Diamond Radeon HD 4870 X2 XOC Review

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HotHardware's Test System
Intel Core 2 Quad Powered


Hardware Used:
Intel Core 2 Quad Q9650 (3 GHz)

EVGA nForce 790i SLI FTW Digital PWM
(nForce 790i SLI chipset)

Intel DX38BT
(Intel X38 Express chipset)

Diamond Radeon HD 4870 X2 XOC
Diamond Radeon HD 4870 X2
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 285
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 285 SLI
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 295

Crucial Ballistix DDR3 PC3-16000
(2 X 1GB)

Integrated Audio
Integrated Network

Western Digital 74GB Raptor
(10,000RPM - SATA)


Relevant Software:

Windows Vista Ultimate SP1 (32-bit)

NVIDIA Forceware v182.06
ATI Catalyst v9.4

Benchmarks Used:
3DMark Vantage
Left 4 Dead
Far Cry 2 v1.02
Crysis v1.21
ET: Quake Wars v1.5
Unreal Tournament 3 v2.0



Let's start our round-up battle by examining the test results from Futuremark's latest 3D test suite, 3DMark Vantage. This benchmark does a good job of setting the tone of the relative performance of all the cards we are comparing in this article.


Futuremark 3DMark Vantage
Synthetic DirectX Gaming

3DMark Vantage
The latest version of Futuremark's synthetic 3D gaming benchmark, 3DMark Vantage, is specifically bound to Windows Vista-based systems because it uses some advanced visual technologies that are only available with DirectX 10, which isn't available on previous versions of Windows. 3DMark Vantage isn't simply a port of 3DMark06 to DirectX 10, though. With this latest version of the benchmark, Futuremark has incorporated two new graphics tests, two new CPU tests, several new feature tests, in addition to support for the latest PC hardware. We tested the graphics cards here with 3DMark Vantage's "Extreme" preset option, which uses a resolution of 1920x1200.

When the 4870 X2 was released almost 10 months ago, it was the king of the hill, but it is hard (and unlikely) for any card to dominate for more than a few months, much less 10. The 4870 X2 lost its dominant position in January of this year when NVIDIA unleashed the GeForce GTX 295. You can see this in the 3DMark Vantage results above. Sure, the Diamond 4870 X2 and 4870 X2 XOC put up very nice scores, but they don't keep up with the GTX 295. The GTX 285 SLI setup is even more impressive. You don't get the whole picture, though, unless you consider price. A GTX 285 SLI configuration will set you back at least $650, and that's not taking into account the beefier power supply you'll need. In contrast, the GTX 295 runs about $530 or more while 4870 X2 cards can be found for less than $400. So, keep this in mind as we dive into the test results.

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