MSI R4850 Radeon HD 4850 512 MB Review 46

MSI R4850 Radeon HD 4850 512 MB Review

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Introduction

MSI Logo


Today AMD launches their new Radeon HD 4850 and 4870 Series. Both cards are built around the new RV770 graphics processor. The GPU comes with a largely increased number of shaders: 800 vs. 320 on the previous generation. Another new feature is support for GDDR5 which will be included in the Radeon HD 4870 only, not in the 4850. The HD 4870 has lower memory clocks because it uses GDDR5 which offers twice the bandwidth clock-to-clock when compared to GDDR3.

AMD is determined to claim price/performance leadership in the $199 and $299 segments, that's where those cards are positioned. A R700 card called HD 4870 X2 will appear later this year and is supposed to fight for the performance crown.

For reference, see our other HD 4850 review:
PowerColor Radeon HD 4850.

Both cards tested today use the AMD reference design, cooler and clocks, so there will be almost no differences between both reviews.

Radeon
HD 3850
Radeon
HD 3870
GeForce
9600 GT
GeForce
8800 GT
Radeon
HD 4850
GeForce
8800 GTS
Radeon
HD 4870
GeForce
8800 GTX
GeForce
8800 Ultra
GeForce
GTX 260
GeForce
GTX 280
Shader units 32032064112800128800128128192240
ROPs1616161616161624242832
GPURV670RV670G94G92RV770G92RV770G80G80GT200GT200
Transistors666M 666M505M 754M956M754M956M681M 681M 1400M 1400M
Memory Size256 MB 512 MB 512 MB 512 MB 512 MB 512 MB 512 MB 768 MB768 MB896 MB1024 MB
Memory Bus Width 256 bit 256 bit 256 bit 256 bit 256 bit 256 bit 256 bit 384 bit 384 bit 448 bit 512 bit
Core Clock670 MHz 777 MHz 650 MHz 600 MHz 625 MHz 650 MHz 750 MHz 575 MHz 612 MHz 576 MHz 602 MHz
Memory Clock828 MHz 1126 MHz 900 MHz 900 MHz 993 MHz 970 MHz 900 MHz 900 MHz 1080 MHz 999 MHz 1107 MHz
Price$120$150$140$160$199$210$299$390$520$449$649

Packaging & Contents

Package Front
Package Back

The MSI package is quite big and is similar to what MSI uses for their graphics cards. On the back you have a load of information, some being not totally accurate like "5.1 Audio". Also the back looks a bit crowded to me with all the information being displayed.



You will receive:
  • Graphics card
  • 2x Quick User's Guide
  • Driver CD (not included with our press package)
  • DVI Adapter + Video Out cable
  • CrossFire Bridge
  • 2x DVI connector adapter

The Card

Graphics Card Front
Graphics Card Back

AMD has successfully engineered the Radeon HD 4850's power budget to be able to work with a single slot cooler.

Monitor Outputs, Display Connectors

The card has two DVI ports, basically the most common output configuration these days. In case you need an analog VGA port you can use the included DVI adapter. When using an HDMI adapter (not included!!), you will also have access to HDMI+HDCP+Audio, which allows easy setup of a media PC. A new feature of the Radeon HD 4xxx Series is that 7.1 audio is now supported, the previous cards supported only 5.1 audio with HDMI.

Graphics Card Teardown PCB Front
Graphics Card Teardown PCB Back

Here are the front and the back of the card, high-res versions are also available (front, back). If you choose to use these images for voltmods etc, please include a link back to this site or let us post your article.
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