XFX ATI 4000 Series Round Up

Test Setup & System Analysis

 

 

 

Test Setup

To ensure that all reviews on Overclock3D are fair, consistent and unbiased, a standard set of hardware and software is used whenever possible during the comparative testing of two or more products. The configurations used in this review can be seen below:
 

i7 Rig

CPU: Intel Nehalem i7 920 Skt1366 2.66GHz (@3.8 Ghz)
Motherboard: Gigabyte EX58-UD5
Memory: 3x2GB Corsair DDR3 1600mhz @ 8-8-8-24
HD : Hitachi Deskstar 7k160 7200rpm 80GB
GPU:XFX HD4850 XXX. XFX HD4870 XXX, XFX HD4890 XXX, XFX HD4870x2
Graphics Drivers: Supplied by Asus
PSU: Gigabyte ODIN 1200w
 
During the testing of the setups above, special care was taken to ensure that the BIOS settings used matched whenever possible. A fresh install of Windows Vista was also used before the benchmarking began, with a full defrag of the hard drive once all the drivers and software were installed, preventing any possible performance issues due to leftover drivers from the previous motherboard installations. For the 3DMark and gaming tests a single card configuration was used.

To guarantee a broad range of results, the following benchmark utilities were used:
 
3D / Rendering Benchmarks
• 3DMark 05
• 3DMark 06
• 3DMark Vantage

3D Games
• Crysis
• Far Cry 2
• Oblivion

• Race drive: GRID
• Call of Duty IV
• Unreal Tournament III

Power Consumption

Power consumption was measured at the socket using a plug-in mains power and energy monitor. Because of this, the readings below are of the total system, not just the GPU. Idle readings were taken after 5 minutes in Windows. Load readings were taken during a run of Furmark.

 
 
As expected, the 4870x2 is by far the most power hungry of the bunch consuming almost 100 Watts more than the other cards on test. This however is hardly surprising considering there is twice the memory and 2 GPU's on board. The budget 4850 will neither dent the wallet on original purchase nor will it cost a fortune to run being the lowest consumer on test today.
 
 
Temperatures

Temperatures were taken at the factory clocked speed during idle in Windows and after 10 minutes of running Furmark with settings maxed out (2560x1600 8xMSAA). Ambient temperatures were taken with a household thermometer. As we use an open test bench setup consideration should be given to the fact that the temperatures would likely increase further in a closed case environment.
 
 
Being a dual GPU setup, the 4870x2 was easily the hottest card on test but surprisingly was not the loudest with the fan not spinning up too much that it became reminiscent of a vacuum cleaner. The 4850 was again the best performer on test being much cooler and therefore much quieter than it's stable mates.
 
 
Overclocking
 
I overclocked the cards using the Catalyst Control Panel which was maxed out with every ATI card I tried for this review.
 
Here are the results I gained:
 
XFX 4850 XXX
 
4850 Stock Stock
 
Although the card is pre-overclocked from 625/2000 to 650/2100, the XFX4850XXX still managed to overclock even further to a startling 700Mhz on the core and 2400MHz on the memory. As an added bonus there was very little added heat as a result of the overclocking.  
 
 
XFX 4870XXX
 
4870 stock 4870 OC
 
Because the 4870XXX is already clocked to a blistering 775/1900 on the core and memory respectively, there were little gains allowed by the CCC. Still, the sliders easily maxed out and allowed a respectable overclock of 790/2200MHz increasing the cards performance further than it's pre-overclocked state.
 
 
XFX 4890XXX
 
stock OVerclock
 
The rumours of the 4890 being an excellent overclocking card were certainly correct. The card easily overclock to the Golden 1Ghz on the GPU core, the first card at OC3D to do so. The memory also ran to a mesmerizing 2400MHz making this the highest clocked card we have tested thus far at OC3D.
 
 
XFX4870x2
 
stock1 overcl
 
Again, the 4870X2 managed to easily max out the CCC's overdrive option allowing the card to reach it's full potential, or at least the maximum CCC would allow. A measly 50MHz was attained on the core and 100(200)MHz on the memory. For some bizarre reason GPU-Z would not pick up the extra overclocks but it was confirmed working by both GPU-Z and the mild increase in it's frames per second during the runs of COD 4.
 
