Power Consumption

The 4870 X2 is an incredible power hog. Yes, it does perform well. Yes it costs a bit less than two 4870 cards. But will we be able to afford the energy bill?

Idle Power

Load Power

In both idle and load power the 4870 X2 is near the bottom of our chart. The only thing more inane than the 4870 X2 is plugging two of them into one system. Keep in mind that this power measurement is taken running a 3dmark pixel shader test using almost no other resources. In actual game play power draw is much higher as the CPU, memory, and hard drive can come under load at the same time.

Welcome to the kilowatt era. We've been telling you these huge power supplies weren't that necessary until this generation, and we absolutely mean it. If you are thinking about a multi GPU solution involving the latest hardware you are going to want something upwards of 1KW. If you want GTX 280 SLI or 4870 X2 CrossFire you'll want to head on up to the 1200W deparment.

Oh, and, don't forget to turn it off when you aren't gaming.

Race Driver GRID Performance Scaling Final Words
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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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