Since only the Radeon HD 4850 has been made available for the moment, let’s look at the specifications for that card, along with those of the GeForce 9800 GTX +, which Nvidia has pulled out of its sleeve at the last minute to compete with it (though it won’t be available until July17).
|GPU||HD 3870 X2||HD 4850||9800 GTX||9800 GTX +||280 GTX|
|GPU frequency||825 MHz||625 MHz||675 MHz||738 MHz||602 MHz|
|ALU frequency||825 MHz||625 MHz||1688 MHz||1836 MHz||1296 MHz|
|Memory frequency||900 MHz||1000 MHz||1100 MHz||1100 MHz||1107 MHz|
|Memory bus width||2x256 bits||256 bits||256 bits||256 bits||512 bits|
|Memory quantity||2 x 512 MB||512 MB||512 MB||512 MB||1024 MB|
|Number of ALUs||640||800||128||128||240|
|Number of texture units||32||40||64||64||80|
|Number of ROPs||32||16||16||16||32|
|Shading power||1.06 TFlops||1 TFlops||(648) GFlops||(705) GFlops||933 GFlops|
|Memory bandwidth||115.2 GB/s||64 GB/s||70.4 GB/s||70.4 GB/s||141.7 GB/s|
|Number of transistors||1334 million||956 million||754 million||754 million||1400 million|
|Die area||2 x 196 mm²||260 mm²||324 mm²||248 mm²||576 mm²|
|Shader Model supported||4.1||4.1||4.0||4.0||4.0|
When looking at the main characteristics, first of all the 4850 seems to leave the 9800 GTX, or even its + version, no chance – with 27% more transistors, 800 ALUs, and a theoretical processing power of 1 Tflop, or 42% higher, not to mention support for Direct3D 10.1 and a superiority that’s often quite marked in synthetic tests, as we’ve seen. All that is nothing to sneeze at. Yet, due to its keeping a 256-bit memory bus, memory bandwidth remains a little weak. And AMD still has a clear lag in the number of texture units and ROPs, and seems not to have learned from the errors of the past in that department.
Engraved at 55 nm, the RV770 is a relatively small chip at 260 mm², less than half the size of the GT 200. That’s no longer an advantage for AMD, however, with Nvidia catching up with the 9800 GTX +, which introduced the G92b, a G92 engraved at 55 nm and which, according to our measurements, is 5% smaller than the RV770 thanks to its smaller number of transistors. That, by the way, is the main innovation of this card, and it allows a 9% boost in GPU frequency (and ALU frequency). And… that’s all! All the other characteristics (with the possible exception of temperature and power consumption, which we’ll check later) remain identical. We initially wondered why Nvidia hasn’t called the new card "GeForce 9800 Ultra," and that would appear to be the explanation. It remains to be seen whether this new version really deserves to exist, except that it’s always a positive point for the purchaser to be able to distinguish between the two versions of the GPU (which wouldn’t have been possible with a gradual replacement of the 9800 GTX’ GPU).
Finally, note that the 4850 has the same theoretical power as the 3870 X2, but with an architecture that’s slightly improved, as we’ve seen, and other characteristics that are slightly different (in particular more texture units). So it will be particularly interesting to compare these two cards in the tests.
$450 in Best Buy for a GTX 260.
And the 4850 is pretty close to the 280.
Ouu the 4870 is going to give Nvidia a run for there money
for the first time in a while.
P.S. +1000 -> 2222
MaxSmoothedFrameRate=62 in the Engine.GameEngine section
"it was unavailable due to the sloppy handling of this launch"
Seriously? AMD can't control if their retail partners screwed the pooch on the release date, because they were so anxious to get people this great product. They made sure the product was readily available well before the launch date.
They should be praised for not having a paper launch, not told that it was a sloppy launch, very poor form saying that.
Hell i went to best buy and bought 2 4850's on sunday, when the cards weren't even supposed to be available yet, the guy told me "they have been in stock for over a month in the back, they aren't supposed to be available yet but i can get two for you." Were the AMD police supposed to come and smack best buy on it's hand and keep me from giving them profits?
Sorry if i'm ranting, just put the blame where it belongs.
In french, but the graphs talk by themselves. Ho, and if you want a short translation = impressive and incredibly more efficient than Nvidia (if you compare the size of the GPU, yes it's A LOT more efficient)