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Palit Radeon HD 4870 X2 Videocard Review

Palit Radeon HD 4870 X2 Videocard Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: Today PCSTATS is testing Palit's latest videocard, the Radeon HD 4870 X2, sporting a pair of ATI/AMD's powerful 4870 (Radeon 770) GPUs. This dual slot card is intended to provide gamers with the power of a dual video card Crossfire setup in a single unit, and features a huge 2GB of onboard GDDR5 video memory.
 92% Rating:   
Filed under: Video Cards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Palit Sep 07 2008   Max Page  
Home > Reviews > Video Cards > Palit Radeon HD 4870 X2 2GB

Power Consumption, Thermal Solution, Noise

Videocard Power Consumption Measurements

For a while now, the video card has been the biggest consumer of power in high-end computer systems. The burgeoning market for 650Watt and up power supply units has been driven primarily by this fact, and the trend shows no sign of ending (though the newest generations of high end cards from ATI and nVidia are a little more efficient than their predecessors of a couple of years ago).

As you've probably guessed, the Palit HD4870X2 videocard is not going to be an exception to this phenomenon. With its dual HD4870 GPUs, its going to need power, and lots of it to run correctly.

ATI recommends a minimum of 600 watts for the HD4870X2, we recommend Westinghouse's new personal iNuclear 220 Desktop Power Plant. The device is about the size of a toaster oven, but the 5 gram enriched uranium power source is capable of delivering 2.2megaWatts of electricity by way of the hermetically sealed regenerative turbine system. (ie. no mess, no need for a coolant cooling pond in your back yard). ;-)

The Radeon HD 4870 X2 uses two PCI-express power connectors, an eight pin and a six-pin. The 6-pin connectors, like the PCI-Express x16 slot itself, deliver up to 75W of power. The 8-pin can deliver a whopping 225W (though the card has been designed to work with 2 6-pin connectors as well). This means that we're looking at power consumption numbers up to about 200W! We'll get a clearer look at how much actual power this card will eat in a moment.

Videocard Power Draw Comparisons

Here's how the Palit Radeon HD 4870 X2 videocard stacks up in real life against a couple different cards We have no way of directly measuring video card power draw, so PCSTATS will measure total system power draw and compare that in 3D loaded (max value recorded in 3DMark06) and idle states (at Windows desktop). The power supply used in each test is an A-PFC compliant PC Power and Cooling 750W model.

PCSTATS Benchmark ReportVideocard Power Consumption (Total System Power Draw)
Idle at Desktop Watts Ranking
Palit HD4870 X2 2GB 177
Asus EAH3870 X2 1GB TOP/G/3DHTI/1G/A 153
MSI R3870X2-T2D1G-OC 165
ATI Radeon HD3870 X2 1GB in Crossfire 222
Diamond Viper Radeon HD 2900XT in CrossFire 195
Asus EAH4850 HTDI/512M 120
Asus EAX1900XTX 2DHTV/512M/A 160
Asus EAX1950PRO/HTDP/256M/A 150
nVidia Geforce 9600GTs in SLI 166
Asus EN9600GT Top/HTDI/512M 152
Palit Geforce 9600GT 512 151
MSI NX8800GTX-T2D768E 196
MSI NX7950GX2-T2D1GE 183
MSI NX7900GTX-T2D512E 165
Gigabyte GV-NX76T256D-RH 140
3D Loaded: Watts Ranking
Palit HD4870 X2 2GB 421
Asus EAH3870 X2 1GB TOP/G/3DHTI/1G/A 390
MSI R3870X2-T2D1G-OC 330
ATI Radeon HD3870 X2 1GB in Crossfire 610
Diamond Viper Radeon HD 2900XT in CrossFire 549
Asus EAH4850 HTDI/512M 202
Asus EAX1900XTX 2DHTV/512M/A 333
Asus EAX1950PRO/HTDP/256M/A 252
nVidia Geforce 9600GTs in SLI 313
Asus EN9600GT Top/HTDI/512M 220
Palit Geforce 9600GT 512 221
MSI NX8800GTX-T2D768E 345
MSI NX7950GX2-T2D1GE 315
MSI NX7900GTX-T2D512E 277
Gigabyte GV-NX76T256D-RH 213
(OC) 3D Loaded: Watts Ranking
Palit HD4870 X2 2GB 426
MSI R3870X2-T2D1G-OC 339
ATI Radeon HD3870 X2 1GB in Crossfire 630
Asus EAH4850 HTDI/512M 231

At idle, the Palit HD 4870 X2 videocard and test system draws approximately 177W. Energy consumption jumps a lot when the video cards are stressed under a 3D gaming load in 3DMark06. In this case, the total system power draw for the Palit HD 4870 X2 test platform rises to a peak of about 421W. That's a change of about 245W when this dual card is working at its peak. Keep in mind that some of this additional power is being drawn by the CPU and memory, but it looks like each GPU is approaching 100W of power burn at least.

Consider this as a general guideline, since power consumption will vary with the demands and components of individual systems, but it's fairly obvious from our numbers that the recommended 600Watts of PSU power is a pretty accurate mark, once you add in the variables like additional drives and other power draining peripherals.

Now let's have a look at how Palit's dual-core beast overclocks.

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Contents of Article: Palit Radeon HD 4870 X2 2GB
 Pg 1.  Palit Radeon HD 4870 X2 Videocard Review
 Pg 2.  AMD Radeon HD 4870 X2 Technology
 Pg 3.  — Power Consumption, Thermal Solution, Noise
 Pg 4.  Overclocking the Twin Radeon 4870 GPUs
 Pg 5.  Videocard Benchmarks: System Specs, 3DMark Vantage
 Pg 6.  Videocard Benchmarks: 3DMark 3DMark06
 Pg 7.  DX10 Videocard Benchmarks: Crysis, Call of Juaraz
 Pg 8.  DX10 Video card Benchmarks: Lost Planet
 Pg 9.  Videocard Benchmarks: Quake 4
 Pg 10.  Video card Benchmarks: FEAR
 Pg 11.  Advanced Video card Benchmarks: Crysis, Quake 4
 Pg 12.  Advanced Video card Benchmarks: FEAR
 Pg 13.  Conclusions: Palit's Radeon HD4870X2 Rocks!

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