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An Early Peek At AMD's Radeon HD 4870 X2

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 5 years ago | from the soon-we'll-be-back-to-external-video-cards dept.

Graphics 148

Dr. Damage writes "AMD has quite a hit in the Radeon HD 4000 series. Coming up next is a product code-named R700, a high-end graphics card based on two 4870s paired together. TechReport has a preliminary look at how the card — to be called the Radeon HD 4870 X2 — performs. Nvidia could have one heck of a fight on its hands."

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148 comments

radeonhd driver? (1)

Evangelion (2145) | more than 5 years ago | (#24184209)

Any idea if the radeonhd driver will be in a usable state for these? Or does nVidia still lack competition on the Linux front?

Re:radeonhd driver? (4, Informative)

MostAwesomeDude (980382) | more than 5 years ago | (#24184585)

By the time they ship, we might have released working 3D drivers for these, through xf86-video-ati and xf86-video-radeonhd. Can't guarantee anything, though, since we don't even have the documentation, but I do know that there's been some NDA work going on already.

And yes, I AM a Mesa dev. :3

Re:radeonhd driver? (4, Interesting)

Evangelion (2145) | more than 5 years ago | (#24184999)

Is there a place that has the current state of the Radeon support in the various drivers lined up that's possible for someone who isn't a developer to make sense of?

When I was putting together my current box last week, trying to figure out which card was better to get was a pain when it came to the AMD hardware. I ended up getting the GTX 260, because it was the best performing card that fit into my budget and I knew it would work fine under Linux.

I couldn't make any sense of the state of the drivers for Radeon hardware. I gathered that the radeonhd driver was the actively developed one, but RV7XX hardware wasn't listed as supported [x.org]. The latest catalyst drivers [ati.com] didn't list support for the 4850/4870 either, so hearing that both drivers have working 3D support for a card not yet released is... not really odd, but the contradictions are symptomatic.

Re:radeonhd driver? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24185707)

By the time they ship, we might have released working 3D drivers for these, through xf86-video-ati and xf86-video-radeonhd. Can't guarantee anything, though, since we don't even have the documentation, but I do know that there's been some NDA work going on already.

And yes, I AM a Mesa dev. :3

wow! sound great
im thinking of going for an ati card for my nect pc, so im excited to know, that ati drivers are finally usefull ;)

Re:radeonhd driver? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24185745)

And yes, I AM a Mesa dev. :3

So that's why you are the most awesome dude.

Re:radeonhd driver? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24185777)

Fix the goddamn intel driver garbling instead of fucking around with ATI 3d acceleration!

Re:radeonhd driver? (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#24184733)

Or does nVidia still lack competition on the Linux front?

They still have Intel to deal with though. Granted, Intel's graphics cards are usually lower end than nVidia and ATI's cards, but even with nVidia you still have to configure things, with Intel its simply install it and it works.

Re:radeonhd driver? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24186233)

Or simply install it and OMG KERNEL PANIC as it is in my case.

Granted, I try to run OpenGL apps through Wine but still.

Re:radeonhd driver? (1)

KaeseEs (1228292) | more than 5 years ago | (#24185373)

If you're going to be using the open-source drivers, there is no point in getting a new expensive card because you aren't going to get decent 3d performance anyways; if you're worried about VRAM, grab the cheapest discrete card you can find, and otherwise stick with integrated graphics.

eat my shorts slashdot !! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24184221)

Eat my shorts slashdot !!

Driver Support (0, Flamebait)

Tragedy4u (690579) | more than 5 years ago | (#24184223)

"Nvidia could have one heck of a fight on its hands."

I have to wonder how much of a fight it will be, in my experience Nvidia's drivers have always been more widely supported by the big games out there and a lot more stable than ATI.

ATI has had a bad history of buggy drivers, so it's my fervent hope that under AMD's helm this frustration becomes a thing of the past.

