We were disappointed with the Radeon HD 4850’s high power consumption at idle, though it was under control under load. Let’s see how the Radeon HD 4870 did in that department.
Unfortunately, the Radeon HD 4870 posted even higher consumption than the 4850 at idle – 22 W more overall, measured at the power supply. When just displaying the desktop ("at idle"), the card drops the GPU speed to 550. As soon as it displays 3D data, it increases the GPU speed to the nominal/maximum speed of 750. Compared to the Radeon HD 3870, the difference is 44 W, or a 40% increase in total consumption for the PC! So the poor power-management performance of the Radeon HD 4800 series has been confirmed. Another problem is that unlike the HD 4850, the Radeon HD 4870’s power consumption isn’t very economical while gaming. Here again its consumption was higher than the GeForce GTX 260’s. Performance-wise, that makes sense, but not in terms of the difference in number of transistors and the high-end process.
I have the 4950 and it is great
however, what are the possibilities for a CUDA like processing environment or handling Physics engines? I think AMD has done a great job making a pure video card, but I believe the future will be with unified technologies of having the GPU assist in other tasks as well.
Time will Tell
see how much I could gain by upgrading. Maybe thats an update to the desktop charts that just hasnt been dont yet? Seems like it would have already been.
The 4850 went up 6* and the 4870 went up 10*... I think the 4870 went up more, but you (Tom's) said it went up less.
LOTS of enthusiasts are planning a Nehalem build toward the end of the year. I image they will be getting 4850/4870s or GTX260/GTX280s. All depending on where the prices are I imagine.
I agree about the charts. I don't consider buying a 4870 vs an older card like an x1950, but it sure would be nice to see how much it has improved over time.