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Power, Noise, And Heat

Tahiti LE, Tested: PowerColor's HD7870 PCS+ Myst Edition
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Power Consumption and Noise

The PowerColor HD7870 PCS+ Myst Edition consumes a lot more power than the Pitcairn-based Radeon HD 7870. Occasionally, it even demonstrates higher power consumption than the Radeon HD 7950, though this is probably a result of its higher GPU voltage. If it seems like you've seen this play out before, think back to ATI's Radeon HD 5830.

Ah well. The table below has the most important power consumption-related numbers, along with noise levels that correspond to each workload.

Load
Noise Level
Power Consumption
Idle
31.4 dB(A)
12 W
(Radeon HD 7870 app. 12 W, Radeon HD 7950 app. 11 W)
 Blu-ray Playback
32.8 dB(A)
68 W
(Radeon  HD 7870 app. 45 W, Radeon HD 7950 app. 54 W)
Gaming
37.8 dB(A)
175 W
(Radeon HD 7870 app. 115 W, Radeon HD 7950 app. 145 W)
Stress Test / GPGPU
40.3 dB(A)
200 W
(Radeon HD 7870 app. 148 W, Radeon HD 7950 app. 180 W)


The temperature and fan speed curves fit with these numbers. PowerColor is pretty conservative with the HD7870 PCS+ Myst Edition’s fan control. It starts at only 25% duty cycle and revs up slowly as the temperature increases. Pushing the card hard does result in quite a bit of noise, but it remains bearable. Seemingly, PowerColor allowed higher temperatures to help keep acoustic output in check.

We achieved the temperatures in the chart above using an open test bed, but the card exceeds 75 degrees Celsius in a closed case (Corsair Obsidian 800D). This is just barely on the right side of acceptable, but certainly not a great result.

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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. ^_^
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