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Thread: Reviews - Sapphire Radeon HD 4850 X2: another AMD-based thorn in NVIDIA's side

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    Reviews - Sapphire Radeon HD 4850 X2: another AMD-based thorn in NVIDIA's side

    Sapphire is first in line with a custom-cooled Radeon HD 4850 X2, but is it enough to best NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 280?
    Read more.

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    Re: Reviews - Sapphire unleashes AMD's Radeon HD 4850 X2

    Does it beat 4850 crossfire?

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    Re: Reviews - Sapphire unleashes AMD's Radeon HD 4850 X2

    I would expect it to be comparable 4870X2 and 4870CF deliver very similar performance.

    My only concern is that it is priced far to high, you could buy 2x 1GB 4850's for £260, especially when you consider that a 4870X2 costs less than 2 4870 1GB to buy.

    If I was spending £320 on a graphics card I think I could find the extra £30 and get a 4870X2.

    For this card to be competitive its price would need to be more ~£250 mark in my opinion.

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    Re: Reviews - Sapphire unleashes AMD's Radeon HD 4850 X2

    Agreed about the price - £225 area would have made sense, but the asking price is too close to the 4870x2..

    Unless they rethink the price, I can see stock not moving..

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    Re: Reviews - Sapphire unleashes AMD's Radeon HD 4850 X2

    I guess price wise they do not want to be too close to the 4870 1GB which sells for ~£225 although the are bargains to be had for less than £200 Still it should be much cheaper than has been suggested I reiterate a price ~£250 would be about right, that would put its Hexus bang for buck up to a much more reasonable 1.19 which would make it the card of choice in the £200-250 price bracket.

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    Re: Reviews - Sapphire unleashes AMD's Radeon HD 4850 X2

    I reckon we'll see these available for around £270 before long. Whether that makes them worth considering over s £170 4870 is a matter of opinion.

    I doubt they'll be £250 before february.

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    Re: Reviews - Sapphire unleashes AMD's Radeon HD 4850 X2

    What I'm interested in seeing is the 1GB version of this kind, and that should cost around £250 when released in a month or so's time.

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    Re: Reviews - Sapphire Radeon HD 4850 X2: another AMD-based thorn in NVIDIA's side

    Guys I love the site, but why such a low number of games tested? Personally I'd like to see at least 10, a greater cross-section of games. Do you not get a lot of time with the card?

    Si

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    Re: Reviews - Sapphire Radeon HD 4850 X2: another AMD-based thorn in NVIDIA's side

    Quote Originally Posted by [jF] View Post
    Guys I love the site, but why such a low number of games tested? Personally I'd like to see at least 10, a greater cross-section of games. Do you not get a lot of time with the card?

    Si
    10 games would be immaterial I think, the ones they use now cover a good range of engines. But I shall allow Tarinder and crew to reason it out with you.

    I think this picture makes people smile


    Cos that's gonna sell cards I reckon.

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    Re: Reviews - Sapphire Radeon HD 4850 X2: another AMD-based thorn in NVIDIA's side

    Quote Originally Posted by Zak33 View Post
    10 games would be immaterial I think, the ones they use now cover a good range of engines. But I shall allow Tarinder and crew to reason it out with you.

    I think this picture makes people smile


    Cos that's gonna sell cards I reckon.
    I agree even i was kinda surprised by that. I think this would be one hell of a card in an HTPC

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    Re: Reviews - Sapphire Radeon HD 4850 X2: another AMD-based thorn in NVIDIA's side

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackmage View Post
    I agree even i was kinda surprised by that. I think this would be one hell of a card in an HTPC
    Even a HD3650 would be marginally overkill in a pure HTPC

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    Re: Reviews - Sapphire Radeon HD 4850 X2: another AMD-based thorn in NVIDIA's side

    Quote Originally Posted by Zak33 View Post
    10 games would be immaterial I think, the ones they use now cover a good range of engines. But I shall allow Tarinder and crew to reason it out with you.
    Really, ya think? 4 covers all engines/genres? Just comes across as being a little lazy to me tbh

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    Re: Reviews - Sapphire Radeon HD 4850 X2: another AMD-based thorn in NVIDIA's side

    Quote Originally Posted by [jF] View Post
    Really, ya think? 4 covers all engines/genres? Just comes across as being a little lazy to me tbh
    it doesn't need to cover all genres of games... it just needs to cover a spread of engines that the games are using..

    if they were to cover all engines it would literally take years to do properly due to the amount there are...

