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[Tom's Hardware] Radeon HD 4870: Better Than GTX 260!

post #1 of 8
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Quote:
Only a few days ago, everything seemed perfect in the best of all possible worlds for Nvidia. The card manufacturer had just launched its GeForce GTX 260 and 280, which – despite the six-month delay – pushed the unified architecture introduced with the GeForce 8 to the limits of what a 65-nm process and a gigantic number of transistors could offer. The performance gain compared to the former –and now older – generation wasn’t overwhelming (59% on average over a 9800 GTX), but the arrival of CUDA applications was an interesting development, and Nvidia had no competition. Meanwhile, AMD seemed to be ever deeper in the red with its graphics division, avowedly incapable of competing on the high-end market segment as it once did, with its existing high-end cards quickly aging performance-wise. Then came the hush-hush release of the Radeon HD 4850, even before anybody had time to test it, and at an astoundingly low price of $199.
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post #2 of 8
dang, thous results are all over the place, nothings constant, i dont know what to think these days about what cards are good and what arent.
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post #3 of 8
Its always been that way. Pick the one that has the higher framerate in the games you play most.

There were even a few scenarios (though far and few between) where the 5950 Ultra beat the 9800XT.
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post #4 of 8
Well it was only really all over the place because the ATI cards did pretty bad on SupCom, and Mass Effect performed so ridiculously (9800GTX>4870, the 3870x2 didn't seem to be able to run AA, etc).

Kinda odd that they would use the 8.7 beta drivers too, but I like that.

Either way, this is incredible for the 4870. Almost consistently better than the GTX260, sometimes even on par with the 280. Can't wait to snatch up one of those later this summer. Hopefully we have some nice models out by August or so when I want to get one

Unfortunately the 4870 did a good bit worse than the NVIDIA cards in UT3, but it's still a very playable framerate with nearly double the frames of the 3870 (since I have a 3850 is should be a significant upgrade). Still acceptable.
Edited by Deathsnapper - 7/3/08 at 4:09pm
    
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post #5 of 8
Bottom line is all that matters.

Quote:
Bottom line
For once, our assessment of this Radeon HD 4870 will be simple: It’s an excellent high-end graphics card! With the same architecture and most of the strong points of the Radeon HD 4850, it’s in a higher category performance- and price-wise. The bottom line: Though it’s faster by an average of 6% (and in the majority of our tests) than the GeForce GTX 260, it sells for $299 – $150 less than the competing Nvidiahttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nvidia card! Even the top-end card from Nvidia, the GeForce GTXhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gore-Tex 280 – souped up with more transistors, twice as much memory and higher clock speeds – is not that far ahead. It showed only 13% better performance than the Radeon HD 4870, though it costs twice as much.

A few points enter into the picture to make it bit less idyllic, however. First, the Radeon HD 4870 suffers slightly from the competition with its own stable mate, the HD 4850, since the smaller card has a better performance/price ratio (only 23% less performance at a price that is 60% lower). And, AMD has totally reversed its strong and weak points compared to the preceding generation, and in particular to the Radeon HD 3870 — The Radeon HD 4870’s performance is good with antialiasing enabled (despite having only 512 MB of memory), but it consumes a lot more power at idle and also under load (and more than the GeForce GTX 260). And it’s not exactly a model of silent performance, though it’s still a lot quieter than the GeForce GTX 260, and without heating up the inside of your case.

Now Nvidia will obviously be forced to react and drop the price of its GeForce GTX 260 in a hurry, which is another piece of good news, though so far we haven’t seen any signs that it is about to do that. As for AMD, there’s one more step they need to take to make a total success of this new generation – to release a very-high-end card (which will necessarily mean using two RV770s) that will earn the same enthusiasm. And that may be a little harder to do.

The 4870X2 is gonna humble Nvidia.

Imagine a $400 GTX280 in about a month.
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post #6 of 8
Idle power of the 4870 is apparently caused by a bug in the drivers or something, cant remember the source off the top of my head. Still wont sort out the high load draw but still its nothing to complain about in my book.
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post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sikozu View Post
Idle power of the 4870 is apparently caused by a bug in the drivers or something, cant remember the source off the top of my head. Still wont sort out the high load draw but still its nothing to complain about in my book.
it will be fixed with 8.7 drivers
    
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post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by grunion View Post
Bottom line is all that matters.




The 4870X2 is gonna humble Nvidia.

Imagine a $400 GTX280 in about a month.
lol dreamin. not gonna happen.

i dunno if i can wait for a 4870X2 now...

its either wait, get a 24", then get the 4870X2 when i get back from europe, if i can

or get a 4870 now, stick it out, then get one more when i get back. i have a feeling 1680x1050 is gonna bottleneck Crossfire 4870's though, or a 4870X2.
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