Gainward Rampage700 Golden Sample - HD 4870 X2 On Steroids

Gainward is the latest company to attack the HD 4870 X2 and they do it with all guns a'blazin'. We check out their highly impressive Rampage700 GS.
@ShawnBakerTW
Published Tue, Dec 23 2008 11:00 PM CST   |   Updated Fri, Sep 18 2020 10:50 PM CDT
Rating: 88%Manufacturer: Gainward

Introduction


Gainward Rampage700 Golden Sample - HD 4870 X2 On Steroids



Even though Gainward has been doing ATI based graphics cards for a while now, it still feels weird having a Gainward graphics card in our test system followed by installing the Catalyst driver suite.

Today we're looking at a HD 4870 X2 from Gainward which carries those two words we love to see; Golden and Sample. What has Gainward done to make the card so special? -We will find that out in just a minute.

Gainward actually has two Golden Sample HD 4870 X2s currently available; the first is the one we have today which carries with it a slight overclock and the other is the GLH or "Goes Like Hell" Edition which carries an even higher overclock.

Let's firstly have a look at what exactly we have going on with the package of the Gainward HD 4870 X2 before moving on to a closer look at the card and how well it performs.

The Package




We've got a pretty big box which doesn't come as any real surprise. Across the top of the box we have the Gainward logo while below that we have a picture, some ATI logos and of course the Golden Sample logo.

Gainward Rampage700 Golden Sample - HD 4870 X2 On Steroids


Across the bottom of the box we have the Rampage700 name, the amount of memory the card comes with and with some of the main features on the card such as DX10.1, HDMI and more.

Gainward Rampage700 Golden Sample - HD 4870 X2 On Steroids


Turning the box over, we have some details on what features the GPU gives you. We also have a bit of info on Crossfire along with the system requirements, the Gainward name once again and the website address.

Gainward Rampage700 Golden Sample - HD 4870 X2 On Steroids


Gainward Rampage700 Golden Sample - HD 4870 X2 On Steroids


Moving inside the package, there isn't a whole lot going on. We have the standard manual and driver CD while the cable department gives us a 6-pin to 8-pin PCI Express connector, Crossfire bridge and HDMI to DVI connector.

The Card




Pulling the card out of the box, we can see the big dual-fan design that takes up the majority of the card. On each side we can see some vents, but they don't really do anything more than make the card look a bit meaner.

Gainward Rampage700 Golden Sample - HD 4870 X2 On Steroids


If you look behind the fans you can see the giant heatsink in place along with some of the copper heat-pipes that help get the heat away from the cores.

Gainward Rampage700 Golden Sample - HD 4870 X2 On Steroids


Gainward Rampage700 Golden Sample - HD 4870 X2 On Steroids


Looking around the card, there isn't really anything different to what we usually see. We have the 6-pin and 8-pin power connector pointing upwards while the front of the card gives us a single Crossfire connector in the event you want to put two of these bad boys together. However, you may struggle to accomplish that due to the massive size.

Gainward Rampage700 Golden Sample - HD 4870 X2 On Steroids


Moving to the I/O department, we can see the massive three slot design and across the bottom we have a dual-link DVI connector, HDMI and display port. Above that we have a single VGA port and some vents and finally above that we have some more vents to help let the hot air escape.


Specifications

While we can see Gainward hasn't done anything here with the core clock rate, the company has upped the memory 50MHz to 950MHz (or 3800MHz effectively).

Gainward Rampage700 Golden Sample - HD 4870 X2 On Steroids


As we mentioned earlier, Gainward also has a higher overclocked version under the "Goes Like Hell" naming scheme which has a core clock of 790MHz while the memory still carries the same 950MHz (3800MHz effective) overclock.

Test System Setup and 3DMark Vantage


Test System Setup

Processor(s): Intel i7 920 @ 3.8GHz (190MHz x 20)
Cooling: Noctua NH-U12P (Supplied by Noctua)
Motherboard(s): GIGABYTE EX58-UD5 (Supplied by GIGABYTE)
Memory: 3 X 2GB OCZ Technology PC-12800 DDR-3 8-8-8-24 (OCZ3G1600LV6GK)
Hard Disk(s): Western Digital 300GB Velicorapter (Supplied by Western Digital)
Operating System: Windows XP Professional SP2, Windows Vista SP1 64-Bit
Drivers: Catalyst 8.12


Today we'll be checking out the Gainward HD 4870 X2 up against a stock clocked HD 4870 X2. Let's find out what kind of performance boost we get from the extra memory speed on offer.


