Today is all about the Radeon HD 4870 X2, the same card we previewed last month but AMD is quietly announcing a few other products alongside it. The 4870 X2, internally referred to as R700, is a pair of RV770 GPUs on a single card - effectively a single-card, Radeon HD 4870 CrossFire (hence the X2 moniker). Like previous X2 cards, the 4870 X2 appears to the user and the driver as a single card and all of the CrossFire magic happens behind the scenes.

  ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2 ATI Radeon HD 4870 ATI Radeon HD 4850
Stream Processors 800 x 2 800 800
Texture Units 40 x 2 40 40
ROPs 16 x 2 16 16
Core Clock 750MHz 750MHz 625MHz
Memory Clock 900MHz (3600MHz data rate) GDDR5 900MHz (3600MHz data rate) GDDR5 993MHz (1986MHz data rate) GDDR3
Memory Bus Width 256-bit x 2 256-bit 256-bit
Frame Buffer 1GB x 2 512MB 512MB
Transistor Count 956M x 2 956M 956M
Manufacturing Process TSMC 55nm TSMC 55nm TSMC 55nm
Price Point $549 $299 $199

 

The benefit of single-card CrossFire is of course that you can use this single card on any platform, not just ones that explicitly support CF. Since CrossFire is supported on both Intel chipsets and AMD chipsets, it's a bit more flexible than SLI and the need for single-card CF isn't nearly as great as the need for single-card SLI.

Unlike most single-card multi-GPU solutions, the 4870 X2 is literally two Radeon HD 4870s on a single card. The clock speeds, both core and memory, are identical and this thing should perform like a pair of 4870s (which is pretty quick if you have forgotten). The only difference here is that while the standard Radeon HD 4870 ships with 512MB of GDDR5 memory, each RV770 on a X2 gets a full 1GB of GDDR5 for a total of 2GB per card.

...which leads us nicely into some of AMD's other products that will be coming out in the next month or so. There will be 1GB versions of both the Radeon HD 4870 and Radeon HD 4850.

Then at $399 we'll see a Radeon HD 4850 X2, which as you can probably guess is a pair of Radeon HD 4850 GPUs on a single card, but with 2GB of GDDR3 and not GDDR5 like the 4870 X2. As interesting as all of these cards are, we only have the 4870 X2 for you today, the rest will have to wait for another time. But it is worth noting that if you are interested in buying a Radeon HD 4870/4850 and keeping it for a while, you may want to wait for the 1GB versions as they should give you a bit more longevity.

Enough with being distracted by AMD's product lineup, let's talk about the competition.

Let's Talk Pricing
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  • Greene - Wednesday, August 13, 2008 - link

    Wow. Lots of this and that in here :-)

    No Hardware Info...
    No Driver Info...

    Did we lose a Page ?

    I'm also curious why Assessess Creed wasn't tested with the different versions ?
    There was such a big stink back in 99/2000 when ati fudged drivers to get better FPS scores, as well as the stink back when Nvidia did the same with 3DMark (what was it 05)?
    And here the "creed" developers drop some sort of support for ATI
    and the authors skip over it, and leave the different versions out of the test.

    Did you guys draft this article 2 weeks ago and forget to revise it ?

    Did you hire fox news editors ?

    I've really trusted and valued Anandtech's articles in the past.

    This just seems sloppy, incomplete and rushed... and i dropped out of college! :-)
    Reply
  • Arbie - Wednesday, August 13, 2008 - link

    Every bar graph has the cards in a different order. This makes it impossible to scan the graphs and see how a card does overall, across a range of games. And there is no compensating benefit. If I want to know which card is fastest in Crysis, I can clearly see which bar is longer! It DOESN'T HAVE TO BE THE TOP BAR ON THE GRAPH.

    So... you won't do that again.

    Next: everyone should just go out and buy a 4850. It will do all you want for now. Let all these X2 kludges and 65nm dinosaurs pound each other into landfill. Check back again in 6-8 months.

    Arbie
    Reply
  • hooflung - Wednesday, August 13, 2008 - link

    The numbers were not bad. They speak for themselves. However, the tone of this review was horrible. It is the fastest card in your review and has exactly what people want out of a multi gpu setup. 1 slot, full gig of ram, smashes the competition's closest competitor that cost more, only costs 100 above the best single gpu solution and doesn't require a new motherboard.

    Yet, Nvidia can't do any wrong. ATI decides its sideport isn't needed and disable's it which is a cardinal sin it seems. It still cost 100 dollars LESS than Nvidia's GTX280 when it first came out.

    The mixed signals coming from this review could make a cake if baked.
    Reply
  • drank12quartsstrohsbeer - Wednesday, August 13, 2008 - link

    This article had the feel like the authors were annoyed that they had to write it. I certainly feel annoyed after reading it... Reply
  • just4U - Wednesday, August 13, 2008 - link

    From my perspective this was a very valid and honest review that zones in on key issues that effect the majority of our gpu buying decisions. Yeah their getting some tough love feedback from it but that's to be expected as well.
    Reply
  • Keldor314 - Wednesday, August 13, 2008 - link

    750 watts for the X2 in crossfire?! You'd better think of having an electrician come by and upgrade your home's powergrid! Seriously, though, for my house, I can't run a single 8800 gtx at the same time as a space heater without tripping the circut breakers in the garage. True, the heater in question is rated at 1500 watts. The total wattage to trip the circut breaker is thus probably less than 2000 watts, since I've also seen the heater trip it when only accompanied by a lamp (no computer on). Given that the X2 CF will probably, after counting the rest of the computer, send energy usage to over 1000W at load, there's a very real chance that such a computer would periodically cause your power to go out, especially if, god forbid, someone tried to turn on the room's lights.

    Upgrading a power supply is cheap. Rewiring your house to handle the higher wattage is not.
    Reply
  • CK804 - Sunday, August 17, 2008 - link

    Actually, the power consumption numbers are of the entire system and not just the graphics cards alone. Still, it's amazing how much power these cards draw. My jaw dropped when I saw that the power consumption of a system with these cards under load exceeded 700 watts. When X-bit labs did a roundup of 1000 watt power supplies, the first thing they concluded was that there was no need for power supplies over 6-700 watts for any setup unless some sort of exotic cooling was to be used. I can attest to that statement when I had 4 first gen. 74GB Raptors in RAID 0 coupled with 2 7900GTs in SLI and an AMD X2 4800+ running on a Zalman 460 watt PSU. Reply
  • animaniac2k8 - Wednesday, August 13, 2008 - link

    I 've been a reader of AnandTech's articles for many years and I have owned exlusively Nvidia cards since 2001.

    This is easily one of the worst and most biased articles I 've ever read on AnandTech. Very dissapointed to have wasted my time reading this. I 'll be looking elsewhere for quality reviews from now on.
    Reply
  • CyberHawk - Wednesday, August 13, 2008 - link

    Same here. Reader since 2001, registered later.

    I always liked articles here. English is my second language and I liked that from time to time I found a new word that made me look into the diary.

    But, this article is a bunch of bull. One more like this and I am out of here. Not that this means the end of anandtech but anyway.
    Reply
  • helldrell666 - Wednesday, August 13, 2008 - link

    Where's the system setup?
    Why the poster hates AMd that much?
    This is the worst review of the 4870x2 I've checked yet.

    The review at techreport.com is much better.


    Reply

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