PowerColor HD4870 512MB PCI-E


PowerColor HD4870As I'm sure many of us will already know - the HD4870 regardless of manufacturer is one great card. While many will argue that it's little brother, the HD4850 can do the job just as well with a little bit of overclocking and also leave you with enough money in your back pocket for a take-away dinner, the GDDR5 memory found only on the 4870 allowed us to push the overclocking slider all the way to the edge without even having to test for stability. This was also true for the core clock speed which showed no signs of visual corruption or other artifacting when running the GPU at speeds approaching 800mhz
Benchmarking the HD4870 against the likes of NVIDIA's GTX260 and GTX280 gave a mixed bag of results with the HD4870 taking the lead (sometimes above the GTX280) in a select few games, while locking horns with the GTX260 in others. Even in Crysis at high resolutions, the HD4870 managed to turn out some very good number,  falling only 7fps behind the green teams current flagship card.
Thanks to PowerColor's no-frills approach to packaging and accessories, the HD4870 also came in at around £25 cheaper than the GTX260 (despite NVIDIA's heavy price cuts) and managed to score well on our overall Cost Per Frame scale as seen below:
PowerColor HD4870 CPF
In summary, the PowerColor HD4870 manages to combine excellent performance along with a price that is fairly easy to swallow. Even with the beastly HD4870x2 right around the corner, this card is set to be a market favourite for a long time to come.
The Good
- Performance on-par with the GTX260
- Overclocking is effortless and could easily be taken higher with the right tools.
- Excellent value for money.
The Mediocre
- Those seeking free games, keychains and other "freebies" should look elsewhere.
The Bad
- Absolutely nothing.
Overclock3D Recommended Award Overclock3D Value For Money Award
Thanks to PowerColor for providing the HD4870 for review. Discuss this review in our forums.
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Most Recent Comments

24-07-2008, 06:35:06

"High performance without the high price tag? We take a look at PowerColor's HD4870 to see how it fairs against the green teams GTX260."


PowerColor HD4870 512MB PCI-EQuote

24-07-2008, 06:58:40

I`m a little supprized in that this card was pushed as being AMD`s answer to the GTX280, and the ensuing arguement about the price of the 2 was that the nVidia are having a laugh.

Looking at this review, it`s an overly obvious competitor for the GTX260 - which is fine, and the pricing is -£20 or so to nVidia, which kinda puts a difference perspective on things.

The 280 being that much more.. well yeah ok it happens to be the better card out of the 4 without "competition" (used loosely here), and the trend here is "pfft we`ll charge whatever we like for it" - just look at Intel with it`s cpus that compare to the AMD cpus and those that are beyond comparison.

In terms of loosely labeling that there is no competition.. well that`s kind of a misleading statement today. All 4 of the cards reviewed will not be held back in any way by games u throw at it in comparison to each other. The distinction is that on paper some to 10,20,30, whatever frames more than the other - the other already doing awesome frames. And the looks.. all 4 will give u an immensely pleasing experience.

This for me is where the OC3D cost per frame blows many reviews out of the water. There has been need for a change in review styles. Benchmarking doesn`t mean what it used to, in terms of gaming, perhaps bracketing only. Quality of picture is very hard to put over, other than u have to accept that they`ll all output at the same quality-standard. So what`s left is what u pay for them...

The strong arguement in addition to this is the screen sizes, and I think this may get more of a question as monitors get cheaper and standard resolutions get bigger. 20-22" widescreens mainly operate at 1680x1050 - this is almost being the norm for me. 24" above can be the same, with quality models offering the higher resolutions again. There`s even larger monitors out there being used where perhaps 24" was in the past.

With these thoughts in mind, the size of monitor vS the cost of the cards vS the capability of the card at the standard resolution u want - u should pick out of the 4. Smaller resolution, 17/19" square - 4850 will be fine, 24"+ u may chose the 280 and be able to afford it considering what u already purchased.

It`s sad that performance isn`t the stickler for selection - but having `quality` become a replacement for it isn`t wholey a bad thing.

Great review again btw.

PS. need more bumpff, when will manufacturers learn that graphic cards and mobos need to be accompanied with misc bumpff! Don`t care too much what it is, but c`mon.Quote

24-07-2008, 07:34:54

Isn't there 8.7 catalyst drivers out now, apprently this gives an increase in peformance.Quote

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