Re:Driver Support (5, Informative)

hr.wien (986516) | more than 5 years ago | (#24184341)

It's time to drop this old complaint. In my experience this hasn't been the case since around the time the Radeon 9700 was king (in Windows). In fact, with the problems Nvidia has been having on Vista I'd say the opposite is closer to the truth. Driver stability just isn't a problem for ATI/AMD any more.

Re:Driver Support (2, Informative)

repvik (96666) | more than 5 years ago | (#24184507)

While I had no problems running XP or Vista using ATI drivers, I certainly have issues running X on Linux with ATI drivers. X keeps crashing at the weirdest times, whereas I have no problem with NVidia drivers.

Re:Driver Support (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24184649)

I had more trouble getting X to work properly with the ATI drivers than the NVidia drivers, but I've gotten both to work (and stable) recently. My biggest nightmare was when I tried to use an ATI card with Sabayon linux. I could only get half of the graphical features working at any given time, but beyond that I haven't had any issues.

Re:Driver Support (0, Redundant)

Tragedy4u (690579) | more than 5 years ago | (#24185215)

Trounced for sure and two weeks later Nvidia will develop their ATI killer and we'll all toss our $500+ Radeon HD 4000's in the garbage and upgrade, only to discover ATI brings their revolutionary 4200 out a couple weeks after that which kills Nvidia but by then we all discover we have to upgrade our monitors to holographic projectors because thats the only thing that'll handle the retina burning refresh rates.

Trounced is a strong word for performance, you only trounce the competition if you can wallop them with performance AND price and I doubt this will fit most people's budget for a while.

Re:Driver Support (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24184795)

Besides many fixes for specific games, ATI still has issues switching from 2D to 3D mode and with playing bink videos. For Shadowrun there is still no solution available - you get 0.5 FPS in the menu. I wish they would finally release drivers where you can override that stupid feature and put it in 3D mode all the time.

Re:Driver Support (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24184805)

Unless you use their drivers under linux or try to use a "powered by ati" card in windows.

While I'm confident that things will get better under linux open source drivers (because ati's propietary drivers don't work at all right now) I wonder if they would ever bother to catalog and adopt the "magical transformations" that omegadrive's mods perform rendering broken shit into fully working cards for windowsxp.

Re:Driver Support (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24184809)

maybe so, but I had to use ATI for one reason or another for several years, and had always had more stability issues than with nVidia. I've yet to have any stability issues with nVidia (regardless of OS).

Maybe ATi is better, but from 1998-2004 they caused me nothing but nightmares. I don't have the money to waste, so I don't want to move away from what works. I know I'm not the only one. That being said, it doesn't mean ATi is worse than nVidia right now, but once youve been burned by something, you tend to be afraid to touch it again if you have something else that meets your needs just as well, and hasn't burned you.

Re:Driver Support (1)

Tragedy4u (690579) | more than 5 years ago | (#24184993)

I disagree with that. I had to replace my 9700 for Nvidia, it kept crashing my system. I tried two different PC's and even took it back to the store and exchanged it for a new one. ATI's support wasen't very helpful, they just ask for your direct x settings and hope you'll sort it out yourself. I also had a 2 year old predecessor to the 9700 (I can't remember the model number) same problems playing games. I'm a Canadian who tries to buy Canadian products (at the time ATI was Canadian), and both times bee disappointed that I had to replace my cards with Nvidia because their drivers were more stable. As for the Vista stability issues, I shouldn't have to upgrade my entire OS to make my Video card stable (it's bad enough I had to replace hardware). Sure Nvidia is having Vista problems, however they will sort it out and the majority of PC users are XP anyway.

Re:Driver Support (1)

Tanktalus (794810) | more than 5 years ago | (#24185877)

Are you serious? With the fglrx drivers, I get KDE4's composites features. Great. But any time I try to shut down X, I get a hard lock. With the radeonhd driver, I get FEWER crashes (using the git code - the last released version didn't work for me, either), but no composites, and even video is shaky. (AMD64, quad-core, with ATI 3870HD card.)

