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Palit Revolution 700 Deluxe (Radeon HD 4870 X2, 2 x 1,024 MB)

Best Of The Best: High-End Graphics Card Roundup
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To see all pictures, please click on the photo of the test card below to access our photo gallery.

If you want to see the smartest dual-GPU cooler we've seen for ATI cards, look no further than Palit's take on the Radeon HD 4870 X2. One disadvantage we did pick up on right away is its extra-wide housing, which covers three expansion slots. The trade-off is that you get two 80 mm fans and a pair of heatsinks with all-copper heatpipes.

The justification for this design comes from the fairly-mediocre cooling on ATI's reference Radeon HD 4870 X2s. The standard fan configuration means that the RV770 graphics chips run hot, even in 2D mode, since ATI decided to let temperatures run higher rather than increase cooling noise levels. For many buyers, this didn't work out very well because insufficient cooling causes too much heat to accumulate, thereby heating up other components.

MSI took notice and built its own variant on the Radeon HD 4870 X2 with a modified fan layout. This changed the card's attributes from slow, quiet, and hot to fast, loud, and cool. While MSI did get temperatures under control, noise levels went through the roof due to constant and heavy fan noise.

The following test measurements are not directly comparable with our new test system or with our current benchmark suite. That's why we show them here in their own standalone table. All values are generated using overclocked retail cards from Palit and MSI, both employing the RV770 GPUs. Overclocking doesn't give either vendor much of an advantage. What MSI gains from boosting GPU clock rates, Palit gets by doing likewise for graphics memory.

The temperatures are nearly identical, but the noise levels are extremely different. In 2D mode, MSI uses high fan speeds with the reference fans to attain temperatures of 49 degrees Celsius. The Palit card climbs to 59 degrees Celsius, but with comfortable noise levels of 37.7 dB(A). Under a heavy 3D load, a three-slot housing with dual fans can really do its job, increasing noise levels to an audible (but not overwhelming) 43.8 dB(A), as temperatures climb only to 72 degrees Celsius. MSI's reference-cooled card can't keep pace. Although the fan spins even faster, it generates a noisy 60.4 dB(A) sound level, while temperatures hover around 79 degrees Celsius. Clearly, Palit's design shines most bright. The company's air-cooled design is solid, surpassed only by water cooling, we'd suspect.

Manufacturer and Chipset
Graphics RAM
GPU Clock
Memory
Clock
Palit Revolution 700 Deluxe (Radeon HD 4870 X2)2 x 1,024 MB GDDR5750 MHz4 x 950 MHz
MSI R4870X2 T2D2G (Radeon HD 4870 X2)2 x 1,024 MB GDDR5780 MHz4 x 900 MHz
Temperature2D Temp.3D Temp.Evaluation
Palit Revolution 700 Deluxe (Radeon HD 4870 X2)59 degrees Celsius
72 degrees Celsius3D better
MSI R4870X2 T2D2G (Radeon HD 4870 X2)49 degrees Celsius79 degrees Celsius2D better
Noise levels
2D dB(A)3D dB(A)Evaluation
Palit Revolution 700 Deluxe (Radeon HD 4870 X2)37.7 dB(A)43.8 dB(A)Cool and quiet
MSI R4870X2 T2D2G (Radeon HD 4870 X2)51.2 dB(A)60.4 dB(A)Cool but loud


The RV770 graphics chip supports DirectX 10.1 and the card includes two power connectors (both six- and eight-pin PCIe plugs are necessary). Performance on the  Palit and MSI cards is similar, and each of them places first in some benchmarks and second in others, depending on the specific settings and resolution used. Overall, the Palit falls just slightly behind the MSI card, which pulls ahead thanks to its higher GPU clock rate versus the Palit's higher memory clock speed.

