I love pre-overclocked cards. It's always great to get a bit more speed out of a model and not have to pay a whole lot more for it. Thanks to companies like HIS offering overclocked cards, the few companies who used to offer them can't charge the same premium that they used to and if they do, people aren't willing to pay it as often.
The Turbo series has been around for a while now, but like other ATI-only partners, it doesn't matter if you have the best series in the world, unless ATI are manufacturing a GPU that people want to buy, it doesn't matter.
The good news is that ATI are producing not only a chip we want, but chips, and for that reason we're seeing the full line-up get the treatment and today we're looking at one of our favorite models, the HD 5870.
What we'll do before we have a look at the clocks that HIS have opted for is check out the package and have a closer look at the card and the cooler they've decided to use.
The biggest stand out point from the bundle would have to be the inclusion of the Modern Warfare 2 voucher. It's always nice to not only get a game, but something that's popular like the COD series. If you're into your FPS games and you don't own a copy of it yet, I would highly recommend grabbing if off steam with the voucher.
Since Modern Warfare 2 is a game that so many people know, it comes as no surprise that HIS are taking advantage of it and implementing the game onto the cooler. What's really nice about the way they've done it is how they've not just seemed to slap an image on; instead it all looks streamlined with the way they've worked in the brand, model and MW2 logo.
As for the actual cooler design, HIS have moved away from the reference one and opted for one where the fan sits in the middle of the card and straight over the GPU. If you look behind the fan you can see the aluminum fins and if you look really carefully you can see a couple of copper heat pipes.
At the back, hidden below the cooler shroud we can see our two 6-Pin PCI-E power connectors. Moving across the top and towards the front, we of course have our two CrossFire connectors which will let us run multiples of these cards.
The I/O department follows the same as every other HD 5870 we've looked at. What this means is we've got two Dual-Link DVI connectors along with singular HDMI and DisplayPort connectors. Using the DisplayPort and any two of the other connectors, we're able to run Eyefinity.
The HD 5870 from HIS we're looking at today comes in as part of the Turbo series which means that it comes overclocked out of the box. Having a look at the screenshot below, you can see that the card carries with it a core clock of 875MHz which is 25MHz up on the default 850Mhz clock.
As for the 1GB of GDDR5, that has been bumped up 25MHz or 100MHz QDR to 4900MHz QDR. While the clocks aren't a big jump compared to a reference card, they should give us a tidy little increase in performance nonetheless.
Test System Setup and 3DMark Vantage
Test System Setup
Processor(s): Intel Core i7 920 @ 3.8GHz (190MHz x 20)
Cooling: Noctua NH-U12P (Supplied by Noctua)
Motherboard(s): GIGABYTE EX58-UD5 (Supplied by GIGABYTE)
Memory: 3 X 2GB Kingston Hyper X PC3-16000 2000MHz DDR CL9 (Supplied by Kingston)
Hard Disk(s): Western Digital 300GB Velicorapter (Supplied by Western Digital)
Operating System: Windows 7
Drivers: ATI Catalyst 10.1
Today we'll be comparing the HD 5870 Turbo from HIS against the HD 5870 from Sapphire which carries with it the reference clocks. We've also thrown in the HD 5850 from HIS just so you get an idea of how this model compares to its little brother.
Let's get started!
Version and / or Patch Used: 1.0.1
Developer Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com
Product Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com/products/3dmarkvantage/
Buy It Here
3DMark Vantage is the new industry standard PC gaming performance benchmark from Futuremark, newly designed for Windows Vista and DirectX10. It includes two new graphics tests, two new CPU tests, several new feature tests, and support for the latest hardware.
3DMark Vantage is based on a completely new rendering engine, developed specifically to take full advantage of DirectX10, the new graphics API from Microsoft.
Under Vantage you can see a nice little bump in performance from the HIS HD 5870 Turbo. You can clearly see we climb over P19k and X9k.
Unigine Heaven Benchmark (DX10 & DX11)
Unigine Heaven Benchmark
Version and / or Patch Used: 1
Developer Homepage: http://www.unigine.com
Product Homepage: http://unigine.com/press-releases/091022-heaven_benchmark//
New benchmark grants the power to unleash the DirectX 11 potential in the gift wrapping of impressively towering graphics capabilities. It reveals the enchanting magic of floating islands with a tiny village hidden in the cloudy skies. With the interactive mode emerging experience of exploring the intricate world is ensured within reach. Through its advanced renderer, Unigine is one of the first to set precedence in showcasing the art assets with tessellation, bringing compelling visual finesse, utilizing the technology to the full extend and exhibiting the possibilities of enriching 3D gaming.
