But enough of the features, Let's have a look at the differences between the two actual products being announced today.
The Radeon HD 4850 itself
The first product released will be the cheapest one. Both the 4850 and 4870 products have the same chip, make no mistake. What you'll notice is that the 4850 will run at a 625 clock frequency and comes with 512MB GDDR3 memory (framebuffer) clocked at 1986 MHz. These two factors are pretty much the biggest difference compared to the big brother, which we'll get into in a second. Obviously the Radeon HD 4850 is again Crossfire/CrossfireX compatible, meaning if your mainboard allows it you can get four of these cards working. Power requirements aren't bad either. You can expect a 110 Watt peak watt power consumption. As mentioned earlier, good news also for the High-definition freaks, the new UVD 2.0 engine is built in as well, meaning we can now do dual-stream decoding and also push 7.1 channels lossless sound through HDMI. Fully dual-link DVI and HDCP compatible, of course. Again we'll talk about it later.
At a 199 USD introduction price, this product is just going to rock, but don't take my word for that, judge for yourself once we show you the benchmark results. Last thing I need to mention, all these features did not make this a huge bulky product, in fact it's a nice single-slot design. So yes, this is going to be an interesting product for sure.
Target price: 199 USD
ATI Radeon HD 4850
ATI Radeon HD 3850
ATI Radeon HD 3870
# of transitors
Stream Processing Units
2000 MHz (effective)
1.66 GHz (effective)
2.25 GHz (effective)
Math processing rate (Multiply Add)
Power Consumption (peak)
ATI CrossfireX With selected mainboards (pretty much anything not NVIDIA) you can combine one, two, three or even four graphics cards together in Crossfire mode. That's a lot of future redundancy. Today in this article we'll bring you some Crossfire results as we'll put the two Radeon HD 4850 we review together and have them crunch and show you some numbers.
DirectX 10.1 Both the Radeon HD 4850 & 4870 have support for the DirectX 10.1 API, introducing a new layer of extensions. DirectX 10.1 was launched with the Windows Vista Service Pack 1 and is backwards compatible with the existing DirectX 10 layer. Make no mistake, DX10.1 fully supports DX10 hardware. And DX10.0 class cards will still play DX10.1 games just fine.
It's basically an update to DX10 that extends the hardware functionality slightly. All the hardware is still supported, all the games still run, all the features are still there, it's just simply extended the feature set and the lifetime of the API. The release mainly sets a few more image quality standards for graphics vendors, while giving developers more control over image quality. Features scheduled for DirectX 10.1 include:
Mandatory 32-bit floating point filtering
Mandatory 4x anti-aliasing
Shader model 4.1
As stated today we'll review not one, but two Radeon HD 4850 graphics cards. One from a new company called Force3D and the second one from Powercolor.
For DX 10.1 gaming you'll likely need two cards ...
AMD ATI Radeon HD 4870 1024MB review 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.