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MSI Radeon HD 4870 X2 OC Edition (R4870X2-T2D2G-OC)

Radeon HD 4870 X2: Four Cards Compared

The 2D noise level is 52.2 dB(A), while in 3D mode it stays at 52.2 or rises up to 62.2 dB(A) for a short while.

For many users, the operating temperature of the single-chip Radeon HD 4870 was way too high and if you didn’t like the heat, you had to manually adjust the fan speed and flash the BIOS with your own settings. MSI noticed this problem and shipped its OC edition with an improved fan profile, resulting in higher fan speeds for lower temperatures.

The dual-chip Radeon HD 4870 X2 OC has different fan settings that result in varying noise levels and temperatures compared to the rest of the test group. In 2D mode, the card cools down to 43°C, but you will constantly hear 52.2 dB(A) of noise. The other X2 cards are significantly quieter, but heat up to levels of 64 to 78 degrees. The fan speed doesn’t change in 3D mode, where the temperature is held to between 76°C and 80°C. If the graphic chip crosses the 80 degree threshold, the fan speeds up significantly, roaring at 62.2 dB(A) until the temperature goes below the threshold again.

Standard clock speed MSIStandard clock speed Catalyst

MSI OC edition

The standard fan speed for 2D operation is 27% at about 1,400 RPM, whereas MSI brings it up to 50% or 3,200 RPM. Under 3D load, the fan speed ranges between 3,400 and 3,900 RPM, and above 80°C it runs at 100% and 4,800 RPM. After cooling down, the fan speed drops to 3,200 RPM until it reaches the critical temperature threshold once again.

At first this sounds drastic, but the advantage of this setup is that nothing changes from overclocking and the temperatures never go into the critical range. MSI only slightly overclocks the OC edition. Its GPU speed was increased from 750 MHz to 780 MHz and the graphics memory stays the same at a standard setting of 900 MHz. In our tests, the GPU can easily handle 800 MHz, which unfortunately is the limit in the driver menu—if you want more, you will have to use ATI Tool or Riva Tuner. The graphics memory can take 965 MHz, which is an acceptable value. At 970 MHz, we started to see our first image errors.

Accessories MSI

There aren’t that many accessories here, including no games (despite MSI advertising the card as a “Gaming Series”). The CrossFire bridge and the DVI-to-HDMI adapter are included.

Our same disclaimer covering overclocking applies here. Take the board over MSI’s factory settings and you risk forgoing support in the event of an issue.

MSI Radeon HD 4870 X2 OC Edition
A loud, but cool, dual-chip Radeon HD 4870 X2 card. Overclocking shouldn’t lead to overheating because of the high fan speeds. There aren’t that many accessories; it doesn’t come with any games despite being called the “Gaming Series.”
  • Advantages
  • Disadvantages
    • Good overclocking potential
    • Cool, though loud
    • Loud, though cool

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