Less is more with AMD's second-ranking 3D graphics chipset
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Another graphics card finds its way out of the ATI labs, but this time with a half-height PCB
It might be the world's first DirectX 11 graphics card. But as Jeremy Laird discovered, AMD's latest pixel pounder is also an old school bruiser.
AMD's latest pixel pounding beast is more of a mild overhaul of an existing GPU than an all new architecture. AMD says the chip itself is new, but functionally it's identical to the existing Radeon HD 4870.
Two graphics chips. One card. And a whole lotta rendering fun: that's the basic philosophy behind the ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2, AMD's latest dual-GPU 3D card. Actually, that's the philosophy AMD has adopted for high-end graphics in general.
We're not big fans of multi-GPU graphics technology here on ye olde TechRadar. Whether you're talking SLI from NVIDIA or AMD's Crossfire, multi-GPU graphics solutions promise much but typically conspire to disappoint. Can the 4870 X2 change things?
Just how much are you willing to pay to have the fastest graphics card? That's always been a tricky question for PC gaming enthusiasts. But with the release of ATI's latest performance graphics chipset, the Radeon HD 4870, it's become a real conundrum. That's because AMD's graphics subsidiary has given up chasing the outright 3D performance crown. It is no longer even trying to create the fastest single GPU on the planet. Instead it has shifted its focus towards efficiency and value for money. As we discovered last week with our first look at the entry level member of the Radeon HD 4800 series, the 4850, ATI has done a stunning job. The 4850 is yours for a piffling £125 but delivers more performance than the fastest single-GPU graphics card available just a few months ago. Say hello to the 4870