High-performance laptop maker Eurocom has made a comparison between ATI's Mobility Radeon HD 5870 CrossFireX and NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 480M. It may seem a bit strange to compare two cards with one, but the reason they did this is because the GeForce GTX 480M has a 100W TDP, while each Mobility Radeon HD 5870 card needs "just" 55W. The conclusion is that the Mobility Radeon HD 5870 CrossFireX configuration is about 17 percent faster, while costing approx. $200 less.
Eurocom has just finished testing of its 18.4-inch Leopard notebook with two different VGA configurations. The ATI Radeon Mobility HD 5870 in CrossfireX was tested against the NVIDIA Geforce GTX 480M.
EUROCOM Leopard is a high-performance, fully upgradeable and configurable 18.4-inch notebook for the professional user.
It supports both NVIDIA and ATi VGA Technology including GTX 480M, Quadro FX 3800M and Quadro FX 2800M or ATi Radeon Mobility HD5870 with SLI and CrossFire support.
The Leopard is able to incorporate two 55 Watts cards or single 100Wdue to its ability to diffuse the large amount of heat produced from the graphics cards with large copper heat sinks. The extra power available from the 220 Watts AC Adapter helps power the two cards
The Leopard was running with an Intel Core i7 940XM 2.13 GHz Processor , 4 GB of DDR3-1333 and 256GB SSD SATA-600 Micron RealSSD drive . Both VGA configurations are currently available in the Leopard workstation.
ATi Radeon Mobility HD5870 CrossFireX outperforms NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 480M in three different areas:
1. Performance (17% higher)
Performance was measured using the 3DMark06 score, which is a PC benchmark designed to test the DirectX9 performance of a graphics card. A 3DMark score is an overall measure of a system’s 3D gaming capabilities, based on comprehensive real-time 3D graphics and processor tests.
Here are test results:
with 1x NVIDIA GeForce GTX 480M (Fermi); 2GB DDR5; 100W
3dmark06 score: 15626 3dMarks
with 2x ATi Radeon Mobility HD5870 in CrossFireX; 1GB DDR5 per card; 55W per card
3dmark06 score: 18274 3dMarks
During the tests the CrossfireX configuration outperformed the Geforce GTX 480M by approximately 17% at default settings.
2. Price (approx $200 less)
At a lower price point the CrossfireX configuration actually offers better graphics performance. The conclusion that can be made by this test is that currently, modular VGA solutions increase performance at a lower price.
In terms of price, ATi wins again. To " upgrade " from ATi 's CrossFireX HD5870 to to GTX 480 is over $200 .
3. Thermal / heat distribution (2x 55W vs 1x 100W)
The CrossfireX configuration scores another victory over the Geforce GTX 480M because of its better thermal performance. It consists of two 55W cards instead of the Geforces one 100W card. This results in a more diffused heat generation within the notebook. It is also important to consider that ATI was able to generate 17% better performance while only using 10W more power.
The ATi Radeon Mobility HD5870 CrossfireX solution is now the highest performing configuration for the Leopard in terms of price, performance and heat generation.
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Re: Eurocom compares Mobility Radeon HD 5870 CrossFireX with GeForce GTX 480M by Anonymous on Wednesday, August 25 2010 @ 14:17:18 CEST
First off, agreed on the price variance. The GTX 480M is WAY overpriced, and typical of Nvidia in that regard. But thanks to competition it's now quite apparent that Nvidia is overpriced, and they can either get more competitive or watch their market disappear. That's up to them.
As for the 55W issue. That's where the BS starts. 55W is ONLY for the CHIP, not the whole card. Memory adds about 15-20W to that figure. That is still much lower than the 100W of the 480M, but it is not half the heat. What allows Clevo to actually make this work is that the heat is spread out, like they reference, between the two chips allowing them to dissipate it with their cooling design. So there is a mix of some truth and a lot of BS mixed in along the way.
The 480M is hotter, but not by a ton, about 75W vs 100W, so 33%, not 100%. The 480M has 1GB more memory, which would deduct 15-20W from it's HEAT (remember these watts are heat not power). So then you'd have 80W vs 75W and that's not such a big difference.
Power consumption is also a bit more for the 480M but really only a bit more given the memory differences.
I think Eurocomm is trying to get rid of their stock of 5870's in view of the fact that the 6xxx series is coming in Nov/Dec and the 460M and possibly a 485M are working their way to market in the same timeframe.
5870 CF is a great gaming combo. It performs very well but has ATI's very longstanding and typical driver issues to deal with. That's the Achilles' heel to what is otherwise a very fast and very competent set of chips. Oh and the 5870 is priced where it should be, which is a stark contrast and embarrassment to Nvidia which prices things in the stratosphere.
Reply by Anonymous on Monday, September 13 2010 @ 16:55:10 CEST
Well Eurocom may well be trying to get rid of their 5870 stock, but I would argue it's an excellent deal. Upgrading from one to two 5870s for only USD $167 is a killer deal. And that combo will run almost anything, it's almost capable of running Crysis in ultra, a feat for a laptop. Also, those 6XXX may be coming out soon, but with no release date announced it's anyone's guess. Not to mention that the mobile version of the chip usually trails the discrete models by a couple months at least.
ATI is the choice part here, it's simply faster and has a lower heat output. whether by 33 or 100% doesn't matter, it's lower and that's the point.