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    * AbyssalEngine - A professional commercial grade rendering engine and toolset
    * Agar (engine) – A high-level graphical application framework used by 2D and 3D computer games
    * Aleph One (computer game) - Open-source first-person shooter engine based on the source code of Bungie Studios' Marathon 2: Durandal.
    * Allegro library – A free crossplatform C/C++ game programming library, provides functions for graphics, sounds, input, timers, fixed and floating point, 3d, compressed datafile and a GUI.
    * Game Blender – flexible node based game logic engine Blender 3D
    * Boom – A port of the Doom source code by TeamTNT
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    * Genesis3D – A real-time 3D engine for Windows
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    * Nebula Device – A realtime 3D game engine developed by German game studio Radon Labs.
    * OGRE Engine – A very popular object-oriented graphics rendering engine. Also called OGRE3D
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    * Panda3D – A relatively easy to use python-driven game engine made by Carnegie Mellon University. Disney uses it to produce some of their games.
    * PLIB – A game engine – includes 3D, Audio, Music, GUI, Window manager and is portable Linux/Windows/Mac OS X.
    * ProQuake – A modified Quake engine
    * Quake engine – The original open-source engine from id Software
    * RealmForge – An open-source game engine for the Microsoft .NET Framework, predecessor to Visual3D.NET.
    * Retribution Engine – A game engine to make first person shooter games
    * Sauerbraten – An upgraded engine forked from the Cube engine
    * Simple DirectMedia Layer - A powerful multimedia library.
    * SFML - A Simple and Fast Multimedia Library used for a wide range of applications and games.
    * Spring - a full 3D free/open source RTS game engine
    * Stratagus – A cross-platform real time strategy game engine
    * Xilon Engine II - An open source game engine developed under Visual Basic .NET.
    * Adventure Game Studio – Mainly used to develop third-person pre-rendered adventure games, this engine is one of the most popular for developing amateur adventure games.
    * Build engine – A first-person shooter engine used to power Duke Nukem 3D
    * Daybreak motor – Flexible, object-oriented graphics rendering engine for .NET and XNA (XNA 3D Game Engine) Currently in development.
    * dim3 – Freeware 3D javascript engine for the Mac (although finished games are cross platform).
    * DX Studio – Real-time professional 3D engine and editing suite produced by Worldweaver Ltd
    * Flatredball – A 2.5D XNA and MDX game engine.
    * Game Blender – A sub-application of Blender for creating games
    * Game Maker Lite – Object-oriented game development software with a relatively complex scripting language as well as a drag-and-drop interface
    * Jogre - (Java Online Gaming Real-time Engine) - Open sourced Java based multiplayer gaming engine.
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    * World Builder – A pre-Mac OS X game engine.
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    * CryEngine, CryEngine 2 – The game engine used for the first-person shooter computer game Far Cry. CryEngine 2 is a new generation engine developed by Crytek to create the FPS game Crysis.
    * Crystal Tools – Square Enix's proprietary seventh generation game engine.
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    * Dunia Engine – Engine made especially for FarCry2 (made by ubisoft and not to be mistaken as a crytek game)
    * Earth-4 Engine – The graphics engine used in Earth 2160
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    * Elflight Engine – High-performance cross-platform 3D streaming game engine designed from the ground up for use over the Web. Games can play in a web browser window, in a separate window or full-screen. Java and OpenGL based.
    * Enigma Engine – A real-time tactics game engine, used in Blitzkrieg.
    * Euphoria – This is not a game engine, It is powered through your game engine's physics, this is a Biomechanical Ragdoll engine by NaturalMotion
    * Explorations – 2D MMO creator
    * FPS Creator - A game engine by The Game Creators. It lets the user create their own First Person Shooter without any knowledge of scripts.
    * Freescape (1986) – Incentive Software; One of the first proprietary 3D game engines, used in Driller and 3D Construction Kit
    * Frostbite Engine – Game engine used for the next-gen title Battlefield: Bad Company
    * Gamebryo – A cross-platform game runtime engine and associated tools coded in C++
    * Gamestudio (A7) – The engine behind the Gamestudio Authoring system
    * Glacier, Glacier2 – Developed by IO Interactive and used for the Hitman series of games. Glacier2 being a new generation engine currently in development for upcoming games.[2]
    * GrimE - Used in LucasArts graphical adventure games starting with Grim Fandango
    * Havok – High-tech cross-platform (PC, PS3, Xbox 360 etc) middleware engine
    * HeroEngine - 3D game engine by Simutronics for building MMOs in a live collaborative environment
    * IMUSE – Specifically designed to synchronize music with visual action
