The Witcher

The Witcher continues the trend of the 4870 surpassing the 9800GTX+ by a wide margin and edging out the more expensive GTX 260. It even blows well past its own brother the 4850. Here we see the additional memory bandwidth of the 4870 makes itself very prominent with a 39% boost in performance over the 4850, well beyond just the improvement in core speed. Although both cards offer framerates we'd consider playable at our stock resolution of 1920x1200, the 4870 is definitely the much more comfortable choice, with plenty of headroom for features such as additional anti-aliasing beyond just 2x.

Finally, it's interesting to note that the 4870 and the 3870 X2 are neck-and-neck until we finally crank up the resolution to 2560x1600, at which point the 3870 X2 pulls ahead. This is not what we would have expected. The HD4000 series seems to scale just a bit worse with resolutionthan either NVIDIA's cards or the HD3000 series.


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  • Inkjammer - Wednesday, June 25, 2008 - link

    I have a 9800 GX2 in my primary gaming rig, but I've been debating on what card to drop into my Photoshop/3DS Max art rig. I've been waffling over it for some time, and was going to settle on an 8800GT... but after seeing this, my mind's set on the 4850. It definitely appears to offer more than enough power to handle my art apps, and allow me to use my second PC a gaming rig if need be... all without breaking the bank.

    This'll mark my return to buying ATI hardware since the X800 was king.
    Reply
  • weaksideblitz - Wednesday, June 25, 2008 - link

    this is a welcome development although im only buying a 4850 :) Reply
  • Locutus465 - Wednesday, June 25, 2008 - link

    Very much so, actually from where I sit I think all AMD really needs to do is get a SAM2+ CPU out there that can compete with intel at least similarly to how this card competes with nvida and they'd have one hell of a total platform solution right now. As for upgrading my vid card... I just finished upgrading to the Phenom 4x and Radeon 3870 so I'll be sticking with that for a while. Quite honestly that platform can pretty much run anything out there already as it is, so I'm feeling pretty confident my current setup will last a couple years at least. Reply
  • Lifted - Wednesday, June 25, 2008 - link

    Ditto. If I can get a 4850 for ~$150 or so, that's what I'm doing as well. Reply
  • billywigga - Friday, August 29, 2008 - link

    where are you getting it from best buy or something Reply
  • Clauzii - Wednesday, June 25, 2008 - link

    That leaves 50 for a better cooler ;) Reply
  • Lifted - Wednesday, June 25, 2008 - link

    Is there any reason the first pages of benchmarks have SLI setups included in the charts, but you wait until the end of the article to add the CF? I'd think it would make the most sense to either include both from the start or hold both until the end. Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Wednesday, June 25, 2008 - link

    The original idea was to format it like the 4850 preview, keep things simple early on but offer SLI/CF graphs later in the article for those who wanted them.

    It looks like in the mad rush to get things done it didn't work out that way, I'll see if it's possible to clean it all up but right now we've got a lot of other minor touchups to do first :)

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • TechLuster - Wednesday, June 25, 2008 - link

    Anand,

    I really like your idea of "keeping things simple early on" by only including configurations that us mere mortals can afford at first (say, all single-GPU configs plus "reasonable" multi-GPU configs less than ~$400 total), and then including numbers for ultra high-end multi-GPU configs at the end (mainly just for completeness and also for us to drool over--I doubt too many people can afford more than one $650 card!).

    Anyway, great job on the review as always. I think you and Derek should get some well-deserved rest now!

    -TL
    Reply
  • wilkinb - Wednesday, June 25, 2008 - link

    Then include SLI for the 280... let the consumer care about what the value is or isn't, we all value different things. Provide the costs and the performance (SLI) please.

    Its make this very incomplete to not have included SLI for the 280/260, I for one will more then likely get 2 x GTX280's not all of us worry about a few $$, but if the CF 4870's are that good, then I want to know as I don’t care about the brand and will go with the best performance.

    Can you please include them soon so we can make our own judgements on what's good or not?
    Reply

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