Any 'default' PowerColor R6870 in it's baseline performance is 100% similar to the reference products from our launch review, and that's where the PCS+ models are different. Face it that batmobile looking cooler does a splendid job being totally silent yet keeping that pre-overclocked at very okay enough cooling temperatures.
Next to that the card comes with a plethora of monitor connections and of course the default pre-overclock at 940 MHz plus that extra memory frequency bump. It's all good for a slightly faster than baseline product.
If you feel adventurous, grab overclock software like AfterBurner, overclock based on GPU and voltage tweaking a little as explained on the previous page and you might pass the 1 GHz on the GPU, it is a possibility aright. And that gives the product yet another notch performance. Face it, the R6870 is just an excellent mid-range product. We like that very much and the PCS+ edition brings in that little extra we so very much like.
The improved feature set of course is grand with the new HD3D and UVD 3 update of the video processor. While capable the HD3D implementation we feel is a loss 3D gaming wise. Pretty much what AMD is doing is saying, "here's a hardware capable product ... and you guys do the rest". The complexity of finding the right TV/Monitor, glasses and then 3rd party software you need to buy is in our vision too complex for the generic end user without any guarantees that the 3D experience will work properly as it's not backed by AMD whatsoever.
Time will tell though we think that the complexity of a 3rd party for a lot of end-users simply will be complicated, making them choose the competitions solution as that's a handy straight out of the box kit alright. But sure, with the introduction of HD3D and HDMI 1.4a AMD also brings 3D Stereoscopic features towards the new 6000 series graphics cards, which is a welcome addition of course, yet requires optimal monitors and shutter glasses. As stated we do not like the complexity of the 3D gaming side at all, but watching movies and pictures in 3D is an easy to accomplish task.
Architecture wise the product shown today merely is an improved efficiency tweaks based of the last-gen architecture (R5850/R5870). There are no ground-breaking new designs aside from some feature updates. Price performance wise however you have noticed that the R6870 do offer a truckload of value for money.
The PowerColor Radeon HD 6870 PCS+ is a very interesting card. armed with a nice 940 MHz clock frequency this product simply makes really good sense. It will bring a lot of value to the table but also will allow you to play your games at 1920x1200 extremely well.
Pricing for this model is tagged at 229 EUR though the US prices seem to be higher at 249 USD if volume availability cranks up a little it might drop a little lower. PowerColor tops off this bundle with a free game, Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2, the downloadable Steam edition, and that surely brings in additional value to what already is a very nice product. Definitely recommended.
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