ATI Radeon HD 4850 and 4870: RV770 Has Arrived

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As we've already mentioned, the initial line-up of Radeon HD 4800 series cards will be comprised of the Radeon HD 4850 and Radeon HD 4870.  Some time later, factory overclocked versions of these cards are due to arrive, followed by the R700.


     

      
Sapphire Radeon HD 4850


The Sapphire Radeon HD 4850 you see pictured here has a core GPU clock speed of 625MHz with 512MB of GDDR3 memory clocked at 993MHz.  The memory is connected to the GPU via a 256-bit memory bus, which offers roughly 63GB/s at default clock speeds.  And as you can see, the card is cooled by a single slot, copper fansink, that remained relatively quiet during our brief testing, but man did it get hot.  The drivers reported an idle temperature of around 80'C, and the card was way too hot to touch even while sitting idle at the Windows desktop. During our testing, Sapphire sent an updated BIOS for the card that was designed to alter the fan-speed profile and thus lower temperatures, but due to time constraints we were unable to test it.
 
Because this was a retail-ready product form Sapphire, it also included a full accessory bundle.  Included with the card were a driver CD, another CD that contained a copy of 3DMark06, and final pair of discs from Cyberlink with full versions of PowerDVD and DVD Suite, a user's manual, CrossFire bridge, a DVI-to-VGA adapter, a DVI-to-HDMI adapter, a component output dongle, and a 2GB Sapphire-branded flash drive.  Pricing for the card is expected to be set at $199.


      

      
Sapphire Radeon HD 4870
 

Until ATI's R700 arrives, which features a pair of RV770 GPUs on a single PCB, ala the Radeon HD 3870 X2, the Radeon HD 4870 is AMD's flagship Radeon HD 4800 series card. Technically, the GPU powering the 4870 is identical to the 4850. However, its implementation on the 4870 is totally different. For one, clock speeds are higher.  On the 4870, the GPU is clocked at 750MHz and it is linked to cutting edge GDDR5 DRAMs clocked at 900MHz (1.8GHz x 2 = 3.6Gbps).  In this configuration, the 4870's memory offers about 115.2GB/s of peak memory bandwidth.  The card is cooled by a dual-slot fansink similar to the one found on the 2900 XT, but this version is much quieter for the most part. The Sapphire Radeon HD 4870's accessory bundle was identical to the 4850's, but pricing on this more powerful card is expected to be $299.



For a comparison of how these new Radeon HD 4800 series cards stack up again the Radeon HD 3870, we present to you this simple table.  As you can see, the Radeon HD 4870 and 4850 share much in common with the Radeon HD 3870 but the number of stream processors and texture units have been beefed-up significantly. Although the RV770 is comprised of roughly 45% more transistors, AMD was able to increase the SP and TU counts more than two fold, while also implementing support for more advanced memory technologies and enhancing the capabilities of the AVIVO video processing engine.



 

     

      
NVIDIA GeForce 9800  GTX+


Of course, NVIDIA caught wind of the impending Radeon HD 4800 series launch and was prepping a product to rain on AMD's parade.  Out of the blue, a couple of graphics cards arrived here in the lab based on a "new" GPU from NVIDIA.  What you see pictured above is the upcoming GeForce 9800 GTX+.

What does the "+" designate you ask?  Well, this card is based on a 55nm version of the G92 - down from 65nm on previous products.  The GeForce 9800 GTX+ will arrive with an MSRP of $229, which is much lower than what current GeForce 9800 GTX cards are selling for, so expect the GTX+ to push the current GTX down into the sub-$200 price bracket in the coming weeks (think mid-July) to compete directly with the Radeon HD 4850.

The GeForce 9800 GTX+ offers a GPU clock speed of 738MHz, a shader clock of 1836MHz, and 512MB of GDDR3 Memory clocked at 1.1GHz (2.2GHz DDR).  Like the current 9800 GTX, the new card will support 2- and 3-Way SLI configurations. Because this card is due to hit very soon, we've included benchmark scored in single and dual-card configurations throughout the performance segment of this article.

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Comments
Marco C 6 years ago

 Hi All.  If you liked this article, please Digg it...

http://digg.com/hardware/ATI_Radeon_HD_4850_and_4870_RV770_is_Here_CrossFire_Tested

Thanks!

ice91785 6 years ago

Aside from the heat output this definately sounds like a better buy (the 4870) than does the GTX 280 -- after all, is it really worth 2x the cost [of the 4870] for a card that performs not-so substantially better? Yes the 280 will out perform it but who, I ask of you, would truely take advantage of this performance increase that would not be able to have an enjoyable experience with ATI's counterpart?

LaMpiR 6 years ago
I was looking forward of reading this review at HH :)
ice_73 6 years ago
great review, just wish overclocking was tested, since according to some reports after an after market cooler, you can get it to be around the gtx 280 level.

i think its clear that this gen, ati is king. sure nvidia has the better performance but for 2x as much id much rather crossfire the 4870
amdcrankitup 6 years ago
This was definatly a good reveiw. Im impressed with both the ATI and the nvidia cards.The implementation of DDR5 is definatly a plus at the same time with me the price point to performance ratio is probably going to have a factor in my decision when I get in a financial situation to do so.It already has got me excited thinking about an aftermarket cooler just to see what kind of numbers I can acheive in lowering the temps and OCing options. When I get ready to pick up one of these Bad Boys they,ll be more updates to this reveiw by HH.Good read HH!
MikeL_HH 6 years ago
What I thought was most significant is that two 4850's in Crossfire performs almost identically to a single GeForce GTX 280 in all tests, but the dual 4850 setup ends up being around $250 cheaper (2x$199 vs $649). That is a huge deal. Even considering potential Crossfire scaling issues with certain games, you're still clearly ahead with a $250 savings.

