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Comparison Of Graphic Chips And Test Configurations

Radeon HD 4870 X2: Four Cards Compared
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HIS and Sapphire sent Radeon HD 4870 X2 cards set to reference clock rates—any additional overclocking was performed in our own lab. All settings were set via the AMD graphics driver. As a baseline for analysis, the HIS card was tested with both normal frequencies and overclocked. All models with increased frequencies are marked “OC.”

When we started benchmarking for this project, we were using the most current drivers for this test, Catalyst 8.10 from AMD and Nvidia’s beta driver 180.42. On the following page, we will talk about the difficulties and problems we noticed with Catalyst 8.10. The Nvidia beta driver is stable with single cards and the Intel chipset (X38), but with SLI on the nForce 780i, we sometimes experienced problems in Assassin’s Creed and Mass Effect causing the whole system to freeze. As far as performance is concerned, the latest Catalyst 8.11 drivers improve frame rates in Far Cry 2 and Stalker: Clear Sky, according to AMD.

Nvidia Graphics Cards
Card Manufacturer and Chip Code Name Memory GPU Clock Shader Memory Clock SPs
GeForce GTX 280 SLI GT200 1024 GDDR3 602 MHz 4.0, 1296 MHz 2214 MHz 240
GeForce GTX 280 GT200 1024 GDDR3 602 MHz 4.0, 1296 MHz 2214 MHz 240
GeForce GTX 260 SLI GT200 896 GDDR3 576 MHz 4.0, 1242 MHz 1998 MHz 192
GeForce GTX 260GT200 896 GDDR3 576 MHz 4.0, 1242 MHz 1998 MHz 192
GeForce 9800 GX2 2xG92 2x512 MB GDDR3 600 MHz 4.0, 1500 MHz 2000 MHz 2x128
GeForce 9800 GTX+ G92b 512 MB GDDR3 738 MHz 4.0, 1836 MHz 2200 MHz 128

Card Manufacturer and Chip Memory Bus Manufacturing Process Transistors Interface
GeForce GTX 280 SLI 512 Bit 65 nm 1400 million PCIe 2.0
GeForce GTX 280 512 Bit 65 nm 1400 million PCIe 2.0
GeForce GTX 260 SLI 448 Bit 65 nm 1400 million PCIe 2.0
GeForce GTX 260 448 Bit 65 nm 1400 million PCIe 2.0
GeForce 9800 GX2 2x256 Bit 65 nm 2x754 million PCIe 2.0
GeForce 9800 GTX+ 256 Bit 55 nm 754 million PCIe 2.0

AMD Graphics Cards
Manufacturer and Chip Codename Memory GPU Clock Shader Memory Clock SPs
Radeon HD 4870 X2 4CF 2xR700 4x1024 MB GDDR5 750 MHz 4.1 3600 MHz 4x800
Radeon HD 4870 X2 R700 2x1024 MB GDDR5 750 MHz 4.1 3600 MHz 2x800
HIS Radeon HD 4870 X2 R700 2x1024 MB GDDR5 750 MHz 4.1 3600 MHz 2x800
HIS Radeon HD 4870 X2 OC R700 2x1024 MB GDDR5 800 MHz 4.1 3860 MHz 2x800
Asus Radeon HD 4870 X2 Top OC R700 2x1024 MB GDDR5 790 MHz 4.1 3660 MHz 2x800
MSI Radeon HD 4870 X2 OC R700 2x1024 MB GDDR5 780 MHz 4.1 3600 MHz 2x800
Sapphire Radeon HD 4870 X2 R700 2x1024 MB GDDR5 750 MHz 4.1 3600 MHz 2x800
Sapphire Radeon HD 4870 X2 OC R700 2x1024 MB GDDR5 790 MHz 4.1 3760 MHz 2x800
Radeon HD 4870 CF RV770 512 MB GDDR5 750 MHz 4.1 3600 MHz 800
Radeon HD 4870 RV770 512 MB GDDR5 750 MHz 4.1 3600 MHz 800
Radeon HD 4850 CF RV770 512 MB GDDR3 625 MHz 4.1 1986 MHz 800
Radeon HD 4850 RV770 512 MB GDDR3 625 MHz 4.1 1986 MHz 800
Radeon HD 4670 RV730 512 MB GDDR3 750 MHz 4.1 2000 MHz 320

