PowerColor today announced its LCS HD 5870 V2, an upgraded version of the original LCS HD 5870 that now "features unprecedented factory overclocked settings."
Calling it "unprecedented" might be stretching things a tad, but not by much. With the GPU factory overclocked to 950MHz, the LCS HD 5870 V2 matches Gigabyte's GV-R587SO Edition card, the only other HD 5870 GPU we spotted on Newegg clocked higher than 900MHz. More surprising, however, is PowerColor's decision not to goose the memory, which comes clocked at 4,800MHz, or 200MHz slower than the original LCS.
Like the previous version, only water cooling gurus need apply. The LCS HD 5870 V2 comes equipped with high-flow 3/8-inch and 1/2-inch fittings with captured o-rings to help prevent leakage.
"We got very positive feedback from the first version of the LCS HD 5870," said Ted Chen, CEO of TUL Corporation. "Now we released an upgraded version with factory overclocked settings and offer a cool working environment. We're sure that it will exceed expectations from gamers."
As with most of PowerColor's HD 5870 line, this newest release will come bundled with a Dirt 2 coupon, though the company didn't say when this will hit retail or for how much.
Asus is no longer the only graphics vendor offering a Radeon HD 5870 videocard with 2GB of RAM, twice the amount of ATI's reference design. Sapphire has joined the oversized frame buffer party with a 2GB card of its own.
In addition to doubling up on RAM, Sapphire's HD 5870 Toxic Edition card comes factory overclocked to 925MHz on the core, a respectable boost over the 850MHz reference design. Sapphire also goosed the memory to 1225MHz (4.9GHz effective), a small bump over the 1200MHz (4.8GHz effective) reference design.
The card also comes with Sapphire's Vapor-X heatsink. According to Sapphire, you can expect better cooling with a "virtually silent gaming experience," giving you the best of both worlds.
AMD's HD 5970 consists of two HD 5870 GPUs shoved under a single hood, but for one reason or another (heat, power consumption, etc), the memory and GPU cores come underclocked from their standalone versions. The GPU cores in a 5970 have been dialed down from 850MHz to 725MHz, while the memory drops from 1200MHz to 1000MHz.
That won't be the case with Asus's "Ares" videocard, which combines two true HD 5870 GPUs into a single package. Asus even says they plan to overclock the core and memory, though by how much is yet to be determined. You'll also find 4GB of GDDR5 crammed inside, twice as much as a standard 5970.
Only those with serious power supplies need apply. The card will require two 8-pin power connectors and a 6-pin connector. And while the length will be the same as any other 5970 part, the Ares is a bit pudgier and takes up 2.5 slots.
Asus didn't say how much the Ares will cost, but did promise to have it out in a couple of months.
As of this writing, you'll still have a tough time finding a GF100 card in stock, and this will likely be the case until next week. In the meantime, ATI partners are still mulling whether or not to cut back pricing on HD 5870 and 5850 parts.
"We have learned that key people at AMD are still waiting to see how many Fermi cards will be available and they will only react if Nvidia manages to have really great sales with its GeForce 400 series," Fudzilla reports.
According to Fudzilla, there are a handful of ATI partners seriously considering lowering the prices of HD 5870 and 5850 parts, but such a move would not be supported by AMD. Instead, the price difference would come out of the AIB partners' profits.
What's interesting about all this is that AMD had originally wanted the HD 5870 to sell for around $380, but you'd be hard pressed to find one for under $400 street, with some SKUs approaching the $500 mark. If AMD were to cut pricing down to its original target, Fermi might have a tough time flying off store shelves.
Tomorrow's supposed to be the big day for Fermi (or early April, according to reports suggesting initial availability will be pretty tight), but even though the long wait is almost over, there's still plenty of demand for ATI's HD 5000 series.
"Graphics cards manufacturers who are selling both Nvidia and ATI are confirming that 58x0 and 59x0 series of ATI cards are still selling great and of course the cheaper 5000 series such as 57x0 and slower didn't slow up in sales," Fudzilla reports.
ATI's cards must be selling well, or at least well enough to have a tough time producing enough stock to fill the demand. Trying to snag a dual-GPU HD 5970 is no easy task, even as expensive as it is. And while HD 5870 cards are easier to come by, Newegg and other vendors often show several SKUs as being out of stock.
That's great for ATI, but it also allows the GPU maker to avoid have to slash prices. Could Fermi change that? We'll find out soon enough.
Asus appears to be going all out on its upcoming custom Radeon HD 5870 videocard. It will be the newest addition to Asus' Republic of Gamers (ROG) Matrix series, and unlike any other HD 5870 on the market.
Not only will it look different, but there are some standout features underneath the hood. Asus put a little TLC into tweaking the PCB, resulting in higher quality voltage regulators, an aggressive factory overclock (900MHz core and 1225MHz memory clockspeeds), better overclocking potential, and twice the amount of RAM as any other HD 5870 (2GB versus 1GB).
Should things get a little too hairy, there's a "safe mode" button on the back that drops the clocks and voltage back to stable levels.
MSI is giddy as all get-out that one if its videocards -- MSI R5870-PM2D1G -- set the record for the highest 3DMark Vantage Performance score on the planet achieved by a single-GPU graphics card. The score to beat is now 24,486.
Benchmarking that high on a single-GPU videocard doesn't come easy. Renowned overclocker "Deanzo" from New Zealand on hwbot.org used a healthy dose of LN2 to cool down the card to -180C. He was then able to supercharge the GPU to 1,380MHz, or 62.4 percent higher than reference clocks.
As for the software, MSI says Deanzo used the company's Afterburner overclocking utility, which supports GPU, Shader, and memory clockspeed adjustments on both ATI and Nvidia videocards. The utility also makes it possible to increase the voltage and adjust the fan speed.
According to Legit Reviews, who is out wining and dining with AMD at the AMD Evergreen Vision launch event, the chip maker plans to launch a pair of new videocards on September 22nd, the ATI Radeon HD 5870 and HD 5850.
AMD hasn't yet said a whole lot about its upcoming graphic cards, but news and rumor side Fudzilla feels pretty confident the RV870-based HD 5870 will come clocked at 825MHz and boast 1,600 shaders, which is twice as many as RV770. It will also pack as many as 2.1 billion transistors, which is more than twice as many as RV770.
Other purported specs include an unspecified amount of GDDR5 memory clocked at 1.3GHz and 150GB/s of bandwidth.
The less powerful HD 5850 is expected to come clocked at 725MHz and ship with 1,440 shaders, while the same GDDR5 memory will race along at 1GHz. Both cards will come with 32 ROPs, Fudzilla says.