Club 3D 7870 Joker XT Edition Review
We're beginning to wonder if there is a bad card in the Club 3D range, because on the evidence so far it's clear that there isn't.
The original HD7870 was around £270 and got a Gold award due to the performance compared to similarly priced cards at the time. The intervening months have seen a serious price war between nVidia and AMD, and the cards have generally plummeted in price. So much so that the Club 3D HD7870XT Joker Edition comes in at a frankly mind-blowing £177.
This is a custom PCB, with the much beefier Tahiti LE GPU on board and a custom cooler, able to be overclocked far beyond the rated speed, and yet it's well south of £200. With a high-end GPU now well into the £400+ range this means that the Joker is not only a mid-range card, it's a lower mid-range card in price terms.
Certainly not in performance though. The card is excellent in every scenario, and only the most demanding games in our tests show that the reduction in shaders when compared to the HD7950 has any real-world effect. We wondered why the Tahiti LE had seemed to be slid quietly out the door and it's obvious when you look at the performance. It is, barring a couple of very specific titles, a match for the much pricier HD7950. So why anyone would choose to buy one of those instead of saving around £50 and putting it towards something else is beyond us. Manufacturers must be frightened of having a warehouse full of unsold HD7950s, hence the low-key release of this model.
It's not only the performance that is excellent either. The bundle is fantastic with two great games, Far Cry 3 and Sleeping Dogs, one decent one in Warfighter and a risible one in Dirt Showdown. Although if you like your racing games firmly in the Outrun level of complexity then you might even like Dirt Showdown.
The only thing we can criticise is that the Coolstream GPU cooler is right at its limit on the Joker. Although the temperatures are still below 80°C we'd prefer to see this model equipped with the two fan variant, just to squeeze that bit more out of an already stunning card.
Once again Club 3D have released a product that ticks all the boxes and doesn't empty your wallet. If you're in the market for a powerful graphics card at an affordable price you'd be insane to look at anything other than the HD7870XT Joker Edition. Not only worthy of our OC3D Gold Award, but for making every other manufacturer revisit their pricing structure it gets our OC3D Value For Money award too. Buy one. Buy two. You'll thank us.