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Radeon HD 4870 X2: Four Cards Compared

Call of Duty 4 v1.6

The Radeon HD 4850 in CrossFire, GeForce GTX 260 in SLI, and GeForce 9800 GX2 are hardly limited by the CPU, and are able to showcase their full 3D power. The performance of the faster cards, such as the Radeon HD 4870 in CrossFire and the Radeon HD 4870 X2, are shown nicely with Catalyst 8.10. The frame rates compared to Catalyst 8.9 are up to 70% higher.

The GeForce GTX 280 SLI and the Radeon HD 4870 X2 in CrossFire (4CF) are clearly slowed down here. A faster CPU with more overclocking potential could certainly squeeze more 3D power from them. Many of our tested boards benefit from the overclocked quad-core CPU, converting the better baseline performance into more 3D performance. Exceptions to this are the Radeon HD 4850, Radeon HD 4870, GeForce GTX 260, and GeForce GTX 280—the single cards show a decrease in performance in all resolutions due to the faster CPU (QX@3.67) and the new drivers.

Driver Comparison: Catalyst 8.9 Versus Catalyst 8.10 w/ Radeon HD 4870 X2

The increase of 70% is easy to see. With such high frame rates you can activate v-sync and thus avoid tearing.

Call of Duty 4 in fps12800xAA16800xAA19200xAA12804xAA16804xAA19204xAAOverall
HD 4870 X2 8.10 QX@3.67276.2265.4226.5239.3199.9177.11384.4
HD 4870 X2 8.9 QX@3.67168.6156.0138.6146.2129.1118.6857.1
Performance difference in percent63.870.163.463.754.849.361.5

Through the jump in performance between the Catalyst 8.9 and Catalyst 8.10 is actually an unfair comparison, as the extremely high frame rates have too much of an impact on the overall result. Here it makes sense to look at the normalized percentage.

  • Not only do we have four super-fast Radeon HD 4870 X2s to test, but also a list of 31 other graphics configurations including CrossFire and SLI setups. If you're in the market for AMD's fastest card available, you'll want to see this.

    Radeon HD 4870 X2: Four Cards Compared : Read more
    Reply
  • neiroatopelcc
    "Because of accessories and price, Sapphire is our best-buy recommendation."
    One slight warning about sapphire though. If you have problems, don't expect their support team to help you before you've solved the problem yourself!

    I made a ticket regarding some issues with my 4870 on august 7th, and received a reply on the 26th of september! That's 46 days to address an error they simply stated would go away with a bios upgrade from their homepage!

    As for the article, I actually liked the detailed driver errors they encountered. Not that I liked the errors themselves, but I liked them being explained. Usually you just read 'after spending some hours resolving driver errors ....' without getting any wiser.
    Reply
  • Pei-chen
    Wow, AMD cards consume power like a Detroit SUV. I like Nvidia GTX 2xx series’ Toyota Prius like efficiency at idle.
    Reply
  • ilovebarny
    Why didnt they use the GTX260 Core 216? its like way better than the regular GTX260. And i just read yesterday that Nvidia was only going to make GTX260 Core 216 now. http://www.fudzilla.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=10497&Itemid=1
    Reply
  • ilovebarny
    And i wish they had SLI'ed the 9800GTX+.
    Reply
  • Chizops
    Why didn't they try using core i7 (extreme maybe)
    Reply
  • enforcer22
    Pei-chenWow, AMD cards consume power like a Detroit SUV. I like Nvidia GTX 2xx series’ Toyota Prius like efficiency at idle.

    Hmm your right. Power house vs crippled mouse.. yeah your analagy sucked im sure mine did to but all i saw from what you typed was i like weak stuff dont give me more power.
    Reply
  • bdollar
    seems to me if you are going to be comparing the highest end cards and even crossfire them for 4x you would have the highest resolution as one of the options. i would think people considering going x2 in crossfire would consider a 30" screen.

    don't get me wrong, i liked the article but would have liked to have seen the resolution spectrum hit the top.
    Reply
  • It's nice to see the 9800GX2 included in the tests. I was considering the 4870x2 due to all the rave reviews but they never had the comparison like this against my current 9800GX2. I won't be getting new card anytime soon it seems. Thanks.
    Reply
  • cleeve
    Wow, tons of info there, Tino. Nicely done!
    Reply