1 - A Ruby Introduction
|Product:||Radeon 4850 & 4870|
|Manufacturer:||Force3D / PowerColor|
It's real funny how in less than two weeks the entire dynamics of the graphics card industry can change. Obviously I'm talking about AMDs magnificent Radeon Series 4800 cards. It was like, whoop there it is ... and started offering tremendous performance for the money you have to pay for it.
However since these cards offer so much value, it might even be interesting to pair them in CrossfireX mode. See much like NVIDIA's SLI offerings, AMD's ATI solution can be paired and matched as well.
So pretty much today we'll place several cards together in CrossfireX mode, first the cards paired (two) and then we'll for the sake of it see if we can pair three cards CrossfireX mixed, meaning 2x 4870 and one 4850.
Nothing fancy or too techy; we'll just dive straight in, show performance results, and see if ,for example, two Radeon HD 4850 cards at a total price of 399 USD can beat a 649 USD GeForce GTX 280. Stuff like that is just incredible fun to do, as well as being really interesting. [Ed - And help the audience determine their next graphics solution perhaps!?]
Obviously (and I hate to use that word, yet it is the reality) with multi-GPU setups, you are bound to run into problems as well. We surely had them as for example Frontlines would not even start, Crysis whatever we tried did not show performance improvements. Yet the rest .. dang .. that was showing really good scaling.
Now before you start to wonder; for our test we also tried to mix Series 3000 with series 4000 cards as well. After trying three sets of drivers we just had to accept that it was not (yet) possible. ATI however is working on good compatible drivers, and the in the future you should be able to mix these cards. While doing this review we tried mixing 2x 4870 with one 3850 and even a 3870 X2. The driver would simply spit out that combo and shout out, Hilbert ... no way José ! So we stuck to series 4800 cards. But equal series 4800 cards in crossfire equals one mean bitching gaming machine, that's a fact we'll prove today. Have a look at some of the cards tested today, and then head on over to the next page please.