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4850 Looking pretty good. Let the back peddling begin

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a c 130 U Graphics card
June 20, 2008 8:08:36 AM

A light hearted observation
You know over the last couple of months various rumours and speculation about these cards and the 260/280 cards have been disscused on these forums.
Formites with various levels of knowledge have joined these discusions and the main thing that i observed was that very few were prepared to accept that the ATI cards could perform as well as the reports were sugesting. In fact the consensus seemed to be that the Nvidia cards would kick the ATI cards around the room a bit. People even speculated that the 4870 would only perform slightly better than a 8800GTS :ouch:  . And the 280 would be the next stella card.
As we now know the 4850 is performing around about the 9800GTX level on release never mind the 4870 or the 4870X2.
It is early days yet and hopefully some more in depth reviews will be available soon concerning the archetecture of the 4 series cards and the shader system that so many said wouldnt provide the needed performance. I for one am very interested to see whats going on under the hood.
So ATI are back on track and delivering (and then some) on promised performance.
Im happy, competition is back in the market, we have performance that wont break the bank.
Oh yea and i was right and you guys were wrong :kaola: 
Mactronix :) 
a b U Graphics card
June 20, 2008 9:15:53 AM

Good one heheh. I find it interesting so many people are in denial. They read Annands, they read Tech Report, they of course read Toms, the better sites, and they get excited about the new nVidia cards coming out, like the 8800GT, or the GTS. Then, when the news hits from Toms, Annands etcetera, they question those sites like its all this major put on, nothing but crap, not true etc. Well, this isnt a big hoax, this is fun. Some scoured the net to find the worst previews they could find, and lorded over the poor review like its gospel. I love competition. Im excited for the next few weeks to come, and Ill have my wallet out at that time, after all this blows over, and we can assess these new goodies
June 20, 2008 9:34:28 AM

ATI specifically claimed that the 4850 would compete with the 8800GT, and the 4870 with the 9800GTX. So the informed "enthusiast" would assume that the cards would be slightly better then the direct competitor, if any especially with such a crappy show during the previous generation. I don't think any back peddling needs to be done but i'm sure glad that we finally have some competition. Under the hood is speculated to be 956 million transistors,16 ROPs. Nvidia also has the 9800GT under it sleeve and i would not be so keen on buying a 4850 until i knew how well it overclocks, I mean the 9800GTX's are insane overclockers... and are soon to be $200
a b U Graphics card
June 20, 2008 9:44:32 AM

I love beta drivers
June 20, 2008 9:49:23 AM

My current starry-eyed dream is a good scaling 4870x2 CF solution(quadfire? I dunno - but if it worked it'd be fast!) . Now let's check the prices of those 1200 watt PSU's.....

I might wait on nehelem and just build a whole new rig at that time. My bank account is quaking just thinking about it.
a b U Graphics card
June 20, 2008 9:55:23 AM

LOL Yeah, and by then, everything will be cheaper, there may even be a decent response from nVidia, with good pricing too
June 20, 2008 10:58:20 AM

NVIDIA already lowered the 9800GTX MSRP to $200 (now the manufacturers and retailers have to lower the prices). Finally some good competition.

I hope the prices drop to around $150 for the 9800GTX and HD4850 untli late July. That means I can get them for 200 EUR here. :heink: 

Then I can get a 9800 GTX for folding and a HD4850 for some eyecandy.
I can finally get an ATI card again after 5 years. :D 
June 20, 2008 11:18:02 AM

Again, I think this will work out perfectly. I ordered a new system with a 8800GT a few days ago and I think if I wait a few months prices will be great for the chance to use the "Step-Up" program and get a new card.

Market competition ftw
June 20, 2008 11:24:09 AM

Now my only problem is..

I already have a 8800GTX... I bought it over a year ago.

