ATI Radeon HD 4850 RV770 Sneak Peek

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News Posted: Thu, Jun 19 2008 10:11 AM

As many of you are no doubt aware, AMD is about to release a new line of ATI Radeon graphics cards based on the GPU that was internally codenamed RV770.  Cards based on the GPU were supposed to launch next week, on June 25 to be specific, but due to some unforeseen circumstances, we are able to offer you some preliminary information and benchmark scores a little early.

Like the RV670 used on the Radeon HD 3800 series, the RV770 GPU powering the Radeon HD 4850 is manufactured on TSMC's 55nm process node.  A full wafer of RV770 dies is pictured to the left.  At the heart of the GPU lies 800 stream processors, which give it considerably more muscle than the previous generation.  Of course, there is more to the RV770 than just having more stream processors, but we have to save that information for the official launch.

For now, we can show you what the card looks like, tell you its basic specifications, and provide some preliminary performance information.



ATI Radeon HD 4850 (RV770)


 
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.  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.  Pricing for the card is expected to be set at $199.

 
NVIDIA GeForce 9800  GTX+

Of course, NVIDIA caught wind of the impending Radeon HD 4850 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).

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.  Unfortunately, we do not have a driver to test the GTX+ just yet, but we will soon, so stay tuned.  For now, here's how the Radeon HD 4850 stacks up to a handful of other cards in a few games and benchmarks...








As you can see, the Radeon HD 4850 fares quite well in all of the tests.  It's not quite as fast as the new GeForce GTX 260, but keep in mind that card carries an MSRP that is double that of the 4850.  With the small sampling of tests we ran, so far, it seems like the Radeon HD 4850 will edge out a stock GeForce 9800 GTX and hang with the Radeon HD 3870 X2.  Stop back next week for the full story.

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Lev_Astov replied on Thu, Jun 19 2008 11:41 AM
Neat. Not bad for that price point at all. I would prefer to hear about the enthusiast class card, though...

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It often beats the 9800GTX? Niiice.

I don't get those temperatures though. That's dangerous.

Any word of if they are Crossfire capable with the 3800 line? Though I suspect not.

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Marco C replied on Thu, Jun 19 2008 11:56 AM
As of now, AMD/ATI only allows GPUs from the same family to be setup in a CrossFire configuration.

Lost more details to come next week...

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Very Cool card.

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^Bad_Boy^ replied on Thu, Jun 19 2008 12:31 PM
Seems like a great performance/price card..

Can't wait to see how the High-End version performs!

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rapid1 replied on Thu, Jun 19 2008 1:29 PM
Yeah seem's like everyone interested in the RV770 is more interested in the 4870 and 4870x2 than the 4850 but it's the only one you can actually get any info on AMD should be spanked soaked down in jello and left out in a major blizzard for not releasing info on something everyone would be interested in hearing!
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 Was that the 9800gtx or the gtx+ compared in the bench's. Seems like what we've been waiting for in the 200 range. I'd like to see the gtx+ verses the 4850 in some benches though to see who is top dog in the 200 price range. I think that price range is where most of the market is in terms of graphics cards imo.

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dizowned replied on Thu, Jun 19 2008 2:23 PM

I'd like to see a full review when possible, I can't get my G92 anywhere near those frame rates in UT3, I think its just the system I'm running though.

 

It's not custom unless your the only one who can boot it.

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ice_73 replied on Thu, Jun 19 2008 3:08 PM
wowza nice scores.cant wait to get a few more details though

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ice_73:
wowza nice scores.cant wait to get a few more details though
 

Yeah Id like to see the upper end and the mid range cards in 4 way side by side blowout!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 Loox like this card beats the 8800GTS(G92)I just bought and is 10 bux cheaper at newegg. :(

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rapid1 replied on Fri, Jun 20 2008 2:53 PM
The 4850 is active on many sites newegg actually has one for 199 with a 30 dollar mail in rebate from ASUS no less right now MSI Powercolor and several others do to with 20 dollar MIR's right now the 4870 has supposedly been dropped in price but is not active in market yet so we'll see
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Tiger Direct and newgg both offer 9800GTX models for 2 bills now.

 

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Someone out theres claims to have Crossfired it with a pair of 3870s, which is interesting if true.

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ice91785 replied on Fri, Jun 20 2008 8:30 PM
When did the GTX 260 and 280 release??? I have been out of it apparently....is this the way nVidia will be naming their flagship cards from now on (finish out the 99xx etc...and start from there)....

Anyway, props to ATI/AMD for getting their heads back in the game after a few disappointing releases -- at least in my eyes they have essentially "caught up" to nVidia as far as performances goes when weighing in both efficiency and FPS.

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Dave_HH replied on Sat, Jun 21 2008 9:06 PM

Umm... Ice, buddy... come on. You gotta read up on your HH! :) http://www.hothardware.com/Articles/NVIDIA_GeForce_GTX_280_and_GTX_260_Unleashed/

AMD has competitive cards coming in the mid-range to mid high-end now for sure. Stay tuned!

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peti1212 replied on Sun, Jun 22 2008 11:31 AM

I do not really believe in ATI video cards comming back into the competition really soon. Seeing that nVidia always hammers out ATI, it will take a lot of work for ATI to push nVidia down to the floor again. I heard some stories about the 4870 I believe and that is suppose to be fast, but I don't know if it is true.

 

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ice91785 replied on Mon, Jun 23 2008 8:26 AM

peti1212:
Seeing that nVidia always hammers out ATI

Not always....they go back and forth. But yes since the release of the 88xx series nVidia has pretty much stood at the top of the mountain.... the 38xx series made it semi-competitive again and now the 48xx series I think will show ATI on par with nVidia (with the exception of the GTX 2xx for now)

I have said it before...I will take an efficient piece of hardware over brute-force power-hungry hardware anyday

 

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