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PowerColor PCS+ HD7850 Radeon Graphic Card Review

We will be talking a look at the between level and inspecting the PowerColor PCS+ HD7850. The latest 7850 variation from PowerColor takes the reference design and tweaks it to be a better performer. This is due to the 140MHz overclock of the reference’s 860MHz Core Clock and the addition of the Memory being supercharger from 4800MHz to 4900MHz.



We will be talking a look at the between level and inspecting the PowerColor PCS+ HD7850. The latest 7850 variation from PowerColor takes the reference design and tweaks it to be a better performer. This is due to the 140MHz overclock of the reference’s 860MHz Core Clock and the addition of the Memory being supercharger from 4800MHz to 4900MHz.

PowerColor PCS+ HD7850 Radeon Graphic Card Review


There have been quite a bit of talk about the new NVidia Titan and rightfully so, the card is a beast. But unless you have a ton of money owning one is a longshot. All of today’s cards are still more than able to get us through several campaigns of our favorite video games. For many, cards like the 78xx series from AMD will get the job done just fine.

The Radeon HD 78xx series consist of the 7850 and the 7870. Both are at the level where the game is of high quality while the cost of ownership is low. A HD 7850 running reference number will set you back about $170 while and overclock unit will cost you about $200 or there about. The slightly faster HD 7870 will up the ante to $240 plus depending on the model.

Will we be talking a look at the between level and inspecting the PowerColor PCS+ HD7850. The latest 7850 variation from PowerColor takes the reference design and tweaks it to be a better performer. This is due to the 140MHz overclock of the reference’s 860MHz Core Clock and the addition of the Memory being supercharger from 4800MHz to 4900MHz.

With everything that was just said in the last paragraph we believe that the PCS+ HD7850 will be a winner with the budget gamer.

PowerColor’s take on the PCS+ HD7850

TUL Corporation, a leading manufacturer of AMD graphic cards, today announces the latest overclocking edition of HD7850: the PowerColor PCS+ HD7850. The PowerColor PCS+ HD7850 clocks at 1000 MHz core speed and 1225 MHz memory speed, featured with factory overclocked setting, delivering incredibly rich and stunning HD performance with the support for vivid DirectX® 11.1 gaming.

The PowerColor PCS+ HD7850 armed with Gold Power Kit design, with DrMos, Digital PWM and Multi Phases design, enhancing the stability at overclocked mode. What’s more, the advanced edition has equipped with professional cooling system, with 92mm ultra big cooling fan and SS-Shape heat pipes direct touch technology, allowing 15% quieter and 15% cooler performance than reference board and delivering an extraordinary heat dissipate effect.

The latest PCS+ HD7850 packed with industry-leading technology; by utilizing AMD Eyefinity 2.0 technology and AMD HD3D Technology, the PCS+ HD7850 supports multi-display stereoscopic 3Dcontent, allowing an immersive “wrap around” gaming experience. Also, it supports AMD PowerTune technology and AMD ZeroCore technology, enabling the intelligent power monitoring to enable higher clock speeds and better performance when needed, delivering the most efficient way for gaming like never before.


Graphics EngineRADEON HD7850

Video Memory


Engine Clock


Memory Clock

1225MHz x 4 (4.9 Gbps)

Memory Interface


DirectX® Support


Bus Standard

PCIE 3.0

Standard Display Connecors


Feature Support



CrossFireX™ Technology


ATI Stream Technology


ATI Eyefinity Technology


ATI Hypermemory Technology

Display Support

VGA Output

Via Adapter

DVI Output



On Board(mini DP) x2


On Board

TV Output

HDTV Output

HDCP Support


Maximum Resolution









Power Specs + Board Dimensions

Board Dimensions


Minimum System Power requirement (W)


Extention Power Connector

One 6-Pin PCI Express Power connector
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Closer look

This is our first review involving PowerColor, so we have to educate you as well as ourselves about just what PCS means. PCS or Professional Cooling System is out to accomplish three things. The first would be increasing cooling performance, reducing the audible levels of the overall gaming experience and finally upping the overclocking potential of the GPU. This is all done by upgrading the cooling system from the AMD reference model.

