|ASUS EAH4870 DK TOP 512MB Video Card|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards|
|Written by Matt Williams|
|Sunday, 21 December 2008|
Page 4 of 15
Closer Look: ASUS HD 4870
Until recently, AMD has restricted partners from using non-reference board designs on their HD 4800 series products. This is typically done to protect the consumer against possible design flaws, as well as AMD's own reputation during the launch of a product. Without the option of modifying the board design, manufacturers have had to find creative ways to differentiate themselves from the competition. To this end, several manufacturers, including ASUS, have developed their own unique branding and customizations. This particular HD 4870 from ASUS, the EAH4870 DK Top, has been given the "Dark Knight" treatment.
The first, and most obvious distinction of the Dark Knight edition is the revised heatsink and fan. Gone is the large reference cooler, replaced by a smaller, but more aggressive thermal solution. The heatsink is milled out of high quality aluminum and utilizes a custom heatpipe and fin design. Heat is transferred away from the GPU through the four large heatpipes where it is diffused throughout the larger surface area of the fins to be cooled by the fan. The fan, itself, is regulated by the VGA BIOS with manual control available in the driver control panel. ASUS rates this particular fan with a noise level of just 32dB.
Aside from the improved heatsink and fan, the EAH4870 DK Top retains the usual feature set we've become accustomed to with the HD 4800 series. Two dual-link DVI ports are clearly visible on the back side, as well as an additional port for s-video and component outputs. The DVI ports can also be converted to support VGA and HDMI using the included adapters. Full 7.1 audio is available via the onboard audio controller as well, should you decide to use the HDMI connection.
In addition to the usual video adapters, the EAH4870 DK Top also comes with a crossfire bridge, driver CD, and a leather mouse pad. In typical ASUS fashion, everything was packaged extremely well and separated into different compartments to keep each component safe. While I don't expect to use the mouse pad, it was a nice touch. I'd much rather have an overabundance of accessories rather than be shorted something of critical importance, like a crossfire bridge or HDMI adapter.