Alright then, conclusion time. Well, you don't exactly need to be an Einstein impersonator here to draw the conclusion. Pure bliss, pure victory, AMD's empire strikes back ! Let me call it, though both cards will win and lose from each other here and there, the Radeon HD 4870 is in fact competing with the GeForce GTX 260 in performance. Nobody expected that, well I certainly didn't ...
Now even if overall performance of the 4870 would be say 10% slower .. even then still it would win based on the price. AMD has roughly 400 million transistors less in it's 55nm product yet takes the advantage of clever architecture in combo with GDDR5. See GDDR5 has the ability to scale far in its clock frequency, real far; 6 maybe even 7 GHz. It's unquestionably very possible. In our overclock we already reached 4400 MHz, while the software didn't allow us to go higher, the memory likely could have.
So there you have it, if I where in the store right now clearly I'd save myself a hundred bucks and pick the Radeon HD 4870. But .... (there's always a but), to my knowledge GDD5 memory is scarce, and only produced by Samsung. This might be the only factor limiting the 4870. If there isn't enough GDDR5 memory, then there won't be enough Radeon HD 4870 boards to sell. And then price versus demand will kick in thus the prices will rise. At this moment, prices do seem to be stable yet I have seen some vendors ripping off their customers at 400+ USD for this 299,- USD priced product.
Factor that out and the only thing really left to say is that the Radeon HD 4870 is a homerun man. I mean, even NVIDIA staff must be scratching behind their ears right now and say "Oh frack, what the heck happened here".
In the beginning of this article I mentioned that I had reservations about AMD strategy, but in fact they only validated that they are right. The Radeon series 4800 are tremendous sexy products and will guarantee you a lot of gaming performance and quality at a very fair price.
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 an average of 40 frames per second. Crysis performance is on par with a GeForce GTX 260. Race Driver GRID pushed the card towards leading performance and in my favorite new title, Mass Effect the card again was faster than a 399 USD GeForce GTX 260.
If that isn't enough, the card has excellent overclocking potential. Unfortunately our Rivatuner is not yet ready to support these cards just yet, however with the Catalyst Control Center we where able to push the card to the maximum allowed overclock easily, with no hiccups at all we again boosted another 10% performance out of the card.
Well, let me just end this conclusion, this quite frankly is one of the best purchases you can make. And that's all you need to know. If the price is right and gaming is your thing, go for it my man. You'll love it, it's the best value your money can get you.
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