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ATI HD 4870 compared to nVidia GeForce 8800GT

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August 14, 2008 11:38:08 AM

Hi

Firstly my PC Spec:

Aerocool AeroEngine II Gaming Chassis
Omega Megapower 600W Modular PSU
Intel Core 2 Quad Extreme 2.66GHz (Overclocked to 3GHz)
Asus Rampage Formula Motherboard
Kingston DDR2 800 Memory - 2X 1024MB Modules
LG SATA DVDRW
Seagate SATA2 500GB HDD (32mb cache)
Logitech G15 Keyboard
Logitech G5 Mouse
LG 22" Wide LCD (5000:1 contast, 2ms response time, max resolution : 1680X1050)
Windows Vista Business Edition (SP1)


I Eventually sold my old XFX GeForce 8800GT XXX Edition graphics card. I Purchased an Asus ATI Radeon HD 4870. I am however a bit confused. Before installing my new card. I ran 3D Mark 06 (build 1.0.1) at default install settings (1280X1024), results were in the region of 13100 3DMs. 1680X1050 resulted in around 12900.

Then I installed my new Radeon HD 4870. 3D Mark 06 just hung every time after launching. I then applied the Feb 08 hotfix for 3D Mark 06 as well as its update version 1.1.0, which allowed 3D Mark 06 to run on my new card. The results were 13800 @ 1280X1024, and 13400 @ 1680X1050.

I honestly expected a more significant jump in 3D Marks. I know 3D Mark isn't the best benchmark out there but I at least expected more.

I installed the Catalyst v8.7 drivers (65998). I am unsure as to what driver to install for my HD 4870. ATI's site listed two drivers: The first mentioned and one that had an integrated "hotfix" to increase performance (64906). Looking at the numbers in brackets, it surely makes sense to install the 8.7 (65998), rather than the unknown hotfix version (64906). Judging by those numbers in brackets I assume they are build numbers. That is why I opted for the first one.

Any suggestions with regards to the other "hotfix" driver, and also why the scores have minor differences comparing the two cards?
August 14, 2008 12:01:04 PM

I'm no expert, but it would seem to me that there is a bottleneck somewhere other than the graphics card that is limiting the score. However, looking at your build, I wouldn't like to try and guess at what it might be.
August 14, 2008 12:27:25 PM

Did you try setting the Catalyst AI to Advanced (it defaults to disabled) in the 3D settings.

I did that and my 3DMark06 score jumped from 9300 to 9800 with my 3870.
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August 14, 2008 1:05:09 PM

The 4870s don't score well in 3D Mark 2006 or Vantage.

The current driver for the 4870 is the 8.7 - no hotfixes or anything required. The drivers still aren't stable though - my whole system is less stable than before.
August 14, 2008 1:38:04 PM

DeAtHrApToR said:
Did you try setting the Catalyst AI to Advanced (it defaults to disabled) in the 3D settings.

I did that and my 3DMark06 score jumped from 9300 to 9800 with my 3870.


I haven't owned an ATI card in over 10 years. I don't know the catalyst drivers that well... I haven't changed those settings though....
August 14, 2008 1:41:28 PM

The_Abyss said:
The 4870s don't score well in 3D Mark 2006 or Vantage.

The current driver for the 4870 is the 8.7 - no hotfixes or anything required. The drivers still aren't stable though - my whole system is less stable than before.


I know things will look better with later releases of the drivers, and like I said I know 3D Mark 06 isn't the most ideal benchmark out there, but I really thought it would score more than this. How does my scores compare to other people with similar spec rigs?
August 14, 2008 1:50:24 PM

3dmark i just a synthetic benchmarks and isn't always accurate, plays some games dude! Try a game like crysis where you would definitely notice an improvement.
August 14, 2008 2:15:05 PM

ThreatDown said:
3dmark i just a synthetic benchmarks and isn't always accurate, plays some games dude! Try a game like crysis where you would definitely notice an improvement.