This new generation of cards is still completely unecessary to me or to anyone who has a 8800GTX or god forbid, a 9800x2 ..
I mean, even a 280 can't consistently beat a 9800x2

so where's the business sense in this new generation of cards?
June 20, 2008 11:41:48 AM

Im curious on how the 9800 GTX+ will perform.
a c 172 U Graphics card
June 20, 2008 12:37:39 PM

I am pleasantly surprised. As was mentioned, AMD themselves said the 4850 would compete with the GTS. I had issues believing that seeing as the 3850 couldn't even really take on the 8800GT. You can link to rumor sites all you want, but I only believe what I can see.

What I see so far, is that the 48x0 cards are looking to be monsters. Its not quite official yet, but it seems that AMD did a wonderful job boosting performance. I to would like to know whats going on under the hood, but to be completely honest, I don't care. What I do care about is AMD is back in the game, and prices are falling faster then a certain former presidents pants. This is excellent news for us.
June 20, 2008 12:46:03 PM

I mean, in the 10 years or so since the 8800 series was released, everyone into gaming already got one.

so why would anyone pay $200+ for something new that doesn't really preform better? not to mention anyone who already has a sli setup..

It's a problem when it takes companies way way too long to release a new thing..
June 20, 2008 1:00:49 PM

some even said you wont get that sort of performance for that price well the numbers tell a different story, and just because ur used to getting shafted by nvidia and there over inflated prices, im not!

but at the end of the day we are all getting a good deal so let the competition begin
June 20, 2008 1:10:20 PM

lx_flier said:
ATI specifically claimed that the 4850 would compete with the 8800GT, and the 4870 with the 9800GTX. So the informed "enthusiast" would assume that the cards would be slightly better then the direct competitor, if any especially with such a crappy show during the previous generation. I don't think any back peddling needs to be done but i'm sure glad that we finally have some competition. Under the hood is speculated to be 956 million transistors,16 ROPs. Nvidia also has the 9800GT under it sleeve and i would not be so keen on buying a 4850 until i knew how well it overclocks, I mean the 9800GTX's are insane overclockers... and are soon to be $200


ATI claimed the 4850 would be ~40% faster than an 8800GT, and that a 4870 would be ~40% faster than a 9800GTX. While they were comparing the models, it was meant to show that the ATI models were superior, not "competing" with them. Why any enthusiast would assume ATI was inferring that 4850 = 8800GT and 4870 = 9800GTX is puzzling. Looking at review compilations, it actually seems ATI wasn't over-hyping their new cards by much, if at all.

While I'm impressed by ATI's performance comeback, I am kind of wary of buying the new cards right off the bat. As far as overclocking goes, most reviews I've seen that attempted it indicate that the 4850 does poorly in this regard, perhaps 1-5%. One reason is that it runs at very high temperatures. 90+ C core temps make me wonder on the longevity of the card.

Personally, I think I'll wait for the GDDR5 version, and one with a more powerful cooling solution.. or just go with the 4870. Regardless, I'll be moving to ATI. They just seem to be more on the ball lately with technological features such as shaders and dx10.1, which seem to be more important to most than how many proteins they can fold a day (not that the supercomputer videocard isn't an interesting path to go down). They also seem to be a little more committed to better driver/game optimizations than they have been in the past, which has been their biggest liability. The combination of the two, plus a better scalable and much cheaper product makes it appear that ATI will be a powerful force in the industry once again.

What will be really interesting is when they throw these cores into CPU's, as AMD appears to be planning. It looks like AMD's investment in ATI is finally paying off.. and in more ways than one.
June 20, 2008 1:31:54 PM

i for one want 2 know how the card folds can anyone give a link
June 20, 2008 1:37:47 PM

So OP posted to pat himself on the back? A broken watch is right twice a day.
June 20, 2008 1:51:07 PM

This is good news and I'm really looking forward to see how the 4870 performs against nvidia's 280.
June 20, 2008 2:14:13 PM

read the reviews fr Anand, Hothardware, and other sites ww. HD4850 looks very impressive and beat 98GTX for sure. way to go, ATI. finally, we have some affordable, new graphics technology. not something renamed. haha....
i think some of us doesnt have to wait 'cause the Egg and Tiger have the cards launched at their pages, which i thought the card launching on 25th.... oh well. it's a good thing. let's the competition flamed on.
June 20, 2008 2:21:04 PM

im not sure 4870 will be able to put much pressure on 280 but 4870 x2 or a 4870 CF will definitely cut 280 into pieces.....n plz don say its not fare on 280 as it has only one gpu becoz 2 ati gpu is cheaper + is superior.n i want to be able to feed ma kids when i have them.
finally i can go back to the red team.

