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Written by Bruce Normann   
Monday, 10 January 2011
Table of Contents: Page Index
PowerColor Radeon HD 6870 PCS+ Video Card
Closer Look: PowerColor PCS HD 6870
PowerColor PCS HD 6870 Detailed Features
Features and Specifications
Video Card Testing Methodology
DX10: 3DMark Vantage
DX10: Crysis
DX10: Just Cause 2
DX9 SSAO: Mafia II
DX11: Aliens vs. Predator
DX11: Battlefield: Bad Company 2
DX11: DiRT-2 Demo
DX11: H.A.W.X. 2
DX11: Lost Planet 2
DX11: METRO 2033
DX11: Unigine Heaven 2.1
PowerColor PCS HD 6870 Temperatures
VGA Power Consumption
AMD Radeon HD 6870 Final Thoughts
PowerColor PCS HD 6870 Conclusion

Aliens vs. Predator Test Results

Rebellion, SEGA and Twentieth Century FOX have released the Aliens vs. Predator DirectX 11 Benchmark to the public. As with many of the already released DirectX 11 benchmarks, the Aliens vs. Predator DirectX 11 benchmark leverages your DirectX 11 hardware to provide an immersive game play experience through the use of DirectX 11 Tessellation and DirectX 11 Advanced Shadow features.


In Aliens vs. Predator, DirectX 11 Geometry Tessellation is applied in an effective manner to enhance and more accurately depict HR Giger's famous Alien design. Through the use of a variety of adaptive schemes, applying tessellation when and where it is necessary, the perfect blend of performance and visual fidelity is achieved with at most a 4% change in performance.

DirectX 11 hardware also allows for higher quality, smoother and more natural looking shadows as well. DirectX 11 Advanced Shadows allow for the rendering of high-quality shadows, with smoother, artifact-free penumbra regions, which otherwise could not be realized, again providing for a higher quality, more immersive gaming experience.

Benchmark Reviews is committed to pushing the PC graphics envelope, and whenever possible we configure benchmark software to its maximum settings for our tests. In the case of Aliens vs. Predator, all cards were tested with the following settings: Texture Quality-Very High, Shadow Quality-High, HW Tessellation & Advanced Shadow Sampling-ON, Multi Sample Anti-Aliasing-4x, Anisotropic Filtering-16x, Screen Space Ambient Occlusion (SSAO)-ON. You will see that this is a challenging benchmark, with all the settings turned up and a screen resolution of 1920 x 1200; it takes an HD5870 card to achieve an average frame rate higher than 30FPS.


Now we get into the full DirectX 11 only benchmarks, so we're looking at the full potential for graphics rendering that's available on only the latest generation of video cards. AvP is a tough benchmark, but it has been a fair one so far, and it's very useful for testing the newest graphics hardware. The relatively high frame rates you see above are a testament to the very high performance of the latest and greatest cards, especially when paired up in SLI or CrossFireX.

The GTX 460 SLI pair works its CUDA magic again and provides class-leading performance, but a pair of HD 6870 cards in CrossFireX provides 13% higher frame rates. The GTX 480 SOC turns in a good performance at 41.4 FPS, 22% higher than the ATI HD 5870, but it's no match for the multi-GPU choices. On this test, when using anything less than the top hardware, some scenes have a jumpy quality to them. This was only evident on the MSI N460GTX Cyclone and the PowerColor PCS+ HD6870, which picked up the two lowest slots, even with their enhanced tessellation muscle. This game needs shaders more than tessellation, as the performance of the GTX 460 SLI proves, with 672 CUDA Cores on the job.

In our next section, Benchmark Reviews looks at one of the newest and most popular games, Battlefield: Bad Company 2. The game lacks a dedicated benchmarking tool, so we'll be using FRAPS to measure frame rates within portions of the game itself.

Graphics Card


Core Clock

Shader Clock

Memory Clock



MSI GeForce GTX 460 (N460GTX Cyclone 1GD5/OC)





1.0 GB GDDR5


PowerColor PCS+ HD 6870 (AX6870 1GBD5-PP2DH)





1.0 GB GDDR5


PowerColor Radeon HD 5870 (PCS+ AX5870 1GBD5-PPDHG2)





1.0 GB GDDR5


Gigabyte GeForce GTX 480 (GV-N480SO-15I Super Over Clock)





1536 MB GDDR5



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