    * INSANE – Used in LucasArts games
    * Infinity Engine – Allows the creation of isometric computer role-playing games
    * Jade engine – Developed by Ubisoft, originally for Beyond Good & Evil
    * Jedi – A game engine developed by LucasArts for Star Wars: Dark Forces and Outlaws
    * Kaneva Game Platform – A full featured MMOG engine for independent and professional game development
    * Kinetica - A game engine developed by Sony for PlayStation 2.
    * Leadwerks Engine - Leadwerks Engine is a high-performance 3D engine for rendering, sound, and physics in real-time games and simulations.
    * Lithtech – A competing alternative to the id Tech and Unreal engines.
    * Lithtech Jupiter Ex – A new generation Lithtech engine developed by Monolith Productions to create the game F.E.A.R.
    * Medusa – A C++ 3D game engine developed by Palestar and used in the DarkSpace MMO. It features distributed world simulation, single tool version control and asset realisation, cross-platform compatibility and an integrated client/server network system.
    * Monumental Technology Suite – A MMOG platform, including server and client technology and development / live management tools.
    * Multimedia Fusion 2 – Full featured very easy to use 2D game development system.
    * Multiverse Network – An MMOG platform, including server, client, and tools. (Free for development and use — revenue sharing upon commercial deployment).
    * Offset Engine – In development, being used to create fantasy FPS Project Offset (working title)
    * Odyssey Engine – Used to create three dimensional computer role-playing games, used in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
    * Onyx Engine – Developed by Ubisoft
    * Quest3D A game engine and full real-time 3D development platform. Used in for instance AudioSurf.
    * RAGE – A game engine created by Rockstar Games to power their upcoming video games on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Implemented in Grand Theft Auto 4.
    * Realm Crafter Standard Edition – A 3D MMORPG specific game engine with an easy click-and-drop design. Easy to learn scripting language.
    * Realm Crafter Pro Edition – A 3D MMORPG specific game engine with an easy click-and-drop design. Easy to learn scripting language with DirectX 9 graphics engine, a completely rewritten C++ client and server, and a new game editor for high performance modern graphics with customizable shaders.
    * RelentENGINE – A next-generation FPS engine supporting massive destroyable city environments and realistic vehicle control, makes extensive use of shader model 3.
    * RenderWare – A very popular 3D API and graphics rendering engine
    * Revolution3D – A 3D graphics engine developed by X-Dream Project
    * RPG Maker XP – A 2D engine to make top-down and isometric-style role-playing games for Windows.
    * SAGE engine – Used to create real-time strategy games
    * SCUMM engine – Used in LucasArts graphical adventure games
    * Serious Engine – The engine by Croteam used in the epic Serious Sam: The First Encounter and The Second Encounter
    * Shark 3D – A middleware from Spinor for computer, video games and realtime 3D applications
    * ShiVa - A game engine with an authoring tool to produce 3d real time applications for Windows, Mac OS X, Linux and iPhone.
    * Silent Storm engine – A turn-based tactics/tactical RPG game engine, used in Silent Storm.
    * Sith – A game engine developed by LucasArts for Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II
    * Source engine – A game engine developed by Valve Software for Half-Life 2
    * Torque Game Engine – A modified version of a 3D computer game engine originally developed by Dynamix for the 2001 FPS Tribes 2
    * Torque Game Engine Advanced – A next-generation 3D game engine support modern GPU hardware and shaders.
    * TOSHI – A fourth generation cross platform game engine designed by Blue Tongue Entertainment
    * Truevision3d – A 3D game engine using the DirectX API
    * Unigine – Cross-platform middleware engine
    * Unity – An easy-to-use open-ended 3D game/interactive software engine for web, Windows, Mac OS X, the iPhone, and Nintendo Wii
    * Unreal Engine – One of the most popular game engines for PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3
    * Vengeance engine – A video game engine based on the Unreal Engine 2/2.5
    * Vicious Engine – Available for Microsoft Windows, Sony PlayStation 2, Microsoft Xbox, and Sony PlayStation Portable
    * Virtools – A 3D engine combined with unique high-level development framework, used for game prototyping and rapid developments. Available for Windows, Macintosh, Xbox, PSP
    * Visual3D.NET Game Engine - All-in-One 3D game engine and toolset, fully written in C#/.NET for Windows and Xbox360.
    * WGAF – The game engine developed by Guild Software which powers their MMORPG Vendetta Online
    * XnGine – Developed by Bethesda Softworks, one of the first true 3D engines
    * X-Ray Engine - A 3D engine with advanced AI abilities developed by GSC Game World for their Oblivion Lost project (later renamed to S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl).[citation needed]
    (yes i know not all of them are current or PC based )


