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Written by Bruce Normann   
Sunday, 13 June 2010
Table of Contents: Page Index
ASUS Radeon EAH5870 V2 Video Card
Radeon HD 5870 GPU Features
ASUS EAH5870 V2 Features
ASUS EAH5870/2DIS/1GD5/V2 Specifications
Closer Look: ASUS Radeon HD5870 V2
Detailed Features: ASUS EAH5870 V2
Video Card Testing Methodology
3DMark Vantage Benchmarks
Crysis Benchmark Results
Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Benchmark Results
Devil May Cry 4 Benchmark
Aliens Vs. Predator DX11 Benchmark Results
Far Cry 2 Benchmarks
Resident Evil 5 Benchmarks
Unigine - Heaven Benchmarks
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat Benchmarks
ASUS EAH5870 V2 Temperature
VGA Power Consumption
Radeon HD 5870 Final Thoughts
ASUS EAH5870 V2 Conclusion

ASUS EAH5870/2DIS/1GD5/V2 Conclusion

The ASUS EAH5870 V2 easily met or improved on the basic performance levels set by the reference cards. The availability of software voltage control allowed an easy 18% increase in clock rates, with no loss of stability or extreme temperatures. Users of the reference designs have commonly been able to hit the 1 GHz mark, but there was a Catch-22. The software-controlled VRM that enabled the overclock had a bad tendency to overheat, itself. The V2 version from ASUS retains the performance enhancing capability of software voltage control, but does it with more straightforward, robust VRM hardware. Bottom line: with a 1GHz core and 1250 MHz memory clock, this card eats up the landscape in convincing fashion. The new all-copper cooler keeps temps in check and reduces fan speed, which is already a bit lower due to the increased fan size.

The appearance of the ASUS EAH5870 V2 video card is quite good. The larger fan works well with the full shroud and ASUS highlights it with the red trim around the inlet of the blower wheel. The red "V" accents draw attention to the airflow pattern and also remind me that this is the Voltage Tweak model. Other than a small "ASUS" name molded into the shroud, there are no real graphics included in the design. What a change from a few years ago, when every high-end card had an Asian Warrior Girl painted on the face of the cooler. While not a subtle design, the V2 avoids the garish themes that often show up on products marketed at gamers. Now the cover art on the box, that's another story.

ASUS_EAH5870v2_Video_Card_GLAM_600.jpg

The build quality of the EAH5870 V2 was excellent. Everything is well put together, the overall assembly of the card was rock solid, and the packaging was also first rate. I was especially impressed by the full length cast aluminum frame that ties the various components together. It's similar to the one on the ATI reference design, but it secures the I/O plate to the frame, which makes it even more solid. The weak point of the 5870 reference design has been eliminated, with a new power section that's just as sturdy as the physical construction. The Extreme Design features also contribute to the robustness of the card: redundant over-current protection, adhesive bonding of the GPU module to the PCB, and dust sealing of the fan motor all help keep the card running under potentially abusive conditions.

The features of the HD 5870 may seem slightly less amazing, now that we've been using them on a whole host of Radeon 5xxx cards since last September. Still, no one else has an equivalent combination of features that compete fully with DirectX 11, Full ATI Eyefinity Support, ATI Stream Technology Support, DirectCompute 11, OpenCL Support, HDMI 1.3 with Dolby True HD and DTS Master Audio. We've barely scratched the surface of all the features in this review, focusing almost exclusively on gaming performance, but the card excels at other uses as well. This is an area that will change eventually, as NVIDIA ramps up the feature set of their product line with new capabilities. They just got their first working products out the door, now they can expand on some features as they release new driver packages.

As of June 2010, the price for the ASUS EAH5870/2DIS/1GD5/V2 is $429.99 minus a $20 MIR at NewEgg. This is a little bit higher than the lowest price Radeon HD 5870 video cards, but still way below the high prices that some of the factory overclocked cards are fetching. With the software voltage control this board offers, you can zip right past those cards, making this second Voltage Tweak edition an excellent value in my book. The MSI R5870 Lightning card with Afterburner software is its closest competition, and its $50 higher. The PowerColor PCS++ is available at the same price with a 950 MHz core right out of the box, but you can't roll your own voltage settings. They're all worthwhile contenders, and depending on your personal priorities, one will probably stand out to you.

The ASUS EAH5870 V2 earns a Gold Tachometer by focusing on the key design aspects that improve performance, and delivering very high quality, reliable solutions for those elements. The power supply may use ordinary component choices in a classic VRM design, but it offers 50% more PWM phases than some competitors and it's bulletproof. The cooling solution is more compact than most of the non-reference designs, its all-copper construction pulls heat away from the GPU quicker, and most of the heat is expelled outside the case where it belongs. With the use of software voltage control, ASUS greatly improved the stock performance of what was already a high performance model to begin with. Even without it, the slightly higher default GPU voltage allowed me to run a 950 MHz core clock right out of the box. The only real downfall I see is the ironic fact that the iTracker2 monitor & control software from ASUS is a much better product than SmartDoctor, and you can't mix and match software across product lines. SmartDoctor is more of an annoyance than a hindrance, though. All this good stuff is available in ASUS' lowest cost 5870 product, making it a leader in value for the Radeon HD 5870 group. Well done.

