Friday, January 30th 2009

AMD Releases Special Catalyst 9.1 for Sapphire HD 4850 X2

Although the Radeon HD 4850 X2 is an official SKU by AMD, launched (rather paper-launched) by the company along with the HD 4870 X2, Sapphire ended up being the only company to come up with an HD 4850 X2 series product line, since AMD didn't specify a reference design of its own. Sapphire went on to launch 1GB (2x 512MB) and 2GB (2x 1GB) variants of the said accelerator.

In AMD's latest release of the Catalyst driver suite (version 9.1), the HD 4850 X2 was excluded from the supported hardware list. Instead the company now released a special release of Catalyst 9.1 for the Radeon HD 4850 X2 series. The driver provides the same feature-set and list of fixes as described in the original release notes document for Catalyst 9.1, albeit being specific for the said accelerator. The WHQL-signed drivers are available for Windows Vista and Windows XP operating systems from the AMD website here.
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17 Comments on AMD Releases Special Catalyst 9.1 for Sapphire HD 4850 X2

#1
mtosev
why does this card need "different" drivers from other AMD/ATi cards?
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#2
VIPER
Your answer is in the description that started the topic... Read it again...
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#3
mtosev
Sapphire ended up being the only company to come up with an HD 4850 X2 series product line, since AMD didn't specify a reference design of its own. Sapphire went on to launch 1GB (2x 512MB) and 2GB (2x 1GB) variants of the said accelerator.

that doesn't require a "special" driver. they (AMD) could added that into the .INF file so that the users have an "all-in-one-driver-package".
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#4
VIPER
Since the driver was already launched and downloaded, the solution was the most elegant one.
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#5
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
VIPER said:
Since the driver was already launched and downloaded, the solution was the most elegant one.
The most elegant solution would have been to include support in the initial driver, it isn't like the didn't know the HD4850x2 existed before the driver was launched.

The HD4850x2 is really turning into AMD's bastard child. They were reluctant to even give official driver support to it, instead forcing the card manufacturers themselves to provide drivers. At least they are finally officially providing drivers for it, even if they are keep it seperate from the regular drivers. This is one of the reasons the HD4850x2 is a poor choice. Drivers make the card, and if you have to either wait for Sapphire to release the latests driver, or AMD to release a "special" driver, it is a pain in the ass. It is cheap, and offers good performance for the price, but there is a lot more hassle involved.
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#6
VIPER
Since only 1 company makes this card because they want to make it, why should ATI/AMD release a driver? For a product they didn't make? Don't see the point.
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#7
Zanga
On my 4850, folding speed increased with about 200 PPD :nutkick:
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#8
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
VIPER said:
Since only 1 company makes this card because they want to make it, why should ATI/AMD release a driver? For a product they didn't make? Don't see the point.
There are several things wrong with that logic.

1.) AMD/ATi released the product. Sapphire is the only manufacturer to pick it up and produce it, but AMD/ATi did officially release it.

2.) AMD/ATi did release the driver, they just decided not to add support in the original driver release, forcing everyone that owns an HD4850x2 to wait longer for a "special" release that is only different in an inf file that says the driver support the HD4850x2.

3.) AMD/ATi doesn't make the HD4850x2 in the same way they don't make any of their other cards. They release them, and the manufacturers actually produce the cards. It is the same way with the HD4870, HD4870x2, HD4850, etc. The only difference is that AMD/ATi didn't release a reference design for the HD4850x2, and left it up to the manufacturers to make their own designs. Manufacturers are free to use non-reference designs on their other cards also, there are plenty of non-reference HD4850's that have full support right from the initial release of the driver.
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#9
VIPER
newtekie1 said:
There are several things wrong with that logic.

1.) AMD/ATi released the product. Sapphire is the only manufacturer to pick it up and produce it, but AMD/ATi did officially release it.

2.) AMD/ATi did release the driver, they just decided not to add support in the original driver release, forcing everyone that owns an HD4850x2 to wait longer for a "special" release that is only different in an inf file that says the driver support the HD4850x2.

3.) AMD/ATi doesn't make the HD4850x2 in the same way they don't make any of their other cards. They release them, and the manufacturers actually produce the cards. It is the same way with the HD4870, HD4870x2, HD4850, etc. The only difference is that AMD/ATi didn't release a reference design for the HD4850x2, and left it up to the manufacturers to make their own designs. Manufacturers are free to use non-reference designs on their other cards also, there are plenty of non-reference HD4850's that have full support right from the initial release of the driver.
Same here:

1. What product did ATI/AMD release? 4850x2? Is this a single GPU? No. It's 2 times a 4850. So ATI/AMD did not release a 4850x2 GPU since this does not exist.
2. See my logic above.
3. This is, I am sorry to say, wrong. The cards were made by ATI/AMD. Ever wondered why there are so few of them? Nobody had huge stocks when it comes to ATI/AMD made cards. Check what is written on my avatar's case. I worked for them for 3 years. I know what I saw. The only thing the manufacturers are doing is branding te ATI/AMD cards. I worked for RMA. When in TW RMA, I asked what to do if I have an ATI/AMD or nVidia card made by them. The answer was simple: NOTHING, we ship them back to ATI and/or nVidia.
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#10
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
VIPER said:
Same here:

