Our wonderful friends at Sapphire were more than generous to us but not sending just one of their newest cards but two. The HD4670 is built around the RV730 which has a few favorable advantages over the RV770 (4870 and X2). Yes, we know that speed isn't one of those advantages but for less than $100 what would you expect. Less power consumption, less money and heat build up are a few things that will win many of us over.
People across the globe purchasing and building systems based on the higher-end Intel chipset to utilize dual GPU setups now have a reason to justify their purchases. For quite some time, people that were dreaming of a better-than-average gaming rig were forced to go with SLI simply because of the pure graphics power the nVidia 8xxx and 9xxx graphic cards offered over ATI cards. Things have changed. We'll be looking at our first dual GPU card at Pro-Clockers courtesy of Sapphire. The Sapphire 4870x2 is based on the ATI reference design and its numbers reflect this. Let's take it for a test drive.
Today we will be covering the ATI top card in the form of the 4870. The 4870 is based on the long awaited RV770 from AMD. The RV770 core was manufacturer from the 55 nanometer technology. This whole technology is what gave us DirectX 10.i, Shader 4.1 and PCIe 2.0 support. The most impressive feature that we see in the new 4870 GPU is the GDDR5 which is clocked at 900MHz in this new AMD card. There are plenty of features we can sit here and talk about but how about we get into the testing phase and see how well it performs?
Gigabyte being no stranger to graphic cards has sent us their variant of the 8800GT. The GV-NX88T512HP takes the 8800GT to a whole new level being overclocked from the factory. And to tame all the speed the card has to offer Gigabyte consulted Zalman for providing the necessary cooling. When you introduce a major player in motherboards and a major player in cooling chances are you will get an awesome product in the end.
Based off of the RV670 chipset is the Sapphire Ultimate 3870 video card. This card many not be overclocked like the Toxic we reviewed a few weeks back. This means it won’t perform at the same level of the Toxic did, but the major thing the Ultimate has over the Toxic is silence. Combined with 512MB of GDDR4 and Shader 4.1, silence isn’t the only feature the card has that it can boast about. Just how well does it match up against the Toxic mode? Read on to find out.
Yes you can go out and purchase one of the cards from any of the several manufacturers that endorse the ATI brand. The Toxic HD 3870 is an overclocked version of the ATI 3870 chipset. The Toxic HD 3870 uses a single slot cooler that would be a godsend for those that are tight on space or have motherboards with the PCIe slots too close together. This non-reference cooler helps to cool a RV670 clocked to 825MHz from the default 775MHz. Time to put the Toxic 3870 on the bench and see what poerformance number we can get.
There are some people out there that want a decent performing video card that comes with a price that won’t put a huge dent in their pocket books. My soon to be wife is one of those folks that want to be able to play her games like the Sims and now and then she will venture into something that is a bit more graphic intensive. She also works a lot with video that comes via a multi-million dollar scope at her lab. Now Nvidia and AMD have solutions that could meet her needs. Each one of these companies has cards that can be represented in the decent performance at a great price point category. Coming from Nvidia, you have cards like the 8600 series and if you are an ATI fan then you have cards like the HD3650. Each card performs well for being in the under $100 price range.