Pros:goldentachaward.png

+ Robust, 6+1 phase power supply runs cool
+ Rock-solid mechanical design
+ Good value AND high quality in one package
+ Lowest price for a SW controlled VRM that won't overheat
+ 1250 MHz Samsung memory is an easy overclock
+ Default GPU voltage was good for an easy 100MHz OC
+ Excellent cooling performance for GPU, Memory, & VRM
+ Most of the heat is exhausted out the back of case
+ Extreme Design features improve reliability
+ Driver updates have offered real improvements in stability
+ Unmatched feature set of HD 5xxx series
+ The power to run 3-panel Eyefinity

Cons:

- SmartDoctor software inferior to ASUS iTracker2
- No software voltage control for memory
- Fan noise very unpleasant at 100%
- Brush fibers left on card after cleaning process
- Extreme Design features not listed in published materials

Ratings:

  • Performance: 9.50
  • Appearance: 9.00
  • Construction: 9.25
  • Functionality: 9.25
  • Value: 9.25

Final Score: 9.25 out of 10.

Excellence Achievement: Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award.

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Comments 

 
# Excellent reviewAdos 2010-06-16 09:05
Excellent review, one of the best I have ever red on a graphics card. Perfectly examined power section, built quality, overclockability. Do you think will I be able to run this card overclocked in my system? I think it would be ok, but maybe wee bit close to maximum for my powersuply. I run QX9650 at 3.5 GHZ (10.5 x 333 on Gigabyte mATX G31 ESL2 board, 2x2GB DDR2 corsair DHX, and the most important - PSU Enermax MODU82+ II 525W with 3x12V 25 amps on each but 40 amps maximum combined. Thank you for your opinion. And once more what a GREAT REVIEW!!!
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# Thanks.Bruce Normann 2010-06-16 11:32
Thanks for the positives...it's always appreciated. Your Enermax is an excellent PSU, and it should do the job. My only concern is if you are doing Folding or Benchmarks all the time. Even then, the total PSU load will probably stay under 400W.

BTW, I was reading that one of the 12V rails is dedicated to a single PCI-E connector, while the other two are sharing the current between PCI-e and the MOLEX and SATA connectors, so verify that and use the dedicated connection if you can.
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# Also....Bruce Normann 2010-06-16 14:12
The ASUS EAH5870 V2 comes with an adapter cable to convert two 6-pin PCI-e cable to one 8-pin connector. If you use this adapter, you will be spreading the load on all three rails.
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# Thank you!Ados 2010-06-16 18:03
Thank you very much for quick reply and advice. Much appreciate it. Just to clarify things, here is a picture of 12V rails layout - ##anandtech.com/show/2487/6 - so considering that I have two graphics sockets connectors on the PSU and two cables to connect them to of which one of the cable has only one 6+2 pin connector and the other cable has 2x 6+2 pin connectors I should plug the 6+2 pin connector to outer one dedicated graphics power socket on the PSU and the second cable with 2x 6+2 pin connectors to the inner graphics power socket and then spread that output by using and included adapter to convert those 2x 6+2 pin cable to 1x8 pin cable to spread the load properly, right? But I wont be probably spreading the output on all three rails anyway because one 12V rail according to the pictures in the link is probably dedicated to CPU only. Am I correct? Thank you for your seamless advice and help.
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# Or the otherwayAdos 2010-06-16 18:31
When I looked at that picture with power distribution on 12V rails again ( ##anandtech.com/show/2487/6 ) I think all what is needed is actually connect that 2x 6+2 pin cable to inner graphics power sockets on the PSU because I think its obvious that that one combines both 12V2 and 12V3 rails and then just plug that 2x 6+2 pin cable to the graphics card. What do you think?
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# Looked CloserBruce Normann 2010-06-16 20:36
Your right, each red connector on the PSU has both rails contained in it. 12V2 is dedicated to the grphics cards only. It's the one with the yellow sleeve on the internal wiring, and when you plug the connector in, on the outside of the unit, it will be the set of wires closest to the edge. I would use that for the 8-pin connection, and the other set (12V3) for the 6-pin.
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# re: Looked CloserAdos 2010-06-16 22:49
I think only the inner red connector has both 12V2 and 12V3 rails and to that one I will plug that cable which splits into two 6+2 pin PIC-e cables. Enermax did a good job marking the wires on that cable so its obvious which one of two 6+2 pin connectors will use the 12V2 and which 12V3 and as you said I will use the 6+2 pin on 12V2 to power the 8pin on the card and the another 6+2 pin will use 12V3 and I will plug it to 6pin on the card. BTW: I am going to use this card in this mATX case - ##tomshardware.com/reviews/4-barebone-cases-compared,1901-5.html - its so smartly designed that it can take even such a long card even with connector placed where they are on that card. Sorry for any confusions and thank you very much for your time and effort as well as for prompt replies and advices. Thanks to the discussion with you I understand it now and have the correct idea how to plug that card into my PSU in the best way possible. Wish you all the best in whatever you do! :-]
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# RE: ASUS Radeon EAH5870 V2 Video CardxGreg 2010-06-16 18:59
Bruce Excellent review.

