Palit Radeon HD4870 512MB Graphics Card Review

by Michael "SKYMTL" Hoenig     |     June 25, 2008

A Closer Look at the Palit HD4870 512MB

Well, here it is; the HD4870. Upon first glance this will probably look a lot like the HD2900-series to many of you due to the heatsink’s resemblance to that of the R600 cards but there are some marked differences. The main one is that there is a slight indent in the heatsink’s fan shroud near the backplate of the card.

The sticker which Palit has used is quite generic and doesn’t share any resemblance to the flashy packaging but this is for the best since many of us do not want too much “bling” inside of our cases. Other than that the HD4870 continues ATI’s tradition of red color schemes with a red PCB and heatsink.

On one side of the card there is an inverted Radeon logo which will thankfully be right side up once you install your card in a standard ATX case. AMD also seems to have found a place for their logo…right next to the PCI-E 2.0 interface.

Even though the fan looks remarkably like the one used on the HD2900-series, we can tell you right now that its speed profile is completely different from that dreaded “dustbuster”. Also, like past ATI cards, the fan assembly is made out of transparent red plastic but this time there are metal runners which are attached to the length of the assembly.

Since the HD4870 512MB draws more power than the cards like the HD3870 and HD3850, ATI has included a pair of 6-pin PCI-E power connectors on the back of the card. This placement is quite different as this is the first time we have seen a pair of PCI-E connectors facing backwards. Cards like the 8800GTX and 9800GTX have their power connectors pointed towards the side of the card but since the HD4870 is quite a bit shorter that both these cards, there will be more than enough space between the back of the card and your case to install them.

The two Crossfire connectors are slightly hidden by an overhang of metal which acts as lateral support for the heatsink. Nonetheless, both connectors are easily assessable if you choose to run two or more of these cards in Crossfire.

The backplate of the card doesn’t hold anything new since it has the usual two DVI-D connectors and single TV-out connector. There is also a grille which is used to exhaust the hot air from the card.

On the underside of the HD4870 we can see that there are have been quite a few changes made over the RV670 series in order to accommodate this card’s utilization of GDDR5 memory. The memory needs a different power distribution setup when compared to GDDR3 or even GDDR4 modules so there are additional transistors placed below the ICs on the PCB.

When doing a size comparison to some of the cards that were and are presently in its price range we can see that the HD4870 is about 1” shorter than the 9800GTX but slightly longer than the HD4850 and older HD3870. Overall, the card is 9.5” long.

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