PCB Design and Cooling System
All Radeon HD 4870 based graphics cards are currently manufactured by PC Partner/Sapphire Technologies under ATI/AMD’s supervision. The developer then sells the ready-made cards to the different vendors, ensuring specific quality standards.
It means the Force3D Radeon HD 4870 is no different from the reference card or other vendors’ products. It has a standard PCB, but we’d like to note the distinguishing traits of the 4870 model in comparison with other graphics cards available today.
The ATI Radeon HD 4870 is the world’s first graphics card with GDDR5 memory. Clocked at 3.6GHz and accessed across a 256-bit bus, this memory delivers a bandwidth of 115.2GBps which should be more than enough for the RV770 processor.
The Radeon HD 4870 features a digital power management system that simplifies the PCB design. The RV770 consumes quite a lot of power, so the advanced power circuit is a must.
Although the RV770 supports DisplayPort and HDMI, AMD does not install the appropriate connectors on the reference cards. Most users prefer DVI connectors whereas DisplayPort is yet unpopular. The HDMI interface can be obtained by means of an adapter.
When buying the card, you should be aware that the Force3D Radeon HD 4870 requires that you connect two 6-pin PCI Express power plugs to it. So, you need an appropriate PSU for this card.
The cooling system of the Force3D card is a copy of the reference cooler, which in its turn is based on the cooler of the Radeon HD 2900 XT.