I just bought this card (After reading your review), but now I'm VERY worried about if my power supply (Corsair VX550W) can handle this card...

My System:

Q9650 Stock
Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3P
2x2GB DDR2 1066MHZ OCZ Reaper Series
Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB
Western Digital Caviar Green 500GB
Western Digital Caviar Green 2TB
Zalman 9700NT
Antec 900 (4 Fans 120mm, 1 Fan 200mm)

Thank you for your consideration of this matter.
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# I wouldn't worryBruce Normann 2010-06-16 20:40
I actually own one of these, and it is rock solid. Even theough it is not modular, it has the exact cables you need for this graphics card, one 6-pin and one 6+2 pin. Check out the review on jonnyguru.
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# RE: I wouldn't worryxGreg 2010-06-17 23:52
Thank you for you answer.

You said maximum power draw of this card is 265 (395-130) watts when running full out. What do you mean with 395 watts? Total System Power Consumption?

Maybe the power supply will work too forced? Or Maybe will work too forced if I overclock my CPU and Graphic Card?

Perhaps it will reduce the life of the power supply? I've been told when used heavily or over an extended period of time (1+ years) a power supply will slowly lose some of its initial wattage capacity.

My PSU is two years old, and I use it 24/7.

Thank you for your consideration of this matter.
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# Total System PowerBruce Normann 2010-06-18 06:46
The entire system used a total 395 watts of power from the wall receptacle while running FurMark. This is an extreme load for the video card, and you would not see that kind of sustained load while gaming.

What are you running on the PC during the 24/7? Is it just idling most of the time, or are you running applications that put a significant load on the PC?

At 80% load, your PSU will probably only last 10 years.....just a guess.
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# RE: Total System PowerxGreg 2010-06-18 16:37
Hello again Bruce, and thank you for your answer. I really appreciate it.

And Yes, Is it just idling most of the time. However, I play games almost every night and weekends. Very Demanding games like Bad Company 2 for example.

I have another question about your review. Does the CPU is also in full load? Or is it just the graphics card?

I've been thinking, and I think my supply might not be sufficient in the near future, when I change my current processor for an i7 or add a sound card, etc.. Am I right?

I dont know whether to buy a new psu or stay with the one I have.

What would you do if you were in my situation??
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# Your Upgrade PathBruce Normann 2010-06-19 22:01
Well, if I was on an upgrade path like what you describe, I would probably start looking for a good deal on a Corsair HX 850. In the mean time, why don't you buy one of the KILL A WATT power meters, and try stressing your system with Furmark and OCCT? They are only about $25... Then you will KNOW what your VX550 is up against. OCCT will print graphs of all the major system voltages (12V, 5V, 3.3V...) and you will see for yourself if it is holding up at the highest possible loads for YOUR system, not someone else's.

You can recoup some of your costs by selling the VX550, as it has a very good reputation.
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# RE: Your Upgrade PathxGreg 2010-06-20 19:17
Hello again Bruce.

I'n going to buy a new PSU, and will be a Corsair HX750 from Amazon. I think a Corsair HX850 is too much (Power and Price lol), unless I get $ 20 extra.

Thank you for everything ;)
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# Alternative PSUBruce Normann 2010-06-16 20:55
BTW, for anyone who absolutely cannot power this, or any other powerful card (Fermi, Cough Cough!).... Thermaltake makes a neat PCI-e only (12V DC) power supply that fits in two 5.25" bays and provides 650 watts just to the graphics card(s): ****thermaltakeusa.com/Product.aspx?C=1265&ID=1544 It has modular connections, so cable management is good, too. Folks mainly use it for building dedicated folding machines, where they run quad-SLI.
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# Will this card support 3 MonitorLAMCS 2010-12-19 14:11
Will this card supported 3 monitor???

EAH5870/2DIS/1GD5/V2

what does it meant of 2DIS-----> is that meant will just support 2 monitor???
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# RE: Will this card support 3 MonitorOlin Coles 2010-12-19 14:20
If they are all DisplayPort models, you can connect three monitors. Otherwise, this video card will not support three DVI monitors.
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# good upgrade?douwe 2010-12-30 03:33
hey guys i just have to ask what you guys think

atm i am running my system with a eah4870/512mb dk edition

wil it show a good increase in performance??
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# RE: good upgrade?Olin Coles 2011-01-01 10:09
The 5870 will show a tremendous increase in performance over the 4870... but if you read the reviews you would already know that.
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