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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  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, June 25, 2008 - link

    Again, try faster CPUs to verify whether you are game limited or if there is a different bottleneck. The Witcher has a lot of stuff going on graphically that might limit frame rates to 70-75 FPS without a 4GHz Core 2 Duo/Quad chip. Reply
  • chizow - Wednesday, June 25, 2008 - link

    It looks like there seems to be a lot of this going on in the high-end, with GT200, multi-GPU and even RV770 chips hitting FPS caps. In some titles, are you guys using Vsync? I saw Assassin's Creed was frame capped, is there a way to remove the cap like there is with UE3.0 games? It just seems like a lot of the results are very flat as you move across resolutions, even at higher resolutions like 16x10 and 19x12.

    Another thing I noticed was that multi-GPU seems to avoid some of this frame capping but the single-GPUs all still hit a wall around the same FPS.

    Anyways, 4870 looks to be a great part, wondering if there will be a 1GB variant and if it will have any impact on performance.
  • DerekWilson - Wednesday, June 25, 2008 - link

    the only test i know where the multi-gpu cards get past a frame limit is oblivion.

    we always run with vsync disabled in games.

    we tend not to try forcing it off in the driver as interestingly that decrease performance in situations where it isn't needed.

    we do force off where we can, but assassins creed is limiting the frame rate in absentia of vsync.

    not sure about higher memory variants ... gddr5 is still pretty new, and density might not be high enough to hit that. The 4870 does have 16 memory chips on it for its 256-bit memory bus, so space might be an issue too ...
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, June 25, 2008 - link

    Um, Derek...">I think you're CPU/platform limited in Assassin's Creed. You'll certainly need something faster than 3.2GHz to get much above 63FPS in my experience. Try overclocking to 4.0GHz and see what happens. Reply
  • weevil - Wednesday, June 25, 2008 - link

    I didnt see the heat or noise benchmarks? Reply
  • gwynethgh - Wednesday, June 25, 2008 - link

    No info from Anandtech on heat or noise. The info on the 4870 is most needed as most reviews indicate the 4850 with the single slot design/cooler runs very hot. Does the two slot design pay off in better cooling, is it quiet? Reply
  • DerekWilson - Wednesday, June 25, 2008 - link

    a quick not really well controlled tests shows the 4850 and 4870 to be on par in terms of heat ... but i can't really go more into it right now.

    the thing is quiet under normal operation but it spins up to a fairly decent level at about 84 degrees. at full speed (which can be heard when the system powers up or under ungodly load and ambient heat conditions) it sounds insanely loud.
  • legoman666 - Wednesday, June 25, 2008 - link

    I don't see the AA comparisons. There is no info on the heat or noise either. Reply
  • DerekWilson - Wednesday, June 25, 2008 - link

    the aa comparison page had a problem with nested quotes in some cases in combination with some google ads on firefox (though it worked in safari ie and opera) ...

    this has been fixed ...

    for heat and noise our commentary is up, but we don't have any quantitative data here ... we just had so much else to pack into the review that we didn't quite get testing done here.
  • araczynski - Wednesday, June 25, 2008 - link more and more people are hooking up their graphics cards to big HDTVs instead of wasting time with little monitors, i keep hoping to find out whether the 9800gx2/4800 lines have proper 1080p scaling/synching with the tvs? for example the 8800 line from nvidia seems to butcher 1080p with tv's.

    anyone care to speak from experience?

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