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Sapphire Radeon HD 4850 In Crossfire - The Card

We've all been wondering about Shane's love for the HD 4850 in Crossfire, today we figure out what it's all about.

| AMD CrossFire Articles in Video Cards | Posted: Jun 19, 2008 4:00 am
TweakTown Rating: 96%Manufacturer: Sapphire

The Card

 

With the package out of the way, it's time to move onto the card. At first glance it doesn't look like anything too out of the ordinary; it really resembles a HD 3850 with a cooler that manages to take up the majority of the card.

 

 

 

Towards the rear of the card we have a copper heatsink that also covers some of the more important parts on the PCB. Behind the red we can see the heatsink lay-out. As you can see, we do have a smaller fan which isn't always a good thing as they tend to push out more noise than larger ones.

 

 

 

Taking a look around the card, it doesn't have anything that really stands out and carries the same features of ATIs last generation high-end cards. We have a single 6-Pin PCI Express connector at the back of the card while we find two Crossfire connectors across the top which we're happily making use of today.

 

 

Finishing up the tour of the HD 4850, we find ourselves staring at two Dual Link DVI connectors and a single TV-Out port. The card is also of course a single slot offering which is good news for people who are tight for space.

 

Specifications

 

Compared to the HD 3870, we're up from 666 Million transistors to 965 Million. The manufacturing process remains the same at 55nm; stream processors are of course WAY UP from 320 to 800 now.

 

Texture units are also up a huge amount from 16 to 40. Render Back Ends remain the same at 17 and the HD 4850 core speed is lower at 625MHz Vs. 775MHz. The 512MB of GDDR3 comes in at 2000MHz DDR which is quite a healthy clock for what should be a mid-range card. Even though the HD 4850 uses GDDR3 over GDDR4, the memory data rate is only .25Gbps down at 2Gbps.

 

The only real problem we see with the HD 4850 is the aging 256-bit bus. With NVIDIA moving to 512-bit, it would have been nice to see AMD do the same thing. With all that said, let's see what's going on in the real world, because specs never tell us everything.

 

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