Compare that to the battleship engineering that Nvidia employed in its 'GT200' chip, which is used in GeForce GTX 260 and 280. This is a monster of a chip that has 1.4bn transistors on a core that has an area of 576 square millimetres - more than twice the size of RV770. It runs at colossal clock speeds with a core speed around the 600MHz mark, unified shaders at 1300MHz and GDDR 3 memory with an effective speed that's faster than 2.2GHz.
The result is huge performance and a huge power requirement as the GTX 260 draws 182W while the GTX 280 tips the scale at 236W. You’ll need two six-pin PCI Express (PCIe) power connectors for the GTX 260 and one six-pin and one eight-pin for the GTX 280.
Radeon HD 4870: more modest power requirements than its rivals
By contrast, the new AMD chips are far more modest. The HD 4870 gets by on a mere 160W and the HD 4850 only needs 110W, so you need a single six-pin connector for HD 4850 and two of them for HD 4870. That puts far less strain on your power supply and the cooling inside the case of your PC.
The core clock speeds used by AMD are even more extreme than those used by Nvidia so the core of HD 4850 hums along at 625MHz while the HD 4870 buzzes away at 750MHz. The reason for the large differential is that the HD 4850 and HD 4870 cores are identical in all respects other than their speed while Nvidia starts with an über chip such as the GTX 280 and then disables sections to create lesser chips such as GTX 260.
The other difference between HD 4850 and 4870 is the speed of the memory. HD 4850 supports up to 512MB of GDDR 3 that operates through a 256-bit controller at a true speed of 1000MHz to give an effective speed of 2000MHz and a memory bandwidth of 64GB/s. Its big brother supports 512MB of spangly new GDDR 5 which runs at a true speed of 900MHz. However, GDDR 5 has twice the bandwidth of GDDR 3 so the figure is 115.2GB/s and not 57.6GB/s as you might expect from the clock speed.
The result of these architectural choices is that HD 4870 board measures 242mm in length and uses a hefty double-slot cooler that punts the weight to 1.25kg, while the HD 4850 is the same length but uses a single-slot cooler that brings the weight down to 420g. For comparison, both the GTX 260 and GTX 280 weigh 915g and measure 267mm in length.
What were you thinking when you made those graphs?
They tell you nothing, NOTHING I tell you!
And another thing...
Can't understand folks' bleating about the PowerPlay thing. There are so many folk giving it "ooh once again ATi screws us with the drivers, this is a joke, I'm sticking with nVidia at least the drivers work"
1) nVidia are just as bad if not worse for feature support in early drivers - look at the 7800GX2 fiasco.
2) If you want to spend more money on a card that will do the same job and consume more power then go ahead and quit whining
3) Er, wait a few weeks?
The only way I can see the "ZOMG the drivurz are skrewd and now I have to w8 a hole month" argument making any sense is if you're a spoilt kid buying into the latest architecture every time. Even then they don't come out often enough to make much sense out of such pissy bitchy whining.
PS: I'm not an ATi fanboy (until a few weeks ago I was poised to buy a 9800GTX) but I am a big fan of not having to filter out pissy whiny moans whilst reading comments on a mature IT news site.
Come on guys, everyone knows that Crysis is not an accurate Benchmark. It has been dropped from tests on a number of occasions.
Im waiting for anyone to do a fanless 4850 for xFire
Wow... a PS3 fanboi, hey?
I'm not even going to go into it, since so many people already did. I'd just be beating a dead ... vulture?
There is one situation, and one situation only, where Crossfire/SLI come into their own. Big displays. Really big displays. I'm running at 3840x1024, with two 7900GTXs (I'll upgrade before too long). In an ordinary machine, the difference between one card and two isn't worth the money. However, on a really big screen, having 1GB of memory instead of 512MB means something, and HL2: Episode 2 will run at full res on this machine, no worries. It sure as hell wouldn't with just the one card!
I would love to buy a 4870HD (or, as is far more likely, two), but this motherboard is all nVidia chipsets, so I'd need a new system core first.