When Nathan approached me with an ATI Radeon HD 4870 video card review, I immediately groaned and mumbled “Not another Radeon HD 4870.” After he told me which specific card and a few seconds spent Googling, I immediately perked up considerably. ASUS’ Republic of Gamers line has released some of my favorite components like the 965P Commando and the X48 Rampage Extreme. This is the first ROG branded graphic card I’ve laid my hands on, so I was quite jittery with excitement.
This card continues with the color trends established for ROG with a black PCB, a dark shroud, and the ROG emblem prominent. It looks out of place on the Gigabyte MA790GP-DS4H, but would look at home on a Rampage II Extreme. Thankfully, unlike nearly every other Radeon HD 4870 I’ve reviewed in the past, ASUS has catered to my one weakness: overclocking. Asus means business with this ROG branded card and their iTracker software which will be discussed after we first analyze stock performance.
The ASUS Matrix HD 4870, sadly, doesn’t bring anything new to the table regarding stock performance. It features the original 512MB of GDDR5 that the reference ATI Radeon HD 4870 launched with, clock frequencies that fall within the averages of factory overclocked cards, and the same core used on all Radeon HD 4870 cards. So, what has improved? Let’s first tear into the card a bit and see.