Even though you have to pay a premium for the extra performance, the AMD HD 4870 has the potential to revolutionize the $300 segment. It offers tons of performance to ensure all the latest games run silk smooth. If you plan on gaming on your big screen, the card is a good choice too. It supports a digital HDMI connection via the included adapter that also supports sound via HDMI. A novelty here is that 7.1 audio is supported as well, the previous HD 3xxx cards could only do 5.1 audio.
AMD has successfully introduced GDDR5 memory to the graphics market, which is a new generation of memory chips that is used on the HD 4870 for the first time. Compared to previous generations of GDDR memory this new architecture offers twice the bandwidth at the same clock and bus width. This means that AMD achieves over 100 GB/s memory bandwidth with a 256-bit bus while NVIDIA has to go 512-bits for that. Together with the link training features of GDDR5 this enables a much simpler PCB design, resulting in additional cost savings.
Published in: Graphics Cards on 2008-07-07