CPU Scaling With The Radeon HD 4870 X2
Posted on: 08/29/2008 05:00 AM
Today we are testing at a range of CPU’s with the new Radeon HD 4870 X2 graphics card, to try and determine what kind of processing power is required to push this new dual-GPU monster to the limit. In total there are 40 CPU configurations tested, including processors from the Intel Core 2 Quad and Core 2 Duo series, along with a number of AMD Phenom X4 and Athlon64 X2 processors…
In the past, when a seriously fast graphics card has been launched, we have taken the time to pair it with a range of CPU’s in order to determine just how much processing power it requires to deliver breath taking frame rates. This was first done using the GeForce 8800 GTX, which reigned supreme well past the typical life expectancy of a graphics card. It was not until the GeForce 9800 GX2 was released that we bothered to look at CPU scaling in video games again.
This latest generation of AMD and Nvidia graphics cards has brought some real monsters to light, such as the GeForce GTX 280 and now the Radeon HD 4870 X2. Originally we had planned to use the GeForce GTX 280 for this latest CPU scaling article. However given how much faster the Radeon HD 4870 X2 is in games that scale well with Crossfire, we decided to use an ATI based graphics card for the first time.
Now because this is primarily a CPU scaling article, we have selected benchmarks that do work well with Crossfire technology. There would have been little point in trying to work out what kind of processor gamers are going to require in order to power something like the Radeon HD 4870 X2 at full speed if only one GPU is working. Therefore the list of games includes Company of Heroes, Devil May Cry 4, Enemy Territory Quake Wars, Supreme Commander, and Unreal Tournament 3.
Rather than focus on the Intel LGA775 platform as we have in the past, a range of AMD Phenom X4 processors will be introduced, along with a number of older AMD Athlon64 X2 processors. The Athlon64 X2 stood out as the number one gaming processor for many years, and it was only once the Core 2 Duo series was introduced that this all changed. Therefore we suspect that many gamers are still fragging away with older Athlon64 X2 processors, so these results should prove useful.
In games such as Enemy Territory Quake Wars, Supreme Commander, and Unreal Tournament 3 for example, the Radeon HD 4870 X2 is hands down the fastest single graphics card in the world right now. So the idea behind this article is to determine what kind of CPU gamers will require to get the most value out of this high-end graphics card. Previous CPU scaling articles have told us that a 3.0GHz Core 2 Duo processor offers high-end gamers the best performance/price ratio, so it shall be interesting to see how much the Radeon HD 4870 X2 takes advantage of raw processing speed.
Printed from Legion Hardware (http://www.legionhardware.com/articles_pages/cpu_scaling_with_the_radeon_hd_4870_x2,1.html)