If you’ve been holding off on an upgrade for a while, there’s no reason to continue if a gaming addiction is pulling at your sleeve. The selection for mid-range cards right now is ideal, and anything you pick up will deliver good performance for the money. The best card for the buck right now might be the HD 4870, and we take Palit’s version for a spin to find out why.
3DMark doesn’t need to be explained to most anyone, because if you’ve been benchmarking or PC gaming for a while, you have no doubt heard of Futuremark and their tools. Vantage is the newest of the bunch, and its tests are as hardcore as they come. The benchmark properly stresses a GPU, and spits out an overall score for you to munch on.
The overall use of these scores is constantly debated, because real gameplay matters far more than canned benchmarks. However, they are still fun to use for the sake of competition. In no way should they be the sole factor of your GPU purchasing decision, however.
As far as Vantage is concerned, the differences between our HD 4870 and its little brother, the HD 4850, are rather significant. At lower resolution, the scores are not much different compared to the GTX 280 either, but that changes as the resolution increases, as we’d expect.