Diamond ATI Radeon HD 4870 1024MB GDDR5 Video Card 4870PE51G

DSCF7021

With new games popping up all of the time, sometimes we need to upgrade our video cards, especially with the latest version of Crysis our now. Crysis fans will want to play Warhead with all the settings maxed to really enjoy it.. but is there a card that can handle Crysis?

Up on the review block today I’ve got a Radeon HD video card from Diamond, this card includes 1gig of ram to be able to easily play the latest games in all of their glory, but can it? I’ve put it up against Crysis and Crysis Warhead in my testing, running at several resolutions to give you an idea of the performance of this great card. So continue on to see the results…

Ok, First up we’ve got the Unboxing video for you, check it out and then continue on for the rest of the review:

Specifications:

Diamond – ATI Radeon HD 4870 PCIE 1024MB GDDR5 Video Card

SKU : 4870PE51G

The Diamond HD 4870 is a magnificent beast. A 956 million-transistor processing powerhouse, a technology statement and dream come true for enthusiast gamers hungry for the fastest GPU ever made. Featuring a 2nd generation unified shader architecture, massive processing power and an unprecedented 256-bit memory interface, HD 4870 will deliver astonishing performance and the richest feature-set yet for a big ultra-high definition gaming experience with all of the bells and whistles turned up to the max. The HD 4870 is quite simply a ticket to the future of PC gaming.

* Play the latest PC games supporting DirectX 10.1, the latest generation of gaming graphics.
* Work & Productivity Application
* Video playback and editing.
* HD video playback (Blu-ray and HD DVD) and editing.
* Everyday home computing applications (such as Vista, photos, standard videos, and games).

FEATURES:
* Superscale unified shader architecture
* PCI Express 2.0 support
* 800 Unified Stream Processors
* 256-bit memory interface
* Direct X 10.1 / Shader Model 4.1 / OpenGL 2.0
* ATI Crossfire X Multi-GPU Support for highly scalable performance
* Up to four GPU support with an AMD 790FX based motherboard
* High-speed 128-bit-HDR (High Dynamic Range) rendering
* Up to 24x Custom Filter Anti-Aliasing
* 55nm process technology
* Game Physics processing capability
* Support for the ATI Radeon DVI to HDMI adapter
* Unified Video Decoder (UVD) for Blu-ray and HD DVD
* ATI PowerPlay energy conserving technology
* RoHS compliant
* Built in HDCP Support

Performance:
GPU : HD 4870
ASIC Core : RV 770
Core Clock : 750 MHZ
GPU Architecture :
BUS : PCI Express x16
Ports : 2 Dual-Link DVI,Video Out [S-Video, Composite, HDTV] Stream Processors : 800
MFG Process : 0,055 µ
Transistor Count : 956 million
Cooling : Active – FanCooler

Memory:
Memory Clock : 900 MHz
Memory Configuration : 32Mx32
Memory Type : GDDR5
Memory Bandwidth : 160.9 GB/sec
Memory Size : 1024MB
Memory Interface : 256-Bit


Standard Slot Solution : DOUBLE
CrossFire : CrossFire X
QuadFire Support : YES
Direct-X : 8.0,9.0,10.0-10.1
Open GL : OpenGL 2.0

Display Support:
HDTV : YES
HDMI : HDMI 1.2 / HDMI Ready
HDMI MODE : Dongle
Native Display Support : 18-, 24-, and 30-bit
3D Resolution : 2560×1600
TV-OUT Resolution : 720

Well since this card is rather large, it does take up two slots, and it also uses two PCI connections, so depending on what else you’ve got in your system you might need to upgrade your power supply for this card. Me personally I run three monitors, which means two video cards. The Diamond 4870 has become my main card for my main monitor and the run two other monitors off of my trusty X1800GTO card, so that means I need three PCIE power connections, I recently got a Corsair 7540TX power supply, which has four so I didn’t have any problems in that area.

The Diamond 4870 can get a bit loud when under load, and over the past week or so I’ve stressed this card a lot! I got Crysis Warhead for review and I played that for hours at a time as high as possible settings, and I ran benchmarks for hours on end, for several days, so it got quite a bit of a workout, more than most people will use the card in a month or more. So yes it can get loud, but that’s relative to me, I personally like my system as quiet as possible, and it’s a bearable loud for me, others most likely won’t care at all about the sound level.

