|ASUS EAH4870 DK TOP 512MB Video Card|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards|
|Written by Matt Williams|
|Sunday, 21 December 2008|
Page 14 of 15
Radeon HD 4870 Final Thoughts
While the Radeon HD 4800 series has been around now for over six months, it's clear that manufacturers are still making improvements. One of the major criticisms of this series has been the unruly heat output and inadequate cooling solutions. Customized heatsink and fan units, like the ASUS Dark Knight cooler featured on our test card, have curtailed this problem to some degree. The heat output of the card is essentially the same, but the improved cooling performance does a much better job of diffusing this heat and reducing the overall temperatures.
Proper cooling is essential to the stability and lifespan of computer hardware, but it also plays a role in how far the clock speeds can be pushed. Much to the enthusiast's delight, several manufacturers already have factory overclocked HD 4870's on store shelves. However, without proper cooling and power circuitry, these cards often cannot be pushed beyond the factory speeds. In the worst case scenario, the factory overclocked clock speeds may even begin to fail, as I have experienced in the past. Quality assurance and good warranty service are a must when it comes to factory overclocked video cards, which is why I recommend going with a manufacturer you trust.
Fortunately, the EAH4870 DK Top from ASUS appears to be void of any of these problems. I tested this card extensively for any sign of stability problems or display corruption and it performed flawlessly. I even sabotaged the cooling performance of my case by turning off all of the case fans. Still, the Dark Knight cooler held temperatures at acceptable levels, even after hours of FurMark, and there were no lock-ups or corruption of any kind.