The Radeon HD 4870 only hits its full potential when it is overclocked as far as it can go, where it simultaneously achieves its highest efficiency as measured in frames per watt. To get the most out of your card, you’ll also want to make sure you’re using the latest driver release, since newer versions are routinely optimized for new game titles to provide better performance.
Our Nvidia-based card doesn’t benefit from additional overclocking quite as much, since MSI’s design already employs higher default clock speeds. Indeed, we only see diminishing returns where efficiency is concerned. Since we have to increase the voltage right along with the clock speeds, we do see performance gains, but power consumption rises a fair bit, too. Actually, we found this card’s sweet spot to be right at its factory overclocked setting, as long as the newest drivers are used. As soon as you start increasing the voltage, efficiency begins to drop.
All power consumption numbers apply to the entire test platform and measured at the wall socket. The 3D value is measure when both CPU and graphics card are under full load.
|Overclocking ATI||fps||Watts (3D)||fps/Watts|
|Stock Speeds, Catalyst 8.5||366.0||278||1.317|
|MSI D.O.T. Sergeant, Catalyst 8.5||380.0||285||1.333|
|MSI D.O.T. Commander, Catalyst 8.5||384.3||292||1.316|
|Stock Speeds, Catalyst 9.6||398.3||278||1.433|
|Maximum, Catalyst 9.6||434.2||292||1.487|
|Overclocking Nvidia||fps||Watts (3D)||fps/Watts|
|Stock Speeds, GeForce 182.06||405.3||277||1.463|
|MSI D.O.T. Sergeant, GeForce 182.06||421.9||282||1.496|
|MSI D.O.T. Captain, GeForce 182.06||425.8||285||1.494|
|Stock Speeds, GeForce 186.18||417.8||277||1.508|
|Game Maximum, GeForce 186.18||436.8||294||1.486|
- CPUs Have More Headroom
- Keeping Cool (Enough)
- Graphics Chips And Our Test Setup
- MSI’s D.O.T.-Enabled Driver
- Overclocking The ATI Card Via D.O.T.
- Benchmarks: ATI And D.O.T.
- Overclocking Using RivaTuner And Tray Tools
- Benchmarks: ATI And Catalyst 9.6
- Overclocking: Nvidia And D.O.T.
- Benchmarks: Nvidia And D.O.T.
- Overclocking: Nvidia With CoreCenter And AirForce
- Benchmarks: Nvidia And GeForce 186.18
- RivaTuner And Precision
- Effects Of Overclocking: ATI
- Effects Of Overclocking: Nvidia
- Overall Performance
- Performance Per Watt
- 3D Performance (Sorted By Anti-Aliasing)
- Conclusion: It’s A Tie