Three Radeon HD 4870s: 512MB, 1GB, And 2GB
Powercolor AX4870 512MD5-G Radeon HD 4870 512MB
We'll begin with the 512MB card, a PowerColor Radeon HD 4870.
This card is overclocked from the factory with a GPU speed of 770 MHz compared to the reference 750 MHz, so we'll lower this to the reference speed for our testing to keep everything on an even keel. The GDDR5 memory runs at 900 MHz, which is the same as the standard Radeon HD 4870 reference speed. This card retails for about $135 on Newegg.
XFX 487A-ZHFC Radeon HD 4870 1GB
This XFX version of the Radeon HD 4870 comes with 1,024MB (1GB) of RAM, and runs at the reference 750 MHz core and 900 MHz GDDR5 memory speeds. This model costs about $145 on Newegg.
Sapphire Vapor-X Radeon HD 4870 2GB
This Sapphire card is equipped with four times the memory of the 512MB card. While it sports the same 750 MHz core and 900 MHz GDDR5 memory speeds as the reference Radeon HD 4870, it comes with a unique aftermarket cooler. This model costs about $227 on Newegg.
Now that you've seen the contenders, let's have a closer look at the test system and move on to the benchmarks.
Current page: Three Radeon HD 4870s: 512MB, 1GB, And 2GBPrev Page RAM Bandwidth Versus Quantity Next Page Test System And Benchmarks
Stay on the Cutting Edge
Join the experts who read Tom's Hardware for the inside track on enthusiast PC tech news — and have for over 25 years. We'll send breaking news and in-depth reviews of CPUs, GPUs, AI, maker hardware and more straight to your inbox.
Great article guys. I've debated this many times with friends- good to see a definite result. Heh, GTX 275 w/ 896 works well @ 1680x1050 for me. I doubt I'd need anything higher than that for my resolution.Reply
I really like the alternating images you use in these articles, they are very helpful and make it much easier to compare the various detail settings.Reply
Also, great article overall. Keep up the good work!
Thanks burnley, animated GIFs are a bit of a pain to make, but it's nice to know they're appreciated. :)Reply
This was very interesting. But I would like to see the performance difference from a mid-stream (say a 4850) as compared to a high end video card. Would it have made sense to spring for the 1GB 4850, or would there be no difference because of the cards inherent limitations? And the same thing with the lower level cards. At what point in the hierarchy of video cards does springing for more than the reference memory levels make sense?Reply
With lower end cards you'd see the same effect, but with the lower frame-rates that those cards would produce. The end result is the same: one they run out of RAM at a certain setting, the performance will suffer, but until then it's the same across the board.Reply
How much ram will the 5870 eyefinity version need?Reply
knutjbHow much ram will the 5870 eyefinity version need?Reply
Depends on the resolution and settings just like everything else. but it's a good question, if there's enough interest in this article I'll look into that in the future.
Im surprised that Crysis doesnt utilize all the RAM(even for an older title) for distance similarly to titles like GTA. Im sure the new Crytek engine will make use of Ram so we can see even buildings and huge alien robots further in the distance with vivid details.Reply
We can only look forward to a more intense and visually stunning Crysis 2 as I can only imagine how the story would progress and end up being in space. I can imagine huge asteroids looking as real coming at the player using nvidias 3d vision and utilizing AA in order to make it apparent from a distance.
Think Halo style world but with unrivaled graphics and a more realistic feel with DX11.
How about doing this same comparison with crossfire setups?Reply
il tell ya whats a bitch, i have a 1920x1080 monitor, nice? yes. I have an 8800GT too.. nice? kinda.. its the 256MB version.. so.. if i wanna turn up the sexiness i get baaaad fpsReply