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4800 Series reviews!!!!!!!

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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June 25, 2008 5:02:48 AM

I'm a little disappointed by the CF scaling, but I'm assuming it's really just driver issues. With the 4870 being slightly better than the GTX260, the R700 should eat Nvidia's GTXs for breakfast, and if the scaling is as good as AMD says, then even a possible 280x2 might not stand a chance.

Overall, goodwork AMD, but work on that CF scaling.
June 25, 2008 5:16:42 AM

good find jay, it is about time we see what the 4870 can do. btw, aint surprising that toms didnt do neither till now?
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June 25, 2008 5:18:57 AM

CF scales up to 2x, for example in GRAW2 at 2560x1600 4xAA 16AF. Perfect 2x scale. 31fps to 60fps.
June 25, 2008 5:21:01 AM

Good for AMD...

Nvidia has to drop those GTX 200 series prices considerably if they want to remain remotely competitive. Somewhere around $250-275 for the GTX 260 and $350-400 for the GTX 280, IF AMD decides to keep the HD 4870 at $300 and not lower it.
June 25, 2008 5:28:05 AM

Dude, I'm impressed by ATI, they came so far to get there stuff straight. Like i said in another thread, I'm going by COD4 specs and i must say that 30+ frames on top of my 8800gts 512 is a lot. This card (4870) will be in my comp asap, when it comes out. great job!
June 25, 2008 5:29:32 AM

Dude, I'm impressed by ATI, they came so far to get there stuff straight. Like i said in another thread, I'm going by COD4 specs and i must say that 30+ frames on top of my 8800gts 512 is a lot. This card (4870) will be in my comp asap, when it comes out. great job!
June 25, 2008 5:32:54 AM

pcgamer12 said:
CF scales up to 2x, for example in GRAW2 at 2560x1600 4xAA 16AF. Perfect 2x scale. 31fps to 60fps.


Yeah. It does scale really well at times, which actually makes me wonder if it's the game that's causing problems.

For example, in the anand review, the 4870 does 36 vs 39 for CF in Crysis.

The 9800GTX+ does 26 to 43.

but then in COD4, the 4870 does 55 and 118, which is even above 100% scaling. How that happened, I don't know. It's weird, but I hope they make it more consistent. That's all I was saying.
June 25, 2008 5:58:55 AM

You have to remember, more often than not, games are optimized for Nvidia cards because of the whole 'The Way It's Meant To Be Played' schtick that the green team is pushing down a lot of developers throats. For the games that are GPU independent or that favor ATI (if there are any left), you'll often see ATI cards match or even exceed Nvidia's best.

So really, ATI is at a disadvantage most of the time and yet despite all that, they STILL perform so well 90% of the time. I would assume that half the reason that new drivers from ATI make small incremental jumps in performance or stability is because since developers barely optimize for ATI cards, ATI has to optimize its cards for the games. Sort of the reverse situation.

Also, these are a new architecture and it needs time to mature, iron out bugs, drivers have to make use of it, etc. So if you think the cards are performing spectacular now (and they are), just wait a few months with revisions of Catalyst and I'm sure we'll start to see some nice boosts with the HD 4000 series.
June 25, 2008 6:44:06 AM

CF looks more promising than SLI does. I have yet to see 2x scaling with SLi although I usually don't read very many SLi benchmarks besides 9800GX2 SLi.
June 25, 2008 6:58:09 AM

This looks great! Anybody want to buy my MSI 8800GT from me while I replace it with a 4850? :D 
June 25, 2008 7:11:32 AM

The best info I got from all the reviews was this:

http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-r...

"This little exercise has made it apparent that provided it has the proper amount of ramsinks and VRM sinks, ANY cooler compatible with the HD3870 series will also be compatible with the HD4870 and HD4850. We tried the Thermalright HR-03 GT, Thermaltake DuOrb, Coolink GFXChilla and Arctic Cooling S1 Rev.2 and every one of them fit without any problems at all. Beautiful, isn’t it?"
June 25, 2008 7:12:35 AM

Hmm.... Interesting. My next build will either consist of arrays of 4870X2s or 280s. I am leaning towards the 4870s, though I did not anticipate this 2 weeks ago. Kudos to ATI.
June 25, 2008 7:16:50 AM

Yay, thats good news for my friends who want ot build their comps soon^^.
Funny thing is that one of my friend was sold to Nvidia and now completly changed his mind. muhahah go ATI..or AMD whatever we call them now.
June 25, 2008 8:04:38 AM

I like ATI's tactics. Build new products for the 200-300 market and scale it up and down. I dislike Nvidia's tactics. Build a high end 600+ GPU and scale it down, making us wait months to get a 200-300 GPU. Mainstream gaming is where it's at, I like the competition.
June 25, 2008 8:07:54 AM

pcgamer12 said:
I like ATI's tactics. Build new products for the 200-300 market and scale it up and down. I dislike Nvidia's tactics. Build a high end 600+ GPU and scale it down, making us wait months to get a 200-300 GPU. Mainstream gaming is where it's at, I like the competition.


