Gigabyte Radeon HD 4870 GV-R487-1GH-B

The Radeon HD 4870 GPU was launched with 512Mbytes of GDDR5 RAM making it the first GPU in the world to use this expensive memory. Now, card vendors have begun fitting 4870 cards with 1Gbyte of memory to boost performance

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Gigabyte Radeon HD 4870 GV-R487-1GH-B
By  Jason Saundalkar Published  February 2, 2009

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Key Specs

API supported: DirectX 10.1
Connections: DVI x2, S-video x1
GPU: Radeon HD 4870
GPU frequency: 750MHz
Interface type: PCI-E

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When AMD first released its Radeon HD 4870 GPU months ago, it was launched with 512Mbytes of GDDR5 memory. This made it the first GPU in the world to use this very expensive form of memory and now, a few months down the road, card vendors have begun fitting 4870 cards with 1Gbyte of memory to boost performance and Taiwanese-based Gigabyte is no exception.

Our test sample, known as the GV-R487-1GH-B sits in the middle of Gigabyte’s 4870 lineup and other than the memory upgrade, is a bog standard 4870 card. This means the Gigabyte runs its GPU at 750MHz whilst the memory ticks along at 3.6GHz.

Like Asus’ Radeon HD 4870X2 card (also reviewed on ITP.net) the Gigabyte features a dual slot cooler and also draws power from two PCI-E power connectors. That said since this card features only a single GPU, it has far lower power requirements (we recommend at least a 400-watt PSU to run a loaded system with this card).

In terms of performance, the Gigabyte performed as expected; the extra memory gave the Gigabyte a distinct framerate advantage at higher resolutions when compared to 512Mbyte Radeon HD 4870 cards. In Company of Heroes for instance, this card managed framerates of 51.7fps and 54.6fps at 1600 x 1200 pixels and 1920 x 1200 pixels compared to the 43.6fps and 42.7fps Sapphire’s Radeon HD 4870 managed.

Verdict: Though the Gigabyte’s extra memory will cost you, it offers very tangible benefits at high resolutions.

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