This is compared to my old nvidia-based P4 where video was *always* rock-solid using the proprietary drivers.

Re:Driver Support (1)

spirit of reason (989882) | more than 5 years ago | (#24187111)

Unfortunately, that isn't true in my case (Radeon HD 3850). 8.6 led to the death of my motherboard--it ran some hardware autodetection program and I guess the pre-selected options were incorrect for my case (northbridge and ide options were selected).

After rebooting, Windblows blue screened shortly after entering the desktop. It kept doing that (and sometimes even rebooted itself without a BSOD), so I tried to install an older driver in safe mode. After the installation failed (the hardware detection portion couldn't run in safe mode, apparently), I tried to install the older driver before it blue screened. Unfortunately, in the middle of installation, it rebooted itself, and the motherboard died. No video, no POST beeps, no power to the southbridge devices.

Some have claimed the BSODs stop when they get rid of the IDE and northbridge options, so I was perhaps too careless. But it's ridiculous that my motherboard failed because of a software driver. I hate ATI's drivers.

Re:Driver Support (2, Interesting)

WiglyWorm (1139035) | more than 5 years ago | (#24184783)

A huge fight. This is being tested with beta drivers and it already far outclasses nvidia in every game I've seen reviewed except crysis, and it's neck and neck in crysis. Nvidia is going to get trounced, that's all there is to it.

Re:Driver Support (1)

Tragedy4u (690579) | more than 5 years ago | (#24185323)

Trounced for sure and two weeks later Nvidia will develop their ATI killer and we'll all toss our $500+ Radeon HD 4000's in the garbage and upgrade, only to discover ATI brings their revolutionary 4200 out a couple weeks after that which kills Nvidia but by then we all discover we have to upgrade our monitors to holographic projectors because thats the only thing that'll handle the retina burning refresh rates.

Trounced is a strong word for performance, you only trounce the competition if you can wallop them with performance AND price and I doubt this will fit most people's budget for a while and "thats all there is to it".

Re:Driver Support (2, Informative)

BrentH (1154987) | more than 5 years ago | (#24187189)

The whole point is that these AMD cards cost from 140 to 200 euro, and still manage to eat nvidia's 500 euro cards. RTFA.

Once again, games do not support drivers. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24185773)

Nor do drivers support games. Drivers support the OS and the API. The only thing a game supports is the API and the OS.

Re:Driver Support (1)

Inglix the Mad (576601) | more than 5 years ago | (#24187127)

ATI has had a bad history of buggy drivers, so it's my fervent hope that under AMD's helm this frustration becomes a thing of the past.

Too true. I won't be the first person to try them out. I remember the old catalyst drivers as being the impetus for my initial switch to Nvidia. I'll wait until the dust settles around the holiday season and see how the other geeks at work do using ATI cards. 2 guys plan on switching to 48xx something. One guy for sure won't, even if Nvidia is slower, because he can't stand ATI drivers.

Excellent! (0)

furrydave (1309299) | more than 5 years ago | (#24184231)

It may finally be time to upgrade my 7950GT...

Competition = good news for the consumer.

Re:Excellent! (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#24184769)

Competition = good news for the consumer.

Not really. If you look at the Linux support for both nVidia and ATI you will find that they are both lacking. And Intel isn't much of competition for them because, even though they are commonly used, they aren't as high-end as nVidia or ATI's offerings.

Competition always good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24184243)

:)

91+ degrees (3, Funny)

egnop (531002) | more than 5 years ago | (#24184271)

Now that's a nice heater for the winter

Heat (2, Interesting)

Dracker (1323355) | more than 5 years ago | (#24184527)

As my present location has poor ventilation, I'm quite keen on how my computer influences temperature. I've noticed a somewhat disturbing trend in both CPUs and GPUs in requiring more and more power and really firing up the heat. It looks like this monstrous card will definitely be a room heater. With the exception of laptops, are there any graphics cards available that won't make my room an inferno when I'm gaming?