3DMark Vantage

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.0.1
Developer Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com
Product Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com/products/3dmarkvantage/
Buy It Here




3DMark Vantage is the new industry standard PC gaming performance benchmark from Futuremark, newly designed for Windows Vista and DirectX10. It includes two new graphics tests, two new CPU tests, several new feature tests, and support for the latest hardware.

3DMark Vantage is based on a completely new rendering engine, developed specifically to take full advantage of DirectX10, the new graphics API from Microsoft.


Gainward Rampage700 Golden Sample - HD 4870 X2 On Steroids


Our first test shows no real difference between the two graphics cards.

Benchmarks - PT Boats: Knights of the Sea


PT Boats: Knights of the Sea

Version and / or Patch Used: Benchmark Demo
Developer Homepage: http://en.akella.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.pt-boats.net/





PT Boats: Knights of the Sea is a naval action simulator that places gamers in charge of a mosquito fleet of the Allied Forces, Russia or Germany during the height of World War II.

Using the latest Direct X 10 technology PT Boards - Knights of the Sea manages to apply a lot of stress to the components of today which in turn gives us quite an intensive benchmark.


Gainward Rampage700 Golden Sample - HD 4870 X2 On Steroids


Gainward Rampage700 Golden Sample - HD 4870 X2 On Steroids


Under PT Boats we find both cards once again perform very similarly with no real difference being seen.

Benchmarks - CINEBENCH R10


CINEBENCH R10

Version and / or Patch Used: Release 10
Developer Homepage: http://www.maxon.net/
Product Homepage: http://www.maxon.net




CINEBENCH is a real-world test suite that assesses your computer's performace capabilities. MAXON CINEBENCH is based on MAXON's award-winning animation software, CINEMA 4D, which is used extensively by studios and production houses worldwide for 3D content creation. MAXON software has been used in blockbuster movies such as Spider-Man, Star Wars, The Chronicles of Narnia and many more.

MAXON CINEBENCH runs several tests on your computer to measure the performance of the main processor and the graphics card under real world circumstances. The benchmark application makes use of up to 16 CPUs or CPU cores and is available for Windows (32-bit and 64-Bit) and Macintosh (PPC and Intel-based).


Gainward Rampage700 Golden Sample - HD 4870 X2 On Steroids


Under CINEBENCH we continue to see both cards perform quite close together.

Benchmarks - World in Conflict


World in Conflict

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.0.0.5
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage: http://www.massive.se
Product Homepage: http://www.worldinconflict.com





World in Conflict is a real-time strategy video game by Massive Entertainment and to be published by Sierra Entertainment for Windows (DX9 and DX10) and the Xbox 360.

The game is set in 1989 where economic troubles cripple the Soviet Union and threaten to dissolve it. However, the title pursues a "what if" scenario where, in this case, the Soviet Union does not collapse and instead pursues a course of war to remain in power. It is an intensive new game is sure to put plenty of stress on even the latest graphics cards and we use the built-in benchmarking for our testing.


Gainward Rampage700 Golden Sample - HD 4870 X2 On Steroids


Gainward Rampage700 Golden Sample - HD 4870 X2 On Steroids


Under WIC we can see at the higher resolution the extra MHz on offer from the Gainward card gives us a slight boost in performance.

Benchmarks - Crysis Warhead


Crysis Warhead

Version and / or Patch Used: unpatched
Timedemo or Level Used: Airfield
Developer Homepage: http://www.crytek.com
Product Homepage: http://crysiswarhead.ea.com/
Buy It Here




Crysis Warhead updates and refines the gameplay of the original game through a sidestory plot involving Psycho, one of previous protagonist Nomad's allies. The game is a parallel story that follows Sergeant Michael "Psycho" Sykes, a character from the original Crysis, as he faces his own trials and challenges on the other side of the island during the time period of the first game.

It also showcases a new, enhanced and optimized version of CryEngine 2 using full DX10 extensions and is the first game developed by Crytek's Budapest studio.

Gainward Rampage700 Golden Sample - HD 4870 X2 On Steroids


Gainward Rampage700 Golden Sample - HD 4870 X2 On Steroids


Across the board we see a boost in the minimum department with the Gainward HD 4870 X2 Golden Sample.

