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Palit ATI Radeon 4870 X2

Author:  Jason Jacobs
Date:  2008.08.12
Topic:  Video
Provider:  Palit
Manufacturer:  Palit

Palit ATI Radeon 4870 X2

Raising the Bar:

And its about time too. Nvidia has been allowed to take the market by storm over the last few years and as everyone can agree competition is good for the consumer as well as the market. Well the 48XX series video cards have really brought competition back, in fact, some might argue that its Nvidia's turn to play catch up. The early benchmarks showed the 4800 series to be a powerful contender against the Geforce 260 and 280 and whats better, it did it at a much lower price. The follow up testing on retail cards showed the 4800 series not only landed a hit but really started to swallow up market share from Nvidia. Theres an old saying about money talking thats apropriate here. Consumers vote with their wallets and AMD/ATI knows that. I'm quite sure the ATI/AMD fan boys are going eild over this recent turn of events.

About Palit:

Aside from the whole "bionic frog" symbol of Palit the company was Established in 1988 and is well-known for manufacturing stable, excellent, and innovative graphics accelerators and motherboards. As one of the top PC components manufacturers, Palit continues to provide Palit is headquarter in Hong Kong with factories in Mainland China, and branch offices in Germany and Taipei. Palit offers the full range of current Nvidia as well as ATI cards and does carry the new 4870 X2 card we are speaking about today.

Click on the thumbnail for a larger image.

Market Analysis and the Future:

Let's not get all bent out of shape here though, anyone who expects Nvidia to take this lying down is just lying to themselves. You can all fully expect the next gen Nvidia card is in the works and will more than likely pack a punch. If Nvidia is smart it wil be more than just an revision of an existing chipset as the 9800 series was of the 8800 series. If Nvidia were to release such a product it will garner less than spectacular press and will probably result in them losing additional market share. But this is all speculation, lets see what were have here in actual product today. . . the 4870 X2.

Crossfire in a single card promising nearly double the performance of a single card in certain games and applications while not consuming as much juice as two. Whats not to like about that?

The Palit 4870 X2 is not yet even listed on their website at the time of this writing but we expect that will change quickly enough.

A Quick look at the 4870 X2 Specifications:

Broad Specifications:

Additional Specifications:

  • 956 million transistors on 55nm fabrication process
  • PCI Express 2.0 x16 bus interface
  • 256-bit GDDR3/GDDR5 memory interface
  • Microsoft DirectX 10.1 support
    • Shader Model 4.1
    • 32-bit floating point texture filtering
    • Indexed cube map arrays
    • Independent blend modes per render target
    • Pixel coverage sample masking
    • Read/write multi-sample surfaces with shaders
    • Gather4 texture fetching
  • Unified Superscalar Shader Architecture
    • 800 stream processing units
      • Dynamic load balancing and resource allocation for vertex, geometry, and pixel shaders
      • Common instruction set and texture unit access supported for all types of shaders
      • Dedicated branch execution units and texture address processors
    • 128-bit floating point precision for all operations
    • Command processor for reduced CPU overhead
    • Shader instruction and constant caches
    • Up to 160 texture fetches per clock cycle
    • Up to 128 textures per pixel
    • Fully associative multi-level texture cache design
    • DXTC and 3Dc+ texture compression
    • High resolution texture support (up to 8192 x 8192)
    • Fully associative texture Z/stencil cache designs
    • Double-sided hierarchical Z/stencil buffer
    • Early Z test, Re-Z, Z Range optimization, and Fast Z Clear
    • Lossless Z & stencil compression (up to 128:1)
    • Lossless color compression (up to 8:1)
    • 8 render targets (MRTs) with anti-aliasing support
    • Physics processing support
  • Dynamic Geometry Acceleration
    • High performance vertex cache
    • Programmable tessellation unit
    • Accelerated geometry shader path for geometry amplification
    • Memory read/write cache for improved stream output performance
  • Anti-aliasing features
    • Multi-sample anti-aliasing (2, 4 or 8 samples per pixel)
    • Up to 24x Custom Filter Anti-Aliasing (CFAA) for improved quality
    • Adaptive super-sampling and multi-sampling
    • Gamma correct
    • Super AA (ATI CrossFireX configurations only)
    • All anti-aliasing features compatible with HDR rendering
  • Texture Filtering Features
    • 2x/4x/8x/16x high quality adaptive anisotropic filtering modes (up to 128 taps per pixel)
    • 128-bit floating point HDR texture filtering
    • sRGB filtering (gamma/degamma)
    • Percentage Closer Filtering (PCF)
    • Depth & stencil texture (DST) format support
    • Shared exponent HDR (RGBE 9:9:9:5) texture format support
  • OpenGL 2.0 support

