Today AMD released their new Radeon HD 4830 Series of graphics cards. The cards are positioned in the $100 to $150 segment to put additional pressure on NVIDIA.
Compared to the bigger brother, the HD 4850, AMD reduced the number of shaders from 800 to 640. The number of texture units is also lower with 32 instead of 40. Last but not least, the clock frequencies were reduced to 575 MHz core and 900 MHz memory as well.
PowerColor's Radeon HD 4830 has the exact same specifications as the AMD reference design but comes with a PCB designed by PowerColor (probably for cost reasons) and a dual slot cooler (for lower temperatures). Also included is a native HDMI output which emphasizes the potential use as a media PC card. While the exact price is not known yet for the Powercolor variant, expect it to be about $10 to $15 cheaper than the AMD reference design.
PLEASE NOTE: There is an issue with the HD 4830 sample from AMD. It has only 560 shaders instead of the intended 640. That's why the scores of the AMD card are so different. The card tested in this review has the correct shader count of 640 and is representative of the HD 4830 performance. Read more about this here.
|Shader units ||80||16||80||32||320||320||320||64||640||112||112||800|
|Transistors||242M||314M||242M||314M||512M||666M ||666M||505M ||956M||754M||754M ||956M|
|Memory Size||256 MB||512M||512 MB||256 MB / |
|512 MB||256 MB ||512 MB ||512 MB ||512 MB ||512 MB ||512 MB ||512 MB |
|Memory Bus Width ||64 bit||128 bit||64 bit||128 bit||128 bit||256 bit ||256 bit ||256 bit ||256 bit ||256 bit ||256 bit ||256 bit |
|Core Clock||600 MHz||550 MHz||600 MHz||550 MHz||750 MHz||670 MHz ||777 MHz ||650 MHz ||575 MHz ||600 MHz ||600 MHz ||625 MHz |
|Memory Clock||500 MHz||400 MHz||800 MHz||900 MHz||1000 MHz||828 MHz ||1126 MHz ||900 MHz ||900 MHz ||900 MHz ||900 MHz ||993 MHz |
Packaging & Contents
The HD 4830 comes in the the typical PowerColor packaging, nothing here to see. Move on.
You will receive:
- Graphics card
- Documentation + Driver CD
Unlike the AMD reference design, PowerColor has chosen to use a big dual slot cooler which should drop the temperatures quite a bit.
The card has one DVI port, one analog VGA port and one HDMI port. The HDCP port features the usual HDCP+Audio, which allows easy setup of a media PC. AMD has integrated a Realtek 7.1 audio device inside the GPU which means that the sound card's HDMI output shows up as sound device in Windows. In my opinion this is an easier solution than on NVIDIA's cards where you have to route an audio cable from your motherboard to the VGA card.
Here are the front and the back of the card, high-res versions are also available (front
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A Closer Look
Powercolor's heatsink does not use any fancy heatpipes or copper, the temperatures are still lower than the AMD reference design.
Two, three or four HD 4830 cards can be combined in CrossFire to improve performance or image quality. You can also combine the HD 4830 with the HD 4850 (I tested it), but then the HD 4850 will be slowed down to match the speed of the HD 4830.
A single 6-pin PCI-Express power connector is required to power the card.
The GDDR3 memory chips are made by Qimonda (formerly Infineon) and carry the model number HYB18H512321BF-10. With a latency of 1.0 ns they should be good for at least 1000 MHz.
AMD uses their RV770 GPU on the Radeon HD 4830. Compared to the "regular" GPU, the number of shaders and texture unit is reduced via a locking mechanism. The GPU silicon remains the same for this change.