PowerColor PCS+ R7 370 2GB GDDR5 Graphic Card Review

Making a re-entry into the Malaysian market, PowerColor’s range of new AMD R9 and R7 based graphic cards have hit the stores and with us today is the PowerColor PCS+ R7 370 2GB GDDR5 Graphic Card that targets the low-medium range systems.

PowerColor PCS+ R7 370 2GB GDDR5 Graphic Card Review

Now isn’t the card beautiful to behold? I think it looks awesome for a budget card.

PowerColor PCS+ R7 370 2GB GDDR5 Graphic Card Review

As you can see there are only 5 fan blades on each fan, not only does it look neat but it’s also a lot easier to clean. It makes the both the fan blades and heatsink fins more accessible.

In case you haven’t watch goldfries’ video on the fan, have a look and do remember to subscribe to the channel.

Channel promotion aside, let’s continue with the card. From the top you’ll see the PowerColor label and the heatsink fins exposed, the card is powered by a single 6-pin PCI-E connector.

PowerColor PCS+ R7 370 2GB GDDR5 Graphic Card Review

From the bottom the copper heatpipes are visible, nothing out of the ordinary here.

PowerColor PCS+ R7 370 2GB GDDR5 Graphic Card Review

Now this is my favorite part of the card, it comes with a beautiful looking backplate despite being a sub-RM 700 card.

PowerColor PCS+ R7 370 2GB GDDR5 Graphic Card Review

Lastly of course, the IO panel.

PowerColor PCS+ R7 370 2GB GDDR5 Graphic Card Review

Here’s the GPU-Z capture of the card. Yup, it reads as an R9 200 card because the R7 370 is basically an R7 265.

PowerColor PCS+ R7 370 2GB GDDR5 Graphic Card Review

More details at the official product page.

The thing about AMD’s latest naming convention is that they shifted the x70 series down from R9 category to R7 category. For example in the previous generation they have the R9 270 and R9 270X while anything below the “270” figure are classified under R7 cards.

For this new set of cards, the 370 range is now placed under R7 instead of R9. In fact if you think about it the performance goes backward too. In the past, you’ll see cards like say a HD 7850 perform like a HD 6950 where the lower number of a new generation card performs similarly to that of the previous generation. (Level 8 card of the 7 series performs like the level 9 card of the 6 series. Get it?)

In this range of card, strangely it seems like the R7 370 is now performing like an R7 265 instead of say an R9 280.

Test Setup

Processor Intel Core i5-4670K
RAM Kingston HyperX 2x 4GB DDR3 2400Mhz Kit
Motherboard Gigabyte GA-Z97X Gaming 3
Cooler NZXT Kraken X31
Monitor Dell U2414H
Power Supply FSP AURUM S 600W
Casing NZXT S340
Operating System Windows 8.1 Pro 64bit

Benchmarks

The closest (faster) card available for comparison would at goldfries’ lab is the R9 270X.

Unigine Heaven 4.0

Heaven 4.0
*NOTE : Details are set to maximum.
*NOTE : AA disabled in 4K test.

Card 1080p (avg)
PowerColor R7 370 18.9
AMD R9 270X 27.9

Metro Last Light

Heaven 4.0

Card 1080p (avg)
PowerColor R7 370 27
AMD R9 270X 41.5

Bioshock Infinite

Bioshock Infinite
Settings are at
2 – UltraDX11_DDOF | 2 – Custom | 1 – 16:9 | 4 – FullHD / 4K

Card 1080p (avg)
PowerColor R7 370 35.06
AMD R9 270X 54.91

Shadow of Mordor

Heaven 4.0
Settings : Set to maximum, V-sync off.

Card 1080p (avg)
PowerColor R7 370 21.78
AMD R9 270X 26.05

Grand Theft Auto V

Grand Theft Auto V
Settings : Set to Very High for every possible option. 8xAA enabled for Full HD test, AA Disabled for 4K test.

Card 1080p (avg)
PowerColor R7 370 21.15
AMD R9 270X 21.17

*No typo on that one, I’m just as amazed as anyone on the results. I thought the R9 270X would have a significant lead.

Temperature

Furmark Burn-in Test was used to stress the card. Fan settings are at Auto. Room set to ~25c.

Card Idle(°C) Load (°C)
PowerColor R7 370 31 69
PowerColor R7 370 Full RPM 31 61

The fan design is awesome but at AUTO settings it hovers at around 60% RPM and it does produce some faint whirring noise, it should’t be audible when the casing is closed.

Overclocking

I was able to overclock the processor up some 200Mhz however try as I may, the performance seems stagnant benchmark after benchmark. It’s as if no overclocking was done. 🙁

Power Consumption

The stress was done with Furmark Burn-in Test. Power consumption reading was taken from the watt-meter, actual power draw by the entire system from the wall point. I’m using an FSP Aurum S 700W with 90% efficiency and the estimated system power draw (CPU, not including GPU) during Furmark test is 60w.

Card PowerColor PCS+ R7 370
Furmark Burn-in 162
Estimated Actual System Draw 145
Estimated Card Power Draw 85

Definitely a nice card to have for those who want an upgrade on graphic performance but having budget limitation for Power Supply upgrade.

The Verdict

The PowerColor PCS+ R7 370 2GB GDDR5 retails at RM 619 which is a sweet price for a card with this performance. It replaces the R7 265 range of cards that are currently being phased out and what makes the PowerColor R7 370 stand out is not the performance itself which is nothing new nor spectacular, in fact it is the cooling system and the added backplate that makes the PowerColor PCS+ R7 370 a winner in this range.

Having a low/medium range system doesn’t mean you have to pay a premium to have a good looking graphic card. 🙂

goldfries recommended

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