XFX ATI 4000 Series Round Up
Published: 14th April 2009 | Source: XFX | Price: £130 - £330 |
Packaging & Appearance
Much the same as the HD4850's packaging, the HD4870's box is small in stature. This time we get a spiked Ice hockey mask greeting us on the front with a flame riddled backdrop. The rear of the box displays the main features of the card including 800 Stream processors power 1GB of GDDR5 and CrossfireX capability.
Like the 4850 before, this card's also a XXX pre-overclocked edition of the HD4870 resulting in clockspeeds of 775MHz on the core with a memory speed of a 3800MHz (effective). This time, the power supply unit required to power this card is bumped up a notch to 500w with XFX recommending a 600Watt PSU with four PCIe slots if you intend on running this card in tandem with another.
Removing the outer sleeve we come to a plain black box, no aliens, no monsters or indeed scantly clad Elvin warriors are anywhere to be seen - how strange for an ATI package? The interior of this understated box is again a neat compartmentalized affair with the accessories, guides and driver CD's separated from the main unit.
In typical XFX fashion, we find that no stone is left unturned when we come to the accessories with not one but two guides, a driver/software CD, HDMI and DVI adapters, 2x dual Molex adapters, a TV-out cable and a Crossfire bridge. XFX also include a novelty Do Not Disturb door hanger - useful or not it still brings a smile to my face.
The 'Jason' theme is carried onto the card with the hockey mask once more making an appearance. The cooler is a stock ATI affair though with XFX simply placing their own branding on the card. XFX have however, chosen to use a black PCB for this ATI card which is much more attractive than the red PCB used by some manufacturers of ATI cards. The stock cooler is held onto the card by a number of screws with the copper baseplate held in place by a small backplate.
Akin to the HD4850XXX, the 4870XXX also features the signature red DVI ports at the business end of the card along with a TV out port. The 4870XXX needs a little more power than it's stablemate though if the two PCIe 6-pin power ports are anything to go by.
The stock red cooler is beginning to look a little dated now and is pretty much indistinguishable from any other ATI cooler. While it may be effective, it is certainly not quiet, especially when the card is placed under any load for any period of time.
Thankfully the card's cooling is effective enough that the fan never hit 100% in my testing but I had to see how loud the fan was at 100%, something I do not plan on doing in the future as my ears bled for a few days afterwards. OK, maybe that was a slight exaggeration, make that just one or two days! After such a time listening to the fans at full tilt your ear drums will likely have deteriorated so much that adding another card or two in Crossfire X configuration won't make any difference but the old lady at the end of the street won't thank you for it nor will the pack of dogs howling outside your door. Who cares though, there's nothing more sexy than a couple (or more) cards working in tandem (except maybe for Heather Locklear in a PVC cat suit writhing around on a plastic sheet holding a bottle of baby oil - but that's another story all together!).
So then, nothing really outstanding in the aesthetics department being a standard cooler, understated (but still stylish) box and a noisy fan. A black PCB can only go so far in making up for a lack of imagination but the card still looks better than a lot of ATI offerings on the market today.
Let's see how the XFX 4890 fairs...