    tis much better to just have a game from the current top engine pitted against a game from another engine... as the games based on that engine will usually behave similarly... and that gives you an idea of how a GFX card is likely to perform with what engines etc etc

    while staying away from games which are heavily optimized for a certain companies drivers (such as some games towards nVidia) so that it remains fair unbiased results

    such as the current crop of test games are:

    CoH: Essence
    Enemy territory: quake wars: id Tech 4
    COD4: ([edit] no idea anymore... so just saying proprietary[/edit])
    GRID: Ego

    so you get a look at 4 current game engines and their performance on a current card.
    Last edited by TAKTAK; 05-11-2008 at 11:57 PM.
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    Re: Reviews - Sapphire Radeon HD 4850 X2: another AMD-based thorn in NVIDIA's side

    Quote Originally Posted by [jF] View Post
    Really, ya think? 4 covers all engines/genres? Just comes across as being a little lazy to me tbh
    Where did he say it covers all engines/genres? He said it just covered a good range.

    We had this debate a few weeks back just before they changed to the current set of benchmarks - previously they still used 4 games, but they used ones with engines that weren't very representative.

    To be certain, you have to test every single game out there, and every tech demo, and on every combination of hardware and software. Unless you have 300 staff and the entire Dell factory output it's going to take so long to do even a large portion of that that by the time you've finished the card you were reviewing is already 2 years old.

    Remember, Hexus is a multi-purpose, general technology site - they don't have the resources or even the remit to conduct the most thorough technical and performance analysis of each piece of hardware out there - there are other sites better suited to that. Instead Hexus need to be able to put out articles that can still give a representative impression for its readers, hence the choice of four benchmarks that vary quite widely and give a more balanced level of performance for any given card.

    There are always going to be exceptions, but if you choose a sample of benchmarks intelligently then you will be able to give a good idea of how a given card is going to perform accross the majority of cases.

    I personally believe the recent selection of benchmarks is pretty good at that - certainly it's a lot more representative than it used to be. But just as they listened to our request to change in the first place, I'm sure they would listen to your carefully reasoned arguement if you were to suggest an even more representative set of benchmarks.

  15. #15
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    Re: Reviews - Sapphire Radeon HD 4850 X2: another AMD-based thorn in NVIDIA's side

    Put your thoughts forward and we'll listen.

    I have personally seen how ATI tests its graphics cards in Markham, Toronto.

    The benchmarking team prepares reports that include around 30 gaming titles tested at various resolutions and image-quality settings.

    They do this as competitive analysis against NVIDIA, and I'm sure NVIDIA does the same.

    I would LOVE, absolutely LOVE, to have the resources of those two companies and publish reviews that cover every facet of a card.

    We don't have even a smidge of their financial resources and try to the do the best we can, knowing that readers will always want more - and why not!

    For me, it's a balance between allocating our testing resources between a whole array of products, and whilst I share your sentiments for completeness, I really do, I'd need to win the lottery to make it happen.

    Bottom line: we're not going to be testing 10-15 games, per card, in the near future, but we're absolutely willing to listen to what our readers have to say and try to incorporate changes which make the reviews better.

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    Re: Reviews - Sapphire Radeon HD 4850 X2: another AMD-based thorn in NVIDIA's side

    Quote Originally Posted by Zak33 View Post
    10 games would be immaterial I think, the ones they use now cover a good range of engines. But I shall allow Tarinder and crew to reason it out with you.

    I think this picture makes people smile


    Cos that's gonna sell cards I reckon.
    I agree. Not because it will "sell HTPCs", but because I think there's a market for powerful graphics cards with more than 2 outputs. (I for one would buy such a card. Eventually want 3+ monitors.)


    Quote Originally Posted by Tarinder View Post
    Bottom line: we're not going to be testing 10-15 games, per card, in the near future, but we're absolutely willing to listen to what our readers have to say and try to incorporate changes which make the reviews better.
    Time and cost obviously have to be taken into account by companies that make reviews. Despite that, it would be useful to cover the major "genres" of games: FPS (2 games, pref), RTS, RPG, Sport/Driving, etc.

    If you could find a game from each of these genres, I would be "more" pleased.

    As an example:
    • FPS: Crysis + STALKER: Clear Sky
    • RTS: C&C RA3 or SC:FA
    • RPG: Oblivion (might be a bit old, but can't think of others...)
    • CAR: GRID or NFS title (or SPORT: FIFA09)


    There you are: suggeestions from me...

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