Benchmarks and Test Cards
1920x1200, 0AA, 0AF1920x1200, 4AA, 8AF1920x1200, 8AA, 16AF
Fallout 3Very High QualityVery High QualityVery High Quality
Palit Revolution 700 Deluxe (Radeon 4870 X2 2 x 1,024 MB)65.3 FPS
65.0 FPS
64.5 FPS
MSI R4870X2 T2D2G (Radeon 4870 X2 2 x 1,024 MB)65.6 FPS64.8 FPS64.6 FPS
Far Cry 2Very High QualityVery High QualityVery High Quality
Palit Revolution 700 Deluxe (Radeon 4870 X2 2 x 1,024 MB)52.6 FPS52.3 FPS46.0 FPS
MSI R4870X2 T2D2G (Radeon 4870 X2 2 x 1,024 MB)53.1 FPS52.6 FPS47.3 FPS
Left 4 DeadVery High QualityVery High QualityVery High Quality
Palit Revolution 700 Deluxe (4870 X2 2 x 1,024 MB)69.5 FPS68.4 FPS68.5 FPS
MSI R4870X2 T2D2G (4870 X2 2 x 1,024 MB)70.4 FPS69.8 FPS71.6 FPS
Mass EffectUltra QualityGame AF, Ultra QualityGame AF, Ultra Quality
Palit Revolution 700 Deluxe (4870 X2 2 x 1,024 MB)91.3 FPS73.5 FPS71.3 FPS
MSI R4870X2 T2D2G (4870 X2 2 x 1,024 MB)89.1 FPS75.1 FPS71.4 FPS
Cumulative Results
FPS

Palit Revolution 700 Deluxe (4870 X2 2 x1024 MB)815.8 FPS

MSI R4870X2 T2D2G (4870 X2 2 x 1,024 MB)822.6 FPS


You don't get much in the Palit Revolution 700 Deluxe's bundle. There's a driver CD, a flexible CrossFire connector, a six- to eight-pin power adapter, and an HDMI adapter. The card's I/O bracket is more interesting. There you'll find one each of the following connectors: VGA, dual-link DVI, HDMI, and DisplayPort.

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Top Comments
  • 23 Hide
    Anonymous , May 22, 2009 6:24 AM
    Only one ATi card? What happened to all those OC'd 4890s?
  • 16 Hide
    Anonymous , May 22, 2009 7:42 AM
    Weird test:
    1) Where are the overclocking results?
    2) Bad choice for benchmarks: Too many old DX9 based graphic engines (FEAR 2, Fallout 3, Left4Dead with >100FPS) or Endwar which is limited to 30FPS. Where is Crysis?
    3) 1900x1200 as highest resolution for high-end cards?
  • 10 Hide
    sosofm , May 22, 2009 8:24 AM
    This benchmark is not fair for Ati !!!
Other Comments
  • 23 Hide
    Anonymous , May 22, 2009 6:24 AM
    Only one ATi card? What happened to all those OC'd 4890s?
  • 8 Hide
    Anonymous , May 22, 2009 6:27 AM
    And those HAWX benchmarks look ridiculous. ATi should wipe floor with nvidia with that. Of course you didn't put dx10.1 support on. Bastard...
  • 1 Hide
    cangelini , May 22, 2009 6:35 AM
    quarzOnly one ATi card? What happened to all those OC'd 4890s?


    These are the same boards that were included in the recent charts update, and are largely contingent on what vendors submit for evaluation. We have a review upcoming comparing Sapphire's new 1 GHz Radeon HD 4890 versus the stock 4890. It'll be up in the next couple of weeks, though.
  • 4 Hide
    ohim , May 22, 2009 6:52 AM
    Am i the only one that find this article akward since looking at the tests done on Ati cards on The Last Remnant game makes me wonder what went wrong ... i mean it`s UT3 engine ... why so low performance ?
  • 10 Hide
    curnel_D , May 22, 2009 6:57 AM
    Ugh, please tell me that The Last Remnant hasnt been added to the benchmark suite.

    And I'm not exactly sure why the writer decided to bench on Endwar instead of World In Conflict. Why is that exactly?

