ASUS Matrix & Sapphire Toxic Radeon HD 4870, 4850

Article Index

Test Setup & 3DMark06

HOW WE CONFIGURED THE TEST SYSTEMS: We tested all of the graphics cards used in this article on an Asus P5K3 Deluxe motherboard powered by a Core 2 Duo E8400 dual-core processor and 2GB of RAM. The first thing we did when configuring these test system was enter the system BIOS and set all values to their "optimized" or "high performance" default settings. Then we manually configured the memory timings and disabled any integrated peripherals that wouldn't be put to use. The hard drive was then formatted, and Windows Vista Ultimate SP1 was installed. When the installation was complete we fully updated the OS, and installed the latest DX10 redist and various hotfixes, along with the necessary drivers and applications.

HotHardware's Test Systems
Intel and NVIDIA Powered

Hardware Used:
Core 2 Duo E8400 (3.0GHz)

Asus P5K3 Deluxe
(Intel P35 Express chipset)

Radeon HD 4870 512MB
Radeon HD 4850 512MB
GeForce GTX 280 (1GB)
ASUS ROG EAH4870 Matrix (512MB)
ASUS ROG EAH4850 Matrix (512MB)
Sapphire HD 4870 1GB TOXIC

2048MB Patriot Viper DDR3-1333 C7
(2 X 1GB)

Integrated Audio
Integrated Network

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

Relevant Software:
Windows Vista Ultimate SP1 (32-bit)
DirectX November 2008 Redist

NVIDIA Forceware v181.20
ATI Catalyst v8.12b

Benchmarks Used:
3DMark Vantage v1.0.1

3DMark06 v110

Unreal Tournament 3 v1.3*
Crysis v1.21*
Enemy Territory: Quake Wars v1.5*
FarCry 2

Company of Heroes
Half-Life 2: Episode 2*

* - Custom Benchmark

Futuremark 3DMark06
Synthetic DirectX Gaming


3DMark06 is the tried and tested veteran member of the 3DMark franchise. Although it has been superceded by 3DMark Vantage, it still provides relevent benchmark results. 3DMark06 ups the number of shaders to 512 and also employs lighting and there is extensive use of soft shadows. Note that in this version of the benchmark, SM 2.0 and HDR / SM3.0 tests are weighted and the CPU score is factored into the final tally as well.

In our first benchmark, 3DMark06, we get our first taste of how these cards perform. The ASUS matrix 4850 sticks very close to the score posted by the stock reference 4850 since they are of similar clock speed. However, both the Matrix and Toxic 4870s have left the reference model in the dust thanks to factory overclocking.

The shader 2.0 and 3.0/HDR test results give us a better breakdown of how performance differed between the cards. It's worth noting here that although the GeForce GTX 280 was faster overall, it was only due to better performance in shader 2.0. In the shader 3.0 and HDR tests, the 4870's performed about par with the GTX 280.

Related content