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Conclusion

We have reviewed a fine version of Radeon HD 4870 from Force3D and checked out the performance of modern $299 graphics cards at a display resolution of 2560x1600 pixels. Our results suggest that the 2560x1600 + 4x FSAA mode has indeed become available for owners of performance-mainstream cards across a number of modern video games. On the other hand, there are still quite a few applications in which the Radeon HD 4870 and GeForce GTX 260 are not fast enough at the maximum resolution of today’s consumer monitors.

Let’s take a look at the summary chart.

As you can see, the Radeon HD 4870 and GeForce GTX 260 both deliver comfortable performance at 2560x1600 with 4x FSAA in seven out of the 15 tests. In the remaining eight games the $299 cards are either barely short of the comfortable level or downright slow. Note also that it is only in rare cases that one of these cards enjoys an overwhelming advantage over the other.

So, if you want to have smooth gameplay in every game in this display mode, you should consider purchasing a multi-GPU solution. Practice suggests that the GeForce GTX 280 is not far faster than the junior model in many applications and thus cannot satisfy a fastidious gamer.

Choosing between the GeForce GTX 260 and Radeon HD 4870 for playing at 2560x1600 with 4x FSAA, the former is better in five applications while the latter, in three. So, the GeForce GTX 260 may be considered a formal leader in this competition although your choice should be based on the particular games you are intending to play.

The Force3D Radeon HD 4870 card is manufactured in full compliance with AMD/ATI’s standards and comes at the official recommended price. It is accompanied with a bare minimum of accessories, particularly without any useful software such as a HD video player. We can recommend this graphics card for people who want an inexpensive version of Radeon HD 4870 and who don’t need the mentioned accessories.

Force3D Radeon HD 4870 512MB GDDR5 Summary

Highs:

  • Excellent gaming performance
  • Wide range of supported FSAA modes
  • Best edge detect CFAA quality in the industry
  • Excellent quality of anisotropic filtering
  • 800 ALU, 40 texture processors and 16 render back ends
  • DirectX 10.1 and Shader Model 4.1 support
  • Fully-fledged hardware HD video decoding
  • High-quality HD video post-processing with scalability
  • Built-in 8-channel audio controller with HD support
  • Sound over HDMI
  • Compact PCB and cooling system
  • Relatively low noise
  • No compatibility issues
  • Low price

Lows:

  • Cooling system works at the utmost of its potential
  • Relatively high power consumption
  • Insufficient video memory for resolutions above 1920x1200 in CrossFire mode
  • Scanty accessories
 
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