Feeds

Group Test: AMD Radeon HD 4000 series

From 4350 to 4830 - budget graphics cards galore

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Mobile application security vulnerability report

If you’re in the market for a gaming graphics card then the HD 4850 and HD 4870 are strong contenders. But the fact of the matter is that most people don’t want to spend significantly more than £100 on a graphics card, and this is where things get interesting. All of the chips we’re covering today have the same features and support DirectX 10.1 as well as having a proper video core that's fully capable of handling HD movie playback without flogging your CPU to death. The interface is PCI Express 2.0 and the graphics card manufacturer can choose DVI, HDMI and DisplayPort connectors as it sees fit.

MSI R4670

MSI's R4670: mixing and matching monitor ports

The differences between the models stem from the way that AMD has chosen to slice and dice the RV770 chip and its 800 unified shaders. Naturally, the width of the memory controller and the type of memory also play their part in performance. Similarly, the specification dictates the power draw, which, in turn, affects the amount of cooling on the graphics card.

We’ve already covered the HD 4850 and 4870 and their X2 variants at the top of the range, so we’ll start at the bottom of the range and work our way up from there. We tested all of the graphics cards on a 3.2GHz Intel Core i7 965 Extreme system built around an Asus P6T Deluxe motherboard, 3GB of Crucial PC3-8500 memory and a Western Digital 1TB Caviar Back hard drive running on 32-bit Windows Vista Ultimate Edition.

We would have liked to stick to the latest Catalyst 8.11 driver to keep the playing field level but we hit a snag. The latest Catalyst 8.11 driver is appropriate for every graphics card from the HD 3870 all the way back to the Radeon 9550, but things get horribly confused when you look at driver support for the HD 4000 series. The HD 4850 and HD 4870 have been around for some time and are properly supported by Catalyst 8.11 along with the HD 4670, but the HD 4830, 4650, 4550 and 4350 all require Catalyst 8.10.

There’s a further fly in the ointment as Catalyst 8.11 doesn’t support the Core i7 platform. How annoying. We can only hope that Catalyst 8.12 sorts everything out.

AMD Radeon HD 4000 specs

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
For Lenovo US, 8-inch Windows tablets are DEAD – long live 8-inch Windows tablets
Reports it's killing off smaller slabs are greatly exaggerated
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Microsoft unsheathes cheap Android-killer: Behold, the Lumia 530
Say it with us: I'm King of the Landfill-ill-ill-ill
Seventh-gen SPARC silicon will accelerate Oracle databases
Uncle Larry's mutually-optimised stack to become clearer in August
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.