So, before I got the Diamond 4870 I was running two EVGA 8600GTS cards in SLI for my gaming, out of curiosity I ran 3dMark06 to get a comparison:

3dmark06

So you can see it’s a nice improvement over the older generation of cards…

My system is:

EVGA 680i SLI Motherboard

Intel Quad Core 6600 -Non overclocked

4 gigs of ddr2 ram

Vista Ultimate 64bit

and of course the usual stuff, hard drive, dvd/rw..

First up for testing I’ve got Crysis, Crysis Warhead and Lost Planet DX9 and DX10 performance, I ran all tests for all of the games in testing three times and averaged the results out.

Crysis DX9 (1280×1024 and 1600×1200 Resolutions – 16xQ AA used for all testing)

CRYSIS DX9  1280 GRAPH

CRYSIS DX9 1600 GRAPH

As expected when using 1600 Resolution performance does take a hit, but it’s still playable.

Crysis DX10 (1280×1024 and 1600×1200 Resolutions – 16xQ AA used for all testing)

crysis dx10 1280 GRAPH

CRYSIS DX10 1600 GRAPH

Running DX 10 we see a performance hit as can be expected, with average FPS under the optimal 30fps that we would like to see, but it’s easily fixed just by dropping the AntiAliasing down a bit.

Next is Crysis Warhead, I’ve also included 1024×768 Resolutions as well for this testing.

Crysis Warhead DX9 (1024×768, 1280×1024, 1600×1200 8xAA)

crysis warhead dx9 GRAPH 1024

crysis warhead dx9 GRAPH 1280

CRYSIS WAR DX9 1600 GRAPH

Crysis and Crysis Warhead are both hard on graphics cards, obviously running maxed settings at 1600×1200 is a bit out of the question, you can though of course tweak things a bit and get it to work fine for you. Running at 1290×1024 on Enthusiast it only takes dropping the AA down a bit to make the average FPS get above the optimal 30 we’d like to see. It still looks very nice, and is playable.

Crysis Warhead DX10 (1024×768, 1280×1024, 1600×1200 8xAA)

crysis warhead dx10 GRAPH 1024

crysis warhead dx10 GRAPH 1280

CRYSIS WAR DX10 1600 GRAPH

Here is something odd, and I’m guessing it has to do with what Crytek did to optimize the coding, DX10 actually performs a bit better on average than DX9 does.

and here’s Lost Planet, I know it’s a bit old, but it’s graphically intensive, the 4870 has no problems handling it at all. All the setting are maxed for both DX9 and DX10 testing.

LOST PLANET DX9 GRAPH

LOST PLANET DX10 GRAPH

Lost Planet is more than playable at any resolution in either DX9 or DX10…

Now with all of these results, the average we’re looking for is above 30FPS, that’s playable, but of course there are still slow downs at some points in the game, depending what’s going on.

Playable to me means the frame rate NEVER drops below 30fps at all, where the minimum is 30fps or above. To get that requires sacrifice in quality of course, at this point I don’t know many cards that are capable of playing Crysis or Warhead at full settings and never dropping below 30fps.

So if you’re thinking about upgrading go for the card with the higher memory, I was looking at comparisons and it’s about $40-$50 more for the full 1gig from the 512MB version, of course depending on which brand you get.

Images

DSCF7019 DSCF7021 DSCF7023 DSCF7026 DSCF7027 DSCF7029 DSCF7030 DSCF7032 DSCF7067 DSCF7070 DSCF7075 DSCF7077 DSCF7090 DSCF7096 LostPlanetDX9 2008-10-06 14-19-42-99 LostPlanetDX10 2008-10-06 20-23-26-43 Crysis 2008-10-06 20-40-39-09 crysis64 2008-10-06 14-39-19-90 crysis64 2008-10-06 21-25-30-37 Crysis 2008-10-06 15-26-23-26

Conclusion:

The Diamond 4870 1gig Video card is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a high end graphics card, it performs well in both DX9 and DX10 on the latest games with no problems at all.

Yes it can get loud when under load, but it’s relative to what sound level you personally can stand coming from your system, really it’s not that loud at all.

Pros:

-Well made

-Excellent performance in DX9 and DX10 games overall

-Works well under stress

-Adapters included

Cons:

-Can get rather loud when under load

-Takes two slots

-Takes two PCIE power connections

Grades:

Overall:

Design:

Performance: score-10-10

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  • Duminda Ekanyake

    Hi,
    The dimaond web site says 1 PCI E connector is reccomonded and 2 PCIE power connectors needed in the dual mode .Is it OK to run this without connecting to the PCIE power connector cause my PSU does not has PCIE power connectors :(.