Re:Heat (2, Informative)

Tsuki_no_Hikari (1004963) | more than 5 years ago | (#24184885)

eVGA GeForce 8800 GTS 512. It's a wonderfully cool card. Nearly silent if you manually lock the fan at 55% speed. At that speed it idles around 45 degrees with a well vented system. I've honestly never seen it go above 55 degrees even in Crysis. The fan is just that good in it. The air coming out of it does get a fair bit warm when running the most modern games, but I've found that your CPU will be putting out more heat than this thing unless a game is made to tax the VPU THAT much more than the CPU.

I definitely suggest it as a mid-high range card. Plays Crysis at 128x1024 with all settings on high between 25-35 fps. Also, this card works beautifully with an Antec 900 case.

excuse me (3, Informative)

unity100 (970058) | more than 5 years ago | (#24185023)

thats one generation behind. 3870 is its counterpart, and beats it in terms of noise level and energy consumption (hence heat). this is 4870.

Re:Heat (1)

argent (18001) | more than 5 years ago | (#24185507)

With the exception of laptops, are there any graphics cards available that won't make my room an inferno when I'm gaming?/I.

GeForce 2 was pretty good, or maybe a Radeon 8500?

1gb mem (0, Troll)

sYkSh0n3 (722238) | more than 5 years ago | (#24184281)

The board has eight Hynix GDDR5 memory chips per graphics processor, four on the front and another four around back. Those chips are 1Gb each, so each GPU has a total of one gigabyte of memory to call its own. Cumulatively, 4870 X2's effective memory size is still 1GB, since data must be replicated into each GPU's memory space.

8 chips x 1GB each / 2 procs = 1gb per proc huh?

They put this thing together using Bistromathics?

Re:1gb mem (2, Informative)

jandrese (485) | more than 5 years ago | (#24184359)

1GB == 8Gb

Re:1gb mem (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 5 years ago | (#24184887)

Ill choose the 8Gb not the 1 GB

But they are the same!

No 8Gb is more then 1GB as 8 is a larger number then 1.

It is to bad that people just don't want to type out GigaByte and GigaBit. Heck I would like to see GigiByte and GigiBit as well. so you really can tell the difference.

Re:1gb mem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24184429)

It's clear from your subject line and your post that you don't think the capitalization of those letters mean anything. Guess what--they do!

Re:1gb mem (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 5 years ago | (#24184517)

Read the first sentence again: "The board has eight Hynix GDDR5 memory chips per graphics processor".

Eight x 1Gib per GPU = 1GiB per GPU.

Crysis benchmarks are very good (3, Insightful)

unity100 (970058) | more than 5 years ago | (#24184295)

So good that there is no reason to choose the 30 cm long humongous and expensive 280 over cheaper 4870x2. what do you think ?

Re:Crysis benchmarks are very good (3, Informative)

jandrese (485) | more than 5 years ago | (#24184381)

Unless you were buying it today, since only one of those boards can be bought by mere mortals at this point. You are correct however that the G280 is really looking like a Spruce Goose for nVidia right now. I guess the 8800GTX really was a hard act to follow.

Re:Crysis benchmarks are very good (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 5 years ago | (#24184419)

tfa says 1 4870 is strong enough to keep up with 280 under many circumstances. and its priced at $300. thats a good price. i guess 4870x2 will be what, $450 ?

Re:Crysis benchmarks are very good (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 5 years ago | (#24185295)

High end enthusiast cards like this tend to come at high end enthusiast price points. I wouldn't be surprised to see the 4870x2 in the $500-$600 range.

dont think so (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 5 years ago | (#24185529)

very probably be same with the 3870x2 thingy. should be around 200 cheaper than 280. at least early reviews a few weeks ago were saying that.

Re:Crysis benchmarks are very good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24184461)

Am I missing something? Where you are seeing the price?

Re:Crysis benchmarks are very good (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 5 years ago | (#24185119)

price was for single 4870 (not x2). its listed at the bottom of the fa as advertisement.

