|ASUS Radeon EAH5870 V2 Video Card|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards|
|Written by Bruce Normann|
|Sunday, 13 June 2010|
Page 4 of 20
ASUS EAH5870/2DIS/1GD5/V2 Specifications
If we just talk about the HD 5870 GPU, and the architecture that supports it, then this section is the most important part of this review. But as I mentioned in the introduction, this review is more about the design changes that the AIB partners have implemented in their updated cards; what people are calling "Second Generation". The reference cards that ATI initially released were meant to show off the full range of technology on offer, and the top cards like the HD 5870 got all the bells and whistles. The new designs focus more on providing the best performance per dollar. One thing that hasn't changed is the actual GPU. There have been no major process tweaks or redesigns since its introduction, and its specs remain unaltered.
Specifications are very important for graphics cards, because they tell a vital part of the story. However, testing is still the only way to see how any card actually performs, relative to other options that are available now and some older products that users may want to upgrade from. Pricing is also a factor, but there are so many variables that affect the marketplace, and of course, it's not static by any means. That's one of the reasons we're doing this review now, in the wake of the Fermi releases, just to validate where the HD 5870 fits in the marketplace, eight months after it first hit the scene.
The ASUS EAH5870 V2 comes out of the box with standard clock rates: 850 MHz for the GPU core and 1200 MHz for the memory. The one thing that is NOT standard is the default voltage for the GPU, which was reported as 1.2125 VDC. This is a modest 5.4% upgrade from the standard voltage of 1.15 VDC, but it does pay some dividends, as we'll see later in our testing.
Since this card is the second version of the EAH5870 to bear the Voltage Tweak moniker, there is a lot more voltage available, using the supplied SmartDoctor software. This is the low-end version of monitoring and control software currently available from ASUS; their high end MATRIX cards get the ASUS iTracker2 software, which we last looked at in this article. iTracker2 is a top notch product, with many features not found elsewhere, like memory voltage control and full access to adjust memory timings. I wish it was available across the full product line, but it does help justify the premium pricing on the MATRIX line. SmartDoctor just does the basics, but it makes for a reliable overclock and performance upgrade.
This is our third chance to examine a 2nd generation card based on the ATI Radeon HD 5870, so let's take a closer look at the ASUS EAH5870/2DIS/1GD5/V2 Radeon HD 5870, and see how their interpretation of the 5870 design stands out from the crowd.