Product: R700 - The 4870 Gets Kinky
Company: AMD
Authour: Alex 'AlexV' Voicu
Editor: Charles 'Lupine' Oliver
Date: September 25th, 2008
Wrapping Things Up

This was probably the most difficult part in terms of writing our 4870X2 review. It's hard to draw many conclusions since we lack a clear image of things ... the Phenom wasn't the best choice for this review obviously. Performance of the X2 is hardly surprising, we basically knew how it would perform at release the second we finished testing the 4870CF combo, a while ago. The trouble is that we're not making the GPUs sweat enough due to the CPU limitations. As we said above, the CPU still has a lot left on its plate and the size of the portion increases the faster the GPU(s) become: filling the command buffer for a 4870X2 is hardly easy, since the GPUs tend to burn through their tasks quite rapidly. With this in mind, there are a few points to be made:

  • the X2 is the fastest card at this point in time

  • our experiences with it have been quite good, and the drivers were in rather good shape - there are still some edges left to polish, but nothing really obvious and we were sure to discuss things with ATi

  • what's better, a 4870CF configuration or a single X2? Our humble opinion is that the X2 is preferable due to it being a single card, having a better thermal profile than two 4870s (we're considering stock cooling here), and the fact that you're more likely to find 1 6 pin and 1 8 pin connector on your PSU, as opposed to 4 6 pins - the last one is not a deal-breaker

  • irrespective of what interested parties might tell you, a fast CPU is still required for high-end gaming - consider that when setting up your new PC

  • these cards are aimed at high-quality gaming, meaning high resolutions, high AA/AF and best in-game settings - keep that in mind as well, lest you be disappointed about the fact that Solitaire is just as fast on an X2 as it is on an IGP

In our subjective evaluation, the 4870X2 is an excellent card ... but we're probably its target audience anyhow. Some of the things we've heard muttered behind closed doors keep us quite interested in future developments (sorry, we can't detail further). However, this is our evaluation - we absolutely urge you to look at more reviews and arrive at your own conclusions based on a data-set that's as comprehensive as possible. Having said that, we'll be back soon (and this time we mean it!) to round things up nicely by looking at QuadCF when paired with a beefy CPU. Until then, have fun!


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