Benchmarks - Far Cry 2


Far Cry 2

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.01
Timedemo or Level Used: Ranch Long
Developer Homepage: http://www.ubi.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.farcry2.com/
Buy It Here




The Dunia Engine was built specifically for Far Cry 2 by the award-winning Ubisoft Montreal development team. It delivers the most realistic destructible environments, amazing special effects such as dynamic fire propagation and storm effects, real-time night-and-day cycle, dynamic music system, non-scripted enemy A.I. and so much more.


Gainward Rampage700 Golden Sample - HD 4870 X2 On Steroids


Gainward Rampage700 Golden Sample - HD 4870 X2 On Steroids


Far Cry 2 sees some good boosts at the higher resolution.

Benchmarks - S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - Clear Sky


S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - Clear Sky

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.5.07
Timedemo or Level Used: Custom Timedemo
Developer Homepage: http://www.gsc-game.com/
Product Homepage: http://cs.stalker-game.com/en/
Buy It Here




S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky, is the stand-alone prequel for S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl, a first-person shooter computer game by Ukrainian developer GSC Game World.[3] The game consists of a roughly 50/50 mix of new areas and old, remodeled areas from the previous game. The X-ray graphics engine has been updated to version 1.5 and includes DirectX 10 support (later patch 1.5.06 included DirectX 10.1). Additionally, the AI received an overhaul to accommodate the new faction wars feature.

Gainward Rampage700 Golden Sample - HD 4870 X2 On Steroids


Gainward Rampage700 Golden Sample - HD 4870 X2 On Steroids


We see a boost in Clear Sky at the highest resolution when compared to the stock clocked model.

Benchmarks - Left 4 Dead


Left 4 Dead

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update
Timedemo or Level Used: Custom Timedemo
Developer Homepage: http://www.valvesoftware.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.l4d.com/
Buy It Here




Left 4 Dead uses the latest version of Valve's Source engine, with improvements such as multi-core processor support and physics-based animation to more realistically portray hair and clothing, and to improve physics interaction with enemies when shot or shoved in different body parts. Animation was also improved to allow characters to lean realistically when moving in curved paths.

Rendering and artificial intelligence were scaled up to allow for greater number of enemies who can navigate the world in better ways, such as climbing, jumping or breaking obstacles. Lighting has been enhanced with new self-shadowing normal mapping and advanced shadow rendering that is important to convey information about the environment and player actions.

Gainward Rampage700 Golden Sample - HD 4870 X2 On Steroids


Left 4 Dead performance between the two cards is very similar as well.

Benchmarks - High Quality AA and AF


High Quality AA and AF

Our high quality tests let us separate the men from the boys and the ladies from the girls. If the cards weren't struggling before they will start to now.


Far Cry 2

Gainward Rampage700 Golden Sample - HD 4870 X2 On Steroids


Gainward Rampage700 Golden Sample - HD 4870 X2 On Steroids


Here we see both cards are again on top of each other with no real difference being seen.


World In Conflict

Gainward Rampage700 Golden Sample - HD 4870 X2 On Steroids


Gainward Rampage700 Golden Sample - HD 4870 X2 On Steroids


In the minimum department we again see a boost in performance under this test that equates to almost 10%.


Left 4 Dead

Gainward Rampage700 Golden Sample - HD 4870 X2 On Steroids


We again see both cards perform extremely close to each other with no real difference being seen.

Benchmarks - World in Conflict - XP


World in Conflict

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.0.0.5
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage: http://www.massive.se
Product Homepage: http://www.worldinconflict.com




World in Conflict is a real-time strategy video game by Massive Entertainment and to be published by Sierra Entertainment for Windows (DX9 and DX10) and the Xbox 360.

The game is set in 1989 where economic troubles cripple the Soviet Union and threaten to dissolve it. However, the title pursues a "what if" scenario where, in this case, the Soviet Union does not collapse and instead pursues a course of war to remain in power. It is an intensive new game is sure to put plenty of stress on even the latest graphics cards and we use the built-in benchmarking for our testing.

Gainward Rampage700 Golden Sample - HD 4870 X2 On Steroids


Gainward Rampage700 Golden Sample - HD 4870 X2 On Steroids


At the higher resolution we again see a boost in performance for the Rampage700 card from Gainward.

Benchmarks - Far Cry 2 - XP


Far Cry 2

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.01
Timedemo or Level Used: Ranch Long
Developer Homepage: http://www.ubi.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.farcry2.com/
Buy It Here




The Dunia Engine was built specifically for Far Cry 2 by the award-winning Ubisoft Montreal development team. It delivers the most realistic destructible environments, amazing special effects such as dynamic fire propagation and storm effects, real-time night-and-day cycle, dynamic music system, non-scripted enemy A.I. and so much more.