Quoting from TFA (4, Interesting)

unity100 (970058) | more than 5 years ago | (#24184349)

However, playing with this early sample of 4870 X2 is a vivid reminder that we don't make these choices in a vacuum. The reality is that a single Radeon HD 4870 GPU is nearly fast enough to keep pace with the GeForce GTX 280. Even if you're running a game that lacks a driver profile or simply doesn't scale well with more than one GPU, the 4870 X2 ought to perform awfully well. And when it does get both GPUs going, as our results show, it's by far the fastest single video card we've ever tested. If this is how AMD rolls, it's hard to complain.

thats good news for gamers' wallets.

holy @$#^#^%&# FSM! (2, Funny)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 5 years ago | (#24184525)

FTFA:

That's, erm, considerableâ"beyond the obvious graphics applications, that's the sort of computing power that may one day enable men to figure out what women want.

If you are a guy and are looking at video cards to figure out what women want... errr, you're doing it wrong!

Even if you are referring to CPU cycles, they've tried this once, almost unanimously across the galaxy, 42 is not what women want.

Re:holy @$#^#^%&# FSM! (1)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 5 years ago | (#24184621)

It's funny you should say that.

On several occasions, a high end, overpowered video card is exactly what my wife has been looking for.

Video card prices vs Mac prices (-1, Offtopic)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 5 years ago | (#24184553)

It makes me laugh that people keep saying that Macs are too expensive, then they turn around and say stupid things like "400$ is a good price for a video card".

400$ is 2/3 of the price of a Mac mini.

Re:Video card prices vs Mac prices (1)

wild_quinine (998562) | more than 5 years ago | (#24184587)

It makes me laugh that people keep saying that Macs are too expensive, then they turn around and say stupid things like "400$ is a good price for a video card". 400$ is 2/3 of the price of a Mac mini.

What a stupid argument. If you want that video card you want to play games. If you want a Mac that will play games, it will cost damn near twice as much as a comparable PC that will do so. If all I want is a web browser I can pick one of those up for a couple of hundred dollars.

Re:Video card prices vs Mac prices (1)

jonnythan (79727) | more than 5 years ago | (#24184643)

Please name one person who has said both of these things.

Re:Video card prices vs Mac prices (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24184933)

Yvan256 (722131)

Re:Video card prices vs Mac prices (1)

pxuongl (758399) | more than 5 years ago | (#24184663)

and why even bring up macs in a thread about GPU's? mark the parent as a troll

Re:Video card prices vs Mac prices (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 5 years ago | (#24184719)

All Macs have a GPU. Some have intel, some have ATI, some have nVidia. I don't see how GPUs are a Windows/Linux-only topic.

Re:Video card prices vs Mac prices (1)

Paradigm_Complex (968558) | more than 5 years ago | (#24186473)

That's a sly trick, trolling by accusing other of trolling to throw the mods off trail. Still, I'll bite. The better Mac gaming does, the more games will support OpenGL. From there it's not a huge jump to make games for Linux, or get OpenGL Windows games to run in Linux through WINE with decent performance. (I've actually seen OpenGL Windows games get better framerates in Linux with WINE than Windows.) Mac gaming isn't huge, true enough, but that doesn't mean we don't want it to be. Chip away at MS's grip on the market from every angle.

Re:Video card prices vs Mac prices (3, Insightful)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 5 years ago | (#24184869)

Calling people stupid for buying a 1500$ Mac is okay but calling people stupid for buying a 400$ videocard is troll.

Typical slashdot.

Re:Video card prices vs Mac prices (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 5 years ago | (#24185211)

a $1500 mac is not enough to do the gaming that a $400 card equipped pc does. thats why.

Re:Video card prices vs Mac prices (1)

glwtta (532858) | more than 5 years ago | (#24187015)

a $1500 mac is not enough to do the gaming that a $400 card equipped pc does. thats why.

Right, so the only measure of value is how much "gaming" your hardware will be enough for.