The best part is, since the 4850's are single-slot cards that use a single 6-pin power connector, dual 4850s technically have the same physical footprint as a single GeForce GTX 280. Granted, the Crossfire setup would produce more heat and consume more power than a single GTX 280, but the difference isn't huge. I don't even see the point on a single GTX 280 setup now.
amdcrankitup 6 years ago

[quote user="LovelyCrap"]What I thought was most significant is that two 4850's in Crossfire performs almost identically to a single GeForce GTX 280 in all tests, but the dual 4850 setup ends up being around $250 cheaper (2x$199 vs $649). That is a huge deal. Even considering potential Crossfire scaling issues with certain games, you're still clearly ahead with a $250 savings.

The best part is, since the 4850's are single-slot cards that use a single 6-pin power connector, dual 4850s technically have the same physical footprint as a single GeForce GTX 280. Granted, the Crossfire setup would produce more heat and consume more power than a single GTX 280, but the difference isn't huge. I don't even see the point on a single GTX 280 setup now.[/quote] 

 

Well thats my thinking on it even at a savings of $250 over the 280,s Certainly the option of ati,s single card slot would be in my price range and of course the pricing as it is I think will cause nvidia to be a little more competitive in its pricing!

Lev_Astov 6 years ago
I too am very pleased by the results of this review, but where's my HD video IN? We still need cards that can take in an HD signal with a DVI or HDMI plug. Regardless, I'll probably be buying one of these before long.
nelsoncp21 6 years ago

 well ya never know. nvidia may slash the prices on the gtx 280 now to stay in the game otherwise I don't see them selling.

recoveringknowitall 6 years ago

I doubt the 280 will be available for under 6 bills for at least a couple months and probably won't be under 5 till next year... just my oppinion.

Crisis Causer 6 years ago

Wow, the GTX 260 is officially obselete for the time being.  Not only does the 4870 cost less and perform the same, Nvidia's own 9800GTX+ performs almost as good and also costs less.

The GTX 280 is really for people who only want the best without thinking of cost.  Otherwise it's wise to consider the 4870.

higgamo 6 years ago
well the 9800gtx+ gonna cost $199 i believe so seems like best deal
jtm55 6 years ago

 Hi All

Well this certainly puts AMD/ATI back in the Graphics card race. Best of all we the consumer benefit by them offering a viable alternative to Nvidias products. Great review as always.

Endersothergame 6 years ago

Well this is nice to see.  It good to see ATI humbling nVidia even a lil bit, I mean I won't be buying anything new as with the res I play at I am CPU bound before more often then my gfx card is showing signs of stress.  However this is nice for lots of reasons it will drive the cost of my next upgrade down.  Who knows I may go back ATI again.  This 88GT has served me well, but something in me misses my old friend 'the radeon'.

Anonymous 6 years ago
Just thought id let you know i put in my order for Radeon 4870 yesterday. Thanks for the review.
mlovely 6 years ago

Got mine in Yesterday......man it is wonderfull, i overclocked it right off the bat to max settings and it runs stable as a rock, (790 core clock, 1100 mem. clock) it runs a bit hot, the stock fan settings run at 23% and the card under load runs at 87-90c but i did a fan mod and have the fan running at 40% and temps drop down to mid 40's. i havent done any benches as i dont have any benching software :P but crysis runs at 25 fps average on all high settings with the overclock and upper teens without the overclock. if anyone has any questions about the card ill happily answer :)

 

mlovely

peti1212 6 years ago

Looks like ATI is still not checking up with Nvidia. I head that the 4870 X2 is suppose to come out this month though and that is suppose to beat the single GTX 280. We'll see about that.

 

Anonymous 6 years ago

[quote user="peti1212"]

Looks like ATI is still not checking up with Nvidia. I head that the 4870 X2 is suppose to come out this month though and that is suppose to beat the single GTX 280. We'll see about that.

 

[/quote] 

 you get 80% of nvidias GTX 280 performance for half the price. That is really + 1 to ATI in my book.  Then you can always crossfire the 4870 or wait til their high end x2 part comes out if you have to have the best of the best. Either way a crossfire setup with either 4850 or 4870 is faster than the 280. That is something I think that has suprised me and a lot of tech people. Ati came out of no where with exellent price/performance. You can get the best gaming graphics now without having to spend 600 dollars on a video card. I appreciate ATI's gutcheck to nvidias $699 gtx 280.

mlovely 6 years ago

Ok.....im addicted to hardware, I am not asshamed to admit it..........

 

Good news: i got a second saphire 4870, overclocked it the same os my first and am running them in crossfire mode.

 

the bad news: i dont see a huge bump in performance....or evin a slight bump.....im assuming drivers are the issue, im running ccc 8.6 so tonight i will dl and try the leaked 8.7 beta drivers and see if it fixes crossfire.

Anonymous 6 years ago

 you may need to run driver cleaner and install from scratch. You should see a big jump in performance unless of course your CPU bound.

agawtrip 6 years ago

ATI Radeons high-end lineup

4850 = Pro

4870 = XT

4870 X2 = X2

4890 = XTX

4890 X2 = XTX X2

 

two cards are out, 3 more to go. if AMD/ATI is really serious in dethroning nVidia in high-ends/ultra high-ends, they should or they MUST release the remaining three.

 

Anonymous 6 years ago

 Turn on 8X AA and watch the 4870 dethrone the 280.  Also if rumors are true we will see 4870x2 in August.  I keep hearing how ATI needs to do this and do that. Frankly if they can give the kind of performance that the 4870 delivers at that 299 price then I could careless about ultra high end 600 dollar video cards.

3DtoHD 6 years ago

 Great informative post!

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