Sapphire Radeon HD 4870 Vapor-X 2GB

by Rob Williams on May 4, 2009 in Graphics & Displays

Believe it or not, despite the HD 4890’s launch last month, the HD 4870 is still totally relevant, thanks to ATI’s current pricing structure. There’s a card for every budget, and if you’re willing to spend around $180, you can get hooked up with a 1GB version of the card we’re taking a look at today. It’s silent, keeps cool, and still delivers great performance for the money.

Page 4 – Crysis Warhead

As PC enthusiasts, we tend to be drawn to games that offer spectacular graphics… titles that help reaffirm your belief that shelling out lots of cash for that high-end monitor and PC was well worth it. But it’s rare when a game comes along that is so visually-demanding, it’s unable to run fully maxed out on even the highest-end systems on the market. In the case of the original Crysis, it’s easy to see that’s what Crytek was going for.

Funny enough, even though Crysis was released close to a year ago, the game today still has difficulty running at 2560×1600 with full detail settings – and that’s even with overlooking the use of anti-aliasing! Luckily, Warhead is better optimized and will run smoother on almost any GPU, despite looking just as gorgeous as its predecessor, as you can see in the screenshot below.

The game includes four basic profiles to help you adjust the settings based on how good your system is. These include Entry, Mainstream, Gamer and Enthusiast – the latter of which is for the biggest of systems out there, unless you have a sweet graphics card and are only running 1680×1050. We run our tests at the Gamer setting as it’s very demanding on any current GPU and is a proper baseline of the level of detail that hardcore gamers would demand from the game.

This particular title gave me issues during testing, so the results here may not be typical of what you’d see. In the rest of our games, you’ll see that the latest drivers from ATI ups the performance over older versions, but for some reason, Crysis Warhead for me would simply not function (game would crash upon entering a level) with either the Catalyst 9.3 or 9.4. For that reason, I had to fall back to 9.2.

So, with that, the performance isn’t too surprising, and it happens to be right on par (actually, a smidgen behind) with the 1GB version of the same card. Certainly not playable with the Gamer profile at anything above 1920×1200, and even that resolution is cutting it very close (similar to our CoD: WaW report).

Graphics Card
Best Playable
Avg. FPS
NVIDIA GTX 295 1792MB x 2
2560×1600 – Enthusiast, 0xAA
42.507 FPS
NVIDIA GTX 285 1GB x 2
2560×1600 – Gamer, 0xAA
45.835 FPS
Zotac GTX 295 1792MB
2560×1600 – Gamer, 0xAA
37.97 FPS
2560×1600 – Mainstream, 0xAA
51.283 FPS
2560×1600 – Mainstream, 0xAA
48.873 FPS
Palit GTX 280 1GB
2560×1600 – Mainstream, 0xAA
46.912 FPS
XFX GTX 260/216 896MB
2560×1600 – Mainstream, 0xAA
40.750 FPS
Sapphire HD 4890 1GB
2560×1600 – Mainstream, 0xAA
37.795 FPS
ASUS GeForce 9800 GTX+ 512MB
2560×1600 – Mainstream, 0xAA
34.735 FPS
NVIDIA GeForce GTS 250 1GB
2560×1600 – Mainstream, 0xAA
34.327 FPS
Diamond HD 4870 1GB
2560×1600 – Mainstream, 0xAA
33.849 FPS
Sapphire HD 4870 2GB
2560×1600 – Mainstream, 0xAA
33.634 FPS
Palit HD 4870 X2 2GB
2560×1600 – Mainstream, 0xAA
30.670 FPS
Sapphire HD 4830 512MB
1920×1200 – Mainstream, 0xAA
37.051 FPS
Sapphire HD 4670 512MB
1920×1200 – Mainstream, 0xAA
25.175 FPS

Like our 1GB model of the card, and pretty much the rest of our line-up, moving to the Mainstream profile boosted our performance to a very playable level at 2560×1600. The game isn’t quite as clean looking with the Mainstream, but if you have a 30″ monitor, it’s going to look much better than 1920×1600 with Gamer.

Support our efforts! With ad revenue at an all-time low for written websites, we're relying more than ever on reader support to help us continue putting so much effort into this type of content. You can support us by becoming a Patron, or by using our Amazon shopping affiliate links listed through our articles. Thanks for your support!

Rob Williams

Rob founded Techgage in 2005 to be an 'Advocate of the consumer', focusing on fair reviews and keeping people apprised of news in the tech world. Catering to both enthusiasts and businesses alike; from desktop gaming to professional workstations, and all the supporting software.

twitter icon facebook icon instagram icon