Therefore, typical Slashdot.

(Never mind the original point that you are paying a couple hundred dollar more for the video card just to turn some inconsequential settings from 10 to 11)

Re:Video card prices vs Mac prices (1)

i_liek_turtles (1110703) | more than 5 years ago | (#24185243)

Well, if it were a video card that you bought through Apple, it would likely be marked up to the point where you'd need a mortgage to cover it.

Re:Video card prices vs Mac prices (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 5 years ago | (#24185021)

Changed my password, some fucker was using my account. Sorry for the crap he/she wrote.

Re:Video card prices vs Mac prices (2, Insightful)

bugnuts (94678) | more than 5 years ago | (#24186831)

Changed my password, some fucker was using my account. Sorry for the crap he/she wrote.

Me too!

Man, my impersonator was a real jerk. Nothing but lucid, excellent posts from now on.

Re:Video card prices vs Mac prices (1)

dave420 (699308) | more than 5 years ago | (#24186065)

This card is two cards stuck together, with a shitload of memory, and all the required hardware to link the two together in SLI on the same board. Comparing that to a bare-bones basic-ass mac that can barely play H264 1080p video is laughable.

TFA discusses what women want? (5, Funny)

bugnuts (94678) | more than 5 years ago | (#24184557)

... the X2's 1600 total stream processors have a peak computational rate of 2.4 teraflops. That's, erm, considerable--beyond the obvious graphics applications, that's the sort of computing power that may one day enable men to figure out what women want.

Allow me to note that the very idea of plugging a woman's desires into a matrix processing unit is precisely what women do not want. It simply won't work.

To effectively compute female emotions, you'd need something like a quantum computer where you get all possible results at once (and I do mean simultaneously), usually with lots of yelling, doors slamming, and things being thrown.

Re:TFA discusses what women want? (3, Funny)

pxc (938367) | more than 5 years ago | (#24184677)

To effectively compute female emotions, you'd need something like a quantum computer where you get all possible results at once (and I do mean simultaneously), usually with lots of yelling, doors slamming, and things being thrown.

It's noble of you to suggest, but I don't have what it takes to risk my life for science.

Re:TFA discusses what women want? (1)

pxuongl (758399) | more than 5 years ago | (#24184699)

pfft, a jar with a 50 sided dice in it with some sort of manner to roll the dice and a CCD to read the result would probably best simulate a woman's wants

Re:TFA discusses what women want? (1)

Tuberous (1325699) | more than 5 years ago | (#24184835)

Allow me to note that the very idea of plugging a woman's desires into a matrix processing unit is precisely what women do not want. It simply won't work.

To effectively compute female emotions, you'd need something like a quantum computer where you get all possible results at once (and I do mean simultaneously), usually with lots of yelling, doors slamming, and things being thrown.

With the expected result of there being a "silent treatment?"

Re:TFA discusses what women want? (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 5 years ago | (#24185741)

I suppose that with enough rendering power, we'll eventually get an alternative that frees us from having to worry about what women want.

Re:TFA discusses what women want? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24186069)

How can men figure out what women want, when they don't even know what they want themselves? Considering how often they change their minds on every conceivable subject...bleh, now my head hurts.

Re:TFA discusses what women want? (4, Funny)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 5 years ago | (#24186145)

To effectively compute female emotions, you'd need something like a quantum computer where you get all possible results at once (and I do mean simultaneously), usually with lots of yelling, doors slamming, and things being thrown.

Sorry, it's not that easy, though you're right - it's a quantum effect. Womanly wants operate according to the uncertainty principle. It is possible to figure out what a woman wants, but as soon as you do, it's no longer true. If you think you're about to figure out what she's going to want, and you may very well be right, then you can't know what she wants right now, so you're still wrong.

Re:TFA discusses what women want? (1)

wildem (1267822) | more than 5 years ago | (#24186365)

It's exactly like trying to prove chaos theory , but the sheer act of measuring the computation changes the result, so you're always wrong.

