The HD 6870 is another great inclusion to the much loved HAWK series and you can see thanks to the extra effort that MSI has put into it that there's a fair chunk of performance on offer with the card quite often sitting between the higher end HD 6900 series.
The biggest problem for the HD 6870 HAWK, though, is the GTX 560 Ti. Due to the HAWK carrying a slightly higher price tag over the normal HD 6870, we find ourselves looking at around GTX 560 Ti pricing, and even overclocked we saw the model performs only around that of a slightly overclocked GTX 560 Ti.
The HD 6970 HAWK is still a very good card, though, and if you're more of an AMD fan you'll probably find yourself preparing this one. Outside of that, the HD 6870 HAWK is a lot more fun than any other GTX 560 we've tested to date due to the fact you get the benefit of adjusting those extra voltages which in turn allow for a higher overclock across the board.
Speaking to MSI as well, they've managed to achieve as high as 1100MHz on the core and if you could snap up a card that did that speed, you'd be laughing. For the most part a lot of the cards seem to be around the 1050MHz mark, though. Compared to a reference card, this is a great overclock and really, two of these in a machine would be fantastic. At over 1GHz on the core and 5GHz QDR on the memory, you'd have some killer performance.
Outside of just the overclocking ability we get from the model, there's also that cooler which is fantastic. It's quiet and keeps the card running extremely cool even when we've bumped 1.35v through the core. Drop the voltages back and you'd have even more attractive cooling numbers.
This is a fantastic model, but it's clear that NVIDIA really has AMD against the wall at the moment with the aggressive pricing of the GTX 560 Ti. Either way, though, this is a model that you wouldn't be disappointed in.
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