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Frontpage Slideshow | Copyright © 2006-2010 orks, a business unit of Nuevvo Webware Ltd.
Wednesday, 01 April 2009 01:00

Sapphire HD4870 with 2GB of memory defines silence - 2. Benchmarking

Written by Sanjin Rados

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Review: Sapphire's silent gem


Benchmarking

TestBed

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 );

Futuremark Tests

3DMark06 reports no performance advantage, quite the contrary; Vapor-X ends up being slower than the reference HD4870 with 1GB of memory, despite running at same clocks. After our overclock to 825MHz core and 1070MHz (4280MHz effectively) for the memory, Sapphire’s 2GB card swiftly outran its competition, including the Geforce GTX 260.

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Futuremark synthetic tests don’t seem particularly fond of our today’s guest, as it ran slower than the reference HD4870 1GB card all the way up to the extreme settings. Overclocking brought the Vapor-X card some 6% to 8% better results. Note that the card was seriously quiet throughout our testing, and it’s one of the quietest, if not THE quietest, cards we’ve tested so far.

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Game Testing

Far Cry 2

FarCry 2 is one of the games where HD4870 with 512MB and the same card with 1GB yield quite different results. Unfortunately, we can’t say the same for the 1GB and 2GB cards’ performance, as the performance difference is practically non-existent. We again resorted to overclocking, which improved results by up to 11%, and it was enough for 30fps at 2560x1600 AA and thankfully enough to beat the GTX 260.

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World in Conflict

World in Conflict is an older game and although it seems to like overclocking, it gives little importance to the size of the frame buffer. Vapor-X HD4870 2GB at reference speeds ran neck and neck with the reference HD4870 1GB, and the performance advantage was again visible after our overclocking.

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Left 4 Dead

Just like the previous two games, Left4Dead cared little about additional memory. It seems like speed is all that matters to this game as Sapphire Toxic HD4870 512 outran most of the HD4870 1GB cards.

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Overclocking


Overclocking Sapphire’s Vapor-X HD 4870 2GB card was similar to most other HD4870 cards we’ve tested so far. 825MHz core has proven stable together with memory at 1070MHz (4280MHz effectively). These 10% higher clocks resulted in more than 10% performance increase in certain tests, whereas the average performance boost amounted to about 8%.

Vapor-X cooling is really a gem, as our overclocking and not even setting the fan to run at maximum rpm couldn’t pierce the low noise levels this baby produces. Idle mode results in the card being completely inaudible, and we could almost say the same for 3D.

Maximum temperatures during operation were 71°C, but if you set the fan speed to 43% (still silent), the temperatures will duck to 64°C. At maximum rpm, the fan will lower the GPU temperatures to 53°C. In idle mode, the aforementioned three scenarios will result in as follows: auto fan mode 60°C, 43% fan speed at 46°C and maximum rpm at 39°C.

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Idle

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Load


Conclusion

Sapphire Vapor-X HD4870 2GB is the quietest HD4870 we’ve seen/heard so far. Vapor-X technology is truly a gem as it provides dead silence in 2D and not-so-dead but still silent 3D mode. This was one of the pros we’ve spotted on this card, but we can’t forget the HDMI out as well as 2GB of GDDR5 memory. Unfortunately, the additional memory didn’t do us much good in our today’s games and synthetic testing, but that doesn’t mean that there won’t be games that will benefit from 2GB of GDDR5 on this card.

Overclocking the Sapphire’s card is an easy and safe task as the cooling keeps the temperatures in check at all times and in all scenarios. During operation, the temperatures hit 70°C, which is much better compared to reference card’s 89°C.

If you crave a quality card that will enable gaming all the latest titles in complete silence, then you can’t afford to pass up on Sapphire’s Vapor-X HD 4870 2GB.

(Page 2 of 2)
Last modified on Wednesday, 01 April 2009 13:55
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