The affects the overclocks I attained from the above cards can be seen in the Call of Duty IV benchmarks I ran below:
 

With all of the cards overclocking extremely well you have to wonder why ATI do not increase the relative thresholds of the Catalyst Control Centre. I am confident all of the cards would overclock further but save using Rivatuner or another external application, this is not possible with the current CAT 9.3 drivers with the included CCC and overdrive option. Still, this is a 'n00b' friendly option and will certainly cut down on the amount of RMA's though overheating, burnt out cards because of over zealous overclocking.

After returning the cards back to their stock state I then proceeded to run our standard set of graphics tests to evaluate the performance against on another. I also compared the cards on a 'Cost Per Frame' basis to better help prospective buyers to see how much they are getting for their money (calculated with UK Sterling - prices correct at the time of writing).

Let's see how the cards got on...

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Most Recent Comments

14-04-2009, 11:22:33

w3bbo
Is it possible to have the best of both worlds? We find out as we test the latest ATI graphics cards from XFX...

http://www.overclock3d.net/gfx/artic...194913658l.jpg

Full review HERE

14-04-2009, 11:46:14

zak4994
Ah finally.

Awesome round up.

Seems like that the 4850 would be a good choice.

14-04-2009, 12:18:25

AntiHeroUK
Great round up Rich. That must have taken a lot of work to put it all together

All you need now is the 4890x2 to finish off the 48xx series

14-04-2009, 12:33:37

prosser13
Oh wow - great roundup, really nice work

14-04-2009, 12:36:17

w3bbo
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='zak4994'
Ah finally.

Awesome round up.

Seems like that the 4850 would be a good choice.
The 4850 is deffo a great card for the cash.

Quote:
Originally Posted by name='AntiHeroUK'
Great round up Rich. That must have taken a lot of work to put it all together

All you need now is the 4890x2 to finish off the 48xx series
Will crossfired 4890's suffice for now?

Quote:
Originally Posted by name='prosser13'
Oh wow - great roundup, really nice work
Cheers

14-04-2009, 12:38:30

AntiHeroUK
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='w3bbo'
Will crossfired 4890's suffice for now?
I suppose they will have to do

14-04-2009, 12:38:58

tinytomlogan
You have been a busy boy! Nice work matey, kudos as ever :thumb:

14-04-2009, 13:40:19

Bungral
Nice one Rich!!

Good to see some up to date figures. Just look at the CoD results. The X2 is quite a few frames over doubling the 4870 FPS.. Drivers and memory obviously helping but at least the theoretical power has actually happened in one game.

14-04-2009, 18:05:47

PeterStoba
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='AntiHeroUK'
Great round up Rich. That must have taken a lot of work to put it all together

All you need now is the 4890x2 to finish off the 48xx series
don't forget the 4830

Nice roundup though, interesting results on the 4890

14-04-2009, 18:46:30

Nick R
Great set of reviews.

Just a little typo on the first page, the spec table has two "Max Resolution Analog Vertical" rows with different values. but no "Max Resolution Digital Vertical" row.

15-04-2009, 03:48:16

w3bbo
Ta sorted.

15-04-2009, 15:36:18

FarFarAway
Great review mate, looks like ATI have a great partner in XFX, Nvidia must be ever so slightly disappointed

15-04-2009, 15:58:57

w3bbo
Wonder if they have approached Sapphire as a return salvo

15-04-2009, 16:27:15

Grimreaper123
Now that really would make things intresting.

15-04-2009, 16:44:42

ali_james
Nice review man. However, one thing I have no bleeding clue about is how these cards sit compared to older generation cards, in my case the 8800GT?

I've been out of the loop for a bit too long..

15-04-2009, 16:50:03

w3bbo
The 4850 would easily beat the 8800GT.

The 4870 is on a par with the GTX260 thereabouts, The 4890 is on a par with GTX275 and the 4870x2 is on a par with GTX295. Hope this helps.

15-04-2009, 17:03:20

ali_james
That's wicked, cheers. I think I'll be heading towards a 4870 and a new screen sometime soon
Reply
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