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Asus EAH4870 Dark Knight Review

Price: $224.99


There was once a time where kings ruled the land. Together a king and his knights would destroy their enemies and conquer new lands. Sadly, those days are gone, but one knight still lives on: The Dark Knight. No, I'm not talking about Batman. I'm talking about Asus's Dark Knight video card series. If nVidia is one kingdom then ATI is another land all together. The two are in a desperate fight to take over the territory and maintain control. As soon as one is able to hold any ground, the other sends another strike.

We just recently looked at Asus's ENGTS GTS 250, which was a member of this dark family. It featured a custom cooler with four heat pipes and didn't perform half bad. However, the ENGTS 250 isn't the only Dark Knight hanging around. ATI, with the help of Asus, has turned its 4870 into a medieval, armor clad god.

Today we will be looking at the EAH4870, which as stated above, is a member of Asus's Dark Knight series. If a video card's cooling solution is its armor, then the EAH4870 must have gone to the same blacksmith as then ENGTS 250. It uses the same four heat pipe cooling solution, which worked pretty well on the 250. It was both cool and quiet, the latter being something ATI's 48XX series cards aren't known for. Anyway, enough talk, let's find out if this Knight can live up to its title.


Closer Look:

If the video card is the knight, then its packaging must be its trusty steed. Packaging is always important, and every company does it differently. The EAH4870 came packaged in a slightly longer box then usual. Featured on the front of the box is a very detailed picture of the Dark Knight riding a horse. Also located on the front of the box is Asus's logo that reads "Rock Solid, Heart Touching." Under the horse you'll see that the card is indeed an EAH4870, and that it is a member of the DARK KNIGHT family. You'll also see that the card uses 1GB of GGDR5 memory. On the back of the box you'll see three main sections. The first section is titled "Powerful Features" and lists all of the EAH4870's features. The second section is titled "ASUS Exclusive Innovation." It lists the programs that come with the card. You'll also have a brief description of what each program does. The third section is titled "Recommended System Requirements." I bet you can't guess what's in this section. You'll also find Asus's logo, the video card's name, a "Maximum Refresh Rate (hx) Table," and a sticker telling you to register at Asus's website.



Lifting the front tab will give you two things. The first being information on the EAH4870's cooler. It shows you information on the four main parts of the fan, which are "four heat pipes" that enable average temperature on heat sink to enhance the heat transfer effects, "aluminum alloy" that is much lighter and has good thermal conductivity to help heat dissipation, and "large area" of heat sink to dissipate more heat. The big heat sink sucks a great amount of cool fresh air into the system with a noise level of only 32dB. On the right side you'll see information about GamerOSD. Basically, it shows you that you can adjust Display Settings, enable Video Capturing, and take screen shots. Every side of the box features Asus's Logo and the EAH4870's name, as well as a slogan saying "Enjoy Ultimate Gaming Experience with World's Fastest DDR5 Memory."



When you open the main box, you'll find a secondary black box. The box is completely black except for Asus's Logo in gold lettering centered in the middle. Upon opening this box, you'll see that everything has been safely packed in smaller black boxes with nothing but Asus's logo in gold lettering. Removing the first black box reveals the EAH4870, which is held securely in place by styrofoam. The box that rested on top of the video card contains your manual, drivers, and a free mouse pad. The box to the right of the GPU contains your accessories. Included with the accessories, you'll receive a DVI to VGA adapter, a DVI to HDMI adapter, a Crossfire bridge, a Molex to 6-pin adapter, and a component cable.



You can tell that Asus took a lot of care in packaging the EAH4870. As a result, it is some of the better packaging I have seen. Also, the idea to include the mouse pad was great, because if you're like me, you're too lazy to go and buy one. THANKS ASUS!!!

Let's find out what the EAH4870 looks like under the hood.

  1. Introduction
  2. Closer Look (The Card)
  3. Closer Look (Drivers and Programs)
  4. Closer Look (Catalyst Control Center)
  5. Specifications & Features:
  6. Testing (Setup & Overclocking)
  7. Testing: Far Cry 2
  8. Testing: Crysis Warhead
  9. Testing: BioShock
  10. Testing: Call Of Duty World at War
  11. Testing: Dead Space
  12. Testing: Fallout 3
  13. Testing: Left 4 Dead
  14. Testing: 3DMark 06 Professional
  15. Testing: 3DMark Vantage
  16. Conclusion
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