ATI Radeon HD 4870, why it's our new A-List graphics card

Rating
Overall:

A powerful card at a competitive price – a deserved victory to cap ATI’s remarkable turnaround

Performance:
4
Value for Money:
6
Price
Price: $470
> Pricing info
Specs
Price 470
Core clock speed 750Mhz
Memory size 512MB/1024MB

With 800 stream processors and up to 1GB of GDDR5 memory, it's clear that ATI's Radeon HD 4870 means business. It's the flagship of the 4000-range - before the dual-GPU X2 products are accounted for - and, as such, delivers a set of blistering benchmark results and specifications that impress.

As well as the new GDDR5 memory, which is an innovation that no Nvidia card can boast, the 750MHz clock speed is 125MHz higher than the HD 4850. But the HD 4870 does share several characteristics with that product: both cards contain 956 million transistors, a 256-bit memory bus width, and support both Shader Model 4.1 and DirectX 10.1. Like all current ATI cards, it's manufactured on a 55nm die.

The increased clock speed and GDDR5 memory contribute to impressive benchmark results. The HD 4870 ran at 42fps in our 1680 x 1050, high Crysis test, and struggled only when we ran the same benchmark at 1920 x 1200 with quality settings at very high. Call of Duty 4 and Far Cry 2 were playable, with the HD 4870 untroubled even at the highest resolutions and quality settings.

The HD 4870 stacks up well against opposition from Nvidia too. While no cards offer a direct parallel - the 9800 GTX can be had for around $380, with the GTX 260+ costing $405 - the HD 4870 provides healthy competition for both.

It was faster than the 9800 GTX in every game we tested, with 81fps compared with 64fps from the Nvidia card a telling victory in our highest Far Cry 2 benchmark. It's even quicker than the GTX 260 in most of our benchmarks, with only Call of Duty 4 seeing the Nvidia card pull ahead - and even then it's only by 6fps, scoring 78fps compared to 72fps from the HD 4870.

It's another triumph for ATI, then - a fitting end to a year where the company has successfully reversed the ailing fortunes of its desktop GPUs and turned the screw on Nvidia. For those gamers who simply can't afford an HD 4870 X2, the HD 4870 is a fantastic combination of price and performance - and a worthy Labs Winner.

 
 

This Review appeared in the April, 2009 issue of PC & Tech Authority Magazine

Source: Copyright © PC Pro, Dennis Publishing

See more about:  ati  |  radeon  |  hd  |  4870
 
 

Readers of this article also read...

D-Link rushes to fix router backdoor 

D-Link rushes to fix router backdoor

 
Unboxed: ASUS Z87I-PRO 

Unboxed: ASUS Z87I-PRO

 
First Look: ASUS Z87-Deluxe 

First Look: ASUS Z87-Deluxe

 
Corsair and Intel kick off Computex with some Haswell overclocking 

Corsair and Intel kick off Computex with some Haswell overclocking

 
Review: AMD Trinity  

Review: AMD Trinity

 

Latest Comments

Latest Competitions

Experience The Evil Within at an exclusive VIP event! 

Experience The Evil Within at an exclusive VIP event!

10 VIPs will win a place at this exclusive event to get hands on time with Bethesda's upcoming horror title.
Win! Godzilla Prize Packs 

Win! Godzilla Prize Packs

STOMP ALL THE THINGS.
Win! Batman: Assault on Arkham 

Win! Batman: Assault on Arkham

Na na na na na na na WIN STUFF!
Win! Destiny 

Win! Destiny

We're giving away a copy of next great console shooter!
Win! 300 Rise of an Empire 

Win! 300 Rise of an Empire

We're giving away five awesome prize packs!
 

Latest Poll

What PC component are you planning to upgrade in the next six months










Ads by Google

From our Partners

PC & Tech Authority Downloads