Page 3: Testing, Conclusion
This section is a work in progress. We ran benchmarks against a Sapphire Radeon HD 4850, but we also wanted to run it against a 4670. The timing didn't work out. Also, these benchmarks are at 1920x1200 which is another thing we wanted to bring to your attention. This card is not targeted for gaming in general. It is targeted for video processing and light gaming. We will revisit the benchmarks with a proper review of the card soon.
Processor: Intel Core i7 CPU 920 @ 2.66GHz, Motherboard: ASUSTeK P6T DELUXE, Chipset: Intel X58 I/O + ICH10R, System Memory: 6GB, Disk: 128GB KINGSTON SNV325S, Graphics: ATI Radeon HD 4850/5450 512MB, Monitor: L24EI
Benchmarking done by the Phoronix Test Suite 2.4.0 on Ubuntu 9.10 x86_64
|World of Padman||291.33||128.93|
|SPECViewPerf 10 CATIA||11.82||10.74|
|SPECViewPerf 10 Maya||24.91||35.99|
|SPECViewPerf 10 Pro/Engineer||10.93||9.1|
|SPECViewPerf 10 SolidWorks||18.65||21.21|
Update: We've managed to run additional testing on the same system with different resolutions and tested this card against a previous generation 4670. All these new benchmarks are at 1440x900, which is what we would expect people to play games using this low end card. The results aren't surprising, though. The 4670 wins in nearly every test by a good margin.
|ET: Quake Wars Demo||58.1||27.13|
|World of Padman||288.16||206.66|
|SPECViewPerf 10 CATIA||13.42||11.19|
|SPECViewPerf 10 Maya||31.13||39.48|
|SPECViewPerf 10 Pro/Engineer||11.95||9.54|
|SPECViewPerf 10 SolidWorks||22.99||23.4|
What we can see, though, is that this card may not be the best gaming card, but it does seem to hold its own for general workstation loads. It isn't out of the question to see low end cards being added as a option into workplace computers as a cheap and worthwhile upgrade over integrated graphics. This card seems to fit the bill nicely.
Remember that we said this was a preview. We are still looking over the card and want to save our final judgment for when we can fully resolve how this card performs. (See next statement) What we can tell you, though, is that this is a good entry level card. The target segment is the $50 mark which is very low priced for a discrete graphics card. It is a step up from integrated graphics, and that's the key here. Once AMD gets their act together and provides proper drivers for GPGPU (through OpenCL on Windows and Linux/Mac), you'll see cards like these fly off the shelf. It combines enough processing power to easily handle 1080p content itself which is exactly what you will be doing with a HTPC. Now gives us the drivers to make this card scream and we'll be happy. The documentation says that AMD will release proper OpenCL drivers this year. Hopefully it is the early part of this year.
Update: Since we've had more time with the card, we can see that the target market is a simple upgrade from integrated graphics. The card is hovering around $50 which is a fair price for this card. Sapphire makes other cards that are slightly more expensive, but offer greatly improved performance. If you're on a strict budget and integrated graphics isn't for you, this card can pick up the slack. If you have some spare cash, look at the 5600 series of cards for a better price to performance mix. We are still waiting for drivers that will unlock the potential of these new ATI cards. Please AMD! Give us better drivers with OpenCL support NOW!
We can't wait, this is going to be a good year for GPGPU and video processing. In fact, everything will get a speed up due to OpenCL, you'll see!
We'd like to thank Sapphire for sending this card for review.