Note: If a card doesn't support DirectX 11 the benchmark will be left out, if it does it will be included along with the DirectX10 results.
We again see a little bump in performance here. Nothing too major, but a performance increase nonetheless.
Benchmarks - CINEBENCH R10
Version and / or Patch Used: Release 10
Developer Homepage: http://www.maxon.net/
Product Homepage: http://www.maxon.net
CINEBENCH is a real-world test suite that assesses your computer's performace capabilities. MAXON CINEBENCH is based on MAXON's award-winning animation software, CINEMA 4D, which is used extensively by studios and production houses worldwide for 3D content creation. MAXON software has been used in blockbuster movies such as Spider-Man, Star Wars, The Chronicles of Narnia and many more.
MAXON CINEBENCH runs several tests on your computer to measure the performance of the main processor and the graphics card under real world circumstances. The benchmark application makes use of up to 16 CPUs or CPU cores and is available for Windows (32-bit and 64-Bit) and Macintosh (PPC and Intel-based).
CINEBENCH performance across the board is just as you would expect.
Benchmarks - Resident Evil 5
Resident Evil 5
Version and / or Patch Used: Demo Benchmark
Developer Homepage: www.residentevil.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.residentevil.com/
Resident Evil 5 is a survival horror video game developed and published by Capcom. The game is the seventh installment in the Resident Evil survival horror series, and was released on September 18. Resident Evil 5 revolves around Chris Redfield and Sheva Alomar as they investigate a terrorist threat in Kijuju, a fictional town in Africa.
Across the board we see a small bump in performance from the HD 5870 Turbo.
Benchmarks - Far Cry 2
Far Cry 2
Version and / or Patch Used: 1.01
Timedemo or Level Used: Ranch Long
Developer Homepage: http://www.ubi.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.farcry2.com/
Buy It Here
The Dunia Engine was built specifically for Far Cry 2 by the award-winning Ubisoft Montreal development team. It delivers the most realistic destructible environments, amazing special effects such as dynamic fire propagation and storm effects, real-time night-and-day cycle, dynamic music system, non-scripted enemy A.I. and so much more.
In the minimum department we see a good boost in performance at all resolutions.
Benchmarks - World in Conflict
World in Conflict
Version and / or Patch Used: 184.108.40.206
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage: http://www.massive.se
Product Homepage: http://www.worldinconflict.com
World in Conflict is a real-time strategy video game by Massive Entertainment and to be published by Sierra Entertainment for Windows (DX9 and DX10).
The game is set in 1989 where economic troubles cripple the Soviet Union and threaten to dissolve it. However, the title pursues a "what if" scenario where, in this case, the Soviet Union does not collapse and instead pursues a course of war to remain in power. It is an intensive new game is sure to put plenty of stress on even the latest graphics cards and we use the built-in benchmarking for our testing.
The extra power on offer from the HIS HD 5870 Turbo while not being huge, is enough to break the 30 FPS minimum at 2560 x 1600 when playing World in Conflict.
Benchmarks - Batman Arkham Asylum
Batman Arkham Asylum
Version and / or Patch Used: 1.1
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage: http://www.batmanarkhamasylum.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.batmanarkhamasylum.com/
Batman: Arkham Asylum exposes players to a unique, dark and atmospheric adventure that takes them to the depths of Arkham Asylum - Gotham's psychiatric hospital for the criminally insane. Gamers will move in the shadows, instigate fear amongst their enemies and confront The Joker and Gotham City's most notorious villains who have taken over the asylum.
Using a wide range of Batman's gadgets and abilities, players will become the invisible predator and attempt to foil The Joker's demented scheme.
Batman: Arkham Asylum features an original story penned exclusively for the game by famous Batman author and five-time Emmy award winner Paul Dini, whose credits include Lost season one and Batman: The Animated Series.
Note: With support for PhysX NVIDIA based cards will be tested with the technology on and off, ATI cards will be tested with the technology off due to it not being supported on their cards.
Strong performance across the board with the HIS HD 5870 Turbo again showing us a nice bump in performance.
Benchmarks - Darkest of Days
Darkest of Days
Version and / or Patch Used: 1.4
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage: http://www.darkestofdays.com/index.php
Product Homepage: http://www.darkestofdays.com/index.php
Darkest of Days takes the player through time into historic battles in an effort to save key individuals from certain death. The battles range from Custer's Last Stand at the Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876 to fighting in Pompeii as ash and fire rain down from an erupting Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD. Other locations include the battles of Antietam and Tannenberg, and a German World War II P.O.W. camp. There are different missions in every time period and the game takes about 4 hours to complete.
