Asus EAH4870 Dark Knight Reviewtacohunter52 -
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ATI's RV770 core has been out for a while now, and it has had a pretty good run. For a while the RV770 came out on top in the 4870X2, though of course that was a dual GPU solution. Then again, the 295 is the best card out there, and it's almost two 280's. Asus's EAH4870 or "The Dark Knight," like all 4870s, utilizes the RV770 core. Along with ATI's core, the Dark Knight is adorned with 1GB of GDDR5 memory on a 256-bit bus and Asus's custom four heat pipe cooler. The RV770 core is nothing to laugh at either. It holds a little less then a billion transistors. Sadly though, our Knight didn't go through any "training," as it is stock clocked at 750MHz with a 900MHz memory clock. That's
OK though, because it should give us plenty of room to put the Dark Knight through our own training.
The Dark Knight stuck to the trends in connectivity. It sports two DVI ports and one Component port. The Knight is armed with a DVI to VGA adapter and a DVI to HDMI adapter in order to be prepared for whatever you have to throw at it. As with all 4870s, the Dark Knight has two Crossfire ports, as well as an included Crossfire bridge.
Now let's look at the Knight's suit of armor, aka the heat sink. The Dark Knight's cooler is the same as the one we saw on the ENGTS 250. It has four heat pipes spread to both sides of the card. Unlike many coolers, there is no contact with the memory modules. However, if the EAH4870 is anything like the ENGTS 250, it won't need it. One major problem I had with this card is that the fan has NO shroud. Normally this wouldn't really be a problem, but the fan cable is a bit too close for my liking. If you aren't careful, I can see the wire getting easily eaten by the fan.
The heart and soul of the Dark Knight is located in the center of the card. Of course, it is in the form of an RV770 chip. The eight memory modules are formed in a square around the RV770 chip. Unlike nVidia, ATI went with the newer, faster technology. As a result, the Dark Knight is equipped with 1GB of GDDR5 memory. The EAH4870's PCB is red, and toward the back is the fan's power slot. Also located in the back are the card's two 6-pin power connectors.
Now that we have seen how the Knight is armed and built, let's get it installed.