HIS HD Radeon 5870 iCooler V Turbo

Graphics Cards
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MP3 SOUND RECORDINGS

These recordings were made with a high resolution, lab quality, digital recording system inside SPCR's own 11 dBA ambient anechoic chamber, then converted to LAME 128kbps encoded MP3s. We've listened long and hard to ensure there is no audible degradation from the original WAV files to these MP3s. They represent a quick snapshot of what we heard during the review.

These recordings are intended to give you an idea of how the product sounds in actual use — one meter is a reasonable typical distance between a computer or computer component and your ear. The recording contains stretches of ambient noise that you can use to judge the relative loudness of the subject. Be aware that very quiet subjects may not be audible — if we couldn't hear it from one meter, chances are we couldn't record it either!

The recording starts with 5~10 seconds of room ambiance, followed by 5~10 seconds of the VGA test system without a video card installed, and then the actual product's noise at various levels. For the most realistic results, set the volume so that the starting ambient level is just barely audible, then don't change the volume setting again.

Comparable system sound files:

FINAL THOUGHTS

Gaming: Please check out gaming-oriented reviews of the HD 5870 at sites like like HardwareCanucks, The Tech Report, and AnandTech. The general consensus is that the HD 5870 is the second fastest single GPU video card on the market, optimal for gaming at resolutions of 1920x1200 and above. It's only true rival is the recently released GTX 480, but the 5870 has several advantages: Lower cost, higher energy efficiency, and more widely available.

Power Consumption: By our estimates, the HIS 5870 Turbo uses about 23W when idle, which is very low for such a high performance GPU — this is about on par with the rest of the HD 5000 series. When stressed with ATITool, power consumption shoots up to 109W, and an incredible 215W with FurMark. In real gaming situations, it should use somewhere between the latter two power levels, but a high quality, energy efficient power supply is recommended.

Cooling: While we cannot speak to the quality of the 5870 reference cooler, the one used by HIS on this Turbo edition card is poor. The high fan speed and noise level can be dealt with by tweaking the fan curve using MSI Afterburner, but on heavy load, it has to spin very fast to keep the card adequately cool. When stressed using FurMark, the card easily became the loudest graphics card we've ever tested. After examining the cooler we were astonished to see such a modest heatsink with only a large copper base and no heatpipes, not befitting a card of the 5870's thermal characteristics.

For users with a high budget and a demand for excellent gaming performance at high resolutions, the HD 5870 certainly fits the bill. Like the rest of the HD 5000 line, it also bitstreams high definition audio, and supports ATI's Eyefinity multi-display feature. Unfortunately the HIS Turbo edition of the 5870 is saddled with a subpar cooler that isn't capable of keeping the noise down to a reasonable level on heavy load, and it being factory-overclocked doesn't help. If you have no interest in the free copy of Modern Warfare 2, we would recommend trying a different model with a better heatsink. We have seen 5870s produced by Gigabyte, Sapphire, and XFX that have similar style coolers, but with multiple heatpipes which should do a better job of cooling with less noise.

Our thanks to HIS Digital for the HIS HD 5870 iCooler V Turbo sample.

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