I thought of installing Crysis and trying it, but I only installed the card very late last night so I didn't have a chance. I will try it tonight. Still a bit confused about the 3D Marks.....
a c 110 U Graphics card
August 14, 2008 2:52:08 PM

Your score is not that off, 14000 is about average for your system.

Do not let 3dMarks fool you, It awards allot of extra points to Quad's. If you where on a dual core machine, you would have scored at leave 2000 less yet In reality most games would run about the same on that dual core machine.

When 3d marks came out cpu's where not fast enough to skew results so much. Overclocking an extra 600mhz would net you about 2000 more points from where you are now.

Do not worry, you are in the right zone. Many on the ORB website have massive overclocks and multi card setups.

EDIT

If you want to try the Cat AI, just right click your ati icon->ATI Radeon HD 4800 Series(the top one)->3D Settings->Catalyst A.I.->Advanced

Be aware that A.I. is an optimization and "may" result in lower quality images. Most times it should be un-noticeable to the end user. The default on all ATI cards I have used was Standard and not Disabled
a c 186 U Graphics card
August 14, 2008 8:24:57 PM

Just something I `heard` on another Forum, try turning Aero off before you play...Oh and post a reply, let us know what happened, I for one am still clinging to the sinking stern of XP Home ;) 
August 15, 2008 6:09:25 AM

coozie7 said:
Just something I `heard` on another Forum, try turning Aero off before you play...Oh and post a reply, let us know what happened, I for one am still clinging to the sinking stern of XP Home ;) 


Personally I was skeptical about trying out Vista. I actually set up a dual boot configuration between Vista & XP just in case Vista gave problems. So far I haven't used XP once since the setup (this is about 3 months now). The only thing one needs to disable in Vista is the bloody UAC (User Access Control). Otherwise Vista prompts you 20 times before allowing any action: "are you sure", "are you really sure", " are you really really sure", are you really really really positively sure...". It drove me mad.... Disabling this UAC made Vista feel a lot more like XP. I actually want to get rid of my dual boot and run Vista only so that I can use the freed up space for more storage.

I haven't tried disabling the Aero Interface as I only got your replies this morning. I did however install Crysis again, which let me play a bit more comfortable than what it did on my old 8800GT. I might be imagining this but I ran Mass Effect too and I get this feeling that the image quality seemed more crisp and vibrant than what it did with my 8800GT. It might be thanks to the 'Splendid Technology' my new Asus card has, or its just the HD 4870 itself. One thing I do like about the Asus cards is the app called OSD Asus designed for this card. It allows me to use a hot-key combination to enable on screen FPS in all games. Mass effect never dropped lower that 58 FPS.

I was a bit skeptical as to if I made thr right decision to move to ATI, but it seems good so far, not spectacular, but better. I can't complain as I sold my old card for a good price and god the new one at a good price too, didn't pay in much. I will try a couple of other games and report back after the weekend. Thanks...
August 15, 2008 6:21:54 AM

nukemaster said:
Your score is not that off, 14000 is about average for your system.

Do not let 3dMarks fool you, It awards allot of extra points to Quad's. If you where on a dual core machine, you would have scored at leave 2000 less yet In reality most games would run about the same on that dual core machine.

When 3d marks came out cpu's where not fast enough to skew results so much. Overclocking an extra 600mhz would net you about 2000 more points from where you are now.

Do not worry, you are in the right zone. Many on the ORB website have massive overclocks and multi card setups.

EDIT

If you want to try the Cat AI, just right click your ati icon->ATI Radeon HD 4800 Series(the top one)->3D Settings->Catalyst A.I.->Advanced

Be aware that A.I. is an optimization and "may" result in lower quality images. Most times it should be un-noticeable to the end user. The default on all ATI cards I have used was Standard and not Disabled


Like I said, I know 3D Mark 06 isn't the most ideal benchmark out there, but it seemed odd after the results I had. I just wanted to make sure I am not the only one getting around the 14000 mark with similar spec and that nothing was wrong with my rig or its setup.
!