Gainward Rampage700 Golden Sample - HD 4870 X2 On Steroids


Gainward Rampage700 Golden Sample - HD 4870 X2 On Steroids


Far Cry 2 sees a slight boost across the board at all resolutions with the Rampage700 HD 4870 X2 installed.

Benchmarks - S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - Clear Sky - XP


S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - Clear Sky

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.5.07
Timedemo or Level Used: Custom Timedemo
Developer Homepage: http://www.gsc-game.com/
Product Homepage: http://cs.stalker-game.com/en/
Buy It Here




S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky, is the stand-alone prequel for S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl, a first-person shooter computer game by Ukrainian developer GSC Game World.[3] The game consists of a roughly 50/50 mix of new areas and old, remodeled areas from the previous game. The X-ray graphics engine has been updated to version 1.5 and includes DirectX 10 support (later patch 1.5.06 included DirectX 10.1). Additionally, the AI received an overhaul to accommodate the new faction wars feature.

Gainward Rampage700 Golden Sample - HD 4870 X2 On Steroids


Gainward Rampage700 Golden Sample - HD 4870 X2 On Steroids


We see a boost at the lower resolution, but at the higher resolution there isn't a whole lot of difference between the two cards.

Temperature & Sound Tests


Temperature Tests



With the TES 1326 Infrared Thermometer literally in hand we found ourselves getting real-world temperatures from the products we test at load (3D clock speeds).

There are two places we pull temperature from - the back of the card directly behind the core and if the card is dual slot and has an exhaust point we also pull a temperate from there, as seen in the picture.


Gainward Rampage700 Golden Sample - HD 4870 X2 On Steroids


The big cooler on offer from Gainward helps bring temps way down, especially on the first core.


Sound Tests



Pulling out the TES 1350A Sound Level Meter we find ourselves quickly yelling into the top of it to see how loud we can be.

After five minutes of that we get a bit more serious and place the device two CM away from the fan on the card to find the maximum noise level of the card when idle (2D mode) and in load (3D mode).


Gainward Rampage700 Golden Sample - HD 4870 X2 On Steroids


The temperature drop is able to be done with no extra noise thanks to the large design of the cooler.

Power Consumption Tests






Using our new PROVA Power Analyzer WM-01 or "Power Thingy" as it has become quickly known as to our readers, we are now able to find out what kind of power is being used by our test system and the associated graphics cards installed. Keep in mind; it tests the complete system (minus LCD monitor, which is plugged directly into AC wall socket).

There are a few important notes to remember though; while our maximum power is taken in 3DMark06 at the same exact point, we have seen in particular tests the power being drawn as much as 10% more. We test at the exact same stage every time; therefore tests should be very consistent and accurate.

The other thing to remember is that our test system is bare minimum - only a 7,200RPM SATA-II single hard drive is used without CD ROM or many cooling fans.

So while the system might draw 400 watts in our test system, placing it into your own PC with a number of other items, the draw is going to be higher.


Gainward Rampage700 Golden Sample - HD 4870 X2 On Steroids


Power usage at idle is a bit up on the Gainward card, while at load both cards offer about the same maximum power.

Final Thoughts




The Gainward card might actually look quite familiar to some as it shares the same design as the Palit Revolution 700 Deluxe card we looked at not long ago. The purchase of Gainward by Palit is the whole reason the company is actually now doing ATI based graphics cards.

The thing is, though, as we were impressed with the Palit offering, we are also with the Gainward. Sure, the cooler is huge and placing two of them in a system together is going to be nothing short of extremely difficult; but he card really does tick all the right boxes.

While being more expensive, it's not excessive. And while the cooler is large and makes it a little difficult to install in Crossfire configs, most people will simply find just one card is plenty. Performance is similar to slightly faster over a stock clocked card, but temperatures are down and connectivity is up with Display Port and HDMI present.

At the end of it all, if you want something with even more power but love the overall design, then the "Goes Like Hell" Golden Sample is also available. While the package is a bit on the light side, the card itself is fantastic and if you're looking for one of the meaner HD 4870 X2 cards on the market, definitely have a good look at the Gainward Golden Sample line.

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Shawn takes care of all of our video card reviews. From 2009, Shawn is also taking care of our memory reviews, and from May 2011, Shawn also takes care of our CPU, chipset and motherboard reviews. As of December 2011, Shawn is based out of Taipei, Taiwan.

We openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here. Please contact us if you wish to respond.

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