It's the mass. It's the majority. It's where money is hidden. I like the competition too.
June 25, 2008 8:12:32 AM

To competition!
June 25, 2008 8:15:36 AM

pcgamer12 said:
To competition!


Hail Competition!!!
a c 169 U Graphics card
June 25, 2008 8:23:37 AM

ATI HD 4800 series offer very good performance and have a good price, NVIDIA has to lower its price in order to keep up
June 25, 2008 8:55:38 AM

anandtech really dives into the technical side of it. Kudos to them was fun reading
June 25, 2008 9:30:43 AM

Tom's just released their review of the 4850. They apparently couldn't/didn't get a hold of a 4870, which was unfortunate.

The tone of the article is pretty disinterested and scattered. They seem to loose sight of several of the 4850's triumphs, don't provide CF 4850 benchmarks and seem to over-simplify the view of the RV770 architecture. This is where Anandtech's review excels (and indeed where all of their major launch articles excel).

I'm getting the impression that AMD hasn't been too forthcoming with information on these cards, and it seems Tom's is quite annoyed with their poor launch.

Glad to see noise/heat numbers here though, as that info is missing from many other sites I've seen.
June 25, 2008 9:39:34 AM

4870 looks promising at $299.99
June 25, 2008 10:16:25 AM

damnnn those are fine numbers!

Me: Yippikaiiiyeeee!!!

4870 to GTX fanbois: Doncha wish ya GPU was HOT like me.... Doncha wish ya GPU was CHEAP like me..... :p 
a b U Graphics card
June 25, 2008 10:21:10 AM

Yea, 4870, cheap... $399... :( 
June 25, 2008 10:26:36 AM

ATI has done well with this turn around the single card performance for price is great, however Im not sold until the CF scaling is more consistent though, When I went into reading this article I was planning on a CF 3870 set up but now a pair of 9800GTX+ is tempting due to its superior scalling in most games. Hopefully as I have always been an ATI fan and would finally like to buy another ATI gpu, its mainly the lack of optimisation dev's do for ATI cards plus premature drivers for the board itself.

EDIT: on further inspection seems the 4870 CF does scale well in some games, mainly all of the ones of the second page of the multi gpu page and bioshock...wow

On a side note, one thing that really does annoy me is how a couple of months ago so many people told me not to bother with an 8800GT SLI setup as its not worth it and too wait for these new cards, yet it still seems to be near the top of all the recent benchmarks.
June 25, 2008 10:36:43 AM

wow very disappointed in comparison to the 4850, for now I think the best buy of the summer so far is the 4850..4870 failed to impress me I'll be hoenst...

Only 10 or so more frames over the 4850 and double the amount, awesome ATI, you managed to screw this up too...GJ!

:(  this pisses me off
June 25, 2008 10:40:37 AM

another thing can some one explain the total system power consumption figures under load to me? 421 watts, that is at it states all of the system components being measured under load? i.e any decent 600w psu or greater should handle this? I thought figures were meant to be much much higher? and didnt anand say at the start of the review that a GTX 280 SLI needed more than 1200watts? but its only 508?

I may just been being dumb and have overlooked something here as I have been studying non stop for law finals for the last few weeks and my brain has gone to mush it seems.
June 25, 2008 10:41:23 AM

mihirkula said:

Me: Yippikaiiiyeeee!!!

4870 to GTX fanbois: Doncha wish ya GPU was HOT like me.... Doncha wish ya GPU was CHEAP like me..... :p 


Right on spot ;) 

randomizer said:
Yea, 4870, cheap... $399... :( 


randomizer, its 299$, and while maybe you are thinking about GTX260 for 399$, dont worry - nVidia will HAVE to lower the price to 299$, or lower for that matter :p 

D3LTA09 said:

EDIT: on further inspection seems the 4870 CF does scale well in some games, mainly all of the ones of the second page of the multi gpu page and bioshock...wow