The car has a pretty well design and decent looking cooler. The main body of the cooler is covered by a plastic black and silver shroud. The overall size of the shroud does not add much to the length of cool but it does increase the thickness of the card leaving it a dual slot solution.

To add the active cooling effect to the card is a 92mm cooling fan. It blows over the surface of the aluminum heat sink and pushes air out to the sides and the rear of the card.

If you were to remove the entire cooler from the rest of the card we can now see that the fins are all aluminum typical most cooler no matter the use. The heat pipes are copper but coated in Nickel to that match the rest of the cooler. The base shares the direct heat pipe technology that we have seen in many coolers. Just briefly this means the heat pipes come in direct contact with the core of the card for heat absorption and dissipation.

Underneath the PCS cooling we have the 28nm Pitcairn Pro GPU. Reference HD 7850 clocks are set at 860MHz for the Core and 1200MHz on the memory side. PowerColor upped these numbers to a cool 1GHz for the Core and 1225MHz for the memory.

Here we have a look at the 28nm Pitcairn core and the 2GB of Hynix memory. Google the Hynix modules we find a PDF file that specifies that they operate at 1.35v to 1.5v.

The PCS+ HD7850 uses a 6-pin power connector. And if you are wondering about power supplies for this little beast according to PowerColor a 500W unit is sufficient. If you wish to throw two of those in your box a 600 watter is recommended.

The single Crossfire interface should be an early indicator that only two of these cards can be used in Crossfire mode.

There are two DVI (-I and –D), HDMI, two mini display ports on the end of the card.

Testing Setup

Test Hardware:

1. ASUS X79 Deluxe Motherboard
2. Intel Core i7 3930K Processor
3. Kingston HyperX 1866 DDR3 16GB
4. Kingston V+ 200 120GB Solid State Drive
5. ASUS BC12B1LT BD-Rom Drive
6. Thermaltake Frio Extreme CPU Cooler
7. Microcool Banchetto 101 Open Air Test Bench
8. Silverstone Strider Gold Evolution 850W Power Supply
9. PowerColor PCS+ HD7850 (Cat 13.1)


Windows Seven Ultimate 7 64-bit SP1
ATI Cat 12.4
NVidia 301.42


Futuremark 3DMark 11
Your PC’s performance is determined by the interactions between different hardware components, the operating system and the type and amount of software running. A benchmark provides a set of performance tests that can be repeated with a high degree of accuracy on a wide range of computer hardware.
3DMark 11 is the latest version of the world’s most popular benchmark for measuring the graphics performance of gaming PCs.
Designed for testing DirectX 11 hardware running on Windows 7 and Windows Vista the benchmark includes six all new benchmark tests that make extensive use of all the new features in DirectX 11 including tessellation, compute shaders and multi-threading.
After running the tests 3DMark gives your system a score with larger numbers indicating better performance. Trusted by gamers worldwide to give accurate and unbiased results, 3DMark 11 is the best way to test DirectX 11 under game-like loads.

Unigine Heaven 3.0
New benchmark grants the power to unleash the DirectX 11 potential in the gift wrapping of impressively towering graphics capabilities. It reveals the enchanting magic of floating islands with a tiny village hidden in the cloudy skies. With the interactive mode emerging experience of exploring the intricate world is ensured within reach. Through its advanced renderer, Unigine is one of the first to set precedence in showcasing the art assets with tessellation, bringing compelling visual finesse, utilizing the technology to the full extend and exhibiting the possibilities of enriching 3D gaming.

GSC Game World S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat
We are glad to present you a special version of S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat Having your PC tested with benchmark you will be able to get detailed information about its performance on various graphical modes and find out how well your system is balanced for gaming and S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat in particular.
This benchmark is based on one of the ingame locations – Pripyat . The testing process includes four stages, those utilizing various weather and time of the day settings (day, night, rain, bright sun). In order to test your system thoroughly the benchmark is provided with a number of presets and options including different versions of DirectX (9.0, 10.0, 11), screen resolutions, antialiasing etc, all at your disposal.

