Sapphire HD4870 512mb DDR5
After reviewing an HD4870 previously, we were fairly sure that the Sapphire card would give us the similar results, being that, in effect, it is the same card. Sure enough, the Sapphire HD4870 didn't disappoint giving nigh identical results to the previous HD4870 we reviewed, as well as almost matching and at times beating the GTX260 in every benchmark we threw at it. Because of this, we didn't quite get the WOW factor that we had with the previous review. Obviously this is not a fault of the Sapphire version, far from it as not only did it match the previous HD4870, it served to emphasize the tremendous improvements ATI have put in place with the 4000 series of GPU's compared to their NVidia counterparts. While the GTX280 still has the performance advantage the HD4870 costs a fraction of the amount and on occasion even beats the 280's sibling, the GTX260, which again is more expensive. Bang per buck the only card that can touch it at the time of writing this review is the HD4850, however, the faster HD4870 is still an extraordinary buy and the card I would choose at this price point. The Sapphire HD4870 is without doubt one of the fastest cards out there and for the price it is in a league of it's own.
Deciding on one card over the other is a very difficult affair as both have plus and minus points. Support for both cards is great so there is little to differentiate there. The PowerColor card has the superior packaging but the Sapphire has the better accessories, however those accessories do come at a little extra cost.. If the Sapphire had much improved packaging and could throw in the accessories with no extra cost then the decision would become a no brainer. Therefore, I guess it would come down to how much you value the bundled software and the temptation of the 2GB Flash drive. Considering flash drives of this size and quality can be bought for under £10 these days, the price of both cards can be leveled out. The websites of both manufacturers are both easy to navigate and both offer a 2 year warranty with their products. So what else is there to compare, the sticker? I think I'll leave that one for you to decide.
- Performance equalling that of the GTX260
- Amazing Bang per Buck.
- Overclocks for fun
- Random bursts of fan speeds are not for the faint hearted!
- Noisy fan on full load
- The packaging. While not enough to put me off buying the product, is something Sapphire need to improve upon.
Thanks to Sapphire for sending the HD4870 for review. Discuss this review in our forums
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