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Palit Radeon HD 4870 Sonic Dual Edition
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by Rob Williams on October 7, 2008 in AMD-Based GPU

It’s no secret that the HD 4870 is one of the best overall GPUs on the market right now, but with so much selection from vendors, it’s hard to choose the “best” one. Palit has a definite winner with their Sonic Dual Edition though. It’s pre-overclocked, runs 20°C cooler than the reference design and carries no cost premium.

Call of Duty 4

Crysis Warhead might have the ability to bring any system to its knees even with what we consider to be reasonable settings, but Call of Duty 4 manages to look great regardless of your hardware, as long as it’s reasonably current. It’s also one of the few games on the market that will actually benefit from having a multi-core processor, although Quad-Cores offer no performance gain over a Dual-Core of the same frequency.

For our testing, we use a level called The Bog. The reason is simple… it looks great, plays well and happens to be incredibly demanding on the system. It takes place at night, but there is more gunfire, explosions, smoke, specular lighting and flying corpses than you can shake an assault rifle at.

Because the game runs well on all current mid-range GPUs at reasonable graphic settings, we max out what’s available to us, which includes enabling 4xAA and 8xAF, along with choosing the highest available options for everything else.

Once again, Palit’s Sonic card outpaced the stock-clocked model with ease, although unlike Crysis, the differences here actually reach 5 FPS at certain resolutions. For the price, both of the HD 4870’s deliver fantastic frame rates.

Graphics Card
Best Playable
Avg. FPS
Palit HD 4870 X2 2GB
2560×1600, Max Detail, 8xAA
113.024 FPS
Palit GTX 280 1GB
2560×1600, Max Detail, 8xAA
85.440 FPS
Palit 9800 GX2 1GB
2560×1600, Max Detail, 4xAA
76.192 FPS
Palit HD 4870 512MB Sonic
2560×1600, Max Detail, 4xAA
67.928 FPS
Palit HD 4870 512MB
2560×1600, Max Detail, 4xAA
64.825 FPS
ASUS 9800 GTX 512MB
2560×1600, Max Detail, 0xAA
70.363 FPS
ASUS HD 4850 512MB
2560×1600, Max Detail, 0xAA
69.745 FPS
Gigabyte 9600 GT 512MB
2560×1600, Max Detail, 0xAA
48.180 FPS

The setting we found to be most playable is the same one used in our 2560×1600 test. Even with the in-game settings maxed out, the card delivers close to 70 FPS, which is more than enough to offer the gameplay experience we’re all looking for.


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