Codemasters Dirt 2
DiRT 2 will feature a roster of contemporary off-road events, taking players to the most diverse and challenging real-world environments. This World Tour will have players competing in aggressive multi-car and intense solo races at extraordinary new locations, from canyon racing and jungle trails to city stadium-based events.
To be powered by the third generation of the EGO™ Engine’s award-winning racing game technology, DiRT 2 will benefit from tuned-up car-handling physics system and new damage engine effects. It will also showcase a spectacular new level of visual fidelity, with cars and tracks twice as detailed as those seen in GRID.
DiRT 2’s garage  houses a best-in-class collection of officially licensed rally cars and off-road vehicles, specifically selected to deliver aggressive and fast paced racing. Covering seven vehicle classes, players will be given the keys to powerful vehicles right from the off. In DiRT 2 the opening drive is the Group N Subaru; essentially making the ultimate car from the original game the starting point in the sequel and the rides just get even more impressive.
In addition to the World Tour, DiRT 2 will come complete with full online functionality that will be core to the overall experience, with head-to-head competitive online play and new social features to engage the racing community. Prepare for mud, gravel, dust and dirt too in DiRT 2, coming 2009.

Square Enix Final Fantasy XiV
FINAL FANTASY XIV takes the first intrepid steps into an unknown realm, and in doing soa new place for adventurers of all creeds to call home is born — Eorzea.
In the world of Hydaelyn, the term Eorzea denotes the geographical region comprised of the continent of ldenard and its surrounding islands, as well as the civilization which spawned there. Calling the area home are several independent city-states,the most notable being Limsa Lominsa, bustling port and pirate hub;Ul’dah, a desert city rich in mineral wealth; Gridania, nested deep within an ageless wood; and Ishgard, bastion atop the mountains.

Sega Alien versus Predator
Aliens vs. Predator is an entirely new title for PC and high-definition consoles from acclaimed British developer Rebellion, the team behind the 1999 original PC gaming classic. Bringing the legendary war between two of science-fiction’s most popular characters to FPS fans, AvP delivers three outstanding single player campaigns and provides untold hours of unique 3-way multiplayer gaming. Experience distinctly new and thrilling first person gameplay as you survive, hunt and prey in the deadly jungles and swamps surrounding the damned colony of Freya’s Prospect.

Flying Wild Hogs Hard Reset
Thee world as we know it ceased to exist. Humanity is at the verge of extinction, living in the last closed city of Bezoar. Mankind wages war against the machines controlling vast areas of what became the ‘Barrens’. Machines want to control and assimilate ‘The Sanctuary’ a network that holds billions of digitalized human minds. Our hero, Maj. Fletcher, is a soldier of CLN – a corporation combat unit, established to protect the city. Machines are constantly assaulting the walls of Bezoar. Fletcher moves in when Bezoar’s protective barrier is breached.

GPU Temps

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GPU Power Consumption



For a lower mid-range Radeon HD model, I was surprised to see how well the PowerColor 7850 PCS did. The closest GPU we have had to this card is the Sapphire Radeon HD 7770 which the PowerColor offering clearly outshined. Well, we figured that much as the competitor was only a 7770. But we were not prepared for the gap there is between the two considering there is no chipset in between them. I will almost have to say that we are better off comparing its services to the HD 7950 than the 7770 due mostly to the performance differential. If I had to market this card I would be more inclined to say it’s slower than a HD7950 and faster than a HD 7770.

Yes, the performance is definitely a winner with this card, we realize that. But there are other aspects of the card we like. One of the major ones would be the cooling and the cooling system’s noise level. The PCS system did pretty well when it came to taming the heat produced by the HD 7850 chipset. And while doing its job we did not here a thing from it. This is something you don’t often see from an all out gaming-based card like the HD 7850.

PowerColor with the help of AMD has put together a really strong card. And it gets no clearer than when you look at the recent price drops of some of the Radeon cards and what the NVidia competition is offering at the performance level. On Newegg the PCS card is about $219.99 making it pretty affordable and the ideal choice for a nice size 1080P monitor.

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ProClockers was founded way back in 2004, with a goal to provide unbiased PC hardware and tech reviews. Whilst the first products we reviewed are long gone, we're continuing to review the latest and greatest every month.

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ProClockers was founded in 2004, and since then we have reviewed thousands of tech products, including motherboards, CPUs, graphics cards, PC cases, cooling solutions and more. Whilst many of the original products we reviewed back then have long bit the dust, we continue working hard to provide unbiased PC hardware and tech reviews.

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