AMD ATI Radeon HD 4850 Crossfire -
20 - The Verdict
Alright then, conclusion time.
Let me be short and frank here. At 199 USD this is just a bitching nice product. By releasing the Radeon HD 4850 not only you get a very feature packed and stuffed product, you'll also purchase a product that is competing with a GeForce 9800 GTX really well. Now here's the thing that I just have to mention, NVIDIA at this very moment is issuing new optimized drivers and lowering prices of the GeForce 9800 GTX. In fact the standard GeForce 9800 GTX will cost 199 USD next week as well. Next to that at 229 USD they'll release a 9800 GTX+ edition that will match today's tested cards perfectly fine.
You just gotta love the competition. But this is exactly what we need in the business .. competition drives sales, innovation and performance. This is so good for you as an end-user. Yours truly for a fact loves it.
At this very moment, I'd pick up the Radeon HD 4850 for several reasons though. One of them is DX 10.1 support, the second one is slightly (on average) better performance. I'm seriously surprised to have witnessed what kind of performance this little 4850 pushes out. That's just extraordinary nice to see. Combine two of them in Crossfire and the dynamics change completely ... it can compete here and there even with a GeForce GTX 280 and that my friends is heaps of value at roughly 400 bucks. Mind you that next week I'll update the VGA charts where you can compare all SLI and crossfire results with each other. I know the update is requested a lot, yet I'm drowning my available time with all these new product launches.
Back to the 4850 then, not everything about it is perfect though, sorry. The temperatures this card reaches are not really fun to observe, 80-85 Degrees C is normal for this card. Heat is dumped inside the PC due to the single slot cooler, and it certainly dumps a lot of heat. Thank gawd for board-partners with aftermarket coolers. Crossfire wise we always run into problems. This test-run was no difference. I had a couple of hangs, Frontlines: Fuel of War wouldn't even start in Crossfire mode and 3Dmark Vantage was showing some corruption. For some reason I always have stuff like that with Crossfire setups, though admittedly ... overall it did work really well and the scaling is just phenomenal.
So I'm not going to make this conclusion any longer than needed. The Radeon HD series 4850 are just stuffed with good features and offers tremendous amount of performance for your bucks. Surely NVIDIA reacts by lowering the price on the GeForce 9800 GTX .. but mark my words, a month from now the Radeon HD 4850 will already sell for prices like 169 USD. And at this moment in time as a consumer it just can't get any better than this.
True value and a great gaming experience. The mid-range graphics arena anno summer 2008 just got really exciting.
Due to AMD unexpectedly lifting the NDA five days sooner than planned, we have not been able to go as in-depth in this review as we typically do. We returned with cards one day after AMDs press event, which was merely yesterday.
Please, accept my apologies for that as this product could have used a little more in-detail writing. But I think you have a pretty good idea what kind of dynamic this product will bring to the market.
Bloody nice, that's for sure.
The two board-partners I'd like to thank for supplying a product at launch: the all new Force3D (give them a visit) and Guru3D regular, Powercolor, thank you guys for the support. Be sure to check out their products. It's quality stuff at a great price. Both vendors can take our 'Gaming Essential' award home.
With these words I'm closing this article for now, and soon the Radeon HD 4870 will be released. Obviously we'll report on that one as well.
Today a test and review on the new AMD ATI Radeon HD 4870 1024MB. Obviously ATI is releasing a 1GB model to compete with the new Core 216 version of that GeForce GTX 260. The 4870 series really diggs that GDDR5 memory bandwidth, and what's the cheapest thing to do to gain some extra performance ? Increase the framebuffer volume. Now that by itself is not going to work miracles, yet in memory limited situations (loads of high quality textures, filtering and AA modes) it will help you here and there. And a little bit of extra bite is all the product needs to get beat that Core 216 card again.
AMD ATI Radeon HD 4850 Crossfire
A review with Crossfire results as well, on the all new Radeon HD 4850 from Force3D and PowerColor. Definitely a review worth reading.
AMD ATI Radeon 3850 & 3870 review
Today AMD will launch the Radeon 3000 series products, in specifically the Radeon HD 3850 and 3870. I'll give you a quick hint, these cards are roughly as fast a Radeon HD 2900 XT .. yet they are priced a very promising level; how does a price range of 149 to 249 USD sound ? See, performance wise a 149 USD Radeon HD 3850 will wipe the floor with the entire competitors GeForce 8500/8600 series easily and the 3870 will put up a great fight with the 8800 GTS. With new releases often also we can see a couple of new tricks. Today's announced products will see light of in the form of DirectX 10.1 support, the new UVD (video de/encoding) engine is now integrated opposed to the 2900 XT which didn't have it. Full PCI-Express 2.0 support, and a die-size based on 55nm to die for.