PowerColor Radeon HD 5870 LCS: The GHz Limit, Broken


Back in 1923, mountaineer George Mallory was interviewed by the New York Times about his planned climb of the yet-unconquered Mount Everest. When Mallory was asked why he wanted to climb the mountain, he answered: "because it's there."

Yes, the new Radeon HD 5870 is a blazing-fast graphics card--the fastest single-GPU card in the world, in fact. So why would anyone in their right mind want to void their warranty in a wanton quest to squeeze out more megahertz from the beast? George knew the answer, and if you're reading this, we suspect you'll agree. Caution be damned, we want to know how far we can push the Cypress graphics processor.

We aren't going to settle for a small increase, either. We want to know just how far a reasonable human being can take the Radeon HD 5870, so standard air-cooling solutions aren't going to cut it. Nope, we're going to need something a little more effective. When you want to kick PC cooling up a notch, liquid cooling is the way to go. For more on the Radeon HD 5870 itself, check out our launch coverage right here.

It is only natural that we look to PowerColor's new Radeon HD 5870 LCS as the weapon of choice in our charge to slay the megahertz (or could it be gigahertz?) dragon. Equipped with a pre-installed EK water block, the card is factory overclocked and advertised to keep temperatures under 50 degrees Celsius at load. Let's start our overclocking journey by taking a closer look at the card.

  • tacoslave

    oh and you too powercolor. mmmmmmmmm waterblock...
  • CoryInJapan
    Wow...is ATI leading again...O wait they are.
    Nice to see ATI back on top. Would be nice to have that card.
  • tacoslave
    so much potential lost for shame...

    sorry for double posting but i got cut off.
  • jimmysmitty
    Enjoy it while it lasts ATI.

    Unless nV screws G300 up (rebranding G200) then it may be a nice time but wont last forever.

    If only they could get a damn seperate shader clock. With 1600 SPs running at 1.7GHz they could blow nV out of the water....
  • anamaniac
    It's dissapointing to hear the memory had to be put so low...
    Though I'd love to liquid cool my i7, then add a 5870 and liquid cool that also. I got a radiator at work that can likely handle a 10 kilowatt system, add to that it's constantly cooled by sub zero temperatures (during winter atleast), with a 5 barrel resevoir, and dual 24" fans (used to cool 3000psi hydraulics).

    Even more dissapointing to see it can't keep up with it's dual 4xxx series cousin.
    Also, GPU waterblocks just look so inneficient...
  • micky_lund
    can i has one to sell? then buy dual 5850s
  • 7amood
    WOOOOOOOW extremely low temperatures... but not worth the 500W draw.
    I think now am interested in water cooled video cards.

    but honestly, i thought the gain will be 20% at least... disappointing.
  • liquidsnake718
    You made a mistake on the test and benchmark page on the Crysis Bench config. It states you tested it at low quality. This would mean at least 100-150FPS....

    Nice work but I also wish you guys tested Crysis at Very High settings.... its always great to see Crysis tested at its maximum threshhold.
  • shubham1401
    Being a single card 5870 performs very impressively...
    And the power usage is impressive too(Only on stock).

    This is the best card for now and with a lil price dip it'll be fav. of all high end gamers.
  • IzzyCraft
    I love the draw on their oc 1 gpu is greater then 2 older gen gpus draw that's just hilariously bad results. Still with the waterblock set up maybe you can afford the 1000 dollar electric bill with you're fastest possible machine. Sorry but as far as ATI venders powercolor is low on the list of ones i trust. Poor 5870 gpu wasted on excess and ya can't waste those things, hard to come by with tsmc doing jack in the yields department.