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Gainward Radeon HD 4870 1GB Golden Sample - 11/20/2008 3:49:20 PM   

Posts: 6810
Joined: 8/1/2006
From: Serbia
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Despite delivering both excellent thermal and gameplay performance on the whole, we can’t help but feel that the Gainward HD 4870 1024MB Golden Sample is a little bit of a letdown, especially considering the £30 price premium it carries over the stock HD 4870 1GB. For that extra fifteen percent of investment the in game frame rate returns are generally around the two to three percent mark thanks to the very conservative core overclock, which is pretty disappointing.

In those games that are able to utilise the more aggressive memory overclock, like Call of Duty 4 and Call of Duty: World at War, you will see a reasonable performance increase of close to ten percent, but sadly such applications are fairly limited, and thus so is the performance advantage offered by this card.

Making the situation even more complicated is the recent announcement by Nvidia that the 216 core version of the GeForce GTX 260 has received a hefty price drop to just around £210 and firmly into the territory of the HD 4870 1GB. While we’ll reserve judgement on the price drop until more retailers get onboard and availability improves, it certainly goes a long way towards complicating things even more in the high end graphics market.

But even discounting the green competition, there really isn’t a lot to recommend this card ahead of a stock HD 4870 1GB which can be had for a good £30 less. The performance improvement offered by the Gainward HD 4870 1GB Golden Sample really doesn’t come close to justifying the extra outlay, and the limited bundle and chronic lack of overclocking headroom don’t help either.

While we love the old school Turbo switch it just ends up feeling redundant and in the case of the dual BIOS, causes more problems than it would ever solve and while it's by no means a bad card, especially when you consider the performance in comparison to the wider graphics market, the Gainward Radeon HD 4870 1GB Golden Sample is simply too expensive to strongly recommend.

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