As we have said in previous reviews, the 4870 X2 is the fastest graphics card that money can buy and today we have just reaffirmed its dominance in the majority of games currently available.
Asus have taken this powerhouse card one step further by improving upon certain components and overclocking it to well above reference figures. In most of our tests today the 4870 X2 TOP was between 5-10fps faster and although this was not always noticeable when it came to games such as Crysis, the difference in the minimum frame rate figures helped the experience to be smoother and more enjoyable.
The card also runs between 10c and 20c cooler than the majority of X2's we have tested and this is sure to help the long term life. Obviously there are manual ways to improve upon this as we brushed upon earlier, however in a purely "out of the box" experience, this card is considerably improved upon the reference design. We knew it was coming, we just didn't know who would be the first to deliver the goods.
So what of the competition? Well we are still big believers that the Nvidia 280 GTX boards offer great value for money and they will always deliver 100% of their performance as they don't rely on driver support for dual core rendering.
With regards to pricing right now in the UK you can pick up a 280 GTX for around £250 (inc vat), which is around £150 less than when they were released. The cheapest 4870X2 we have seen is around the £335 mark which is still £85 more expensive. That may not seem like much however right now you can purchase a 4GB kit of Corsair Dominator PC2-8500 (with Airflow fan) for the difference.
Right now I would like to make a very clear point of saying that if you don't game at 1920x1200 or 2560x1600 then the 4870 X2 is a little excessive.
The Asus 4870 X2 TOP on test today is not yet available in the UK at time of press, however going on the price of their reference clocked X2 (£387.74 inc vat), this TOP version may well cost in excess of £400. Obviously as I get information I will update this page, but right now unless you simply must have the ultimate frame rates for your 30 inch screen then the costs prove to be rather hard to justify.
All in all however if performance is all you are worried about and you want to game with 8aa or 16aa at the highest resolutions then the Asus 4870 X2 TOP is without a doubt the fastest card we have tested.
It earns our Heavenly Hardware Gold Award due to the blistering class leading performance.