Re:TFA discusses what women want? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24186417)

As a female slashdotter, I take issue with the way you portray... No, wait a second. That's just a female avatar. NM.

htpc usage - audio out (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24184583)

One bonus about these ati HD series cards is they support audio out through dvi. With a dvi to hdmi dongle it will also output 5.1 / 7.1 digital sound. Great for people who are using their pc as a home theatre hub.

Re:htpc usage - audio out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24185943)

This is one of my favorite features. I play games probably 10% of time and watching video (mainly anime) takes about 30% of time.

Going to upgrade my gf7800 to 4870 this fall. This should decrease clutter under my table: I have right now cabling to TV and to hifi receiver.

4800 running too hot? (5, Informative)

Xelios (822510) | more than 5 years ago | (#24184653)

ATI's release drivers this time around were actually really good, minus one small problem. Default fan speed on all the 4800's was set way too low (20% I think) and the automatic fan speed control isn't working. As a result all the 4800's show some really high temperatures (75C+ idle). There's a work around for this until ATI releases a driver update to fix it (or at least let you set fan speed algorithms in the control center):

Make a profile in the Catalyst Control Center, make sure ATI OverDrive is enabled and check marked. Now find the profile files in:

C:/Documents and Settings/{user name}/Local Settings/Application Data/ATI/ACE

Open the profile you just created in notepad and change these lines:

<Feature name="FanSpeedAlgorithm_0">
<Property name="FanSpeedAlgorithm" value="Automatic" /> <--- Change to "Manual"
</Feature>
<Feature name="FanSpeedRPMTarget_0">
<Property name="Want" value="0" />
</Feature>
<Feature name="FanSpeedPercentTarget_0">
<Property name="Want" value="30" /> <--- 30 is quiet, 45+ for gaming
</Feature>

My 4870 still idles at 58C or so, but anything over 30% is just too loud for me to have running all the time. Swapping the thermal paste on the GPU has also produced some good results for people.

Why do you think it is too hot? (5, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 5 years ago | (#24184865)

You have a misconception about what temperatures should be. They should be whatever the manufacturer rates the part at. Not all parts have problems with high temperatures. My 8800 runs at about 90C and has done so for a long time, still works great.

Have some faith in the companies to test this. They have it run hot because it can run hot without ill effects.

Re:4800 running too hot? (2, Insightful)

FreakinSyco (873416) | more than 5 years ago | (#24184877)

You forgot to put a massive disclaimer in that post.

*Doing this mod disables active fan control on your card. The fan will run at the set percentage of its full speed all the time. Setting that number too low can result in overheating and permanent damage to you card. Mod at your own risk.

Re:4800 running too hot? (1)

Fweeky (41046) | more than 5 years ago | (#24184949)

Is it actually a problem? These things are designed to cope with very high temperatures. My 8800GTS 512 idles at 68c, I can't say I'm too worried about it; by the time it dies, it's going to be getting sand kicked in its face by £30 passively cooled cards.

Re:4800 running too hot? (5, Informative)

schnipschnap (739127) | more than 5 years ago | (#24185749)

In fact, the article addresses this issue, see this page [techreport.com]

All of the Radeon HD 4800-series cards we've tested have produced some relatively high GPU temperatures, and this early X2 card is no exception. When we asked AMD about this issue in relation to the 4850 and 4870 cards now shipping, they told us the products are qualified at even higher temperatures (over 100 [degrees] C) and tuned for low noise levels. In other words, these temperatures are more or less by design and not necessarily a problem.

Get ATI Tray Tools (2, Informative)

unity100 (970058) | more than 5 years ago | (#24185091)

Ray Adams is continuing that project. it works great for auto fan speeds. you can even totally ditch catalyst control center and just use ati tray tools.

