ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2 Graphics Card Preview

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Power Consumption and Final Thoughts

Power Consumption

For testing power consumption, we took our test system and plugged it into a Seasonic Power Angel. For idle numbers, we allowed the system to idle on the desktop for 15 minutes and took the reading. For load numbers, we measured the peak wattage used by the system while running the game Call of Duty 4 at 1280×1024 with high graphics quality.

Total System Power Consumption Results

Power Consumption Results: PowerPlay has not been enabled in the BIOS on our engineering sample Radeon HD 4870 X2, so please remember the final power consumption numbers will be better than shown above. The ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2 graphics card uses a fair amount of power as it consumed just a tad less than the pair of Radeon HD 4870’s running in CrossFire. We look forward to how much more power AMD can save by enabling PowerPlay and we will take a look at that in August and can compare it to these results with no PowerPlay. That will give us a good idea just how much energy PowerPlay really saves.

ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2 Graphics Card


Final Thoughts

The ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2 graphics card looks like it is going to be a great graphics card and it performed better than we expected for this preview.  Once AMD gets the drivers perfected, enables PowerPlay in the BIOS, and does some other minor changes, this card will hit the street and be the fastest card available for less money than a GeForce GTX 280 graphics card. NVIDIA should be very worried about this graphics card as we keep hearing a $499 price mentioned and if that is true it would be nice.  The lowest priced NVIDIA GeForce GTX 280 video card on PriceGrabber is $499. How could that be?  Well, NVIDIA found out about these previews and dropped the price on their cards a few days ago to compete with AMD. Last night we got this e-mail from NVIDIA to make sure we knew about the pricing change before we posted this article:

Just in case you haven’t seen the new prices, the GeForce GTX 280 and 260 are now available from a variety of our partners at the following prices:

  • The GeForce GTX 280 is available for $499.
  • The GeForce GTX 260 is available for $299.

With support for 2- and 3-way SLI, these two products feature best-in-class features, performance, and power. In addition, applications such as Elemental Technologies’ Badaboom! will offer dramatic time savings by offloading transcoding from the CPU to the GeForce GPU. And, when you factor in support for GeForce PhysX, which can accelerate physics effects directly on the GPU, gaming will soon become more interactive and immersive than ever. These prices went into effect several days ago, and we just wanted to make sure you were aware.

When the GeForce GTX 260 was originally launched it was $449 and the GeForce GTX 280 was $649.99!  NVIDIA dropped the price on the GTX 280 by $151, which is a 23% price reduction. A price drop that large less than a month after a new graphics card is launched is almost unheard of, so that tells you how fierce the battle is going to be for your hard earned dollar. When it comes to performance the Radeon HD 4870 X2 is looking like it beat as it spanked even the overclocked GeForce GTX 280 in our testing.  AMD has pulled off another one with the Radeon HD 4870 X2 and the string of bad luck continues for NVIDIA. We will bring you a full review of the Radeon HD 4870 X2 in August along with some Quad-Crossfire performance numbers to see what these cards can really do! 

Legit Bottom Line: The ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2 graphics card brings a new level of performance to AMD and has NVIDIA dropping prices to compete.

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