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Old August 12, 2009, 05:52 PM
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Default XFX 4870 1GB stock : beware

I'll keep it sweet and simple.

NCIX.com - Buy XFX Radeon HD 4870 750MHZ 1GB 3.6GHZ GDDR5 PCI-E 2XDVI HDCP Video Card - HD487AZWFC In Canada.

Newegg.ca - XFX HD-487A-ZHFC Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Desktop Graphics / Video Cards

See the cooler? It's not the stock cooler. The GPU heatsink and memory / mosfet sinks are married, while the plate is reduced to a thin piece of aluminum that only makes point contact with the memory and mosfets (while the regular one makes contact over the whole plate). You can tell it's not the stock cooler: there is an additional squared off corner on top of the fan.

The result? Close to 70 idle, and ~90 load. This is with 49% fan. (Although it's not directly comparable, as the fan is a different model with apparently better acoustics).

The card squeals. Upon dissection of the card, the two single chokes (for the memory?) are cut down ones, with "R22" instead of the Pulse branding.

So, I bought an ATI stock cooler. Not only is it much quieter, idle temperatures are exactly inline with HWC's review: 55 idle, 80~ at load.

Moral of the story: check the pictures closely.

Another moral of the story: Sometimes a similarly priced Sapphire with a custom cooler should be enough to lure you away from the warranty.
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Last edited by cegras; August 12, 2009 at 06:02 PM.
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Old August 12, 2009, 05:59 PM
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I don't see a picture on NCIX's site.

I'll take XFX over Sapphire anyday. In the worst possible situation, I'd be forced to learn how to install aftermarket GPU fans on that XFX 4870.
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Old August 12, 2009, 06:03 PM
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I added a newegg link, and described it better.

Anyways, in my opinion if a card doesn't die in the beginning, it is unlikely to die in service even with overclocking - it's a bathtub curve, just like harddrives. Therefore I think I should have bought Sapphire, but XFX is fine too. Well .... NOW it is.
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Old August 12, 2009, 06:07 PM
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I have bought many XFX 4870 1GB's for my customers, friends, and family, five in total so far. None of them exhibit the issues(squealing, loud fan, etc) that you mention.

Either way, even if the reduced heatsink and assoiated issues are true, I'll get XFX over any other ATi brand anyday because of their support, warranty, and modder friendly warranty.
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Old August 12, 2009, 06:39 PM
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I guess I'll have to take pictures to prove it.

If you don't force the fan to be marginally quiet it goes dustbuster mode in games. Above ~100 FPS it starts to squeal, but that may just be a lemon on my part. This I don't particularly mind, I just thought I'd mention it though. Then fan is actually quiet at idle though, even though the 'speed' is 49% in games.
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Old August 12, 2009, 06:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cegras View Post
I guess I'll have to take pictures to prove it.

If you don't force the fan to be marginally quiet it goes dustbuster mode in games. Above ~100 FPS it starts to squeal, but that may just be a lemon on my part. This I don't particularly mind, I just thought I'd mention it though. Then fan is actually quiet at idle though, even though the 'speed' is 49% in games.
FYI electronics "squealing" and the fan going up and down in speed is caused by the components temperatures, not FPS...

I believe you on the fact that they may of cheaped out a bit on the heatsink, I'm saying I haven't seen any of the other issue's you've mentioned, and I have put/used the XFX 4870 1GB in a lot of systems.

In fact I have a customers computer thats in for repair(doing some file recovery) sitting beside me which has one installed, I'll do some GPU tests to verify for myself, but I haven't encountered any of your loud fan/squealing mofset issues in ANY of the systems I've used them in.

The great warranty(modder friendly!) provided by XFX offsets any concerns I, or anyone else might have over a bad heatsink.
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Old August 12, 2009, 07:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chilly View Post
FYI electronics "squealing" and the fan going up and down in speed is caused by the components temperatures, not FPS...
That capacitator whine (that's what it is) is normally triggered by FPS and such, for most people it only occurs on menus and other things with high FPS.
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Old August 12, 2009, 07:23 PM
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You probably just got a dud. Try another one with the same cooler and see if you get the same result.
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Old August 12, 2009, 07:36 PM
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It's not really a dud or not, it's just that in the end the XFX heatsink is severely cut down and simply requires more fannage to accomplish worse thermal performance.

Other issues or not are things I can live with.
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Old August 12, 2009, 08:11 PM
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I vouch for XFX b/c my 9600GT didn't come w/ a DVI-HDMI adaptor and the SPDIF cable, but they are willing to send it to my for FREE!!!!
Tell me what other company does that.
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