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Powercolor HD 4870 Stalker Edition

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      20.04.2011 12:00
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      A great card for those who want performance on a budget

      I bought this card to go into my first custom built PC as it fit within the budget I had set and came with good recommendations from review sites and friends. It cost me around £120 around a year and a half ago but can now be found much cheaper.

      The card itself is fairly impressive and came boxed with a copy of Stalker: Clear Sky. It requires 2 PCI-E connectors from the power supply although adaptors are available so that 2 molex plug can be used instead of a single pci-e connector. The card itself looks good inside the case and has an attractive plastic cover with a red circuit board and plenty of copper pipes and heat sinks.

      It is particularly power hungry and requires a 500W PSU according to the specs although I ran it using a 460W PSU without issue. It's always best to go with the recommendation or contact the manufacturer though so please make sure you do this to prevent issues.

      As for the performance of the card, it is very impressive. The car can be overclocked using ATi Overdrive within Catalyst Control Centre and I had mine running at 800/1100 while playing Crysis and Crysis Warhead without issue. Again though this can vary between cards and its best to make sure you overclock a bit at a time to avoid issues.

      Crysis ran well although Very High settings at 1680x1050 were causing low fps in the more intensive areas when playing on DX10. The game can still be enjoyed with a mixture of settings without a greatly noticeable drop in visual quality though.

      I have since replaced this card although I was more than happy with its performance throughout. Considering it's price it was able to run almost anything with good settings. The card itself did run fairly hot though and was particularly noisy due to the larger cooler and overall the card is pretty large so a fair amount of space is required within the case.

      I would definitely recommend this card though as it provides a great solution to people who want high end gaming but not to have to pay through the nose for it.

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