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.
Note: Each graph throughout our result pages will label the resolution in which the game was run, but omits such data as AA, AF and other graphic-related settings. Select setting information is noted above each set of graphs, but for more a more detailed look, please refer to our testing methodology page, which contains screenshots of each game’s setting pages.
Call of Duty 4
While Crysis has the ability to bring any system to its knees with reasonable graphic settings, Call of Duty 4 is a title that looks great no matter what setting you choose, even if you have it running well! It’s also one of the few games on the market that will actually benefit from having more than one core in your machine.
The level chosen here is “The Bog”, for the simple fact that it’s very intensive on the system. Though it takes place at night, there is more gunfire, explosions and specular lighting than you can shake an assault rifle at.
Our run consists of proceeding through the level to a point where we are about to leave a building we entered a minute before, after killing off a slew of enemies. The entire run-through takes about three minutes on average.
Settings: High details are used overall throughout all tests, although 4x AA is used for our 1920×1200 setting. That AA is removed in our 2560×1600. As we can see in the graphs below, both of those settings are quite similar in performance.
As we expected, our lower-end resolution of 1680×1050 proved a simple task for the HD 4870 X2, and because the game isn’t pushing any sort of boundary, the results are only slightly higher than the GTX 280.
The jaw-dropping begins at 1920×1200 and higher, as seen above. It’s almost difficult to fathom in some regards, because when NVIDIA launched their GTX 280 only a month ago, it became the highest-performing single-card GPU on the market, by a rather significant margin. But here comes along ATI, with a whip the size of cruise-ship rope, ready to put NVIDIA back in their place.
The results here speak for themselves. The HD 4870 X2 offers incredible performance at higher resolutions, while the minimum FPS keeps right in line with our GTX 280.
I’ll reiterate that while I do wish I had HD 4870 performance data, I didn’t have a card on hand in order to accomplish testing in time for this article, unfortunately. Since NVIDIA’s leading GPU of the moment is the GTX 280, our main goal is to compare those two directly.