1. What product did ATI/AMD release? 4850x2? Is this a single GPU? No. It's 2 times a 4850. So ATI/AMD did not release a 4850x2 GPU since this does not exist.
2. See my logic above.
3. This is, I am sorry to say, wrong. The cards were made by ATI/AMD. Ever wondered why there are so few of them? Nobody had huge stocks when it comes to ATI/AMD made cards. Check what is written on my avatar's case. I worked for them for 3 years. I know what I saw. The only thing the manufacturers are doing is branding te ATI/AMD cards. I worked for RMA. When in TW RMA, I asked what to do if I have an ATI/AMD or nVidia card made by them. The answer was simple: NOTHING, we ship them back to ATI and/or nVidia.
1.) AMD/ATi DID release the HD4850x2. Read the first line of the news post.:banghead:
btarunr said:
Although the Radeon HD 4850 X2 is an official SKU by AMD, launched (rather paper-launched) by the company along with the HD 4870 X2...
2.) Your logic doesn't work as the HD4850x2 is an official AMD/ATi product that THEY released.

3.) Sorry, but AMD/ATi hasn't actually produced cards in a very long time, and even when they were "producing" cards towards the end the cards themselves were actually produced by Sapphire and PowerColor. AMD/ATi produce the GPU's, the manufacturers produce everything else and stick the GPU cores on the PCB. This is why you don't see any ATi branded cards anymore like you used to, they are all branded by a manufacturer because the manufacturer is the one actually producing the cards, AMD/ATi is only producing the GPU core. This is also why there are plenty of non-reference designs out there.
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#11
VIPER
This is where you are wrong again. Want to see my 4850? Pure ATI branded? I also had in my hands 3850, 3870, 4870 pure ATI branded. You are talking, I guess, from what you read on Internet. I am talking from what I know from this business, live. Don't take it personally, 'cause I don't. But some facts from the real life are a little different...

I saw a lot of chipsets, GPU's, CPU's coming to life on paper and remaining only on paper... No, you can't find them on Internet, also. So, ATI/AMD released 4850x2. But where? Nobody saw it. Up to Sapphire.
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#12
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
ATi doesn't produce any of their cards, period. Any that are purely branded ATi were produced by someone else and rebranded by ATi. Hell, they even partner with Sapphire to produce their sample cards. I know this as a fact, not from what I have read on the internet.

AMD/ATi officially launched the product, it is an offical AMD/ATi product, AMD/ATi should support it. Especially when support is as easy as adding a line to an inf file.

It doesn't matter how actually produces the product. What you are saying is the same as saying AMD/ATi shouldn't support any non-reference HD4850's and HD4870's, or any non-reference card for that matter. Or even any reference cards if they are produced my a different manufacturer.
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#13
VIPER
newtekie1 said:
ATi doesn't produce any of their cards, period.
Why so much anger? You have an opinion, I have a different one. Is this forbidden?

I will ask Monday my friends from AMD to tell me exactly about this matter. And I'll ask them to allow me to quote them. Is this OK? Maybe I am wrong. But maybe so are you. As I said, don't take it personally.
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#14
Zanga
If ATI doesn't build VGA cards how come they all use the same "reference" design, including cooler, same brand of capacitors, same PCB colors....all the components are soldered in the same factory. Asus, Gigabyte, Gainward all use the same brand of capacitors, same cooler with the same brushless motor made by the same chinese company.
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#15
ascstinger
lol. reference design doesn't mean made by ati. yes they are the same pcb, but amd contracts manufacturers to produce the reference cards. One of which is sapphire. Then sapphire sends the cards to each company and they slap a sticker on it.
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#16
Castiel
Well I used to have this card, and let me say it was a waste of money. I should of spend the money on 2 4870's. The card is a waste.
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#17
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
Zanga said:
If ATI doesn't build VGA cards how come they all use the same "reference" design, including cooler, same brand of capacitors, same PCB colors....all the components are soldered in the same factory. Asus, Gigabyte, Gainward all use the same brand of capacitors, same cooler with the same brushless motor made by the same chinese company.
LOL, they don't all even use the same PCB design...do a little research.:laugh:

MSI HD4850:


This is essentially the 100% reference design.

Shappire HD4850:


Notice the different brand solid Caps, and also the switching of a few of the smaller caps to solid caps. This card also uses a different PCB, and a non-reference cooler.

PowerColor HD4850:


This one uses the reference PCB, but uses different brand caps from the reference MSI card. It also uses different brand chokes(the square gray boxes). And once again, it uses a non-reference cooler.

HIS HD4850:


This one uses a 3rd PCB design, still based off the reference PCB. Notice that the large cap in the upper left has been switched to a solid cap in this one. I believe it uses the same brand of caps as the reference board does though. And again, a non-reference cooler.

Sapphire HD4850:


This one is totally different from the reference. The PCB has been completely re-worked. Obviously, it uses non-reference cooling, and the same brand of caps as the first sapphire card, which are different from the totally reference MSI card.

There is simply no way ATi produces all of these different cards.
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