Date: February 25th, 2009
Article by: Nathan Glentworth (Owner / Head Editor)
Product was submitted by: Sapphire
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With a stock clock rate of 625Mhz core and 993Mhz memory, I set off to see exactly what I could get out of this card. It took days, but I finally found out that this card doesn't not accept a VPU core overclock other than maybe 10Mhz without some sort of artifact being seen. This in part does make sense seeing we a dealing with two cores that have to work together with no problems. With two cores, you have twice the sensitivity when it comes to the card not liking a raised clockrate. The memory on the other hand could go up to 1140Mhz with no problems. ATI's autotune stated it could go up to 1193Mhz, but after one benchmark and the rampant artifacting, that wasn't the real deal.
The Testbed is comprised of:
Intel QX9770 Extreme Quad Core 3.2Ghz Processor Check Prices
Gigabyte P35-DS4 Premium Motherboard Check Prices
Crucial Ballistix Tracer 2Gig PC-8500 DDR2 Memory Check Prices
Windows XP Professional SP3 Check Prices
Maxtor 250gig SATA-150 HD Check Prices
PCI Express Videocards Benchmarked Against:
Sapphire Toxic HD4850
Sapphire Atomic HD3870 X2
Sapphire Atomic HD4870 X2
HIS IceQ 4 Turbo HD4850
Sapphire Toxic HD4870
Benchmarking Programs Are:
Half Life 2 Episode 2 HOC Benchmark (8x AA / 16x AF)
Far Cry ( 8x AA / 16x AF)
Crysis (8x AA / 16x AF)
Crysis WarHead (8x AA / 16x AF)
Quake Wars : Enemy Territory (8x AA / 16x AF)
Devil May Cry 4 (8x AA / 16x AF)
All tests are done using DX9c seeing we will be running Windows XP for maximum performance. In most games today, there is almost no difference in visual quality that can noticed when you compare DX9c vs DX10.1. DX10.1 involves installing Vista which in itself is a huge performance hindrance that most gamers avoid. Relative performance comparisons can be made seeing the difference will be relatively the same for each DirectX version.
Throughout the testing of this videocard, I will be showing you how this card performed on the system mentioned above using the following programs at 1024x768 and 1280x1024 resolutions. Higher resolutions will be added over the coming months.
Both testing situations will be benchmarked with stock and overclocked settings initialized separately.