There's talk that the latest batch of AMD's Radeon HD 4830 GPUs may be the last, as many partners wouldn't even let the chips come in through the front door. As it stands, it looks as though the 4830 will be heading out to the pasture soon.
With all the re-branding and the re-pricing going around as of late, it's easy to get confused as to what GPU outperforms the other, which offers the best value for the money, and why manufacturers think a batch of letters and numbers actually tell consumers what is under the GPU hood. Whatever happened to the days of simplicity? Of single-word descriptions that said "buy me" instead of "decipher me?"
Still, with all the letters and numbers thrown about like a knocked over Scrabble game, it's amazing to see industry partners pick and choose exactly what will fly, what will die, and what will simply be ignored. As if portraying the role of a neighbor that just won't go away, insistently knocking even when all the lights are out, AMD's HD 4830 GPU is discovering that its not welcome anymore.
Why? Because apparently AMD has shipped the last batch of the HD 4830 GPU, now considered old technology by industry partners in light of the upcoming RV740 offering a similar pricetag. Many partners just don't want any extra 4830 GPUs coming through the door despite ATI, and are trying to get rid of what's already in stock. Once the RV740 sees the light of day, there's a good chance these partners will make the 4830 dirtier-than dirt cheap, cheaper than the $99 pricetag attached to the RV740 when released.
The problem 4830 faces is that the RV740 performs slightly better in benchmarks while offering a cheaper price point. The upcoming 55nm RV740 GPU boasts a core clock of 650 MHz, 3200 MHz GDDR5 memory using a 256-bit memory interface, 640 shaders, 16 ROPS, and 32 TMUs. The 4830 performs just a little slower, featuring a core clock of 575 MHz, 1800 MHz GDDR3 memory using a 256-bit memory interface and so on.
For consumers pinching pennies, either offering should suffice, however if the soon-defunct 4830 takes a huge nosedive in price, it might actually come out looking more attractive to a lonely and desperate wallet looking to unload its love. Then again, for what the RV740 offers, a $99 pricetag is extremely tasty. Perhaps a decision like this is best left up to a coin... if there's one to spare, that is.