  • Josh

    Duminda.. if you don’t have the PCIE power connectors the video card won’t work. It’s the same as if you didn’t have the right connectors for anything in your computer. So you need to get a new power supply.. Probably one that’s at least a 700W, or so. And if it says SLI compliant that it should have the connectors. I got a 500W one that has em. So, you should be able to find them.

    Funny we went from needed no power to them and then I had one that needed a floppy drive power thing.. and then it need a regular molex connector.. then it need 1 PCIE connector.. and now they need 2. Heck.. one day we’re just gonna have to plug it directly into the wall.. lol

    Extreme modding would be if we had to redo our electrical system in our house just to accomidate our computers.

  • Josh

    I don’t own this card. But my guess is if it’s so beefy that it requires 2 of them PCIE power connectors .. My guess is that it wouldn’t work. Need to go find an SLI certfied PSU. At least 700W would be my guess.

  • GG

    well….. the unpacking video says the card is a “Beast” as in it’s physical size and that you need plenty of room in your case for this card to fit….

    ummmm…. so what is the length of this card?

    It would have been helpful to see you pull out a ruler and actually measure the card’s length so as we can have a reference point. :-)

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  • Paul

    Duminda,

    If you dont have the right connectors from your power supply, but do have a beefy enough power supply and therefore think its a shame to replace it JUST for the connectors, you can easily buy the right adapters to change from a normal Molex conenction, to the ones needed for this card. Will work out more cost-effective!

  • Nick

    It’s the same size as the 8800 GTX Ultra

    My 8800 gtx dims are

    9″ long and about 4 inches wide.

    It takes 2 slots and barely fits and I have a 9 bay thermal case

    Thier huge man. My 8800 fried yesterday so I’m buying this bad boy.

  • Jimmy

    I got some on the way… and when I say some, I mean 2. Going to run 2 of these 1024MB suckers linked with crossfire.. and yes, they fit my case next to my X-Fi XtremeGamer sound card.. but there is NO room left at the inn after this!

  • paul

    Nice review, thanks. I’m looking at the 512 mb version on sale for 200 at microcenter today.

    One request: with these long cards, a pic with a ruler would be nice …

  • RADIO16

    DUDE DO YOU HAVE A BRAIN?? YOU DO NOT TOUCH THE BACK OF THE CARD WITH YOUR HANDS BECAUSE THE OIL FROM YOUR SKIN IS CORROSIVE TO ELECTRONICS AND YOU POSE THE RISK OF STATIC DAMAGE—- YOU TREAT THAT CARD LIKE CRAP – TOSSIN IT AROUND – AND JUST BEING A BULL IN A CHINA SHOP- I BUIKD COMPUTERS FOR A LIVING – GAMERS AND IF I EER SAW ONE OF MY PEOPLE DOING WHAT YOU ARE DOING THEY WOULD BE FINISHED – RIGHT THEN AND THERE- BEFORE YOU POST ANY MORE VIDEOS LIKE THIS TO SHOW PEOPLE SOME THING – TRY LEARNING THAT WHAT MOST SEE THEY DO THE SAME — FOR ALL YOU PEOPLE OUT THERE WHO ARE ABOUT TO WATCH THIS GUY —- DO NOT!! – I REPEAT— DO NOT!!! HANDLE YOUR CARD – OR ANY OTHER COMPUTER COMPONENT AS YOU SEE HIM DOING — IT WILL COST YOU MORE HASSLE DOWN THE ROAD- ULTIMATELY WHERE YOU TOUCH ELECTRONICS THEY GET CORRODED – IF YOU DONT BELIEVE IT ——-CONTACT AMD!!!! THANKS FOR READING THIS

  • Kristofer

    DUDE IS YOUR KEYBOARD BROKE? What’s with the caps? So basically what you’re telling me and everyone else is that everyone should wear gloves when handling any PC parts, all of the time no matter what?!?! So what I’ve learned from your comment is that your keyboard is broke, you like exclamation points, you can’t spell and that anyone who handles PC components should use gloves… I guess me and everyone else has been doing it wrong all of these years… well it was certainly nice of you to come and yell at me and let everyone know they’ve been doing it wrong.

  • sharpie

    Ok while the guy above does need to learn how to spell and turn off his caps, he is right. The second I saw you holding the card like that, I cringed. You don’t have to always wear gloves, just handle the card by its edges. Remember, tracings are thin… tracings + oils + heat = Slowly declining performance. Some parts are more vulnerable to oils than others so it might not always kill it… but with an expensive card, why take that risk?

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