Skip to main content

Radeon HD 4870 X2: Four Cards Compared

Power Consumption, Noise Level, And Temperature

The power consumption in watts refers to the whole test platform. The 2D value is the normal Windows desktop without load or Aero interface (minimum value); the 3D value is measured when the CPU and graphics card run at maximum load (peak value). Thus, the start-up screen of Mass Effect (using the UT3 engine) is used at 1920x1200 pixels without anti-aliasing, and the CPU reaches a load of 100 percent.

Because all measurements were taken at the power outlet, you will have to multiply the measured power consumption (in watts) by the efficiency factor of 0.83 to get the true power supply load.

Power consumption in watts2D (Vista Desktop)3D (Mass Effect)
GeForce GTX 280 SLI (1024 MB) QX@3.67239633
GeForce GTX 280 SLI (1024 MB) X68@2.93203540
GeForce GTX 280 (1024 MB) QX@3.67154375/395
GeForce GTX 280 (1024 MB) X68@2.93117352
GeForce GTX 260 SLI (896 MB) QX@3.67236664
GeForce GTX 260 SLI (896 MB) X68@2.93211610
GeForce GTX 260 (896 MB) QX@3.67154366/375
GeForce GTX 260 (896 MB) X68@2.93111336
GeForce 9800 GX2 (2x512 MB) QX@3.67211415
GeForce 9800 GX2 (2x512 MB) X68@2.93173368
GeForce 9800 GTX+ (512 MB) QX@3.67163303
GeForce 9800 GTX+ (512 MB) X68@2.93119257
Radeon HD 4870 X2 4CF (4x1024 MB) QX@3.67295775
HIS HD 4870 X2 (2x1024 MB) OC QX@3.67202480
HIS HD 4870 X2 (2x1024 MB) QX@3.67202475
Asus HD 4870 X2 (2x1024 MB) Top OC QX@3.67202485
Asus HD 4870 X2 Top OC with Smart Doctor QX@3.67202475
MSI HD 4870 X2 (2x1024 MB) OC QX@3.67201465
Sapphire HD 4870 X2 (2x1024 MB) OC QX@3.67201470
Sapphire HD 4870 X2 (2x1024 MB) QX@3.67202468
Radeon HD 4870 X2 (2x1024 MB) X68@2.93202430
Radeon HD 4870 CF (512 MB) QX@3.67280505
Radeon HD 4870 CF (512 MB) X68@2.93242460
Radeon HD 4870 (512 MB) QX@3.67189324
Radeon HD 4870 (512 MB) X68@2.93147288
Radeon HD 4850 CF (512 MB) QX@3.67220420
Radeon HD 4850 CF (512 MB) X68@2.93177367
Radeon HD 4850 (512 MB) QX@3.67165283
Radeon HD 4850 (512 MB) X68@2.93122237
Radeon HD 4670 (512 MB) X68@2.9381173

The combination of Asus with Catalyst 8.10 plus Smart Doctor gives several values for noise level and temperature, which are caused by the erroneous fan profiles mentioned earlier in the article. The given results all appeared, depending on the fan speed when starting the full load test.