    And despite Quarz2's apparent fanboism, I think HAWX would have been better benched under 10.1 for the ATI cards, and used the highest stable settings instead of dropping off to DX9.
  • 16 Hide
    Anonymous , May 22, 2009 7:42 AM
    Weird test:
    1) Where are the overclocking results?
    2) Bad choice for benchmarks: Too many old DX9 based graphic engines (FEAR 2, Fallout 3, Left4Dead with >100FPS) or Endwar which is limited to 30FPS. Where is Crysis?
    3) 1900x1200 as highest resolution for high-end cards?
  • 4 Hide
    EQPlayer , May 22, 2009 7:47 AM
    Seems that the cumulative benchmark graphs are going to be a bit skewed if The Last Remnant results are included in there... it's fairly obvious something odd is going on looking at the numbers for that game.
  • 9 Hide
    armistitiu , May 22, 2009 7:48 AM
    Worst article in a long time. Why compare how old games perform on NVIDIA's high end graphic cards? Don't get me wrong i like them but where's all the Atomic stuff from Saphire, Asus and XFX had some good stuff from ATI too. So what.. you just took the reference cards from ATI and tested them? :| That is just wrong.
  • -7 Hide
    pulasky , May 22, 2009 8:00 AM
    WOW what a piece of s********** is this """"""review"""""" Noobidia pay good in this days.
  • -1 Hide
    darkpower45 , May 22, 2009 8:00 AM
    ok i tried playing The Last Remnant on my comp with my 4870x2 and it failed hardcore >.< the game itself is ridiculously boring too. sooo why is it added to the benching list?? *shakes head* makes me sad...
  • 1 Hide
    guusdekler , May 22, 2009 8:02 AM
    I find it a lack this tests do not include the 3DMark Vantage suite.
    Ok, there aren't many games using DX10, but some very good ones do !.

    Thats the reason i've switched to vista.

    And with me enough people to justify a proper DX10 benchmark.
  • -6 Hide
    Luscious , May 22, 2009 8:07 AM
    No mention of the GTX 285 2GB version? I'm planning on picking up three of these for a tri-SLI Core i7 build, all water-cooled and overclocked.
  • -9 Hide
    Ellimist , May 22, 2009 8:19 AM
    well i'm running an factory overclocked gtx285. only because i like solid drivers and DAAMIT doesn't seem to be able to provide these consistently. thats been my biggest problem in picking up an ATI card.

    This review however is terrible. the benchmark selection is dated if nothing else. even toms other reviews of recent have used better benchmarks than this.
  • 10 Hide
    sosofm , May 22, 2009 8:24 AM
    This benchmark is not fair for Ati !!!
  • 3 Hide
    IronRyan21 , May 22, 2009 9:00 AM
    Lets see some 3dmarkVantage pls
  • 0 Hide
    drealar , May 22, 2009 9:18 AM
    Like car review magazine (like the one my friend is working for), I THINK they only have cards that were submitted to them and (not sure if this is the case with Tom's) they're only lended for a limited amount of days.

    Although I'm not very satisfied (coz lack of ATI card in your possession), I thank you for the review with Fallout, Left 4 Dead and Last Remnant with DX9. Yup I'm still using XP coz the bog-down symptom with Vista is too noticeable for my rig.

    1920x1200 as minimum threshold? Cool, as my 23" is limted to 1920x1080 anyway :p 
  • 1 Hide
    JeanLuc , May 22, 2009 10:09 AM
    I think you guys should cut Tino Kreiss some slack this I believe his first publication? Saying things like "this is the worst article I've read in a long time" doesn't actually help. You can blame the choice of benchmarks suites on sites manager/editor not the author as he only does what he is told to write. So with that in mind............Cangelini your fired.

    I am curious though, HAWX is a game sponsored by ATI so why is the HD4890 getting it's backside tanned by the GTX275? It's not just a few FPS behind either the difference is quite remarkable and yes I do realise the BFG GTX275 is overclocked but it's not overclocked by a lot.
  • 0 Hide
    cangelini , May 22, 2009 10:16 AM
    JeanLucCangelini your fired.


    Perhaps you'll hire me as a copy editor for your posts instead? ;-)

    In all seriousness, Tino has been with Tom's German office for a long time. I've asked the staff responsible for testing there to drop in and provide some feedback on the products and benchmarks used here.

    Best,
    Chris
  • 9 Hide
    linaaslt , May 22, 2009 10:25 AM
    How lame this article is... i was always wondering why they don't use full potential of gpu, if ATI is capable of using DX10.1 (and game uses that technology), why not use it. it might not be fair for nvidia but ffs, i believe that this kind of review should show all potential of products.
    Shame for TH!
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