Feeds
85%

AMD Radeon HD 4850 and 4870

Snatching the price:performance crown from Nvidia?

Security for virtualized datacentres

During our testing, both of the AMD cards were commendably quiet, but the copper heatsink on the HD 4850 got very hot to the touch. The Catalyst drivers report a temperature of 80° Celsius. This won’t be a problem once the graphics card is sealed inside your PC but one edge of the heatsink runs along the top of the card in the perfect position to catch the impatient reviewer by surprise as he swaps graphics cards between tests.

It’s a bit like having a plate of really hot sausages fresh out of the oven. Common sense says you should give them a few minutes to cool but greed wins the day, and we now have the burns to prove the matter.

Moral: if you’re working with an HD 4850, give it enough time to cool down properly.

AMD RV770 - Crysis Results

Radeon HD 4850: mind your fingers

The other major difference between the AMD and Nvidia cards is price. The GeForce GTX 280 is on its own somewhere in the stratosphere at £350, and GeForce GTX 260 is a good bit cheaper at £215-250. Compared to them, the new AMD cards are an absolute snip. The Radeon HD 4850 costs about £140 - which makes it comparable with GeForce 8800 GT and GTS - and the HD 4870 is, at £175, only slightly more expensive, which makes it comparable with 9800 GTX.

We tested a Gigabyte HD 4870 and a Sapphire HD 4850 on the same Intel Skulltrail system that we used for our Zotac GTX 280 review and also added an Asus HD 3850 X2, Asus HD 3850, Asus HD 3650, Sapphire HD 3450 PowerColor HD 2900 and Sapphire X1950 GT into the mix, just for fun.

In fact, we had two HD 4850s, one from Sapphire and one pre-production from AMD so we naturally ran them in CrossFire, but as you’ll see from our figures there was something a bit strange about the pre-production card. Performance was very good, but the power consumption was 50W higher than the retail Sapphire. You can take the Sapphire figures as gospel but the CrossFire figures are raw and need some adjustment. We estimate that two HD 4850s in CrossFire draw a similar amount of power as a single HD 4870 when the system is under load.

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
Apple iPhone 6: Missing sapphire glass screen FAIL explained
They just cannae do it in time, says analyst
Slap my Imp up: Bullfrog's Dungeon Keeper
Monsters need to earn a living too
Oh noes, fanbois! iPhone 6 Plus shipments 'DELAYED' in the UK
Is EMBIGGENED Apple mobile REALLY that popular?
Apple's big bang: iPhone 6, ANOTHER iPhone 6 Plus and WATCH OUT
Let's >sigh< see what Cupertino has been up to for the past year
The Apple Watch and CROTCH RUBBING. How are they related?
Plus: 'NostrilTime' wristjob vid action
Apple's SNEAKY plan: COPY ANDROID. Hello iPhone 6, Watch
Sizes, prices and all – but not for the wrist-o-puter
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.