Monday, May 9th 2011

PowerColor Readies Dual-HD 6870 Graphics Card

With no new GPUs in the works by either of the two main manufacturers, AMD and NVIDIA, this year's Computex event isn't going to be a very big exhibition of graphics cards. Instead, Intel's LGA2011 and AMD's AM3+ platforms are going to steal the show. It does leave graphics card manufacturers some attention, if they come up with something really out of the ordinary. PowerColor wants to be one of them. Flexing its in-house engineering muscle, the company is readying a dual-GPU graphics card that makes use of two 40 nm "Barts" GPUs for a CrossFire on-a-stick solution.

The two Barts chips will feature the BartsXT (Radeon HD 6870) configuration, with the card being designed to offer performance on par with HD 6870 CrossFire, with 3-GPU and 4-GPU CrossFireX support, and lower power draw than two single-GPU HD 6870 cards. The PCB design is the same as every dual-GPU AMD card ever made, there are two GPUs sitting on either sides of a PLX-made PCI-Express bridge chip, and each GPU system having its own VRM. There's 1 GB of GDDR5 memory over a 256-bit wide memory interface per GPU. Power is drawn from two 8-pin PCI-Express power connectors. The cooling solution is not pictured, but expect a multi-fan heatsink that spits hot air into the case.
Add your own comment

43 Comments on PowerColor Readies Dual-HD 6870 Graphics Card

#1
_JP_
Actually, some the majority of PowerColor's coolers are fine and fit the job nicely, they just don't tune them very well. The coolers end up being noisy because it's revving-up when it's not needed.
My HD 5770 was going to be a PowerColor...but then I saw a cheaper Sapphire. :D
Anyway, I've owned a 9200SE (passive) and a x1650 PRO AGP (noisy) that were PowerColor cards and worked with other cards from them.
Posted on Reply
#2
yogurt_21
you know I wouldn't be surprised if this card got close to the performance of the 6990, maybe even matched ti for a lower price and power power consumption.
Posted on Reply
#3
Jonap_1st
yogurt_21 said:
you know I wouldn't be surprised if this card got close to the performance of the 6990, maybe even matched ti for a lower price and power power consumption.
comparing between recently 6870 crossfire and 6990 benchmarks especially on higher resolution, i bet it will be 10 - 20% slower since every dual gpu cards had to reduce the core clock..
Posted on Reply
#4
crazyeyesreaper
Chief Broken Rig
actually 6990 didnt technically reduce clocks they still offer 6970 speeds via a bios switch,

only dual gpus on the AMD / ATi side that didnt come at proper clocks was the 5970

4850x2 4870x2 6990 all have proper speeds out of box or with no more then a switch to flick,

not sure on the 3870x2 but i believe it had 3870 clocks as well im to lazy to look

where as Nvidias dual gpu cards tend to be underclocked as nvidia has in most situations had the higher TDP and power requirment except when comparing the 295 to the 4870x2

overall i expect at 1680x1050 the 6870x2 would be 5% -10% slower then a 6990 at 1920x1200 i would expect the gap to widen to 15-20% at 2560x1600 it would probably hit 25% it would really vary between games tho and cpu, as 6870x2 is less likely to be cpu limited then a 6990
Posted on Reply
#5
Jonap_1st
sometimes people are too lazy or dont know how to tweak something. they just.... bought and plug it :)
Posted on Reply
#6
yogurt_21
Jonap_1st said:
comparing between recently 6870 crossfire and 6990 benchmarks especially on higher resolution, i bet it will be 10 - 20% slower since every dual gpu cards had to reduce the core clock..
crazy pretty much covered this but when it comes to lower power gpu's, the duals actually have the exact same clocks. EVGA's gtx 460 dual is a testament to this.

crazyeyesreaper said:
actually 6990 didnt technically reduce clocks they still offer 6970 speeds via a bios switch,

only dual gpus on the AMD / ATi side that didnt come at proper clocks was the 5970

4850x2 4870x2 6990 all have proper speeds out of box or with no more then a switch to flick,

not sure on the 3870x2 but i believe it had 3870 clocks as well im to lazy to look

where as Nvidias dual gpu cards tend to be underclocked as nvidia has in most situations had the higher TDP and power requirment except when comparing the 295 to the 4870x2

overall i expect at 1680x1050 the 6870x2 would be 5% -10% slower then a 6990 at 1920x1200 i would expect the gap to widen to 15-20% at 2560x1600 it would probably hit 25% it would really vary between games tho and cpu, as 6870x2 is less likely to be cpu limited then a 6990
if they run full speed clocks the max gap would be at 2560x1600 and would be ~15%
so your 1680x1050 prediciton is likely dead on, the taper is just likley to be abit slower from there.
Posted on Reply
#7
Jonap_1st
yogurt_21 said:
crazy pretty much covered this but when it comes to lower power gpu's, the duals actually have the exact same clocks. EVGA's gtx 460 dual is a testament to this.

if they run full speed clocks the max gap would be at 2560x1600 and would be ~15%
so your 1680x1050 prediciton is likely dead on, the taper is just likley to be abit slower from there.
and hope powercolor will not cost it more than 6870 cfx, like the same way EVGA did to 460 2win..
Posted on Reply
#9
n-ster
I don't see why 2GB per GPU is so important for everyone.... Unless you game with eyeinfinity, I do not the huge urge of having so much VRAM

