Sapphire Radeon HD 4870
1,200,000,000,000 calculations per second!
- Good performance for its price, HDCP support
- You're still going to have trouble with Crysis at 1400x960 using Very High settings!
Sapphire's Radeon HD4870 offers an impressive amount of graphics power at a modest price, and while it won't appeal to the power gamer, it's more than enough for most users.
Price$ 448.00 (AUD)
Sapphire's HD 4870 features ATI's brand-new flagship Radeon HD 4800 series chips. The chips are reportedly the first to offer a teraFLOP of computing power.
Despite sounding like a puppet-based sci-fi TV show, a teraFLOP is actually a measure of one trillion floating point operations per second. The Sapphire Radeon HD 4870 is boasting 1.2 of 'em (or 1,200,000,000,000 calculations per second). ATI says that this allows the 4800 series chips to offer twice the performance of the previous 3800 line — which weren't exactly slouches themselves.
Another advance is the first use of GDDR5 memory. This can exchange data with the Sapphire Radeon HD 4870 at up to 3.6Gbps, much faster than the circa2.2Gbps offered by GDDR3 seen by nVidia's mid-to-high-end range (and ATI's HD 4850).
So, the Sapphire Radeon HD 4870 can work faster with textures and other complex, pre-calculated data, all helping to bump up your framerate. As a first-generation 4800 board, the HD 4870 has 512MB of RAM — but we expect to see models with even more memory for gamers soon.
The Sapphire Radeon HD 4870 is a large full-length board with dual power connectors on the end, so you'll need a large case to accomodate it while it takes up two slots. Sapphire's card is bright red and adorned with a Lara-like pistol-packing brunette - but it's as whisper quiet as MSI's board.
Other useful technologies include the Unified Video Decoder 2 to tap the Sapphire Radeon HD 4870's GPU for better HD video playback, and HDCP support for playing encrypted Blu-ray Discs.
Given its price, the Radeon HD 4870 isn't pitched against the most powerful of nVidia's cards. It's natural enemy is the good ol' GeForce 9800 GTX, either in standard or overclocked variants. We tested the Sapphire Radeon HD 4870 against a similarly priced MSI GeForce 9800 GTX OC, and the results were very much in the HD 4870's favour. Using our demanding Crysis test, we saw the Radeon board pull further ahead of the GeForce the more we upped the settings.
At 1280x720 and the High Quality setting, there was little between them — but from 1400x960 up to full-HD 1920x1,200, the HD 4870 was 25-30 per cent faster than the nVidia board. At the Very High setting, the difference increased to around 40 per cent. By 1400x960 though, the HD 4870 wouldn't produce a usable framerate in Crysis (while the 9800 couldn't top 25fps at any resolution at Very High setting).
Join the newsletter!
"I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it."
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 LG E8 OLED TV (2018) and SK10Y soundbar review: If you've been on the fence about OLED, now might be the time to jump it
- 2 Nokia 6 (2018) review: Simple. Solid. Supreme.
- 3 Samsung Q9F Series QLED: Full, in-depth review
- 4 D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 review
- 5 Ring Video Doorbell review
Latest News Articles
- Seagate expands portfolio with BarraCuda SSD and LaCie DJI Copilot
- MSI unveils first custom NVIDIA GeForce RTX GPU Series
- ASUS announces support for 2nd Generation AMD Ryzen Threadripper Processors
- Pre-orders open for 2nd-Gen AMD Ryzen Threadripper
- Third party audit suggests AMD drivers are the most stable
PCW Evaluation Team
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.
Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category
The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
- Canon EOS 1500D: Full, in-depth review
- HTC U12+: Full, in-depth review
- Dell G5 review: Full, in-depth review
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies