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Radeon HD 4850 Vs. GeForce GTS 250: Non-Reference Battle

Test System Setup And Benchmarks

System Hardware
Processor(s)Intel Core 2 Duo Q6600 (Kentsfield), 2.7 GHz, FSB-1200, 8 MB Cache
PlatformMSI P7N SLI Platinum Nvidia nForce 750i, BIOS A2
RAMA-Data EXTREME DDR2 800+ 2x 2,048 MB, DDR2-800, CL 5-5-5-18 at 1.8 V
Hard DriveWestern Digital Caviar WD50 00AAJS-00YFA500 GB, 7200 RPM, 8 MB cache, SATA 3.0 GB/s
NetworkingOn-Board nForce 750i Gigabit Ethernet
Graphics CardsAsus EAH4850 MT 512 MB DDR3 PCIeGigabyte GV-N250ZL-1GI 1 GB DDR3 PCIe
Power SupplyUltra HE1000X, ATX 2.2, 1000W
Software and Drivers
Operating SystemMicrosoft Windows Vista Ultimate 32-bit 6.0.6001, SP1
DirectX VersionDirectX 10
Platform DrivernForce Driver Version 15.25
Graphics DriverATI Catalyst 9.3Nvidia Forceware 182.08
CrysisVersion: 1.2.1, Video Quality: Very High Details, Demo: CPU-Benchmark + Tom’s Hardware Tool
Left 4 DeadVersion 1.0.1.1, Video Quality: all settings at maximum, Demo: Tom's Custom Benchmark
Fallout 3Version 1.4, Video Quality: Ultra, Demo: Tom's Custom Benchmark + Fraps
World in ConflictVersion: 1.0.0.9, Video Quality: Very High details, Demo: Game-Benchmark
Burnout Paradise: The Ultimate BoxVersion 1.1, Video Quality: All settings at maximum, Demo: Tom's Custom benchmark & Fraps
3DMark Vantage                                Version: 1.0.1, Demos: Performance, High, and Extreme Presets
  • rags_20
    In the second picture of the 4850, the card can be seen bent due to the weight.
    Reply
  • rags_20
    The Gigabyte would be more effective with 2 fans.
    Reply
  • tuannguyen
    rags_20In the second picture of the 4850, the card can be seen bent due to the weight.
    Hi rags_20 -

    Actually, the appearance of the card in that picture is caused by barrel or pincushion distortion of the lens used to take the photo. The card itself isn't bent.

    / Tuan
    Reply
  • jebusv20
    demonhorde665... try not to triple post.
    looks bad... and eratic. and makes the forums/coments system
    more clutered than need be.

    ps. your not running the same bench markes as Toms so your not really comparable.
    yes, same game and engine, but for example in crysis, the frame rates are completely different from the start, through to the snowey bit at the end.

    pps. are you comparing your card to there card at the same resolution?
    Reply
  • alexcuria
    Hi,

    I've been looking for a comparison like this for several weeks. Thank you although it didn't help me too much in my decision. I also missed some comments regarding the Physix, Cuda, DirectX 10 or 10.1 and Havok discussion.

    I would be very happy to read a review for the Gainward HD4850 Golden Sample "Goes Like Hell" with the faster GDDR5 memory. If it then CLEARLY takes the lead over the GTS 250 and gets even closer to the HD4870 then my decision will be easy. Less heat, less consumption and almost same performance than a stock 4870. Enough for me.

    btw. Resolutions I'm most interested in: 1440x900 and 1650x1080 for 20" monitor.

    Thank you
    Reply
  • spanner_razor
    Under the test setup section the cpu is listed as core 2 duo q6600, should it not be listed as a quad? Feel free to delete this comment if it is wrong or when you fix the erratum.
    Reply
  • KyleSTL
    Why a Q6600/750i setup? That is certainly less than ideal. A Q9550/P45 or 920/X58 would have been a better choice in my opinion (and may have exhibited a greater difference between the cards).
    Reply
  • B-Unit
    zipzoomflyhighand no the Q6600 is classified as a C2D. Its two E6600's crammed on one die.
    No, its classified as a C2Q. E6600 is classified as C2D.
    Reply
  • KyleSTL
    ZZFhigh,

    Directly from the article on page 11:
    Game Benchmarks: Left 4 Dead
    Let’s move on to a game where we can crank up the eye candy, even at 1920x1200. At maximum detail, can we see any advantage to either card?

    Nothing to see here, though given the results in our original GeForce GTS 250 review, this is likely a result of our Core 2 Quad processor holding back performance.
    Clearly this is not an ideal setup to eliminate the processor from affecting benchmark results of the two cards. Most games are not multithreaded, so the 2.4Ghz clock of the Q6600 will undoubtedly hold back a lot of games since they will not be able to utilize all 4 cores.

    To all,

    Stop triple posting!

    Reply
  • weakerthans4
    The default clock speeds for the Gigabyte GV-N250ZL-1GI are 738 MHz on the GPU, 1,836 MHz on the shaders, and 2,200 MHz on the memory. Once again, these are exactly the same as the reference GeForce GTS 250 speeds.

    Later in the article you write,
    or the sake of argument, let’s say most cards can make it to 800 MHz, which is a 62 MHz overclock. So, for Gigabyte’s claim of a 10% overclocking increase, we’ll say that most GV-N250ZL-1GI cards should be able to get to at least 806.2 MHz on the GPU. Hey, let’s round it up to 807 MHz to keep things clean. Did the GV-N250ZL-1GI beat the spread? It sure did. With absolutely no modifications except to raw clock speeds, our sample GV-N250ZL-1GI made it to 815 MHz rock-solid stable. That’s a 20% increase over an "expected" overclock according to our unscientific calculation.

    Your math is wrong. A claim of 20% over clock on the GV-N250ZL-1GI would equal 885.6 MHz. 10% of 738MHz = 73.8 MHz. So a 10% overclock would equal 811.8 MHz. 815 MHz is nowhere near 20%. In fact, according to your numbers, the GV-N250ZL-1GI barely lives up to its 10% minimal capability.
    Reply