Performance in Synthetic Benchmarks
The Radeon HD 4850 CrossFire tandem sets a new record but doesn’t reach 14,000 points. It scores only 223 points more than the Radeon HD 3870 X2.
The Radeon HD 4850 tandem is inferior to the Radeon HD 3870 X2 in the SM2.0 tests, obviously due to the lower frequency of the graphics cores, but leaves its opponents far behind in the SM3.0/HDR tests, almost notching 8,000 points.
Contrary to what we have come to expect, the Radeon HD 4850 CrossFire successfully competes with the GeForce GTX 280 in the first SM2.0 test that has always been Nvidia’s playground. This is achieved thanks to the superb scalability of CrossFire technology that amounts to nearly 80% on switching from one to two GPUs.
CrossFire technology is only 65% efficient in the second test, but that’s enough to beat the GeForce GTX 280 even though the latter features improved geometry processing. Nvidia’s dual-chip GeForce 9800 GX2 is as fast as ATI’s solution here, though.
ATI’s solutions have always been strong in the SM3.0/HDR tests and the GeForce GTX 280 is routed by the Radeon HD 4850 CrossFire now. The gap is 31% in the first test and 17% in the second test. The single Radeon HD 4870 is competitive to Nvidia’s flagship card in both cases.