Re:4800 running too hot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24185345)

ATI's release drivers this time around were actually really good, minus one small problem. Default fan speed on all the 4800's was set way too low (20% I think) and the automatic fan speed control isn't working. As a result all the 4800's show some really high temperatures (75C+ idle). There's a work around for this until ATI releases a driver update to fix it (or at least let you set fan speed algorithms in the control center):

My 4870 still idles at 58C or so, but anything over 30% is just too loud for me to have running all the time. Swapping the thermal paste on the GPU has also produced some good results for people.

No, fan speed is not broken, it was designed that way to keep the card relatively quiet (as you point, increasing the fan speed only 10% makes it uncomfortably loud for you). 80'C is not hot from a silicon point of view, but you don't really want to touch the heatsink until it cools down.

Finally some good competition for nVidia. (1)

cryptodan (1098165) | more than 5 years ago | (#24184791)

Hopefully, now that ATI/AMD has released this card maybe now nVidia will come out with something new.

Best low power card? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24184811)

What is the best low power card out there today? Something with decent performance, but without a fan. I am planning to build an HTPC and have not been keeping up with the latest generation of video cards....

4850 (2, Informative)

unity100 (970058) | more than 5 years ago | (#24185151)

very low power consumption, low price, and disproportionally high power. you can even x2 them and get a very decent gpu power.

~50 watt video card (1)

Molochi (555357) | more than 5 years ago | (#24184905)

Are there any decent video cards that run without adding another casefan and a 1000W PSU to my system?

Re:~50 watt video card (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 5 years ago | (#24185353)

radeon 4850 from the new series. or if you are extremely limited with power, go with 3850 from a generation earlier. these are 55 nm chips, that are very easy on power consumption and heating.

I for one... (1)

Junta (36770) | more than 5 years ago | (#24185761)

I run an 8800GT off a decent 380W power supply. The power on the 12V line is abnormally high for a 380W rating, but still. The 8800GT does require an extra connector. My Antec Solo keeps it respectable at medium fanspeed on the single 12 CM fan. I pummelled it repeatedly over the months and could not get it to hang or do anything erratic, so I'm confident that this power supply is adequate for my setup.

A problem pervading power supply 'requirements', is that no vendor can require that simple rating. The actual requirement is more along the lines of 'this device will need X AMPs on this particular 12V DC circuit, gather all the requirements and sum them for each rail/voltaige'. Instead of doing this, they say 'need 500W power supply', as that gives them some headroom for crappy power supplies and a flexibility of choices of other components. This is one example of why a system OEMer *could* potentially do better than a home builder, as they can extract the hard data from the vendors more readily, and size a power supply correctly for the components instead of having to pull out the overkill parts.

A new King (1)

VoltCurve (1248644) | more than 5 years ago | (#24185037)

With recent hardware troubles, and the strength of the new AMD/ATI offerings, it looks like AMD/ATI are about to take the price/performance/value/l337ness crown back from Nvidia, again. The cycle continues. In 1-3 years, Nvidia will be king again.

Yea but what about memory? (2, Informative)

rgviza (1303161) | more than 5 years ago | (#24186169)

They need to get the memory bus width straightened out. The 4870 GPU does 1.2 tfps(Teraflops), the nvidia 280GX something like 933Gfps, but the 280GX beats it handily in framerates.

This is largely because 280 can get the textures from memory to GPU hella faster (115Gbps vs 141Gbps, 256 bit bus vs 512 bit on the 280) for compositing. As well the 280 has 1GB video memory.

Given equal memory subsystems the 4870 would smoke it. The memory subsystem on the 4870 is a huge handicap.

Unless the upcoming dual GPU doubles the memory bandwidth, it's no contest, the 280 GX wins. I'm hoping they do since I just bought a 790FX crossfire chipset motherboard. I'd be happy with a pair of 512 bit 1GB 4870s. I just hope they make them.

-Viz

Re:Yea but what about memory? (1)

Skowronek (795408) | more than 5 years ago | (#24186397)

You are talking about 4870, not 4870x2. 4870x2 has twice the memory bandwidth of a single 4870 (duh.) and performs accordingly.

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