Visiontek Radeon HD 4870 overview

With the recent introduction of the Radeon HD 4000 series, graphics card prices have come down so much that it is now possible to get a very powerful gaming solution for just $ 200.

A month ago we tested the Radeon HD 4850, the value proposition in the new ATI range, and in short, we absolutely loved it. Since then, Nvidia has reconfigured the pricing scheme so you can buy either a GeForce 9800 GTX or a Radeon HD 4850 for just $ 200 (the 9800 GTX was previously over $ 300).

However, if you can afford a little more, AMD also has the Radeon HD 4870, which offers improved performance on a single GPU for around $ 285. The Radeon HD 3870 X2 and GeForce GTX 260 graphics cards compete in the same price range, while the GeForce 9800 GX2 and GeForce GTX 280 cost considerably more.

Today we're going to try the Visiontek Radeon HD 4870 card and compare it to all of these high-end graphics cards to see how it stacks up in terms of value and performance.

The technical specifications of the Radeon HD 4870 are very impressive. The GPU has a staggering 800 SPUs (160 x 5), 40 TAUs and 16 ROPs, making it an extremely complex unit. Compare this to the 320 SPUs (64 x 5), 16 TAUs, and 16 ROPs of the previous generation Radeon HD 3870 and you can begin to understand the number of changes AMD has made to this new line of graphics. The Radeon HD 4870 has a memory bandwidth of 115.2 GB / s, while the older Radeon HD 3870 was limited to 57.6 GB / s.

This huge increase in memory bandwidth is the result of using the latest GDDR5 memory, which is clocked at 900 MHz (1.8 GHz x 2 = 3.6 Gbit / s) while the GPU core runs at 750 MHz (1.2 TFLOP's computing power works (compared to 625 MHz) clock rate of the Radeon HD 4850. In addition to the obvious advantage in terms of core speed and memory specification, the GPUs Radeon HD 4870 and 4850 have similar specifications.

The Radeon HD 4870 GPU was created using a 55 nm design process and has a 256-bit memory bus. Like the older Radeon HD 3000 series, the new 4000 series uses the PCI Express 2.0 bus, although it is compatible with PCIe 1.0 motherboards. Unlike the latest GeForce versions, the Radeon HD 4000 series has full support for DirectX 10.1, which could come in handy in the future. You can also expect 1 GB and 512 MB versions of the Radeon HD 4870. Today's Visiontek example has 512MB of built-in GDDR5 memory.

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