Feeds

Group Test: AMD Radeon HD 4000 series

From 4350 to 4830 - budget graphics cards galore

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Security for virtualized datacentres

Round up When AMD updated the RV670 chip used in the ATI Radeon HD 3000 series to the RV770 in the HD 4000 line, it went ballistic and increased the number of unified shaders from 320 to 800.

This change increased performance by a healthy amount and made the HD 4850 the apple of Register Hardware’s eye. But that was only the start of the story.

AMD Radeon HD 4350

AMD's Radeon HD 4350: effectively one tenth of a...

The HD 3850 was a decent graphics card but the 320 shaders in the RV670 core didn’t give AMD much scope to conjure up a range of products based on the same chip. In effect, the HD 3650 was three-eighths of an HD 3850 and had the memory controller halved to 128 bits. The lowly HD 3450 was a mere one-eighth of an HD 3850 and only had 40 shaders and a 64-bit memory controller.

AMD didn’t have many options at the upper end of the scale as the difference between the HD 3850 and the HD 3870 was a simple matter of clock speed, and the increased power and heat of the HD 3870 required a hefty double-slot design. This left the range of HD 3000 products rather limited both in terms of performance and the spread of prices.

The RV770 chip changes the range of AMD graphics cards from top to bottom. At the high end, there's separation between the HD 4850 and the HD 4870 as the memory controller in RV770 includes support for GDDR 5, a new type of graphics memory that has double the bandwidth of GDDR 3. So 1GHz GDDR3 on an HD 4850 card has a 64GB/s bandwidth while the 900MHz GDDR 5 on HD 4870 has 115.2GB/s to work with.

Sapphire 4850

...Radeon HD 4850

Add in a higher core speed and the HD 4870 has a handy edge over HD 4850, but it costs about £200 - a high premium when the HD 4850 typically costs £135.

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
Half a BILLION in the making: Bungie's Destiny reviewed
It feels very familiar - but it's still good
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.