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.
The Unreal series has always been one that’s pushed graphics to the next level. Surprisingly, though, as the graphics improve, the game still remains playable on a reasonable machine, with good FPS. How often is that the case?
“Gateway” is our level of choice for a few different reasons. The first and most notable is the fact that it’s a great level, and chock-full of eye-candy. The entire level consists of three different areas that can be accessed through portals, or “gateways”. The area we begin out in is a snow-filled wonderland, similar to Lost Planet’s winter levels, with a futuristic city and waterfall area also being accessible.
Settings: All in-game settings are maxed out, with physics and smooth frame rate disabled.
The tradition continues with our UT III results. I’ll argue that this game doesn’t need ultra-high frame rates to remain playable, and anything around 60FPS is going to give you nice gameplay. But anything higher makes the game even more fluid, and the differences seen between our top two cards is, to sound redundant, incredible.
I don’t recall a time in GPU history when we’ve seen such a rapid progression of things. The 9800 GTX only came out in the spring, and months later the GTX 280 came and trumped it. A month later, ATI demands respect, and they certainly have it.