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Performance Per Watt

Graphics Overclocking: Getting The Most From Your GPU
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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 8.5366.0
278
1.317
MSI D.O.T. Sergeant, Catalyst 8.5380.0
285
1.333
MSI D.O.T. Commander, Catalyst 8.5384.3
292
1.316
Stock Speeds, Catalyst 9.6398.3
278
1.433
Maximum, Catalyst 9.6434.2
292
1.487
Overclocking Nvidia
fps
Watts (3D)
fps/Watts
Stock Speeds, GeForce 182.06405.3
277
1.463
MSI D.O.T. Sergeant, GeForce 182.06421.9
2821.496
MSI D.O.T. Captain, GeForce 182.06425.8
285
1.494
Stock Speeds, GeForce 186.18417.8
277
1.508
Game Maximum, GeForce 186.18436.8
294
1.486
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