Noise level measurement (1m)2D dB(A)3D dB(A)
GeForce GTX 280 SLI (1024 MB) QX@3.6739.247.9-48.5
GeForce GTX 280 SLI (1024 MB) X68@2.9339.048.8-49.4
GeForce GTX 280 (1024 MB) QX@3.6738.744.5/48.8
GeForce GTX 280 (1024 MB) X68@2.9337.754.5-54.7
GeForce GTX 260 SLI (896 MB) QX@3.6739.555.7-56.0
GeForce GTX 260 SLI (896 MB) X68@2.9339.655.1-56.0
GeForce GTX 260 (896 MB) QX@3.6738.853.7-54.2
GeForce GTX 260 (896 MB) X68@2.9338.1-44.253.5-54.0
GeForce 9800 GX2 (2x512 MB) QX@3.6738.453.4
GeForce 9800 GX2 (2x512 MB) X68@2.9338.453.6-54.1
GeForce 9800 GTX+ (512 MB) QX@3.6736.939.8-40.4
GeForce 9800 GTX+ (512 MB) X68@2.9337.139.8-40.4
Radeon HD 4870 X2 4CF (4x1024 MB) QX@3.6738.355.0
HIS HD 4870 X2 (2x1024 MB) OC QX@3.6737.548.8-50.0
HIS HD 4870 X2 (2x1024 MB) QX@3.6737.548.8-50.0
Asus HD 4870 X2 (2x1024 MB) Top OC QX@3.6737.048.8-50.0
Asus HD 4870 X2 Top OC with Smart Doctor QX@3.6746.248.8/54.1/56.3
MSI HD 4870 X2 (2x1024 MB) OC QX@3.6752.252.2-62.2
Sapphire HD 4870 X2 (2x1024 MB) OC QX@3.6737.549.0-50.0
Sapphire HD 4870 X2 (2x1024 MB) QX@3.6737.548.0
Radeon HD 4870 X2 (2x1024 MB) X68@2.9337.548.7
Radeon HD 4870 CF (512 MB) QX@3.6739.748.1-50.0
Radeon HD 4870 CF (512 MB) X68@2.9341.8-42.453.7-54.5
Radeon HD 4870 (512 MB) QX@3.6737.640.8-42.5
Radeon HD 4870 (512 MB) X68@2.9335.545.5-46.0
Radeon HD 4850 CF (512 MB) QX@3.6737.245.5
Radeon HD 4850 CF (512 MB) X68@2.9336.346.0
Radeon HD 4850 (512 MB) QX@3.6737.540.4
Radeon HD 4850 (512 MB) X68@2.9336.341.2
Radeon HD 4670 (512 MB) X68@2.9337.537.8

For SLI and GX2 you will find several values, which refer to each GPU. For Crossfire, we’ve put the value of the primary, hotter GPU into the table.

Temperature in degree Celsius2D (Vista Desktop)3D (Mass Effect)
GeForce GTX 280 SLI (1024 MB) QX@3.6749/4785/86
GeForce GTX 280 SLI (1024 MB) X68@2.9348/5082/83
GeForce GTX 280 (1024 MB) QX@3.674683
GeForce GTX 280 (1024 MB) X68@2.935385
GeForce GTX 260 SLI (896 MB) QX@3.6746/50100/98
GeForce GTX 260 SLI (896 MB) X68@2.9349/64101/105
GeForce GTX 260 (896 MB) QX@3.674690/105
GeForce GTX 260 (896 MB) X68@2.9345-49105
GeForce 9800 GX2 (2x512 MB) QX@3.6763/6586/82
GeForce 9800 GX2 (2x512 MB) X68@2.9368/7187/91
GeForce 9800 GTX+ (512 MB) QX@3.674878
GeForce 9800 GTX+ (512 MB) X68@2.934978
Radeon HD 4870 X2 4CF (4x1024 MB) QX@3.677691-92
HIS HD 4870 X2 (2x1024 MB) OC QX@3.677295
HIS HD 4870 X2 (2x1024 MB) QX@3.677292
Asus HD 4870 X2 (2x1024 MB) Top OC QX@3.677889
Asus HD 4870 X2 Top OC with Smart Doctor QX@3.674574/96
MSI HD 4870 X2 (2x1024 MB) OC QX@3.674376-80
Sapphire HD 4870 X2 (2x1024 MB) OC QX@3.676684-86
Sapphire HD 4870 X2 (2x1024 MB) QX@3.676486-87
Radeon HD 4870 X2 (2x1024 MB) X68@2.937292
Radeon HD 4870 CF (512 MB) QX@3.678088-90
Radeon HD 4870 CF (512 MB) X68@2.936373
Radeon HD 4870 (512 MB) QX@3.677684-85
Radeon HD 4870 (512 MB) X68@2.937683-85
Radeon HD 4850 CF (512 MB) QX@3.677987-88
Radeon HD 4850 CF (512 MB) X68@2.938083-85
Radeon HD 4850 (512 MB) QX@3.677486
Radeon HD 4850 (512 MB) X68@2.937883-85
Radeon HD 4670 (512 MB) X68@2.933885
  • 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