June 20, 2008 2:25:46 PM

@ OP: Very well said.

I especially like how most of the "but the GTX 280 IS a great card!" people have yet to post.
June 20, 2008 2:34:11 PM

i'm gonna be buying a 4850. i've had enough of this useless HD3200 integrated graphics. for an IGP it's not half bad, but it still can't play newer games. for my needs the 4850 is fine. i only game at 1680x1050 so i wont need the extra horsepower of the 4870.
June 20, 2008 2:43:41 PM

lightzy said:
Now my only problem is..

I already have a 8800GTX... I bought it over a year ago.

This new generation of cards is still completely unecessary to me or to anyone who has a 8800GTX or god forbid, a 9800x2 ..
I mean, even a 280 can't consistently beat a 9800x2

so where's the business sense in this new generation of cards?


It's pretty simple really. Your current card works well and does what you need it to do. It doesn't make much sense for you to upgrade unless you have a need for the latest and greatest hardware.

Unlike yourself there are truck loads of people who are ready to upgrade. I, for example, have a 1900XT. It was one of the best cards at the time I bought it, and it cost me over $600. It's been a couple of years now, and while my current card still has a few breaths left in it, the upgrade bug is gnawing at me. The fact that I can spend $200 for a very significant performance jump is fantastic. I might even go CF because the price is so attractive, but I'll probably start off with one card first and see how it goes.
June 20, 2008 2:47:38 PM

more i interested is how will AMD's driver support will turn out this time round. i think the biggest flop for the HD3xxx card are the drivers. the card itself is very good as we can see now after numberous drivers update and it deliver some very healthy fps.

anyone remember what happen when the 3870X2 released?
June 20, 2008 2:48:25 PM

when larrabee come out all the cards wukk be worthless!!!haha

just dreaming!:) 
June 20, 2008 2:59:38 PM

lightzy said:
I mean, in the 10 years or so since the 8800 series was released, everyone into gaming already got one.

so why would anyone pay $200+ for something new that doesn't really preform better? not to mention anyone who already has a sli setup..

It's a problem when it takes companies way way too long to release a new thing..



ding ding ding


anyways, if people want to get excited about something, get excited about the 4870; but the 4850 is not like "WOAHHH!!!" earth-shattering performance and it is what is being constantly quoted
June 20, 2008 3:05:03 PM

lightzy said:
I mean, in the 10 years or so since the 8800 series was released, everyone into gaming already got one.

so why would anyone pay $200+ for something new that doesn't really preform better? not to mention anyone who already has a sli setup..

It's a problem when it takes companies way way too long to release a new thing..



These companies are not in the business of providing you with what is convenient. They are providing what sells. Sure you may have bought an 8800GTX a year ago, but the cards that come out now have newer technologies, effiecencies, and overall features. Sure this may not seem like much of a change in performance, but there will always be people who are either long overdue for an upgrade, or simply upgrade because they can. For some people I can see it being the knowledge of know that they have the newest and best gear. Just know that in a couple months or even a year from now, the 8800GTX will still be a beast of a card, but there will simply be others out there with better. Its called demand.

ATI has done well by providing larger performance for reduced energy and cost.

And in another 6 months or so we rinse and repeat the cycle...
June 20, 2008 3:11:32 PM

ovaltineplease said:
ding ding ding


anyways, if people want to get excited about something, get excited about the 4870; but the 4850 is not like "WOAHHH!!!" earth-shattering performance and it is what is being constantly quoted


You're right, the performance isn't earth shattering, but the combination of it's performance and the price tag is awesome for a brand new card. It's something that everyone can afford. Simply adding a secong card makes it hang with the best of them, and then some.
June 20, 2008 3:11:38 PM

madaniel said:
These companies are not in the business of providing you with what is convenient. They are providing what sells. Sure you may have bought an 8800GTX a year ago, but the cards that come out now have newer technologies, effiecencies, and overall features. Sure this may not seem like much of a change in performance, but there will always be people who are either long overdue for an upgrade, or simply upgrade because they can. For some people I can see it being the knowledge of know that they have the newest and best gear. Just know that in a couple months or even a year from now, the 8800GTX will still be a beast of a card, but there will simply be others out there with better. Its called demand.

