RADEON HD 4850 1GB DDR3 - Good bang for the $135?

Hey All,
I've been researching video cards lately for an upgrade for my Biostar 790GX uATX board (w/ PII x4 940). The board has the Radeon 3x00 on-board graphics. I have been using a Radeon 3650 1GB with it but need a little more power.

I like the following card for $135:

... DDR3 256-bit 1GB ... pretty good, I think (graphics/graphic cards are the weakest link in my computing repertoire :( )

Is this a significant upgrade for running Tom Clancy & COD games on a 22" 1680x1050? If so, is there a better "bang for my buck" card available at a lower price? I'm currently using a 420W power supply, so I'd like to pick a card that would NOT require me to get a new PSU.

I've seen several 4670 1GB cards around the $100 mark, but they are all 128-bit. What's the jump like between the 4670 128-bit & the 256-bit 4850?

Thanks for any help.

*PS ... yes I've reviewed the graphics charts on Tom's*
15 answers Last reply
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  1. I would definatly go with the 4850 over the 4670 it would be a big improvement in gaming. The card that you picked out is pretty good b/c it has 1gb of ram instead of the standard 512mb on the 4850 and the ram isnt any slower ur version is 1990mhz and the standard 512mb version is 1986 so its even slightly faster. Depending on your budget this card is a little more but you will see great performance gains over the 4850 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814143140 it has less ram but a much wider bus interface of 448bit vs. 256bit and its the oc version too. But for the same price range that you picked out the card you chose was a good choice Good Luck with the new card
  2. Thanks for the quick feedback. I do like the GTX 260 that drums recommended.

    The card drums recommended is out of my current budget. My original budget is/was $125 (US) but I would be willing to stretch it by $10 for the card I listed.

    Also, I thought I'd throw this in there. I am definately looking for something I could crossfire/SLI in 6-12 months down-the-road.

    I also like this card (GeForce 9600 GT OC 512MB 256-bit GDDR3) that is better for my budget:
  3. That XFX card you originally linked to is a great deal. I'd suggest it if you can afford it (much better than a 9600, and the 1GB will be great for crossfire later on). I just bought that XFX card, and it installed nicely and is very cool and quiet (the fan barely spins at all, but the card stays very cool. I'm not sure how). I'm very pleased with it.
  4. So ... now that I have both cards in my possession ... I can't tell a difference in performance?!?! They both run COD5, COD4, & Tom Clancy games with great frame rates. I am sure that the 1GB 4850 beats the 512mb 9600 in benchmarks, but is there really a difference in actual performance? I can't find any so far.
  5. At higher res and in certain games there should be.
  6. The 4850 is a couple of steps up, but it's not a huge improvement over a 9600gt.

    You are experiencing what most people do when they upgrade a graphics card. It's almost always disappointing because you were expecting more.

    What you need to do is, make your card work. Before you were getting good framerates on the 9600, now you can get good framerates with 2-4x AA, 16x AF. Just don't expect miracles because like you said, the 9600gt was running those games at great frame rates already, and there isn't really anything better than 'great' tbh.
  7. 4850 will be a noticeable improvement

    4850 ~ 9800GTX

    9800GTX > 9800GT/8800GT > 9600GT
  8. It's really not that noticable BSD, at least not in raw fps. It is probably the same as an upgrade from an 8800gt to 4870, which is one I made and I was pretty underwhelmed with it to start with.

    You do have to make it noticable, ie push the settings up to max. In pure fps terms there is hardly much going on at all between them. When I pushed all my settings to max, then I realised what the real upgrade was - not fps but quality.
  9. Well the originally linked card is only $120 with free shipping now, but the 4670s, if you're still interested, are also cheaper then you originally posted.
    Instead of $100, here's a 4670 for $75 + free shipping + $10 mail-in-rebate:
    It's just a 512MB model, but with the 4670 there's very little perfomance difference between then 512MB and 1GB models. It's a great if you're on a budget but if you can afford the 4850 you linked I'd go with it instead. :)
  10. Well, like I said earlier, I can't tell too much of a difference between the 4850 & the 9600. However, my Windows 7 Experience shot up from 5.4 or 5.5 (9600) to 6.9 (4850). I was really impressed with that jump. It far surpassed what I had expected. I feel better about my purchase now that I have actually seen that number. I think that the 4850 will service me longer (before I need to upgrade again) than the 9600.

    I am let down that Newegg has dropped the 4850 down to $120 ... after I already bought it. And now I have an extra video card lying around that I can't use :( Now my $135 4850 cost me $225.
  11. You can sell that 9600gt on ebay I'm sure.

    Again, there isn't a huge difference. What you need to do is start using 2x or 4x Antialiasing and make the difference noticable.
  12. I know this post was made a little while ago, but I just noticed today that this card has skyrocketed in price. I recommended it to somone and they told me to look at it again.

    It has gone from as low as $115 up to $190! :o That is a crazy increase!

    No regrets returning it though, I returned it for a 4890 1GB at $150.
  13. i know there some slightly up's and down's depending on the 512 b and the 1 gb on the cheap graphic card but rem... that u can overclock it to the same or even more than the 512 mb

    also yes my graphics card's its not my best -i know which one its the best but still dont convence'd me that much to go for it

    just get any thing in between 1 gb ddr 3 256 mbt and over 1900 mhz that should do it

    as far u dont have the money to affort the 280 :hello:
  14. The HD 4850's performance is a step up from the 9600GT and it should also be noticeable based on the following benchmarks:


    Some screenshoot (1920x1200 not benchmarked)

    Based on 1600x1200 resolution the percentage increase in performance is from about 40% to over 200% with Quake. At 1920 x 1200 resolution the percentage increase should be a little lower, but still noticeable. If people think the HD 4850 only offers a minor increase in performance, then based one these benchmarks, their expectation are rather absurd and need to get back in touch with reality.
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