Radeon HD 4830: High-Speed, Cheap CrossFire

PowerColor's Radeon HD 4830

PowerColor’s 4830 offering comes in an attractive package with very few extras. It's comprised of the card, a driver CD, and a manual. But before you complain about the lack of adapters for different output types, have a closer look at the card itself:

We don’t really need adapters, as the card comes with a DVI output, an HDMI output, and an analog VGA output. On one hand, we do have to say it’s a pleasant rarity to find a card that doesn’t require irritating adapters to work on a variety of outputs, but on the other hand, it’s just as irritating that we’d have to buy an HDMI-to-DVI adapter if we wanted to run two DVI monitors. As well, there is no S-video or component output for TV connections. Still, the PowerColor card gets some points for the adapter-less approach.

Our only real complaint is the lack of a CrossFire cable with the card. If you buy another PowerColor Radeon HD 4830, you still won’t be able to put them in CrossFire mode without that cable. They can be purchased separately, but the cable should really be standard issue.

PowerColor’s 4830 sticks close to the reference AMD 4830 board, but with some important differences--most notably the large dual-slot GPU cooler. While this cooler isn’t designed to throw heated air out of the case, its size does suggest that it will do a good job cooling off the RV770LE graphics processor.

The video memory chips are covered by two heat spreaders. As some of the memory is located below the fan heat sinks (but a few are located a little outside of the fan profile) , these spreaders are an interesting choice to keep memory temperatures equal and perhaps add a bit of surface area. Unfortunately, the spreaders are glued on, which is not our favorite method of fastening something this size, but they seems to do the job.

Under those heat spreaders is Qimonda's HYB18H512321BF-10 GDDR3 memory, which is rated for 1, 000 MHz. At 900 MHz, this memory is a little under-clocked, so we have some hope that it would tune a bit higher. In fact, this exact type of memory has seen use on Radeon HD 4850 cards that run 993 MHz stock.

Speaking of clock speeds, PowerColor’s card runs at the reference 575 MHz core and 900 MHz memory speeds when in 3D mode. In 2D mode, the card will perform a little more efficiently by lowering the clock speeds to 453 MHz core and 750 MHz memory.

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98 comments
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  • Great look into the 4830. Makes me want to buy a Xfire setup using these.
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  • If you couldn't get Tray Tools to work with the Sapphire card why not use another program? Instead of giving up and coming up with a lame conclusion.

    Also 993*2 doesn't equal 1885 and the 4870 is clocked at 750 not 780.
    Your sound and temp charts have FPS on their X axis.
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  • It's nice to see good cards from both companies, ATI and NVidia!
    And the price is not bad at all. The competition is so good!
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  • The chart on page two sais 4850 runs at 625 - but stock is 600, and 4870 at 780 - which is 750 stock ... so is the 4830 speed correct?
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  • Numbers and charts are corrected.
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  • Actually stock clocks on the 4850 *are* 625. :P
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  • I'm sure i saw that "4850 - smarter by design" article at anandtech first. or somewhere else... the name anyway not necessarily the article >.>
    -8
  • I knew that the 8800GT wasn't that fast, but those benchmarks ahve to be wrong... Sorry Nvidia fan boy here. Bye.
    -15
  • Um actually, the MSI runs at x16/x8 in SLI mode. If you instead got an evga 750i FTW motherboard, you would find it runs at x16/x16 in sli, thanks to its unlocked NF200 chip. the 750i FTW is not a reference nvidia board as the MSI is.
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  • LOL at 1680x1050, the 4870X2 IMPROVES when 4xAA is added? i smell a rat...
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  • Which test are you talking about, Venom? is added? i smell a rat...
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  • Far cry 2
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  • daskrabbeFar cry 2


    In Far Cry 2 there is a .8 frame difference, and shifting to 1920x1200 costs 2.1 frames at 4xAA. This is a processor bottleneck. In other words, performance is similar with and without anti-aliasing applied because the graphics card is nowhere near taxed at that resolution or the one above it.
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  • Nice article ATI has really been on the move in all price ranges in creating compitition I would think the next gen cards are going to be a die strink if you look at how they got 4xxx. 3xxx die shrink and 4xxx beef up in power for competitive cards/price.
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  • cangeliniActually stock clocks on the 4850 *are* 625.

    Oh my bad. I mixed up the numbers with some on g92 chips (just bought 28 9600gt's yesterday)

    Anyhow - the 4870 is 750, not 780 - at least they were when I bought mine.


    ps.
    "On a side note, we will mention that GRID is one of those games that really does require AA for the best visuals. Happily, the game engine seems very easy on the video cards and even the single-card configurations were able to provide 4xAA with playable frame rates."
    I want to add that this is only true for current generation cards. My dad's p4 with a 7600gs can only run it with grahpics at very low @ 800x600 - though he runs suppreme commander just fine at 1024 ...
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  • neiroatopelccOh my bad. I mixed up the numbers with some on g92 chips (just bought 28 9600gt's yesterday)Anyhow - the 4870 is 750, not 780 - at least they were when I bought mine.


    Yup, you're right--the chart was originally incorrect, but I went back and corrected that spec, along with the memory frequency mentioned by Doltron.

    Curious to hear how your dad's system runs SC no sweat at 1024. This is one of those ones that consistently drops test platforms to their knees. He actually gets playable frame rates on a P4?
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  • yes he does. Mind you it's not with aa on or anything set at max res. But he plays it just fine. He doesn't have the expansion though - doesn't play it all that much. Dunno if the expansion makes any difference.
    His rig (2.4 northwood, 2gb pc3200, 7600gs on a cantherwood chipset) plays test drive, age of empires 3 and supreme commander at playable levels, but doesn't do grid playable. I suppose he'd have a chance at grid if we'd oc the cpu, but last time we ran 3,2 I ended up breaking their c:\windows\system32\config\system file ... and he didn't like that.
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  • Would have loved to see this with the new Cat 8.12's, as theyre getting much better performance than the 8.10's.
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  • The
    jaydeejohnWould have loved to see this with the new Cat 8.12's, as theyre getting much better performance than the 8.10's.


    Yeah, unfortunately the 8.12s just came out and this article has been a long time in the making. :)
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  • DoltronIf you couldn't get Tray Tools to work with the Sapphire card why not use another program? Instead of giving up and coming up with a lame conclusion.


    Mostly because the card didn't seem to be able to get past 690 MHz core without problems in the Catalyst Control Center, so there didn't seem to be much point in persuing overclocking much further.

    But for the sake of completeness I can give Rivatuner a shot this evening and see if anything changes. I'll let you know. :)
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