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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Assassin's Creed Bioshock
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  • DerekWilson - Sunday, June 29, 2008 - link

    i don't understand what you mean by raw numbers ... these are the numbers we got in our tests ...

    we can't do crossfire on the nvidia board we tested and we can't do sli on the intel board we tested ...

    we do have another option (skulltrail) but people seemed not to like that we went there ... and it was a pain in the ass to test with. plus fb-dimm performance leaves something to be desired.

    in any case, without testing every solution in two different platforms we did the best we could in the time we had. it might be interesting to look at testing single card performance in two different platforms for all cards, but that will have to be a separate article and would be way to tough to do for a launch.
    Reply
  • Denithor - Wednesday, June 25, 2008 - link

    In Bioshock in the multiGPU section the SLI 9800GTX+ seems to fall down on the job. In all other benches this SLI beats out the GTX 280 easily, here it fails miserably. While even the SLI 8800GT beats the GTX 280. Methinks something's wrong here. Reply
  • jamstan - Wednesday, June 25, 2008 - link

    Egg's got them for 309.99. I'm gonna run 2 4870s in CF. I planned on using a P45 board but I am wondering if the P45s X8 per card will bottleneck the bandwidth and if I should go with an X48 board instead? When I research CF all I seem to find is "losing any bandwidth at X8 versus X16 is "debateable". What I'm thinking is that 8 pipelines can handle 4GBs so if I look at the 4870s 3.6 Gbs of memory bandwidth then X8 should be able to handle the 4870 without any performance hits. It that correct or am I all wet? Reply
  • jamstan - Friday, June 27, 2008 - link

    I contacted ATI and they said I was correct. A P45 board only running X8 per card in CF will bottleneck the massive DDR5 bandwidth of the 4870s. If you're gonna CF 2 4870s use an X38 or X48 board. Reply
  • SVM79 - Wednesday, June 25, 2008 - link

    I created an account just to say how awesome this article was. It was really nice to see all the technical details laid out and compared to the competition. I was lucky to get in on that $150 hd4850 price at best buy last week and I am hoping the future drivers with improve performance even more. Please keep up the good work on these articles!!! Reply
  • DerekWilson - Sunday, June 29, 2008 - link

    Wow, Anand and I are honored.

    We absolutely appreciate the feedback we've gotten from all of you guys (even the bad stuff cause it helps us refine our future articles).

    of course we enjoy the good stuff more :-)

    thanks again, everyone.
    Reply
  • D3SI - Wednesday, June 25, 2008 - link

    Long time reader, first time poster

    great article, very informative

    looks like the 4870 is the card to get, cant be beat at that price

    and yes a lot of posters are reading way too much into it "you're biased waaa waaa boo hoo"

    just get the facts from the article (thats what the charts and graphs are for) and then make your decision, if you cant do simple math and come to the conclusion yourself that the $300 card is a better buy than the $650 then you deserve to get ripped off.
    Reply
  • joeschleprock - Wednesday, June 25, 2008 - link

    nVidia just got their pussy smoked. Reply
  • kelectron - Wednesday, June 25, 2008 - link

    a very important comparison is missing. for those who want to go in for a multi-GPU setup, the 260 SLI vs 4870 CF is a very important consideration since SLI scaling has always been better than CF, and the 260 scales very very well.

    in that case, if nvidia responds by reducing the price on the 260, the 260 SLI could be the real winner here. but sadly there were no 260 SLI benches.

    please give us a 260 SLI vs 4870 CF review.
    Reply
  • Final Destination II - Wednesday, June 25, 2008 - link

    Dear girls and guys,

    does anyone know of a manufacturer, who offers a HD4850 with a better cooler? I'm desperately searching for one...


    Please reply!
    Reply

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