Today we are taking a look at our first ever retail ATI Radeon HD 5870 graphics card, which would be the ASUS EAH5870 Voltage Tweak! Rather than just selling a reference designed card, ASUS has developed something called “voltage tweak technology” that only works on graphics cards with their custom vBIOS. Does this really matter to you? Well, according to ASUS the ability to adjust the voltages could mean up to a 38% boost in performance. This is not bad at all; the ability to boost GPU voltages via the ASUS SmartDoctor utility is a great thing for gamers and power users.
The card that comes with the ASUS EAH5870 Voltage Tweak is nothing more than the reference Radeon HD 5870 with some ASUS stickers on the plastic housing and on the cooling fan. The clock speeds are also stock, which means the 1,600 stream processors are running at 850MHz. The ASUS EAH5870’s 1GB of quad-pumped GDDR5 memory is clocked at 1.2GHz (4.8GHz effective). The EAH5870 is a dual-slot graphics card that measures in at 11.1″ in length, so make sure it will fit inside your case before you order one.
The back of the Radeon HD 5870 has a metal plate on it and a serial number sticker on it in case the card ever needs to be RMA’d, so it is pretty bare and boring as you can see from the image above. ATI CrossFire will be supported via the two interconnects located on the top right of the card as you can also see in the image above. On the right motherboard you will be able to run up to four of these graphics cards from CrossFire X.
The ASUS EAH5870 graphics card has a pair of dual-link DVI-I outputs along with DisplayPort and HDMI outputs. You can run a D-Sub output with an adapter. All of the hot air from the cooling fan exhausts out the small vent hole on the back of the card and the little slots just in front of the CrossFire interconnects.
The ATI Radeon HD 5870 has two 6-pin PCI-E power connectors on it and both are required for operation. A 500W or larger power supply is recommended by AMD and a list of suggested power supply units can be found here. The air intakes on the end of the card don’t do too much from what we have been told by the AMD engineers (less than 10% of the air intake), but they do add some flare to the card. The only bad thing about this is that the card sticks out more, which is why the length is a hair over 11 inches!
The ATI Radeon HD 5870 measures just over 11.1″ in length, which makes it one of the largest video cards that has ever been sent to Legit Reviews for testing! As you can tell from the image above it is actually longer than the Radeon HD 4870 X2 and the GeForce GTX 295. The card sitting on the very bottom is the Radeon HD 4770, which measures just 8.25″ in length.