Battle of the mid-range AMDs.
XFX R7870 Black Edition Overclocked
The XFX R7870 BE comes in a slightly smaller frame, measuring 10-inches in total. The heatsink is a combination of black metal frame surrounding the edge of the card, much like the reference AMD design, but with a massive heatsink covering the PCB very closely. There’s quite a lot of breathing room in there for all the components to be cooled off, with the GPU directly in touch with the heatsink as four heatpipes extend out from it into the aluminum fins.
The two 75mm fans look almost exactly the same as the one on the ASUS HD 7870 DCUII TOP, which makes me wonder if they both had the same manufacturer for the heatsink. What’s changed, though, and for the worst, is the power requirement being bumped up to 500W for the PSU to connect the two 6-pin cords.
The XFX R7870 BE is an equally powerful card compared to the ASUS, but with a slightly less aggressive factory overclock profile. Core clock speeds are set 1050MHz, with memory being 1200MHz. The ASUS HD 7870 DCUII has a mere 50MHz more on the core clock, but that could make all the difference.
Overclocking the XFX R7870 BE was an easy job, with core clock maxed out to 1245MHz and memory at 1333MHz. That’s 18.5% core clock and 6.7% memory speed increase compared to factory settings; an incredible 24.5% core and 11% memory speed increase compared to reference AMD speeds.