XFX 5870 XXX Review

Conclusion

XFX 5870 XXX

Conclusion

Edwin Starr once asked "War. What is it good for?". For those of us in the hardware world war, it is good for both advancing technology and keeping prices low. As anyone who has not been living under a rock for six months will know, there has been a war going on with only one side fighting. ATI stole a huge march on the Nvidia Fermi cards by releasing the 5000 series in Q3 last year and it stunned us all with its incredible performance.

Of course with only one side fighting it was difficult to fully gauge if ATI had nailed the DirectX 11 products or if Nvidias Fermi would make it look over-priced and under-powered. Well Nvidia have released the Fermi we know they Nvidia haven't so much ridden into town with a marching band and swept all before them, rather they've wheezed into town in the dead of night and hope nobody noticed that six months of extra development has been spent trying to combine the two disparate goals of increasing the temperature of the planet and making everyone deaf, to great success.

The XFX HD5870 XXX on the other hand is cool and quiet, with more than enough horsepower to demolish everything we threw at it.

Going back a little the packaging is truly high-end. There is absolutely no doubt where the small premium you pay for the XXX model goes as we don't think even a herd of stampeding Elephants could cause damage to this.

Except of course, we don't pay for packaging we pay for performance. And oh boy has the XFX 5870 XXX got performance.

When we did our 5 series roundup back in January we used a special volt-mod BIOS and managed to get the core of our test 5870 up to 950MHz with a 0.1v increase in the voltage. The XFX HD5870 XXX happily blew past that into, completely stable, the giddy heights of 984MHz without touching any voltages at all. Breaking the GHz barrier was possible although not totally stable in all our tests but with the 0.1v increase who knows what would be possible.

Of course not everyone overclocks. Many of you just want great stock performance and XFX have you covered here too. The 25MHz overclock is nicely rewarded in our benchmarking tests.

So, to answer our earlier question, now we know what Nvidia have brought to the table should you take off your Green shirt and put on a Red one? Make your own mind up but the facts are :

The XFX HD5870 XXX is £100 cheaper. It has incredible performance. It is barely audible even overclocked and under load. My feet didn't roast from the heat. Did I mention it's £100 cheaper and will do 60FPS in Crysis Warhead easily? Good.

In the previous generation Nvidia had the single-GPU king but ATI had the multi-card performance. Thanks to the great underlying card and the extra-oomph XFX have given it, we now have the single best bang-for-buck solution money can buy.

The XXX moniker clearly does hark back to those late 70s films, because every aspect of the XFX HD5870 XXX is obscenely good and we have absolutely no hesitation at all in giving it our Editors Choice award.

Pros
- Performance
- Quiet as a hoarse mouse
- Huge headroom
- Cool even under load
- Glorious Packaging

Mediocre
- You pay a small premium over a stock 5870

Cons
- We didn't get two to test Crossfire? Otherwise nothing whatsoever.

Editors    Choice  

Many thanks to XFX for providing the HD5870 XXX for review. Discuss in our forums.

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Most Recent Comments

05-04-2010, 13:43:20

AMD_PBz
Yet another Great Review Tom

What better way to spend a Holiday than testing an XFX 5870?

I know I'd rather be doing that than being stuck here at work selling car parts.

CheersQuote

05-04-2010, 15:42:20

zillion
Hello Tom

Im just abit curious here, coz as far as i understand u can run a Xfire setup involving a 5870 + 5850 so i was wondering if u would make such review and/or for instance also one including maybe a 5970 + 5870 to see how well this would scale in price/performance.

Regards.Quote

05-04-2010, 16:35:08

VonBlade
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='AMD_PBz'
Yet another Great Review Tom
*VB wonders why we have our names at the top of the article*Quote

05-04-2010, 17:15:00

zillion
Hey VB

Maybe u would be so kind to answer my question if possible.....

Can u run a Xfire setup with a 5870 and a 5850 and if so, do u have any experience with the performance?

RegardsQuote

06-04-2010, 01:22:22

lasher
Next time use the flashing font and larger type face vb Quote
Reply
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