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PowerColor Radeon HD 5870 PCS+
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by Rob Williams on April 21, 2010 in AMD-Based GPU

NVIDIA might have hoped for otherwise, but even after the GTX 480’s launch, AMD’s Radeon HD 5870 still proves to be an excellent choice for the price-point. We’re taking a look at PowerColor’s PCS+ version here, which includes a robust cooler, quieter operation, a slight overclock, and a complete copy of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

When the original Call of Duty game launched in 2003, Infinity Ward was an unknown. Naturally… it was the company’s first title. But since then, the series and company alike have become household names. Not only has the series delivered consistently incredible gameplay, it’s pushed the graphics envelope with each successive release, and where Modern Warfare is concerned, it’s also had a rich storyline.

The first two titles might have been built on the already-outdated Quake III engine, but since then, the games have been built with improved graphical features, capable of pushing the highest-end PCs out there. Modern Warfare 2 is the first such exception, as it’s more of a console port than a true PC title. Therefore, the game doesn’t push PC hardware as much as we’d like to see, but despite that, it still looks great, and lacks little in the graphics department. You can read our review of the game here.

Manual Run-through: The level chosen is the 10th mission in the game, “The Gulag”. Our teams fly in helicopters up to an old prison with the intention of getting closer to finding the game’s villain, Vladimir Makarov. Our saved game file begins us at the point when the level name comes on the screen, right before we reach the prison, and it ends after one minute of landing, following the normal progression of the level. The entire run takes around two-and-a-half minutes.

Because PowerColor’s card isn’t exactly overclocked that far beyond the reference, we don’t expect to see major gains throughout our results, and also for that reason, we’ve decided to fore go testing our “Best Playable” as it would be identical to our original HD 5870 results.

Thanks to its minor overclock, PowerColor’s card managed to surpass the GTX 480 by just a smidgen. In the real-world, though, the entire top-rung of cards (GTX 275+ and HD 5850+) all offer a very good experience even at maxed detail settings.