The game features over twenty weapons, both from the original time period as well as those brought back from the future. In addition, there are artillery weapons from different time periods to assist in battle.
Note: With the PhysX set to Medium or High Darkest of Days take advantage of the NVIDIA PhysX abilities. For that reason we will test ATI cards at the Low preset, NVIDIA based cards though will be tested at Low and High.
PhysX set to Low
Darkest of Days performance is a bit all over the place. We see a small bump at the highest resolution while performance is a little down at the lower ones.
Benchmarks - BattleForge
Version and / or Patch Used: Auto Patched at Load
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage: http://www.battleforge.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.battleforge.com/
The Gods have disappeared and the old sun has died, letting a vile twilight engulf the world of Nyn. In exchange for all treasures the mortals possessed, the evil giants agreed to forge a new sun and hurl it into the sky.
But the deal was betrayed, the treasure stolen and now the mortals flee the wrath of the giants. Under the light of a new sun the mortals stumble into a world changed and twisted by an age of twilight. The long journey home has become a conquest of survival.
Note: Supporting DirectX 11 we have seperated the graphs for NVIDIA and ATI cards. While the numbers between the two brands can be compared you have to make note that ATI based HD 5000 series cards are running DirectX 11.
DirectX 11 (ATI HD 5000 Series Only)
We again see across the board a good bump in performance from the HIS HD 5870 Turbo.
Benchmarks - High Quality AA and AF
High Quality AA and AF
Our high quality tests let us separate the men from the boys and the ladies from the girls. If the cards weren't struggling before they will start to now.
Resident Evil 5
We can see that performance between the two models is very similar with the OC HIS one being just behind. However,.5FPS is nothing more than a bit of fluctuation.
Far Cry 2
We see a small bump, but it's clear that the HD 5870 struggles to play FC2 with AA and AF on at 1920 x 1200.
World In Conflict
We see a nice little bump in performance, but nothing that makes the game playable unfortunately.
Temperature and Sound Tests
With the TES 1326 Infrared Thermometer literally in hand we found ourselves getting real-world temperatures from the products we test at load (3D clock speeds).
There are two places we pull temperature from - the back of the card directly behind the core and if the card is dual slot and has an exhaust point we also pull a temperate from there, as seen in the picture.
Compared to the stock cooler, its temperature is very similar with it running ever so slightly warmer.
Pulling out the TES 1350A Sound Level Meter we find ourselves quickly yelling into the top of it to see how loud we can be.
After five minutes of that we get a bit more serious and place the device two CM away from the fan on the card to find the maximum noise level of the card when idle (2D mode) and in load (3D mode).
Noise levels from the HD 5970 Turbo seems to be slightly up, but nothing you would notice really.
Power Consumption Tests
Using our new PROVA Power Analyzer WM-01 or "Power Thingy" as it has become quickly known as to our readers, we are now able to find out what kind of power is being used by our test system and the associated graphics cards installed. Keep in mind; it tests the complete system (minus LCD monitor, which is plugged directly into AC wall socket).
There are a few important notes to remember though; while our maximum power is taken in 3DMark06 at the same exact point, we have seen in particular tests the power being drawn as much as 10% more. We test at the exact same stage every time; therefore tests should be very consistent and accurate.
The other thing to remember is that our test system is bare minimum - only a 7,200RPM SATA-II single hard drive is used without CD ROM or many cooling fans.
So while the system might draw 400 watts in our test system, placing it into your own PC with a number of other items, the draw is going to be higher.
Power draw between both HD 5870s are very similar.
The HIS HD 5870 Turbo is exactly what you would expect; it's nice to see that HIS have chosen to increase not just the core speed, but also the memory. While the increase isn't huge, the 25MHz core bump and 100MHz QDR memory bump does a good job of giving us some extra FPS and at times pulling us over that 30 FPS minimum we want to see.
With that said, the bundle is the real stand-out point for the model with HIS including Modern Warfare 2 which has become an extremely popular game amongst gamers and if you haven't picked a copy up yet, it's the perfect game to take your new video card for a spin with.
On the cooling front it doesn't really offer anything new. While it looks good, noise levels and temperatures are very similar to the standard model. That doesn't make it a bad cooler, it's just worth noting that compared to the standard one it's not going to offer anything extra.
The cooler does look great, though; performance is strong and the overclock is appreciated. You combine this with the inclusion of a game that people will actually want and you've got another really nice HD 5870.
The Turbo series has always brought with it a great set of cards and it's nice to see them finally attack the HD 5800 series with it. With the HD 5850 and HD 5830 Turbo models also on hand, we'll have to see what else is happening in the series in the near future.
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