by Rob Williams on September 1, 2008 in Graphics & Displays
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.
Each graph for our benchmarking results are labeled with the resolution that the game was played at, while omitting secondary settings such as Anti-Aliasing, Anisotropic Filtering, texture quality, et cetera. To view all specific settings that we used, please refer to our testing methodology page, where screenshots show the exact settings used.
It’s not often that a game comes along that truly pushes our hardware to the utmost limit. Crysis is one of those few games, and that will be the case for at least the next year. Don’t believe me? Boot up your top-end machine, max out your resolution and set the graphics to “Very High”. I guarantee tears will be shed within a few seconds of loading a level.
The level we chose here is Onslaught, also known as level five. We begin out in a tunnel, but what’s important is that we are in control of a tank. What could be more fun? Our run through consists of leaving the tunnel and hitting the other side of the battlefield, killing six or seven enemy tanks along the way.
It goes without saying that any level in Crysis would make for a great benchmark, but this one in particular is gorgeous. Using the “Medium” settings, the game looks spectacular and is playable on all of our graphic cards, so we stick with it. Throughout the level, there is much foliage and trees and also large view-distances. Explosions from the tanks is also a visual treat, making this one level I don’t mind playing over and over, and over.
Settings: Due to the intensiveness of the game, no AA is used at any resolution, and the secondary settings are all left to Medium.
Please note the lack of HD 4870 X2 results. The reasons were laid out in that review, as our particular card performed horribly in both Crysis and Half-Life 2. I’m still unsure of the reason my particular driver / card experienced issues while others had none, but I’m still looking into it.
The real power of the card proved itself in our higher resolution tests, and at 2560×1600, it dominated in the battle with NVIDIA’s 9800 GTX. The GTX 280 was impossible to catch, but that’s not surprising given the pricing differences between the two.