Manufacturer and Chip Memory Bus Manufacturing Process Transistors Interface
Radeon HD 4870 X2 4CF 4x256 Bit 55 nm 4x956 million PCIe 2.0
Radeon HD 4870 X2 2x256 Bit 55 nm 2x956 million PCIe 2.0
HIS Radeon HD 4870 X2 2x256 Bit 55 nm 2x956 million PCIe 2.0
HIS Radeon HD 4870 X2 OC 2x256 Bit 55 nm 2x956 million PCIe 2.0
Asus Radeon HD 4870 X2 Top OC 2x256 Bit 55 nm 2x956 million PCIe 2.0
MSI Radeon HD 4870 X2 OC 2x256 Bit 55 nm 2x956 million PCIe 2.0
Sapphire Radeon HD 4870 X2 2x256 Bit 55 nm 2x956 million PCIe 2 .0
Sapphire Radeon HD 4870 X2 OC 2x256 Bit 55 nm 2x956 million PCIe 2.0
Radeon HD 4870 CF 256 Bit 55 nm 956 million PCIe 2.0
Radeon HD 4870 256 Bit 55 nm 956 million PCIe 2.0
Radeon HD 4850 CF 256 Bit 55 nm 956 million PCIe 2.0
Radeon HD 4850 256 Bit 55 nm 956 million PCIe 2.0
Radeon HD 4670 128 Bit 55 nm 514 million PCIe 2.0

Memory Clock=DDR clock rate doubled; physical clock rate is half
DDR5-DDR clock rate quadrupled; physical clock rate is one quarter
SPs=Stream Processors
OC=Overclocked (clock rate higher than standard)
SLI= 2 Nvidia cards in parallel
CF=CrossFire, 2 AMD cards in parallel
4CF=CrossFire, 4 AMD graphics chips in parallel
R700=2xRV770
Shader 2.0=DirectX 9.0; 3.0=DirectX 9.0c; 4.0=DirectX 10; Shader 4.1=DirectX 10.1

The standard CPU for our graphic card charts is an X6800 Extreme Edition running at 2.93 GHz, which is comparable to an E6750 or E8200. For this high-performance test we used a quad-core CPU, which runs at 3.67 GHz, overclocked using the multiplier with settings of 11x333 MHz. If you’ve read the article Wake 3D Power Wake-up, you already know all the steps we took: in order to find the highest overall result, the fastest double chip card should get the fastest CPU partner. We had to choose between an E8500 at 3.8 GHz and the over clocked quad core CPU with 3.67 GHz; the latter turned out to be faster by 3.5%.

Nvidia Single Graphics Cards, AMD Single- and CrossFire Graphics Cards
CPU 1 Intel Core 2 Quad Extreme QX6850 @ 3.673 GHz (11x333 MHz),
Socket 775, 1.328 V, 65 nm, L2 Cache 2x4096 KB
CPU 2 Intel Core 2 Extreme X6800 @ 2.93 GHz (11x266 MHz),
Socket 775, 1.28 V, 65 nm, L2 Cache 4096 KB
CPU 3 Intel Core 2 Extreme X6800 @ 3.47 GHz (13x266 MHz),
Socket 775, 1.328 V, 65 nm, L2 Cache 4096 KB
CPU 4 Intel Core 2 E8500 @ 3.804 GHz (9.5x400 MHz),
Socket 775, 1.272 V, 45 nm, L2 Cache 6144 KB
FSB 1066 MHz (4x266 MHz)
Motherboard Asus P5E3 Deluxe, PCIe 2.0 2x16, ICH9R
Chipset Intel X38
Memory 2x1 GB, Ballistix (Crucial Technology) 1.5 V,
DDR3 1066 7-7-7-20 (2x533 MHz)
Audio Intel High Definition Audio
LAN Intel 1000 Pro
Hard Drives Western Digital WD5000AAKS 500 GB, SATA, 16 MB Cache,
Hitachi 120 GB, SATA, 8 MB Cache
DVD Gigabyte GO-D1600C
Power Supply CoolerMaster RS-850-EMBA 850 W

Nvidia SLI Graphics Cards
Motherboard Asus P5N-T Deluxe, PCIe 2.0 2x16
Chipset Nvidia nforce 780i SLI
Memory 2x1 GB, A-Data Technology 1.8 V, DDR2 800 5-5-5-18 (2x400 MHz)
Audio ADI 1988B SoundMax
LAN Marvell 88E1116 Gigabit

Drivers & Configuration
Graphic AMD Catalyst 8.6 and 8.9,
HD 4870 X2 ATI Catalyst 8.10,
9800 GX2 Nvidia ForceWare 175.16, GTX 260 und GTX 280 Forceware 177.39,
Nvidia GeForce 180.42
Operating System Windows Vista Enterprise SP1
DirectX 10 and 10.1
Chip Set Driver X38 Intel 8.3.1.1009
780i Nvidia nForce 9.64

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