Feeds

Group Test: AMD Radeon HD 4000 series

From 4350 to 4830 - budget graphics cards galore

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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.

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
Here's your chance to buy an ancient, working APPLE ONE
Warning: Likely to cost a lot even for a Mac
Xiaomi boss snaps back at Jony Ive's iPhone rival 'theft' swipe
I'll have a handset delivered. Judge us after you try us...
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.