Good news for those who have been patient and not bought a new ATI 4870 graphics card yet. Asus has come up with a self-designed “Dark Knight (DK)” version of the card, which until recently have mostly been cookie-cutter parts.
The “DK’d” 4870s come with either 512MB RAM or a souped-up 1GB. The most important improvement is an aluminium heatsink/fan, which should better the original ATI part which many users have complained of heat and noise.
Okay, if you are a hardcore geek and regularly modify your cards with water-cooling goodness or superior air-cooling from Thermalright, then this is not for you. But if you are late to the game and want a little more oomph without dirtying your hands with thermal grease, then such cards are for you.
The Dark Knight series has other goodies, like EMI shield, DIP spring chokes, LF PAK MOS, and Japan-made solid capacitors, which can help push performance further if you wanna overclock.
The 512MB version has already got its GPU and memory clocks pushed up from 750MHz up to 815MHz and from 3.6GHz up to 3.7GH. The 1GB, meanwhile, seems tamer, but is a good choice for a dual-graphics Crossfire setup.
There’s also a DK version of the 9800GTX+, if you are inclined towards Nvidia. It features the same heatsink/fan assembly, which promise just 32dB of noise, which for many people, maybe inaudible (I am sensitive to anything above 25dB!).
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