ATI has done well by providing larger performance for reduced energy and cost.

And in another 6 months or so we rinse and repeat the cycle...


It is part of AMD's vision at the moment to release affordable mainstream consumer PCs under their AMD GAME! platform , in this manner I think they certainly have the right idea with their new video cards as they fall into that idea.

However, just like the gtx280 was disappointing for many people; likewise the 4850 is hardly making my jaw drop even if its got good price/performance.

I think 6 months there is likely not going to be any major advancements just like there wasn't any crazy advancements this time around; its mostly just going to be size refreshes, software, and of course the 4870x2 launch in a couple months time

I think the 4870 is going to be a great card, it should be able to do what Nvidia wasn't able to do, and that is make a video card that outperforms their last high end on every level of the field, for the same or lesser cost.

I think the gtx280 is a pretty cool piece of tech, but the stigma of the 9800GX2 is ruining it :p 
June 20, 2008 3:14:34 PM

knickle said:
You're right, the performance isn't earth shattering, but the combination of it's performance and the price tag is awesome for a brand new card. It's something that everyone can afford. Simply adding a secong card makes it hang with the best of them, and then some.



and everyone can afford 8800GTS 512mb in SLI and it performs very comparably for 40$ less per card, for that matter with the new 199$ price on 9800 GTX, 9800GTX in SLI is very comparable too for the same price

4850 is not knocking my socks off; its not a bad card but I wouldn't say it is really worth getting excited about over the technology that we've had for the last 6 months

I'm preaching this and I will continue to preach it, 4870 vs gtx260 is going to be what decides for me whether Nvidia or ATI released the better product this month
June 20, 2008 3:24:55 PM

ovaltineplease said:
and everyone can afford 8800GTS 512mb in SLI and it performs very comparably for 40$ less per card, for that matter with the new 199$ price on 9800 GTX, 9800GTX in SLI is very comparable too for the same price

4850 is not knocking my socks off; its not a bad card but I wouldn't say it is really worth getting excited about over the technology that we've had for the last 6 months

I'm preaching this and I will continue to preach it, 4870 vs gtx260 is going to be what decides for me whether Nvidia or ATI released the better product this month


There isn't really any wrong answer here. It's a matter of personal preference and what your wallet can afford. One could say that two of nVidia's older cards are a better deal. That answer is right for you and I'm sure others will agree. There will also be those that look at nVidia's tech and be annoyed that it does not offer DirectX 10.1, even though there isn't much support for it right now. It really depends on the person and what they need and what they want.

One last comment is I have heard rumors that the new catalyst 8.6 drivers have some performance improvements. I don't know if this holds true, so I'm not making further judgements until I see official reviews with 8.6 testing.
June 20, 2008 3:47:34 PM

knickle said:
One could say that two of nVidia's older cards are a better deal. That answer is right for you and I'm sure others will agree. There will also be those that look at nVidia's tech and be annoyed


I'm not trying to argue excessively, but its really not about whats good for me because my interest at this point doesn't lie in pure price/performance - the point i'm making is that I dislike the pretense of these sort of threads and all the butt-patting that is going on with ATI for releasing the 4850.

Its not a bad card but the comparisons frequently being made with it are no more biased than people saying the gtx280 is great cause they got 9800GX2 performance onto a single board - in other words: "wuppity do" in either case.

The only thing that matters at the 200$ gpu or 400$ dual gpu level is price/performance, but both companies are offering comparable options that trade blows right now at that level

I really think the mid-end is going to matter more. I gotta be honest, gtx280 while I could certainly buy, is not going to do much for me because I game on a 22" display - so gtx260 is more my interest.

