PowerColor Radeon HD 7870 MYST Edition Review

PowerColor has released a new graphics card based on the new AMD "Tahiti" 7870 LE core. We will investigate whether it is a worthy Limited Edition or simply a Lame Edition by comparing it to a Radeon HD 7870 GHz edition and a GTX 660 Ti with comparisons also to an HD 7950. Will this card be a deal, or a dud? You may be surprised.

Introduction

PowerColor is a leading supplier of AMD graphics and was established by TUL Corporation in 1997. PowerColor are best known for their production of AMD based graphics cards, but also produce cases, power supplies and various computing accessories.

On our test bench today is the PowerColor Radeon HD 7870 MYST Edition (part number AX7870 2GBD5-2DHPPV3E) video card.

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AMD Radeon 7870 LE

AMD released its first of the next generation GPU with the Radeon HD 7970 on December 22nd, 2011, codenamed "Tahiti." This released ruled the market in both performance and price until NVIDIA released the GeForce GTX 680 which had better performance and a lower price. AMD continued its release of the Radeon HD 7950 on January 30th, 2012 and later on with the Radeon HD 7870 and 7850 video cards on March 4th, 2012, codenamed "Pitcairn."

Now that we are later in the release cycle for the Tahiti generation, AMD has soft launched a 7870 Limited Edition GPU that is based upon the Tahiti architecture. The GPU sports 1536 stream processors and a 256 bit memory bus, which places it midway between the 7870 and 7950 GPUs, which have 1280 and 1792 stream processors respectively. The 7870 LE is clocked at 925MHz and paired with DDR5 running at 1500MHz (effective 6.0GHz) and has implemented AMD’s Power Boost, giving it a boost clock of 975MHz.


PowerColor Radeon HD 7870 MYST Edition

The PowerColor Radeon HD 7870 MYST Edition utilizes power solution featuring solid state choke capacitors and their "Professional Cooling System." It is configured with 2GB of DDR5 memory running at a 6GHz effective rate and the GPU is clocked at 925MHz and is set to boost to 975MHz. In game, the 975MHz boost clock was achieved occasionally throughout run-throughs. The cooling system is comprised of three heat pipes that carry heat away from the GPU to aluminum fins that are cooled by a single 92mm fan.

The PowerColor Radeon HD 7870 MYST Edition comes with a 2 year factory warranty and is currently available on Amazon for $259.99.

PowerColor Radeon HD 7870 MYST Edition Photos

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The PowerColor Radeon HD 7870 MYST Edition is packaged in a gold hued box. The front of the box highlights some of the features of the card, the inclusion of Windows 8 UEFI functionality and the 2GB of RAM. On the back of the box, PowerColor goes into further detail about the unique elements on the card, including the Professional Cooling System, power components and examples of its suitable use. Inside the box, PowerColor included a quick start guide, a driver CD and a mini-DP to DP. Unusually absent were PCI-e power adapters.

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The front of the PowerColor Radeon HD 7870 MYST Edition features a matte black metal cover that serves to house the fan and cover the heatsink.

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On the I/O panel there are four ports. These include two mini-DP ports, one DVI-I connector, and one HDMI connector. The power connectors are on top of the video card and require two 6-pin PCI-e connections. The video card’s measurements are 10.5 inches in Length, 1.5 inches Wide, and 4.5 inches in Height.