6870x2 is smart.... my 6870 CFX is pretty good. beats even 5870s CFX and 5970. Not that close to 6990 though as someone else mentioned. pretty far from it really.
Posted on Reply
#10
crazyeyesreaper
Chief Broken Rig
i can say from experience with 6000 and 5000 series cards at 2560x1600 the performance difference will be night and day, 1920x1200 will really depend on the title example metro 2033 with all eye candy will be a night day difference but games like Crysis wont be due to cpu limitations. overall a 6870x2 makes sense, it offers slightly more then 5970 performance its essentially and updated 5970, and costs less to make, and is more power efficient
and do to scaling a 6870x2 should fall right between 580 and 590 performance wise effectively giving AMD the #1 and #3 and #5 fastest gpus out of the Top 5

#1 6990
#2 590
#3 6870x2
#4 580
#5 5970

whats rather sad is while AMD might have 3 out of 5 all 3 are dual gpu cards vs 1 dual gpu nvidia and 1 single gpu nvidia card, rather sad really
Posted on Reply
#11
xenocide
n-ster said:
I don't see why 2GB per GPU is so important for everyone.... Unless you game with eyeinfinity, I do not the huge urge of having so much VRAM

6870x2 is smart.... my 6870 CFX is pretty good. beats even 5870s CFX and 5970. Not that close to 6990 though as someone else mentioned. pretty far from it really.
It's especially confusing when you consider that a lot of times that RAM is underutilized and has no influence on performance. Logically it SHOULD result in better performance, but the only card[s] I can point to for a real-world example are the 6950 1GB vs. the 6950 2GB (I think I got that correct), where the loss of 1GB of VRAM does literally nothing.

P.S. Am I the only one that laughed at that last line in the news post?
Posted on Reply
#12
crazyeyesreaper
Chief Broken Rig
it does more then nothing if you use the right games,

Oblivion Fallout 3 and New Vegas all easily use more then 1 gb of vram, with mods and graphics tweaks

example with my ini files and mod load out 5850 crossfire would do 40 outside, with my edits to shadow properities the avg frame rate dropped to 1fps due to running out of vram, a single 6970 offers 45-65fps with those same settings

metro 2033 at 1920x1200 hits 1450-1500mb easily

theres other games currently few and far between to be sure, but it dosent make them usless,

6950 1gb vs 6950 2gb at $20 difference id take the 2gb

6870 crossfire is damn good and a 6870x2 would make alot of sense, but considering its performance lvl would be higher then a 580 or 5970 and higher still then a 6970 it would make sense to have that extra ram because in effect it is a gpu ment for HIGHER RESOLUTIONS, you dont take a knife to a gun fight and you dont take low ram multi gpu setups to high resolution demanding games. its why at 1920x1200 and 2560x1600 the 5970 loses to a GTX 580 because v ram does tend to become a limiting factor, now if im buying a GPU today to play newer games tomorrow, you dont want good enough today shitty tomorrow or maybe you do i dont know im not you lol.
Posted on Reply
#13
alexsubri
crazyeyesreaper said:
it does more then nothing if you use the right games,

Oblivion Fallout 3 and New Vegas all easily use more then 1 gb of vram, with mods and graphics tweaks

example with my ini files and mod load out 5850 crossfire would do 40 outside, with my edits to shadow properities the avg frame rate dropped to 1fps due to running out of vram, a single 6970 offers 45-65fps with those same settings

metro 2033 at 1920x1200 hits 1450-1500mb easily

theres other games currently few and far between to be sure, but it dosent make them usless,

6950 1gb vs 6950 2gb at $20 difference id take the 2gb

6870 crossfire is damn good and a 6870x2 would make alot of sense, but considering its performance lvl would be higher then a 580 or 5970 and higher still then a 6970 it would make sense to have that extra ram because in effect it is a gpu ment for HIGHER RESOLUTIONS, you dont take a knife to a gun fight and you dont take low ram multi gpu setups to high resolution demanding games. its why at 1920x1200 and 2560x1600 the 5970 loses to a GTX 580 because v ram does tend to become a limiting factor, now if im buying a GPU today to play newer games tomorrow, you dont want good enough today shitty tomorrow or maybe you do i dont know im not you lol.
You are 100% correct. Just look at the 6870 Crossfire Benchmark's. It's faster than 1 5970 and is up there next to 6990. That is, if you are using a single monitor. I'm sure it will struggle a little bit going over 1900x1200 specifically in eyefinity.
Posted on Reply
#14
crazyeyesreaper
Chief Broken Rig
add Shogun II dx11 mode to alist of games that require greater then 1gb vram frame buffer to run at 1680x1050 or higher resolutions meaning 6870x2 would hit a wall with that title since even 6950s 6970s 580s in sli or crossfire tend to only get 20-40fps
Posted on Reply
#15
LAN_deRf_HA
Well if we're making a list don't forget GTA. IV goes up to 1600mbs maxed. The expansions reduced that to about 1280 so it fits perfectly in for a 470/570. Mods have aided its shelf-life.
Posted on Reply
#16
Melvis
This card would be one card i would upgrade to, lets hope they get it right and call it the 6870X2 hehe :p
Posted on Reply
#17
n-ster
LAN_deRf_HA said:
Well if we're making a list don't forget GTA. IV goes up to 1600mbs maxed. The expansions reduced that to about 1280 so it fits perfectly in for a 470/570. Mods have aided its shelf-life.
GTA IV was just badly ported lol. I can see how more VRAM is much better in the longer term, however, that would steal some market from the 6990 that they don't want to steal. Also, my 6870 CFX, until now, hasn't been lacking VRAM :)
Posted on Reply
#18
LAN_deRf_HA
I don't know about that being the only excuse. Most of it came from view distance, which is pretty damn far and detailed at max. It seemed to be more of a case of them giving you a higher graphical option than most games would bother providing.
Posted on Reply
Add your own comment