AMD launches HD4870X2 August 12 2008 ~ What to expect
If you've been waiting for a next generation upgrade path for your video card, next week will be interesting as AMD will officially launch their high end HD4870X2 video card. It will cost a good €50 more than NVIDIA's GTX280 but will be much faster in most games which properly support CrossFire. The HD4870X2 will come with 2Gb of memory which will pay off at very high resolutions with high AA/AF. Power Consumption wise don't get your hopes up though as the card consumes as much as 2xHD4870 cards in Crossfire. Compared to the GTX280 it will draw ~100W more from the wall socket, so make sure your power supply can handle the increased load.
When scaling goes well the card can be almost twice as fast as a single GTX 280 and in some rare cases even beat GTX 280 in SLI. If you have money to spare, you can put two of these HD4870X2 in Crossfire and enjoy another potential speedboost, but you'll need Vista to be able to take advantage of this (XP drivers officially only support 2-way Crossfire) but unfortunately currently there are no games which really take advantage of those extra 2 GPUs.
In the future we might see computers with 4xHD4870X2 (4-Way Crossfire) but current drivers do not support this at this point in time. The latest Catalyst 8.8 Beta popped up this week which offers improved Powerplay functionality (lower power usage at idle) but no worth on 4-Way CF.
We have discussed the HD4870X2 before here at Madshrimps as a couple of select publications have received an engineering sample to play around with. They were limited to testing 4 games with them. Luckily among the previews they tested different ones so we get an idea of the performance of the HD 4870X2 in Bioshock, Crysis, Call of Duty 4, World in Conflict, Half Life and Grid.
We compiled an overview of these previews in the link below so you get a nice idea of what to expect of the high-end product launched by AMD next week, ready to take the performance/price crown!
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