• Editors choice
RV770: AMD ATI Radeon HD 4870


Our Score


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While it hasn't been a huge commercial success and its gameplay is far from revolutionary, the graphical fidelity of Crysis is still second to none and as such it's still the ultimate test for a graphics card. With masses of dynamic foliage, rolling mountain ranges, bright blue seas, and big explosions, this game has all the eye-candy you could wish for and then some.

We test using the 32-bit version of the game patched to version 1.1 and running in DirectX 10 mode. We use a custom timedemo that's taken from the first moments at the start of the game, wondering around the beach. Surprisingly, considering its claustrophobic setting and graphically rich environment, we find that any frame rate above 30fps is about sufficient to play this game.

All in-game settings are set to high for our test runs and we test with both 0xAA and 4xAA. Transparency anti-aliasing is also manually turned on through the driver, though this is obviously only enabled when normal AA is being used in-game.

Wow, what a start for HD 4870. In a game that ATI's cards used to really struggle with, the HD 4870 has leapt into third place behind the GTX 280 and 9800GX2. Most importantly it has beaten nVidia's nearest priced competitor, the 9800GTX, by some margin - especially when AA is applied - and has more than doubled the HD 3870's performance.

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Varis Vitols

July 5, 2008, 2:51 pm

Yeah, it was about time!

Matthew Bunton

July 5, 2008, 5:43 pm

This is the best bang for buck right now, good to see the ATI cards fighting back. Though it is still too early to upgrade in my opinion.


July 6, 2008, 1:18 am

if ati get cuda... i will get this card from sapphire(it have 2 (4 pin to 6 pin conector)(my power suply just have one 6 pin conector) but only if it get cuda, because i like to play games but i also do some video editing and transcoding videos to my zune and it take like 4hrs to covert a dvd to h.264 in my conroe


July 6, 2008, 2:10 am

Your comment on the CoD4 results is incorrect. The HD 4870 beats the GTX 280 comfortably.

It simply fails to be the double card GX2.

Varis Vitols

July 6, 2008, 3:58 am

It depends on what u upgrade from...


July 6, 2008, 6:14 am

Probably not worth upgrading from a 8800GT to a 4850 but the 4870 looks like it could be a possibility. Hopefully ATi will have OpenCL to compete against CUDA but I'm not bothered by the lack of support for it.


July 7, 2008, 3:35 pm

anybody know the minimum power supply rating? looking to install in Dual-Xeon Dell workstation with 700w PSU??


July 7, 2008, 4:06 pm

My X1950XTX is looking a bit long in the tooth now. Getting that itchy upgrade feeling.


July 7, 2008, 9:08 pm


I wouldn't look at it like that, it completely depends on what else you're running in your system. At peak the card will draw 150 - 200W, if you've got that much headroom in your current supply then you'll be fine. Otherwise you may need to upgrade. Easy way to check is with a plug-in power consumption meter. They're only about 㿀.

What card are you upgrading from?


July 8, 2008, 12:18 am

Hmmm, thanks ED. The Dell manual's state GPU's upto 150W(supported) so I may be pushing it if you say it draws upto 200W. Upgrading Dell PSU's I don't think is that easy as your probably aware most components are besopke (got to love Dell).


July 8, 2008, 1:09 pm

Ah, that could be a bit of a problem. Dells are an absolute pig to work with.


July 14, 2008, 5:22 pm

^^ wrt the Dell PSU prob - not sure about the Xeon's, some of the midi-tower cases still have the same footprint as a regular PSU, but just proprietary gaps for the kettle lead... in which case you can buy a normal PSU and get out the metal cutters and drill... I've got "creative" with a few Optiplex's over the years... :o)


July 14, 2008, 5:24 pm

and thanks for the great review!!

As per DMN's comment, that X1950XTX-GDDR4 (me too!) is suddenly looking really long in the tooth :o)))


February 15, 2009, 7:58 pm

i have got to get me one of these...

Joseph Middleton

August 24, 2009, 3:43 pm

This Radeon 4870 by HIS... It's not mentioned how much on board memory it has...

512MB or 1GB?

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