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. AMD's rendering pipeline has also evolved greatly with vast improvements to AA performance and texturing. Another new feature is the inclusion of UVD 2 which supports dual HD streams decoding. 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: MSI 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.
|Memory Size||256 MB||512 MB||512 MB||512 MB||512 MB||512 MB||512 MB||768 MB||768 MB||896 MB||1024 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 Clock||670 MHz||777 MHz||650 MHz||600 MHz||625 MHz||650 MHz||750 MHz||575 MHz||612 MHz||576 MHz||602 MHz|
|Memory Clock||828 MHz||1126 MHz||900 MHz||900 MHz||993 MHz||970 MHz||900 MHz||900 MHz||1080 MHz||999 MHz||1107 MHz|