ASUS HD 4870 X2 (EAH4870X2) 2GB PCI-E

Test Setup, Overclocking & Power Usage

Test Setup
A common mistake made when benchmarking graphics cards is that the rest of the PC system isn't sufficient enough to test the GPU to its limits. This results in a bottleneck situation, where the system can only run at the speed of its slowest component. For this reason, the test configuration chosen below has been specially selected to give each of the graphics cards on test the headroom they require in order to produce the best results.
Test Setup
A selection of games and benchmark suites has also been chosen to test each of the cards with several game engines. Each of the cards will be run at both low, medium and high resolutions with varying levels of texture filtering to represent the use of the card with both small and large screen sizes.
1024x768 / 0xAA / 0xAF (Default)
1600x1200 / 4xAA / 0xAF
1920x1200 / 4xAA / 0xAF

3DMark 06
1280x1024 / 0xAA / 0xAF (Default)
1600x1200 / 4xAA / 0xAF
1920x1200 / 4xAA / 0xAF

3DMark Vantage
Performance Mode
High Mode
Extreme Mode

Enemy Territory:Quake Wars
1280x1024 / Max+Ultra / 8xAA
1600x1200 / Max+Ultra / 8xAA
1920x1200 / Max+Ultra / 8xAA

Unreal Tournament III
1280x1024 / DX10 / High / 0xAA / 16xAF
1600x1200 / DX10 / High / 0xAA / 16xAF
1920x1200 / DX10 / High / 0xAA / 16xAF

Call of Duty 4
1280x1024 / Max / 4xAA
1600x1200 / Max / 4xAA
1920x1200 / Max / 4xAA

1280x1024 / Max / 4xAA
1600x1200 / Max / 4xAA
1920x1200 / Max / 4xAA

Racedriver GRID
1280x1024 / Ultra / 4xAA
1600x1200 / Ultra / 4xAA
1920x1200 / Ultra / 4xAA

1280x1024 / DX10 / Very High / 4xAA
1600x1200 / DX10 / Very High / 4xAA
1920x1200 / DX10 / Very High / 4xAA
During the benchmarking phase, we will be using the following prices extracted from on 17/08/08 to produce our CPF (Cost Per Frame) graphs. Please remember that these graphs are static and only represent a snapshot of the market at the time of this review.

ASUS GTX280 - £293.69
ASUS HD 4870X2 - £347.74
Using only the the ATI Overdrive™ facility built into the driver control panel, the maximum overclock we were able to obtain from the ASUS 4870X2  was 777mhz on the core and 975mhz on the memory. The Overdrive facility did actually attempt to overclock the card higher than this using the "Auto-Tune" option, but unfortunately these settings proved to be unstable when attempting to run 3DMark Vantage.
Interestingly, with this overclock applied our scores on 3DMark Vantage actually dropped! This is normally indicative of unstable settings, but during testing no artifacting was observed and further reducing the overclock settings didn't appear to improve the situation. We can only assume that this was a possible issue with the Catalyst 8.8 drivers or the GPU's were simply getting too hot.
Power Usage
Using what's commonly known as a "Power Angel" to record the power consumption of the entire system by placing the device between the test systems plug and the mains outlet, we were able to record the following results. Idle power was taken after the system had been given around 10 minutes to settle after powering on, whereas load consumption was taken during a 10 minute test session with rthdribl.
Bearing in mind that the results below are for the ENTIRE SYSTEM and not just the GPU, its clear to see that the GTX280 is able to throttle its power consumption down considerably lower than the 4870X2 when in a desktop environment. This is also true once a heavy load is applied to the GPU's, with the 4870X2 rocketing to 409w - almost 80w higher than the GTX280.
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Most Recent Comments

19-08-2008, 09:04:10

Great review!

Monster card!

I want, but dont needQuote

19-08-2008, 09:12:20

Great review Jim, and good to see that AMD are continuing with the good price performance ratio.Quote

19-08-2008, 09:26:00

nVidia u can kiss my @$$Quote

19-08-2008, 09:41:13

Tis an awesoome card, wonder what difference the extra cross bridge will make when enabled in the drivers.

They ahve to have a good reason for holding back 10gbps worth of bandwith direct between the two gpusQuote

19-08-2008, 10:47:17

Mr. Smith
Would have been nice to include the gx2 too, that way my decision making would have been easier lol.

Sweet review mate, glad you updated the testbed and went with the QX, whoever suggested that is clearly awesome

I get paid in 11 days; I'm toying with one of these, a velociraptor and an e8600 and a 50" samsung series 6 Quote

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