by Rob Williams on August 12, 2008 in Graphics & Displays
AMD has gone too long without a real high-end graphics card to compete with the competition, but they’re done with the pity, and prove it with the HD 4870 X2, which becomes the fastest graphics card the planet has ever seen. It may cost more than the competition, but its end performance easily negates that premium.
One thing I wanted to do was exclusively compare the GTX 280 to the new HD 4870 X2, so to do that, I chose four games (would have been six; the reason is above), to see how the two directly compared. The GTX 280 is the HD 4870 X2’s main competition, so it’s fair.
I should mention also that I had wanted to include results from both Crysis and Half-Life 2: Episode Two, but due to what I believe were driver issues, I was unable. AMD is working to figure out the reason I had such issues, and I will follow-up with results from those two games once it’s been sorted out. For now, I don’t know what to blame, since other editors don’t seem to have the same issues I do. Oddly enough, it’s just those two titles, as performance everywhere else is just fine.
That aside, the four games I ran were first run on the same general settings that I normally run them at during the 2560×1600 runs. The reason I choose such a large resolution is simple… it’s the most demanding. Proof of just how demanding is laid in the fact that while 1920×1200 delivers 2.3 million pixels, 2560×1600 delivers 4.1 million. That is not a small increase.
After those basic tests were done, the Anti-Aliasing and general settings were amped up to much higher levels, in order to see which card could better handle the stress. Please note these settings for the higher setting of each set:
- Call of Duty 4: Settings were maxed, as high as they could go.
- Call of Juarez: Settings were maxed, which a choice of 8x AA.
- ET: Quake Wars: Settings were on high overall. Lighting was ‘Normal’. AA was 8x.
- Unreal Tournament III: Settings were maxed, with 8x AA forced driver-side.
Yes, it goes without saying, the HD 4870 X2 is one heck of a card, and really puts a damper on NVIDIA’s recently-launched GTX 280.
How about similar tests with 3DMark Vantage?
At the absolute maximum, the HD 4870 X2 saw a 57% score increase over the GTX 280. Of course, it’s nothing but a mere over-glorified time demo, but those results are impressive no matter how you view things.