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Closer Look at PowerColor PCS+ HD6770 Vortex II

Package, Accessories and Product Specifications

The updated mainstream solution from AMD is represented in this review by PowerColor's PCS+ HD6770 Vortex II card.


It comes in a compact box with a picture of a car on its face side. The car resembles a Dodge Challenger but has a massive fan instead of the cabin, suggesting that the product combines high performance with efficient cooling.

Besides the car mutant, the black box is embellished with a lot of info stickers. The one in the top right corner tells us that the card is equipped with 1 gigabyte of GDDR5 memory and three interfaces (dual-link DVI, HDMI and DisplayPort). In the bottom part of the box you can learn that the card supports Eyefinity technology and can work with up to three monitors simultaneously. The small DiRT 3 logo means a special edition of the card which includes a key for a full version of the popular racing sim.

There are two terms that need our attention here: PCS+ and VERTEX II. The former is like the AMG badge on a Mercedes Benz and denotes a product with higher-than-usual manufacturing quality and increased performance. VORTEX II is a reference to the card’s nonstandard cooling system.

After the informative and eye-catching packaging, we were somewhat disappointed to find just a bare minimum of accessories inside the box:

  • DVI → D-Sub adapter;
  • Mini DisplayPort → DisplayPort adapter;
  • 2x4-pin PATA → 1x6-pin PCIe adapter;
  • Brief installation guide;
  • Brief user manual;
  • CD disk with drivers and utilities;
  • A coupon for free DiRT 3 game activation.

Well, scanty accessories are quite typical of today’s graphics cards. There are but few makers who include free extras with their products. Still, we can note that you get a new AAA-class game for free with this card, which is good.

An experienced graphics card maker, PowerColor is perfectly aware that a free game is not enough to attract a user. Therefore this card comes from the PCS+ series which features pre-overclocked frequencies.

The standard clock rate of the Juniper chip is 850 MHz whereas the PowerColor PCS+ HD6770 Vertex clocks its GPU at 900 MHz. The graphics memory is also pre-overclocked to 1225 (4900) MHz. This isn't much, though, especially in terms of memory frequency which is a crucial factor for products of this class. Well, we'll check out the card's performance shortly. Let's now take a look at its cooling system.

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