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Devil May Cry 4 Benchmark – DirectX 10
HIS HD 5870 iCooler Turbo X 1GB Above
Standard clocked HIS 5870 1GB Above
Settings: 1920x1080, 8xMSAA, Super High, DX10
It seems that the further up the DirectX family we go, the further apart the two cards become. Being a DirectX 10 based benchmark, the numbers here show the Turbo X card to be quite a bit faster than the standard clocked card. In fact, the in game settings are completely maxed out. Both cards provide a 'Smokin Slick Style' S grade and rarely drop below 60 throughout. But the Turbo X is a good 8 FPS higher across the board.
Whilst it's true that the HIS HD 5870 iCooler Turbo X card does well in games, I was hoping for a much larger gap between it and a standard card. I think I was expecting a little too much so I really hoped that with the excellent iCooler on the Turbo X card that further overclocking would increase the gap a lot more.
As always, I started with auto-tune in the Catalyst Control Center to get a ballpark figure but it really didn't seem to help much. The Turbo X card comes at 900MHz on the GPU, the CCC tops out at 920MHz, so I was expecting auto-tune to at least put the GPU to 920. Instead it stopped at 910. This was of course perfectly stable, but so was 920 for over 24 hours. The memory starts at 1250 and auto-tune set it to 1280. The CCC limit is 1300 and sure enough, I set it to 1300 and had a stable 920/1300 overclock for well over 24 hours, playing various games for extended lengths (yes, testing these cards can be hard sometimes … :) ). This is something we've seen before, and I do wish that HIS would provide more headroom in the cards BIOS to let the Catalyst Control Center climb higher, perhaps another 50 on the GPU and the memory would be sufficient for most?
Since it was 100% stable, I decided to use the AMD GPU Tool to increase things further. Sure enough, the card had no trouble climbing higher on both the GPU and the Memory. Using a combination of the Unigine Heaven benchmark and Left 4 Dead 2, I raised the GPU to the point where Heaven would crash part way through (965MHz), and then back down again till didn't (955MHz). Playing back the same demo we use for testing Left 4 Dead 2, I then began to watch for signs of error correction (drops in frame rate) while increasing the memory speed. Rather than a drop in frame rate, Left 4 Dead 2 locked up at 1350MHz, but ran fine with no slow downs at 1342Mhz (5368). Final stable (after extended game play testing for over 24 hours) clocks were 955/1342.
Temperatures and noise levels throughout were excellent. The highest temperatures, even when overclocked were no more than 86C and whilst a little noisy, it wasn't overly so with the card running the fan speeds automatically. Idle temps dropped as low as 49C, which is in line with what we have seen from the iCooler before; it does seem to work pretty well in keeping things cool. From a noise point of view, whilst this is not a silent card, the iCooler V does keep things both cooler and quieter than a standard card, noticeably quieter.
Overclocking – The Difference
Using the same Left 4 Dead 2 demo used for testing throughout, I ran timedemo's on the standard card, the Turbo X and the Turbo X at overclocked settings. The results of 6 runs on each were averaged to give the below numbers.
It's clear to see that the higher you push the 5870, the greater the gap becomes between the lower clocked card and the higher clocked cards. The 5870 Turbo X provides a nice boost of nearly an extra 3 FPS, but when overclocked that difference jumps to around 11 FPS (8 on the Turbo X default clocks).
The is a great card with a good package. It does very well in games, especially DirectX 11 games. I must admit that older games, or games based on the older DirectX 9, don't benefit as much from the higher clocks as you might expect, but with DirectX 10 and especially DirectX 11, the does tend to stretch it's legs more.
The card is quite imposing with it's black iCooler, and in some ways it's a shame it's covered by the Modern Warfare 2 design stickers. Speaking of which, Modern Warfare 2 is included in the box; it's nice to see of late that you can get decent games with your graphics card.
Overclocking went very well indeed, although once again we had to break out AMD GPU Tool to really find the limits. While the boost that the gives you with its higher than standard clock speeds is great, our overclocking endeavors really showed what the card was capable of, but had to be done with a third party tool and with no way to 'save' the overclock. The Catalyst Control Center limits were hit pretty quickly, and surpassed just as easily.
Even when overclocked, the iCooler was never loud, maintaining a noise level lower than that of a standard clocked, standard cooler 5870. Temperatures, again even when overclocked, never hit 90C and in fact the highest we saw was 86C! The iCooler always works well every time we see it.
This is in fact one of the fastest 5870 1GB's out there right now. And you will certainly have to pay for it. This is pretty much the one bad point; it's price. The non Turbo X, and even the version of the card is one of the cheapest 5870's on Newegg at time of writing. The almost costs the same price as an , which is a shame as this is a great card and package have put together, it's just very expensive.
The card is great, the cooling is excellent and it does everything it says it does on the box. But that price … ouch! Still, if you can swallow the price (or hopefully if it gets lowered soon, which wouldn't surprise me) then you'll be impressed by the . If the price was perhaps $30-$40 lower, I wouldn't hesitate in giving this our recommended award, until then, it just misses out.
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