $260, since this review indicates that it's almost as fast as the much more expensive 7950's.


    ehh? I grabbed a Asus 7950 for $230 in *Australia* brand new... I think they're trying to get rid of them since it was the faulty model (Which is easily fixable and since been replaced by the V2 version)..
  • 5 Hide
    sanilmahambre , February 11, 2013 9:02 AM
    SAPPHIRE should have manufactured these Tahiti LE cards with VaporX cooler
  • 2 Hide
    iceclock , February 11, 2013 9:39 AM
    very nice article, at the moment i find the 7870xt edition is one of the best bang for bucks card atm.

    since it gives a good performance for lower cost than 7950 or 660ti

  • 7 Hide
    Anonymous , February 11, 2013 12:20 PM
    I don't understand the conclusion's comments: "if you cannot afford a real 660 Ti this is an alternative." Your benchmarks show this card AHEAD of the 660 Ti in average performance and individual performances, so this card is a better deal even if they cost exactly the same!
  • 4 Hide
    nokiddingboss , February 11, 2013 12:47 PM
    great card but it should have been named 7950 LE. they sure do know how to confuse customers.
  • 5 Hide
    Anonymous , February 11, 2013 1:56 PM
    Id highly suggest buying this baby on NEWEGG as you get BIOSHOCK/TOMB RAIDER Games BUNDLED or BIOSHOCK/CRYSIS 3 BUNDLED for FREE. I'm also under the impression you get the boxed versions.

    Plop these baby's on ebay/amazon and your looking at a 7930-LE $240 for only $140
    DAAANNNG. ^_^
Display more comments