·  ATI PowerPlay

  • Advanced power management technology for optimal performance and power savings
  • Performance-on-Demand
    • Constantly monitors GPU activity, dynamically adjusting clocks and voltage based on user scenario
    • Clock and memory speed throttling
    • Voltage switching
    • Dynamic clock gating
  • Central thermal management – on-chip sensor monitors GPU temperature and triggers thermal actions as required
  • Two Independent Display Controllers
    • Drive two displays simultaneously with independent resolutions, refresh rates, color controls and video overlays for each display
    • Full 30-bit display processing
    • Programmable piecewise linear gamma correction, color correction, and color space conversion
    • Spatial/temporal dithering provides 30-bit color quality on 24-bit and 18-bit displays
    • High quality pre- and post-scaling engines, with underscan support for all display outputs
    • Content-adaptive de-flicker filtering for interlaced displays
    • Fast, glitch-free mode switching
    • Hardware cursor
  • Two Integrated DVI Display Outputs
    • Primary supports 18-, 24-, and 30-bit digital displays at all resolutions up to 1920x1200 (single-link DVI) or 2560x1600 (dual-link DVI)
    • Secondary supports 18-, 24-, and 30-bit digital displays at all resolutions up to 1920x1200 (single-link DVI only)3
    • Each includes a dual-link HDCP encoder with on-chip key storage for high resolution playback of protected content4
  • Two integrated 400MHz 30-bit RAMDACs
    • Each supports analog displays connected by VGA at all resolutions up to 2048x15363
  • DisplayPort Output Support

(A standardized output for display that will be commonplace on all LCD's and Plasma displays going forward)

    • Supports 24- and 30-bit displays at all resolutions up to 2560x16003
  • HDMI Output Support (Non Standardized)
    • Supports all display resolutions up to 1920x10803
    • Integrated HD audio controller with up to 2 channel 48 kHz stereo or multi-channel (7.1) AC3 enabling a plug-and-play cable-less audio solution
  • Integrated AMD Xilleon HDTV encoder
    • Provides high quality analog TV output (component/S-video/composite)
    • Supports SDTV and HDTV resolutions
    • Underscan and overscan compensation
    • MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DivX, WMV9, VC-1, and H.264/AVC encoding and transcoding
    • Seamless integration of pixel shaders with video in real time
    • VGA mode support on all display outputs
  • ATI CrossFireX Multi-GPU Technology
    • Scale up rendering performance and image quality with two GPUs
    • Integrated compositing engine
    • High performance dual channel bridge interconnect
  • ATI Avivo Video Post Processor
    • New enhanced DVD upconversion to HD new!
    • New automatic and dynamic contrast adjustment new!
    • Color space conversion
    • Chroma subsampling format conversion
    • Horizontal and vertical scaling
    • Gamma correction
    • Advanced vector adaptive per-pixel de-interlacing
    • De-blocking and noise reduction filtering
    • Detail enhancement
    • Inverse telecine (2:2 and 3:2 pull-down correction)
    • Bad edit correction
    • Full score in HQV (SD) and HQV (HD) video quality benchmarks

ATI Avivo HD Video and Display Platform

  • 2nd generation Unified Video Decoder (UVD 2)
    • Enabling hardware decode acceleration of H.264, VC-1 and MPEG-2
    • Dual stream playback (or Picture-in-picture)
  • Hardware MPEG-1, and DivX video decode acceleration
    • Motion compensation and IDCT



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