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Power Consumption, Overclocking, Noise
The XFX HD 5870 temperatures went from 39°C in idle mode to 80°C during our gaming sessions. The card has a pretty small air outlet next to the display connector, whereas the other outlet is next to the Crossfire connectors. If your case features has air outlets on the panel next to the graphics card, then hot air will entirely exit your case. If on the other hand, you own a smaller and relatively crammed case then you’re in a pickle, as the hot air will increase the overall temperatures of your components, including the graphics card of course.
We managed to overclock the GPU to 890MHz (a 5% overclock) and the memory to 1295MHz (an 8% overclock). Overclocking will go much smoother if you increase the card’s voltages, but we’ll leave that to overclocking enthusiast. Furthermore, we’ve heard that some partners already provide software tools for GPU voltage management.
Idle consumption on the HD 5870 is great. The core downclocks to 157MHz and the memory to 300MHz. Minimum consumption is just over 20W whereas maximum consumption goes up to 188W. Our entire rig consumed up to 335W, very similar to the much slower HD 4890.