AMD/ATI Radeon 4870 X2
One of the latest and greatest video cards
has finally arrived on the market with the highly anticipated AMD ATI
Radeon HD 4870 X2 that goes beyond AMD/ATI’s first attempt of dual GPU
(Graphical Processing Unit) cores with the 3870 X
2 and delivers a revolutionary graphical experience.
As the card
virtually contains two graphic cards in one, the power consumption of
the HD 4870 X 2 is quite power hungry so you will need to have one of
the latest power supplies available with a minimum of 600 watts. In
reference to power consumption, the card needs both six and eight-pin
power connectors connected to the card which proves just how powerful
and power hungry this card is.
graphics engines work in tandem to deliver blazing frame rates,
putting the power of graphics ‘supercomputing’ in the hands of
processors and 230GB/sec of memory bandwidth provide the brute power
needed to tackle the most intense 3D games, even those with
artificial intelligence, physics operations and tessellation.
anti-aliasing (AA) and anisotropic filtering delivers striking
graphics with extraordinary realism so you can max out the settings
of the most demanding next-generation games.
platform, these graphics cards delivers the power needed to blaze
through games while dynamically conserving energy at idle or when
demand is low.
technology with quad GPU support in dual mode offers superior
scalability so you can take your game to new heights.
Watch the latest
Blu-ray and HD movies play with incredible fidelity and have the
freedom to edit videos and convert video formats at lightning-fast
Each of the graphical processing units on
the card have their own memory, however are connected with a 48-lane PLX
bridge chip which will deliver some extraordinary graphical power to
your PC. Although this card can be used for the general user, it has
been clearly designed with the gamer at mind. With 2GB of GDDR5 memory,
a variety of impressive filters, games or movies have never looked
better on the PC.
2 GB of GDDR5 memory
2.4 teraFLOPS of GPU
2 x 256-bit memory
24x custom filter
anti-aliasing (CFAA) and high performance anisotropic filtering
Dual mode ATI
CrossFireX™ multi-GPU support for highly scalable performance
PCI Express® 2.0
ATI Avivo™ HD video
and display technology1
Decoder 2 (UVD 2) for Blu-ray™ and HD Video
Built-in HDMI with
7.1 surround sound support
management with ATI PowerPlay™ technology3
We did have some installation problems with
the card due to the location of the power cable on our PC power supply
so unfortunately we needed to purchase a new power supply with sufficient
cabling. With that in mind, it’s probably a best idea to check
whether your power supply will support the power needed behind the
PCI-express of this card. Once installed, Windows Vista successfully
detected the card, however we then needed to install the official driver
Although the card is relatively quite silent
under normal loads (e.g. surfing the net or using Windows XP office type
programs), using games will generate more heat which in turn will cause
the fans to spin louder. Users with a silent case for their PC’s will be
blissfully unaware, although users with more traditional cases will
notice the fan to be a tad loud at
times but for the majority, it’s a huge improvement over their previous
For lovers of high resolution, the HD 4870 X 2 supports massive
resolutions of up to 2560 x 1600 and it even upscales DVD's which simply
look phenomenal. Where the card does shine is through Blu-ray discs that
is simply outstanding. Especially CGI movies such as Cars, you can
almost see everything texture perfectly.
Although we tested the card on a fresh system, neutral benchmarking is a
difficult zone to achieve as computers can be tweaked so differently.
However as a guide, we tested the HD 4870 X2 on an AMD Phenom X4 9850,
4GB of RAM and a 500GB Seagate Hard Drive. All Windows Vista drivers and
card drivers were the latest as was DirectX 10.
For general use of the card, you will not
see too many improvements, albeit the screen resolution will be quite
impressive and for users of larger monitors, this means more workspace
which is a good thing. The colours were quite sharp and crisp while
surfing the net, browsing through photos and using office applications.
DVD's and Blu-rays were brilliant and the detail was phenomenal.
Of course, what review would be complete
without a test with Futuremark's 3DMark06 that is almost considered the
ultimate graphical benchmarking tool and the card scored very
impressively at around 16,239 which is on the higher end of the spectrum
but it should also be known that this program does not support the
card's technology. With 3DMARK Vantage, the latest and greatest version
from Futuremark, the results were also on the higher end.
Crysis (EA GAMES) is one of the most powerful first person shooters available that
supports the powerful and visually impressive DirectX 10. Unlike other
cards we tested, Crysis performed quite well, maintaining frames rates
around 35 frames per second (1920x1200 resolution) which is exceptionally
good for these
games. Although when the resolution was lowered, these speeds were also
increased so the user needs to find a balance.
For instance, on a resolution of 1280x1024,
the card scored an exceptional 59 frames per second and for a game like
Crysis, that is very impressive due to the attention to detail and
graphical power. It
should also be noted that we did set the game to "high" detail for all
Call of Duty Modern Warfare (ACITIVISION)
may not be as graphically impressive as Crysis, however it is still one
of the better first person shooters available. We once again turned all
the detail on for this game and were blown away by the results.
At the highest resolution which was
2560x1600, the game averaged around 45 frames per second with the title
peaking around 62 and its lower point was around 33 frames per second
which is quite playable. On lower resolutions, the game was peaking over
130 frames person second which is silky smooth.
Other games such as World of Warcraft and
Race Driver: Grid (84 frames person second @ 2560 x 1600) scored
exceptionally well and it is quite clear that this card is truly one of
the most powerful graphic cards available. In terms of gaming, I really
can't wait to see some of the more modern gaming titles supporting
this powerful new technological format.
In conclusion, although it appears the Radeon HD 4870 X 2 is the most
powerful graphics card on the market at the moment, it will be only time
before Nvidia challenges the status quo.
AMD and ATI have successfully
merged a variety of technologies together and through their drivers for
the graphics card have created quite a powerful card, although it does
come at a price.
However if you want the best possible graphics card at
the moment, than this is the card for you as some of the speeds were
exceptionally high and as more developers support dual
graphical processing units, speeds can only increase.
AMD also boast
some great support, so you are guaranteed to have the best possible
drivers for quite some time so you may need to look at this as an
investment for entertainment.