You could make the same argument with the 4870 that has been made against other nvidia 400$ gpu combinations - well 2 4850s will outperform a 4870, so the 4870 is crap!!!1111one - Which is anything but the truth, it simply doesn't work that way in reality. The performance scale has a diminishing return the further up you go unless you got into the extreme high end which typically costs you 3 times as much as any hardware level in the best case scenario.

I just think that given AMD big hugs because they released a 200$ gpu that is barely better than the last 200$ gpu is getting a bit silly. The websites practically stink of fanboyism. Does anyone think the 4870 will be 2x the performance of the 4850 for 350-400$? Uh, very doubtful. But will the 4870 be a much better example of ATI's newest technology? I think the answer will probably be yes.

I get a feeling that the 4870 will beat the gt260, and if it does that will truly mean that AMD's graphics department is back in the game.
June 20, 2008 3:51:46 PM

to ovaltineplease.You posted twice to say the same thing ,I like Nvidia.If the 4850 is not that impressive ,then why is Nv.bringing out a revision card(9800gtx+) that was never in 4850 price point,which will then be competing against 4850 ddr5.ATI shoot for the moon and dam near got the stars.4850 was to challenge the 8800gt and the 4870 was to vs the 9800gtx.The proof that this card is impressive is in how many folks buy it.
June 20, 2008 3:54:36 PM

I'm really surprised at the "future proofing" of Nvidia and the ACTUAL performance of ATI. I sure am waiting on the 4870 and specifically the X2 version unless the single is just a beast ! 650 for so/so performance in today's games is dumb.
June 20, 2008 3:56:05 PM

I ordered a 4850 from the egg today. After the $30.00 rebate I will be looking at $170.00................sweet!
June 20, 2008 3:57:08 PM

gridener said:
Im curious on how the 9800 GTX+ will perform.


Here you go: http://www.pcper.com/article.php?aid=580&type=expert&pid=1

Minimally faster than a normal 9800GTX and actually uses more power despite being 55nm. Word is that ATI will be releasing a 4850XT version with faster memory that should be back on par with the 9800GTX+ (probably a little faster again) for about the same price.
June 20, 2008 3:58:35 PM

@ ovaltineplease:

Yes, the 4850 might not be that impressive in a market of 8800's, but compare it to the overhyped crap that is the 2600 and 300 series cards from ATI and it IS a big improvement, and pretty cheap for a brand new card !
June 20, 2008 3:58:46 PM

royalcrown you ever think of the driver problem on the X2?
June 20, 2008 4:00:14 PM

has anyone started to fold on the 4850 if so what ppd are you getting
June 20, 2008 4:00:29 PM

Just_An_Engineer said:
Here you go: http://www.pcper.com/article.php?aid=580&type=expert&pid=1

Minimally faster than a normal 9800GTX and actually uses more power despite being 55nm. Word is that ATI will be releasing a 4850XT version with faster memory that should be back on par with the 9800GTX+ (probably a little faster again) for about the same price.


i seen that also.but its quite an increase on clock speed.its more then 10% for the core and SP. but if 4850XT come out then wouldnt it overlaps HD4870 who also uses fast DDR5 memory?
June 20, 2008 4:01:52 PM

4850 uses gddr5 because of its architecture, not because its inherently better than Nvidia's method at this point. That is an apples to oranges deal.

Nvidia released the 9800 GTX+ so that they would have a card that is on equal footing to the 4850 in as much as they will both trade blows depending on the benchmark - the 9800 GTX+ will be 30$ more or 60$ more for a SLI setup - many companies are dropping prices on the 9800 GTX to for the sake of competition.

The 9800 GTX is still in the same performance arena as the 4850 - you can't expect every card from either company to perform identically at every price point. That would be like comparing a 3870x2 to a 9800gx2 and saying that the 3870x2 was the inferior card - yea, but it was also up to 150$ cheaper!

