Test Setup And Some Bugs
We didn’t get as much time with the Radeon HD 4870 X2 as we would have liked for a thorough review of the hardware. Nor did our testing go as smoothly as we had planned. AMD’s beta drivers are still premature. And while the software worked well with the other cards in our test suite, it caused notable visual artifacts in the menus of a number of games. Moreover, the Catalyst Control Center had a tendency of crashing without wanting to come back, prompting repeated restarts. As we hammered out a handful of issues, our test suite evolved ever so slightly and this story came to be a first-look rather than full-blown review.
- Asus P5E3 Deluxe (Intel X38)
- Intel Core 2 Quad QX6850 (3 GHz)
- Crucial 2 x 1 Go DDR3 1333 MHz 7-7-7-20
- Maxtor DiamondMax 10 250 Go
- Lector DVD Asus 12x
- Coolermaster RealPower Pro 850W Windows Vista Catalyst 8.8 beta (8.52.2) ForceWare 177.79 beta
Seeing as how AMD’s driver issues created some interesting issues, we concentrated on benchmarking two resolutions: 1920x1200 and 2560x1600, with and without the visual details like anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering.
Because the side-port pathway isn’t doing much of anything, we asked AMD how a Radeon HD 4870 X2 would differ from a pair of 4870s in CrossFire prior to benchmarking. The answer was that the X2’s advantage is a result of its memory capacity. The extra 512 MB per GPU should translate into better benchmark results at high resolutions with lots of eye candy enabled. Let’s see how the board fares in the real world.