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 Juarez
Western FPS games are not common, so when one hits, people notice. Luckily for FPS fans, Call of Juarez delivered great graphics, solid gameplay and a very high difficulty. It’s a great game to benchmark due to its ability to run in DX10 mode, under Windows Vista. This mode is far more demanding than the DX9 mode, but the results are better.
We take the role of Billy Candle in the level we chose, which is rather simple in concept. We begin out at the end of a linear path that we must follow in order to reach a ravine that we must cross.
The goal of the level is to sneak through a farm and ride off with a horse in order to make the jump, but since that process takes far too long, our run through consists of following the exact same path each time, which ends up on the opposite side of the farm near an edge with water below.
Settings: Very high graphic settings are used here, although AA is never used. The fact that the game uses DX10 is enough to drag performance down.
Earlier, I brought up the fact that with such massive GPUs, lower-end resolutions won’t see much of a benefit. However, as we can see with Call of Juarez, there is an occasional exception to that rule.
CoJ, in case you are unaware, is hardcore on graphic cards when in DX 10 mode. As you can see, our high-end GTX 280 card could only muster 33.09 FPS on average. It’s playable, but still not ideal. The HD 4870 X2 on the other hand, gave us close to 59 FPS and was truly the smoothest experience I’d ever imagine seeing in that game. Of course, I do recall stating something similar in the GTX 280 review…
This particular game is optimized for ATI GPUs, but even comparing the HD 4870 X2 to the HD 3870 X2 is staggering. The differences are plainly obvious, which is impressive in itself given that the latter card was only released back in January.