I'm thinking the same, CF 4870 seems the best bang for the money to get high-end system. CF 4870 so far immature but gets better as ATI have to tweak every game for it. Up side - all popular games will get the attention, downside - less popular maybe wont scale good after all. But how well CF scales in optimized games... amazing!
June 25, 2008 10:44:04 AM

yes it states full power consumption, 280 GTX SLi doesn't need that much, 850 watt should be enough for the 280 GTX in sli and 1000 watt should be enough for tri. The figures are just bloated by people so that they have another reason to bring down the card:p  lol

so far the extra 200$ or so seems to still be over priced, but in my opinion the 4870 is over priced in comparison to the 4850. This gives Nvidia a reason not to lower prices....
June 25, 2008 10:48:24 AM

The GX2 remains the best single card solution so far. Also with prices going down it seems to make mine a good investment:) 
June 25, 2008 10:50:09 AM

Few of the important points I've been able to glean from the technical review:

1) The 4870 is capable of of beating the GTX280 pretty handily, with 1.2 teraflops vs 0.98 teraflops of processing power, but it's going to take code written specifically for the small differences in ATI's architecture to get there. 1.2 teraflops is a best case scenario, in practical terms the GTX280 should be slightly faster (mostly because of the stranglehold Nvidia has on optimization for its cards, "the way it's meant to be played").

2) The 4870 can handle parallel instructions, the GTX280 can't. This can make all the difference IF you have code optimized to take advantage of it. Each stream processing unit in the 4870 can execute 5 instructions at a time, while Nvidia's are limited to 1. Both can run parallel threads.

3) The 4870 is 2x as efficient when you compare die size to processing power (that's after we pretend the Nvidia die has been shrunk to 55nm like ATI's). That's just theoretical performance though and doesn't really say anything about practical performance. Just interesting from an engineering standpoint.

4) The 4870 isn't quite as efficient as the GTX280 when it comes to power consumption. Most of the time it uses more energy to produce a frame than the 280 does, which might help explain the relatively high heat and power consumption. In certain instances (Bioshock) the 4870 uses less power than the 280 and delivers higher performance, so the potential is there for this card to flat out beat the 280. It depends on how the game is coded, specifically how well it takes advantage of the parallel instruction processing of the 4870.

Bottom line: it just comes down to how the graphics engine is coded. If it's designed to take advantage of parallel instruction processing the 4870 would handily beat the 280 in performance and power consumption (Bioshock). If the engine isn't optimized for this, then the 280 will come out on top (Oblivion and Crysis).
June 25, 2008 10:51:47 AM

L1qu1d said:
The GX2 remains the best single card solution so far. Also with prices going down it seems to make mine a good investment:) 


Wouldn't prices going up make it a good investment? Because it'd be worth more than when you bought it?
June 25, 2008 10:54:06 AM

Investment wise, I mean keeping up with gaming and over coming the new gen cards. Not resell value, no Computer Component in the world has a Investment resale value, its not a house:) , its like a car, you drive it once it's value decreases greatly.

EDIT: I'm really impressed with the crossfire scaling I'm actually Awe struck, very amazing results indeed. Although i still think the 4850 remains the best performance for the money.
June 25, 2008 11:03:06 AM

L1qu1d said:
wow very disappointed in comparison to the 4850, for now I think the best buy of the summer so far is the 4850..4870 failed to impress me I'll be hoenst...

Only 10 or so more frames over the 4850 and double the amount, awesome ATI, you managed to screw this up too...GJ!

:(  this pisses me off



Oh cmon L1qu!d ... you seriously didn't expect 4870 to beat GTX280 ... how much more of a performance can ANY GPU give at a launch price of $299?? ... so what if it gives about 12 more FPS than 4850.... it just means the 4850 is a steal too ainnit? ATI have bounced back...very well at that.

Randomizer... you live in Aus i guess :)  .... though its $399, i'm sure its a heck of a lot cheaper than both those GTsuXs.
June 25, 2008 11:10:28 AM

yeah I did say the 4850 is the best amount. It fails to impress because I'm use to ATI cards being cheaper than nvidia and performing better, ever since the 9800 Pros, 1800s 1900s:)  they were about 100$ cheaper:D  (atleast 50$ cheaper here)

I'm not saying its a bad card, and if its 300 it seems to be giving what peopl want.

If the GX2 drops down past 400$ I still think its the best card of choice, it remains the fastest card with out AA and proves to put up a fight even with AA enabled.

The 4870 Seems to be the best Single GPU solution, if you want to save money and have power as well. THe 260 GTX should fade away or go down in price:) 
June 25, 2008 11:15:03 AM

I agree that the gx2 does seem to still be the best single card solution and with lowering prices it is very tempting for me. But I think an ATI solution is still top as I havent been impressed with nvidia as much recently - Im still annoyed vista doesnt have nview in its forceware package....
now you mention the 9800pro I think that was my last ATI card I hard actually, ah the good old days.
June 25, 2008 11:18:01 AM

As much as I love the fact that the GX2 is doing so well, i suggest you wait and see what else changes, I'm predicting that July is a big saver month on Video cards.

