It may be billed as the budget card, but
this is no pushover
The AMD Radeon HD7970 turned a lot of heads
when it was launched not too long ago. While it boasted a significant
performance improvements, its high price point isn't the most clear cut choice
if you're on a budget of some sort. To that end, ASUS has released the ASUS
Radeon HD 7870 DirectCUII Top graphics card.
Like all other DirectCUII-branded GPUs, the
HD 7870 comes loaded with ASUS' very own cooling design that features two fans
and three 6mm copper heatpipes that touch the GPU chip directly, making it up
to 20% cooler than the generic cooling mechanism employed by AMD.
As with most Direct CUII variant of the HD
series cards, the HD 7870 comes factory overclocked from 1.0GHz to 1.1GHz. This
can be further enhanced by the user using ASUS' own GPU Tweak software, which
allows users to overclock the card up to 1.2GHz on the fly.
The HD7870, for all intents and purposes,
is a direct upgrade from the HD6800 series of graphics card, and as such, uses
two 6-pin PCI power connectors to power up the card.
If you're considering building a PC that's
not bigger than a mid-sized tower, the HD 7870 might just be right up your
alley. It takes up two slots of your expansion bay, and at a length of just
upwards of 10 inches, it should just nicely sit in your PC chassis with minimal
At the back are four display output
options, including a DVI-D port, a HDMI port and two mini DisplayPort ports.
Like the HD 7970 and the HD 7950, the HD 7870 also features AMD's ZeroCore
power-saving feature, which detects when your PC is idle and will go into sleep
mode, just enough for it to be able to detect when the PC goes active again.
We ran several 3DMark11 and Unigine Heaven
benchmark tests and have found them to record some impressive improvements over
most of the HD 6xxx series from the previous generation. Even running games
such as Crysis 2 and Skyrim on the highest graphics settings prove to be no
match for the overclocked HD 7870.
Radeon HD7870 DirectCUII Top
Chipset: AMD Radeon HD 7870
Core Clock Speed: 1100MHz
Memory Size: 2GB DDR5