Palit Radeon HD 4870 Sonic Dual Edition review
Posted by Hilbert Hagedoorn on: 09/11/2008 01:00 PM [ 0 comment(s) ]
You know, in every foreseeable way this is a classy product. Unfortunately Palit made a couple of decision that if think don't work optimal with my feeling of how a product should be. Don't get me wrong, I just love product differentiation and what they tried to do is very respectable. Yet think along with me.
First off the cooler, surely it cooled well and definitely, a lot better than the reference cooler. But there two design flaws with it. The first, it's just too noisy. If at 75 CM distance you still get a 48 DBa reading from the product, then trust me ... you'll be annoyed as that's the noise level measured even in IDLE status. Secondly, the RV770 graphics processor disposes a lot of heat, it's why you need that big cooler. What you don't want with a dual-slot cooler, it for it to dump that heat inside your PC. If you do not have proper ventilation in your PC, other components will get warmer as well. So you get the idea I guess, though the Sonic cooler it cools well, I very much dislike the high noise levels it makes.
The Turbo-switch. Great stuff ... but realistically ... why a micro-switch and a second BIOS if the overclock is fairly mild ? See, the end-user will always leave it in Turbo mode, there's just no doubt about that. So that's wasting a second BIOS which adds overall additional cost in the price. But hey now, I do see one big advantage here though. If you are a tweaker and like to flash new BIOSes into the card, you'll have a fail-safe. Say you mess up a flashed BIOS, you can revert to the original one with the flick of a switch. And that's really good stuff.
These two remarks aside, it's a Radeon HD 4870 .. and that means value. Let's recap a little, we have been playing Call of Duty 4 at 2560x1600 with 4xAA and all image quality setting maxed out at roughly 40 frames per second. Crysis performance is pretty darn good. Mass Effect, ran absolutely stunning. So yes, we can discuss it over and over again but money wise you just can't go wrong with the Radeon 4800 series, you'll love them without any doubt.
So the bottom line is simple, this is a fantastic card, but unfortunately for my taste the cooler is way too loud, something that Palit definitely will need to address in future products. Performance and feature wise you can't go wrong though, there currently is no manufacturer out there that sells something like this, and that's very commendable.
Thank to Palit for submitting their products to undergo a review. Obviously in the future we'll work closely with them to get some more of their stuff reviewed. Keep an eye out for them, as I expect you'll be hearing a lot more of them this year.
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Every now and then there is a manufacturer out there that tries to do something special with a product. What's different then you likely ask for this Palit graphics card ? Well, the 1st thing you'll notice is a turbo switch, which allows you to select a second BIOS in an overclocked product state, we actually spot a display-port connector and next to that .. the USS enterprise actually was mounted on-top of the GPU as this product my friends, has one big cooler mounted on top of it.