I'm just conflicted with GX2 Sli solutions, because I'm getting conflicting results. My friend's system scaled very well and I've seen benchmarks that reinforce his results, even on the web, and then there are other sites saying quad doesn't scale. I for one Saw that it scales very well. Ofc game varies:) 
June 25, 2008 11:21:45 AM

Yup agree regarding GTX260 pricedrop .... but fat chance GTX260 to be priced below 4870 or for that matter a $350-$400 GTX280 .... even if they do lower the prices by THAT much Nvidia is in for losses ... vis a vis, ATI have won this round.

Though i ain't upgrading...I'm getting the iphone 3G instead:) 
June 25, 2008 11:26:38 AM

well if the 280 does go down as low as that, I think people will be tempted to upgrade to Nvidia, so lets hope it doesn't for a while:p  So ati can cover some ground.

I know that if I were to upgrade for 400$ I woul jump to the 280 GTX, because whether it performs slightly lower than the GX2, its still a single GPU solution with 1 gig buffer:) 
June 25, 2008 11:38:15 AM

Interesting will be for me when we see 4870 with 1GB memory and clocked beyond 2000 MHz (4000 effective). I think then the margin between 4870 and 280GTX will shrink even more if not disappear at all.

We also don't know the full overclocking potential for 4000 series cards as Overdrive utility doesn't allow much OC for now and RivaTuner and ATI tool are not compatible yet , lets hope they release updates soon so we can see what these babies can do.

I want to see 4870 at 1GHz / 2.2GHz (aftermarket coolers of course) :D . Such thing will blow away everything
June 25, 2008 11:44:44 AM

I have money burning in my pocket. I really wanted to go for a CF and put 2x48xx, but honestly, my car needs a repari on the electrical part.

I think ill have to settle for 4850. And a new case and PSU for my PC. Really.
June 25, 2008 11:51:36 AM

what a beast.im totally impressed.the 4800s are the best bang for the buck.heck even the overclocked hd4850 handily beat the 9800gtx + very handily.times up.the tides have changed.DX10.1 will finally be taken seriously.
June 25, 2008 11:53:43 AM

I still think the ball can bounce in any court for now, AMD needs to make a come back with the CPUs as well, which puts their priority to win even higher.
June 25, 2008 11:54:58 AM

area61 said:
what a beast.im totally impressed.the 4800s are the best bang for the buck.heck even the overclocked hd4850 handily beat the 9800gtx + very handily.times up.the tides have changed.DX10.1 will finally be taken seriously.


Well its not about taking seriously, I mean its not the DX 10.1 thats making it run faster. But it will be a step up for them. I still don't think we'll see DX 10.1 games anytime soon, or do I see a big leap.
June 25, 2008 11:59:41 AM

L1qu1d said:
Well its not about taking seriously, I mean its not the DX 10.1 thats making it run faster. But it will be a step up for them. I still don't think we'll see DX 10.1 games anytime soon, or do I see a big leap.



well.what i meant was,if ati took more ground,we can see the DX10.1 be well implemented.why say no to technology growth?
June 25, 2008 12:02:14 PM

Well I'm not saying no to technology growth, but look at how much it took DX 10 to become more frequent on the market, and its still not mainstream yet.
I'm not saying that it shouldn't be introduced, I'm just saying I doubt it will anytime soon.

Thats another thing ATi can hope for:) 
June 25, 2008 12:07:39 PM

well looks like everyone agrees on one thing for now.the hd4850 is certainly the BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK.so long to my old bang for the buck the 8800gts 512. ;/
June 25, 2008 12:16:30 PM

well there are some 8800 GTS 512 that sell for 169.99 lol soo yeah its still got enough pull. Think about it, the card has been around since OCt I beleive...thats a LONG time ago...
June 25, 2008 12:20:15 PM

pcgamer12 said:
CF scales up to 2x, for example in GRAW2 at 2560x1600 4xAA 16AF. Perfect 2x scale. 31fps to 60fps.



I really think these are developer engine limitations more than video card manufacturer limitations - I think drivers can go a long way but some games just don't seem to support dual gpus (or more) as well as we might expect out of the box - while others are excellent

Go figure I guess.

Looks pretty good but as others said i'm kinda disappointed with the CF scaling which is something AMD was really pushing for this release :|
June 25, 2008 12:27:00 PM

^ agreed. I am still very happy to see something putting the pressure on nvidia, but I did expect more.:)  thats what I get for having high expectations!
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