Power Heat and Noise

This is prerelease hardware and software, so we can't really go in depth on these issues until we have something more final. We were told that idle power is not what it will be and so not to test it at all. We did, however look at load power.

Total System Power Consumption under Load 

As for heat, this card doesn't get any hotter to the touch than a single 4870. The HSF is much heavier than either 4870 or 3870 X2, and is very likely the reason the heat doesn't stay in the system.

Hot surface

On the noise front, when gaming it does spin up, but it isn't any louder than the GTX 280 at max fan speed. Again, we'll want to wait until we have final hardware to do quantitative tests on this, but it is nice to see that even the prerelease hardware doesn't go crazy in terms of heat and noise.

Race Driver GRID Performance Final Words


View All Comments

  • Griswold - Monday, July 14, 2008 - link

    So, AMD needs to bring their drivers to the point where all games of the past benefit from multi-GPU? Are you sure we need to play 5-10 years old games (assuming they even run on todays systems) at 5000fps just to prove a point? :P Reply
  • Grantman - Monday, July 14, 2008 - link

    Very interesting to see the 8800gt sli outperforming the gtx 280 in two of the game tests. They can be had so cheap so I'm alwayes interested in info on them. Also pleased to see Oblivion as a test. The 4870x2 will has potential but as you said it really depends on the driver department. If ATI could come out with some solid reliable and fast drivers the 4870x2 should take off. Reply
  • JonnyDough - Monday, July 14, 2008 - link

    THANK YOU FOR INCLUDING OBLIVION! I think that this graphic heavy title does NOT get enough attention sometimes! Sure it's not as new, but it still doesn't run at high FPS with everything on high at a high resolution! Keep including it! Reply
  • B3an - Monday, July 14, 2008 - link

    Will there be a 2GB version of this card???

    Because i've no idea how Derek gets these frame rates at 2560x1600 with only 512MB usable VRAM. I guess once again they are using a special magical version that magically fits all those textures PLUS AA into 512MB @ 2560x1600 res.

    From looking at dodgy charts like this before i got a 9800GX2 and that was a joke for this res, always running into the memory limit, where your'd then go into the realm of the slide show. It wasn't just me btw, every other owner of the GX2 with a 30" monitor i spoke to had this problem. As for GRID that wasn't even anywhere near playable with 2xAA, let alone 4 times @ 2560x1600 - again the memory limit. Yet anand and some other sites have these magical versions....

  • Alexstarfire - Tuesday, July 15, 2008 - link

    It's a 2x1GB card, what are you babbling on about? Reply
  • ViRGE - Monday, July 14, 2008 - link

    "Today's article is merely a preview as R700s won't be officially launched for at least another month, but AMD wanted to unveil a bit of what it's cooking."

    This is starting to drift back in to paper launch territory, which makes me uneasy. It strikes me that allowing early previews is just as much about sinking the GTX 280 as it is showcasing a new product, which leads to the same kind of problems that we've seen in the past with paper launchers. While I love AT's CPU previews, those are both several months in advance and are for a product with a longer shelf life; I'm not sure GPU previews are necessarily as fair.

    I really don't want to see this becoming a habit, with companies previewing products early enough that it's always untenable to buy something because there's something better just around the corner (except that we don't know how far).
  • hooflung - Monday, July 14, 2008 - link

    Meh, Nvidia's been doing it to AMD for the past 18 months. Time for some payback. Reply
  • toonces - Monday, July 14, 2008 - link

    Like the 9800GTX+ preview done 3 weeks ago coinciding with AMD's 4850 launch?

    I don't really have a problem with previews like this as long as AnandTech and the manufacturer can guarantee the GPU/CPU/PSU/WhateverU will be released in reasonable quantity in a reasonable amount of time.

    As long as AMD/NV can avoid another 7900GTX 512MB or X800XT PE paper launch debacle they should be given the benefit of the doubt, for now, IMHO.
  • ira176 - Monday, July 14, 2008 - link

    Wonder when AMD will design dual core gpu with on chip memory controller. That should help significantly shorten the card. Reply
  • n7 - Monday, July 14, 2008 - link

    The huge gain in GRID would be due to the extra vRAM, as it chokes with only 512 MB.

    I am having a hard time believing AT is the only review site to get a 2x512 MB version instead of 2x1 GB.

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