Powercolor PCS HD 4850 512 MB Review 32

Powercolor PCS HD 4850 512 MB Review

(32 User Comments) »

Value and Conclusion

  • The expected price of the Powercolor PCS 4850 512 MB is about $180. For a bit more money you can get a 1 GB or 2 GB version.
  • Extremely quiet under load and idle
  • Affordable
  • Only marginally more expensive than the reference design HD 4850
  • Core clock overclocked
  • HDMI+HDCP+Audio via adapter
  • Low power consumption
  • 7.1 HDMI Audio integrated in GPU
  • PCI-Express 2.0 support
  • Dual slot cooler
  • Supports CrossFireX
  • DirectX 10.1 support
  • Memory not overclocked
  • Limited memory overclocking potential
  • Does not support CUDA/PhysX
  • Dual slot cooler
  • No native HDMI output
Powercolor has successfully taken the great AMD HD 4850 reference design and improved the thermals, noise and performance. Even though the core overclock is only 65 MHz, we can see a performance increase of about 3% (something you probably wouldn't notice while gaming). Unfortunately the memory is not overclocked, but as our overclocking tests show there is not much headroom left here anyway. What really amazed me is how quiet this card is running with the Zerotherm cooler. Even under load the card is the quietest graphics card we ever tested, not only in this performance class. If you like to have a quiet computer, then this card should definitely be on your shopping list. It has all the performance you need to play the latest titles and it also stay quiet so you can enjoy gaming. It will also be a great choice for a media PC system because it is so quiet, yet has the power to allow gaming on your big TV screen with HDMI+HDC+Audio. Personally I spend most of my day in 2D with some occasional gaming in between, so I am not willing to accept a noisy rig with a super powerful graphics card standing next to me all day. That's why I switched to a quiet NVIDIA 9600 GT several months back. Now I will happily switch back to ATI to enjoy the incredibly low fan noise of the Powercolor PCS 4850, if Powercolor lets me keep the card *beg* *puppy eyes*.
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