ATI Radeon HD 4870 Performance Preview Page 3

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Test Results

Futuremark’s synthetic graphics suite, 3DMark Vantage, was tested with the preset option set to high and anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering then set to 4x/16x for all tests. The high preset places the suite at a resolution of 1680×1050.

ATI HD 4850
ATI HD 4850×2
ATI HD 4870
ATI HD 4870×2
Color Fill
3.46 GPixel
6.9 GPixel
5.5 GPixel
10.9 GPixel
6.73 GPixel
Texture Fill
651 GTexel
1293 GTexel
782 GTexel
1553.6 GTexel
688 GTexel
16.6 fps
32.5 fps
19.7 fps
35.9 fps
30.2 fps
15.5 fps
14.1 fps
18.5 fps
37 fps
27.7 fps
27 fps
28.9 fps
33.7 fps
67 fps
37.9 fps
Perlin Noise
21.5 fps
42.7 fps
25.7 fps
51.1 fps
43.7 fps

The HD 4870 sees a 20-30% gain in the various feature tests over the HD 4850 and scales extremely well in CrossFire, basically doubling the results of a single board. In CrossFire mode the two 4870s also outperformed the GTX 280 in each test by a considerable amount, which bodes well for actual game performance.

Crysis can bring any GPU to its knees at its higher settings, but since we’re previewing AMD’s third crack at a DX10 graphics chip we decided to test the shooter under high in-game settings. Anti-aliasing was applied via the application and anisotropic filtering forced via the control panel for all tested boards. The included GPU_benchmark was used for testing, which is essentially a fly-by of the game’s first map.


A single HD 4870 scored higher than two 4850s at 1280×1024 and trailed only slightly behind as the resolution increased. The frame rate for the 4870, however, dropped rather quickly beyond 1920×1200, with the 512MB of onboard memory being the likely culprit as the amount of available memory is probably not supplying a large enough frame buffer with anti-aliasing enabled. Two HD 4870s in CrossFire scale fairly well at the lower resolutions, but again see the performance drop sharply at the higher two resolutions. Up to 1920×1200, the two 4870s outperform the GTX 280, especially at 1920×1200, but beyond that resolution the 1GB of the NVIDIA board makes a huge difference in Crysis’ performance.

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