"The proof that this card is impressive is in how many folks buy it. "

Thats really not true, its just marketting and if AMD can market their product better than Nvidia can market theirs, then AMD will get more sales. I think the potential exists for that because AMD is marketting full platforms (AMD GAME!) and Nvidia isn't.
June 20, 2008 4:06:09 PM

royalcrown said:
@ ovaltineplease:

Yes, the 4850 might not be that impressive in a market of 8800's, but compare it to the overhyped crap that is the 2600 and 300 series cards from ATI and it IS a big improvement, and pretty cheap for a brand new card !



Absolutely, ATI has really bounced back in terms of quality.

But if the 4870 doesn't beat the gtx260, I see them having more of the same problems they've had in terms of "making money" - at this point I really hope the 4870 is everything we expect it to be and not just a slightly upscaled 4850 which is the worst case scenario..

You have to understand how critical it is for AMD right now to outperform its competitors as much as it can in the market it is targetting, because if they don't they will be in a world of financial trouble by the end of next quarter.
June 20, 2008 4:07:55 PM

knickle said:
There isn't really any wrong answer here. It's a matter of personal preference and what your wallet can afford. One could say that two of nVidia's older cards are a better deal. That answer is right for you and I'm sure others will agree. There will also be those that look at nVidia's tech and be annoyed that it does not offer DirectX 10.1, even though there isn't much support for it right now. It really depends on the person and what they need and what they want.

One last comment is I have heard rumors that the new catalyst 8.6 drivers have some performance improvements. I don't know if this holds true, so I'm not making further judgements until I see official reviews with 8.6 testing.

yes ,catalyst 8.6 did boost my hd2900pro alot.Now I can play CoD with 4AA up from 2AA
June 20, 2008 4:11:34 PM

iluvgillgill said:
when larrabee come out all the cards wukk be worthless!!!haha

just dreaming!:) 


you wrote "when" instead of "if" :non: 
June 20, 2008 4:12:46 PM

Ovaltineplease does have a point, the 4850 did exceed everyone's expectations including mine, but remember that this isn't the top card in the lineup, so don't congratulate AMD just yet, it isn't over till the fat lady sings, and it'll sing for me when the benchmarks for 4870 come up. :D  <pulls out a can of fanboy-b-gone>
June 20, 2008 4:13:37 PM

so its taken AMD 2 years to "fully" unleash the beast inside!lol

hope the HD4xxx wont go down the same route!lol
June 20, 2008 4:14:31 PM

einheriar said:
you wrote "when" instead of "if" :non: 


it is "when" not "if" Intel spend so much on it already they wont quit now.
June 20, 2008 4:14:32 PM

ovaltineplease said:
and everyone can afford 8800GTS 512mb in SLI and it performs very comparably for 40$ less per card, for that matter with the new 199$ price on 9800 GTX, 9800GTX in SLI is very comparable too for the same price

4850 is not knocking my socks off; its not a bad card but I wouldn't say it is really worth getting excited about over the technology that we've had for the last 6 months

I'm preaching this and I will continue to preach it, 4870 vs gtx260 is going to be what decides for me whether Nvidia or ATI released the better product this month


You've had DX10.1 for 6 months?????? How?!?!?!
June 20, 2008 4:20:12 PM

I think you wrong ro3dog, because in the benchies hd 4850 knocking off 9800 gtx, and I can't imagine how hd 4870 perform, so I think 4870 will on paar with gtx 2600.
I think 4870 X2 will perform like monster because in the anandtech, two hd 4850 in CF can scale 100% (in CoD), i wonder how they do it

sorry for my bad english, becouse I'm from indonesia
June 20, 2008 4:22:06 PM

rfatcheric said:
You've had DX10.1 for 6 months?????? How?!?!?!



Using DX10.1 support for the last 6 months as an argument would be like congradulating yourself for owning an Ageia Physx card


If it only works in 1 game than it doesn't really mean much
June 20, 2008 4:23:44 PM

iluvgillgill said:
royalcrown you ever think of the driver problem on the X2?


Yep, byt NV has it's own driver issues....so you gotta go with what works, not what's perfect, besides, I am gonna read the reviews b4 I buy :) 

!