Performance Summary and Final Thoughts
Performance Summary: We were hoping for a lot from the Diamond Radeon HD 4870 X2 XOC, and for the most part, it delivered. Considering the fact that the card is based on an ATI reference design that is almost a year old, it holds its own at the highest resolutions. The Diamond 4870 X2 XOC may not always be the fastest single-card graphics solution we've tested, but it certainly is a strong performer.
We dig many dual-GPU powered cards since they allow people who don't have CrossFire or SLI capable motherboards to run pseudo-CrossFire or SLI setups. If you have to have the absolute best performance from a single card, then a two-GPU solution is your ticket, and the Diamond 4870 X2 XOC (and even the Diamond 4870 X2) are sure to please. Keep in mind, though, that if you aren't pushing at least 1920x1200 when you game, then a card like the 4870 X2 XOC is overkill in most cases. We say "most cases" because of games like Crysis and Far Cry 2. If those are the games you love, then you probably can't have too much video card power, assuming you have a CPU to balance it out of course.
While playing games with the 4870 X2 XOC, we didn't experience any problems. It wasn't all gravy, though, with the card. Something about it did not get along with our 30" HP LP3065 LCD. The card could not be set to the LP3065's native resolution of 2560x1600. As a matter of fact, it could not be set above 1280x800 when hooked up to the LP3065, but it was able to run at the native 1600x1200 resolution of our 20" LCD. It is indeed a very odd, unique and puzzling problem. We came up with a work around to complete this review, but we are still working with Diamond on the solution. We will update this article if and when we determine a resolution. Besides the odd monitor issue, we also found the noise level of the card to be a little disappointing. Like other 4870 X2 cards, the XOC is usually noticeable above the case fans, especially when the card is put under a heavy workload.
If you do not have a CrossFire or SLI motherboard, are hankering for top notch performance, and have a monitor and CPU worthy of such cards, then your two choices for FPS dominance are the GTX 295 and the 4870 X2. Although many 4870 X2's are $100+ cheaper than the GTX 295, the Diamond 4870 X2 and X2 XOC happen to be a bit closer to the $530 street price of the GTX 295. We think Diamond offers solid products, but it's hard to swallow the higher sticker prices we've seen on the web for them. We need to see Diamond's 4870 X2 and X2 XOC drop closer to the $400 range that so many other 4870 X2's are in currently in order to recommend them. If you have a CrossFire motherboard, then we recommend considering a Radeon HD 4890 CrossFire setup (maybe even with Diamond's own 4890 XOC card) instead of a 4870 X2.
|• Good performance
• Factory overclock
• Two GPUs on one card
• DirectX 10.1 support
• CrossFireX support
|• Dual-slot card|
• 1-year limited warranty
• Sparse bundle
• Little louder/hotter than we'd like
• Odd issue with the LP3065 LCD
• Price a litte steeper than comparable X2's