We had a look at the MSI offering of the HD 3870 X2 and it really left us with a smile on our face, giving us the feeling that AMD want to take back the performance crown. The thing is that GECUBE have managed to take the card to the next level it seems. With big clocks out of the box, a simply awesome cooler and all-round design the card is just terrific.
Performance is as you would expect, having a look over our MSI review the card continues to beat it thanks to the higher overclock; we can also see that in games where Crossfire is supported it really is able to come out ahead of the competition.
The whole design of the card is actually completely different to the reference design as well. For starters, the PCB is slightly shorter than the reference designed X2, it's still a little longer than a standard HD 3870 though.
This design uses a 2x 6-Pin power connector instead of the single 6-Pin and single 8-Pin design. The only problem we have with this is that if you use a 1000 Watt PSU (we're not sure if it's 1000W and above or just 1000W) and you plug both connectors in, the card will fail to display. If you plug a single power connector in though, it fires up and runs like an absolute dream. It really is a very weird issue but GECUBE were great with helping us sort out the problem.
The card also actually uses fewer holes for the heatsink and they're also in a different position. While this isn't too much of a problem, if we see X2 waterblocks released it wouldn't fit this particular model; also, aftermarket coolers will probably be out of the question. With that said though you don't buy this card to rip off the simply awesome copper cooler.
Thanks to the different cooler design the card is able to implement 4x DVI ports meaning that if you needed some serious displays you could get two cards and have 8x Dual Link DVI ports on tap.
GECUBE have done what will probably be the best HD 3870 X2 money can buy! Is it the best video card on the market at the moment? - Well, it's kind of hard to say. I'm quite a fan of the X2 and with the potential of Crossfire just around the corner the chances are if you're after some serious power you couldn't pass on two of these bad boys.
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