Motherboard: MSI P45D3 Platinum ( Provided by: MSI );
Processor: Intel Core 2 QX9770 Extreme edition at 3.6GHz ( Provided by: Intel );
Memory: Corsair Dominator 12800 7-7-7-24 ( Provided by: Corsair);
HDD: WD VelociRaptor 300G 10,000RPM ( Provided by: SmoothCreation );
ATI Catalyst 8.12
Vista Ultimate 32-bit
Gigabyte’s card runs at reference speeds so the results are identical to the reference HD 4870 1GB’s scores. In scenarios where there’s no accent on memory, the same card with 512MB of GDDR5 memory scores identical results to those scored by 1GB cards. Some games like FarCry 2 put additional memory to good use, so the 512MB card ends up being slower.
After overclocking Gigabyte’s card to 790MHz for the core and 1100MHz (4400MHz effectively) for the memory, results increased by 4%. This concurs with the mentioned 5% overclock.
Like we mentioned, FarCry2 puts additional 512MB of memory to good use, and we see it beat the reference HD 4870 512MB by as much as 47% at 1920x1200 with filters on. At lower, 1680x1050 resolution, the advantage is just over 20% or 7fps. Overclocking brings a 5% speed increase.
World in Conflict results again confirm HD 4870 1GB’s nice overclocking capabilities, as 5% overclock scales to 5% better performance. Note that the result difference between 1GB and 512MB cards is not as obvious as in FarCry2.
Gigabyte’s HD 4870 appears to like Left 4 Dead, as it scores 80fps at the highest resolution with filters on.
Gigabyte’s card is codenamed GV-R487D5-1GD, meaning it comes with 1GB of GDDR5 memory. The card kept the reference speeds – 750MHz core and 900MHz (3600MHz effectively) for the memory. The card is unique as it brings two new connectors – HDMI and DisplayPort. Next to them, you’ll find dual-link DVI out which makes this card perfect for any type of modern displays.
The card features Zalman’s dual-slot cooling, which does a great job and RV770 core hits 57°C at max, which is about 30°C less than on reference cards. Gigabyte also managed to slash consumption by about 20W. While our testing rig with HD 4870 1GB managed to consume up to 300W, using GV-R487D5-1GD resulted in consumption of about 280W. However, we consider the lack of the fan’s rpm control to be a significant downside, as the fan runs at constant rpm and gets loud in idle mode. However, in 3D mode it’s still not as loud as the reference HD 4870.
HD 4870 prices went down, or will after the GTX 285 launches. Gigabyte GV-R487D5-1GD can be purchased for about €250, whereas the reference 1GB card costs about €210. DisplayPort and HDMI ports apparently come at a price, but if you’re looking for exactly that – then look no further, as this card also features Zalman’s cooling that enables stable overclocking. This card with 1GB of memory is a good choice, but it comes at a higher price than the rest of HD 4870 cards.