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Sapphire Radeon HD 4850 X2 2GB
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by Rob Williams on January 7, 2009 in AMD-Based GPU

If you game at ultra-high resolutions and want to know where the best bang for the buck can be found in graphics cards, look no further than Sapphire’s dual-GPU HD 4850 X2. At $300, it’s priced-right and offers incredible performance regardless of whether you prefer high anti-aliasing settings or resolutions.

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.

The Call of Duty series is one where ATI’s dual cards work extremely well. It goes without saying… everything else is left in the dust, including NVIDIA’s own dual-GPU 9800 GX2, and also the GTX 280. Of course, “in the dust” may be a poor choice of words given that each card offered extremely good performance.

Graphics Card
Best Playable
Avg. FPS
Palit HD 4870 X2 2GB
2560×1600, Max Detail, 8xAA
113.024 FPS
Sapphire HD 4850 X2 2GB
2560×1600, Max Detail, 8xAA
102.476 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

Although all of our cards performed great, it was only ATI’s dual-GPU cards that managed over 100 FPS while using 8xAA, offering an incredibly crisp, yet fast gameplay experience.


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