GIGABYTE Radeon HD 4850 Graphics Card

Already impressed with what the HD 4850 has to offer, we look at GIGABYTE's version today.
@ShawnBakerTW
Published Sat, Aug 9 2008 11:00 PM CDT   |   Updated Fri, Sep 18 2020 10:50 PM CDT
Rating: 94%Manufacturer: GIGABYTE

Introduction


GIGABYTE Radeon HD 4850 Graphics Card



The HD 4850 is the card that has put AMD/ATI back on the graphics card map over the past month. While the HD 3850 and HD 3870 were both good cards, a constant line-up of NVIDIA cards along with price drops meant that the aging technology was having trouble keeping up with cards not only in a similar price bracket, but cheaper again.

The HD 4850, though, has brought performance computing to the masses at a good price, which is what the market wants; the HD 4870, while more expensive is still at an extremely competitive price point.

The latest HD 4850 to come into the labs is from GIGABYTE and before we get stuck into the performance side of things, we will have a look at the package and what's inside as well as the card itself. So, let's not ramble on anymore and just get stuck into it.

The Package




GIGABYTE has started using a new box which looks great. The colours and overall design of the box is pretty refreshing. There isn't a whole lot of information going on at the front of the box; the top has the GIGABYTE logo along with the ATI one.

GIGABYTE Radeon HD 4850 Graphics Card


Across the bottom of the box we have the model clearly shown along with how much memory we have; in this case, 512MB of GDDR3.

GIGABYTE Radeon HD 4850 Graphics Card


Turning the box over, we have a bit more detail. Again we see the model across the top with the ATI logo. Across the bottom we have the GIGABYTE logo. The middle is filled up with information regarding AVIVO, Crossfire, FX10 support and a bit about the 55nm technology the core implements. We also have a list of some of the main features in a number of languages.

GIGABYTE Radeon HD 4850 Graphics Card


Paperwork wise, there isn't a whole lot going on. Inside we simply find ourselves looking at a manual for the card and a driver CD.

GIGABYTE Radeon HD 4850 Graphics Card


A little bit more is going on in the cable department with a twin molex to PCI Express convertor, component out dongle, S-Video to RCA connector, DVI to VGA connector, DVI to HDMI connector and a Crossfire bridge.

The Card




Looking at the card, there isn't really anything we haven't seen before. GIGABYTE have opted to use the standard cooler here and of course placed a sticker over the top that lets us know that it's a GIGABYTE card.

GIGABYTE Radeon HD 4850 Graphics Card


Like all the reference coolers, we can see another heatsink towards the back of the card that helps cool some of the other warmer components that are present.

GIGABYTE Radeon HD 4850 Graphics Card


GIGABYTE Radeon HD 4850 Graphics Card


Moving away from the cooler and having a quick look around the card, we see the standard single 6-Pin PCI Express connector located at the back of the card while across the top we see our two tabs for the Crossfire bridge if you're looking at getting two or more of these cards.

GIGABYTE Radeon HD 4850 Graphics Card


At the end of the card we have our two Dual-Link DVI connectors and single TV-Out port. Like all reference HD 4850s, the card only requires a single slot.


Specifications

Following in its reference design, the card comes clocked at the standard 625MHz core and the 512MB of GDDR3 coming in at 1986MHz DDR.

Test System Setup and 3DMark06


Test System Setup

Processor(s): Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 @ 3GHz (333MHz x 9)
Cooling: Corsair Nautilus500 (Supplied by Corsair) with Arctic Cooling MX-2 Thermal Compound (Supplied by Arctic Cooling)
Motherboard(s): GIGABYTE X48-DQ6 (Supplied by GIGABYTE)
Memory: 2 X 1GB Kingston PC6400 DDR-2 3-3-3-10 (KHX6400D2ULK2/2G) (Supplied by Kingston)
Hard Disk(s): Seagate 250GB 7200RPM SATA-2 7200.10 (Supplied by Seagate)
Operating System: Windows XP Professional SP2, Windows Vista SP1
Drivers: Catalyst 8.7 and Forceware 177.79


Today we'll be checking out how the HD 4850 goes against mid-range NVIDIA offerings; the 9600 GT and the 9600 GSO.


3DMark06

Version and / or Patch Used: Build 110
Developer Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com
Product Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com/products/3dmark06/
Buy It Here





3DMark06 is the worldwide standard in advanced 3D game performance benchmarking. A fundamental tool for every company in the PC industry as well as PC users and gamers, 3DMark06 uses advanced real-time 3D game workloads to measure PC performance using a suite of DirectX 9 3D graphics tests, CPU tests, and 3D feature tests.

3DMark06 tests include all new HDR/SM3.0 graphics tests, SM2.0 graphics tests, AI and physics driven single and multiple cores or processor CPU tests and a collection of comprehensive feature tests to reliably measure next generation gaming performance today.


GIGABYTE Radeon HD 4850 Graphics Card


In our first test we can see that the HD 4850 really comes out ahead of both 9600 series graphics cards from NVIDIA.

Benchmarks - 3DMark Vantage


3DMark Vantage

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.0.1
Developer Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com
Product Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com/products/3dmarkvantage/
Buy It Here




3DMark Vantage is the new industry standard PC gaming performance benchmark from Futuremark, newly designed for Windows Vista and DirectX10. It includes two new graphics tests, two new CPU tests, several new feature tests, and support for the latest hardware.

3DMark Vantage is based on a completely new rendering engine, developed specifically to take full advantage of DirectX10, the new graphics API from Microsoft.


GIGABYTE Radeon HD 4850 Graphics Card


The same is seen in Vista with the HD 4850 really coming out ahead.

Benchmarks - PT Boats: Knights of the Sea


PT Boats: Knights of the Sea

Version and / or Patch Used: Benchmark Demo
Developer Homepage: http://en.akella.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.pt-boats.net/





PT Boats: Knights of the Sea is a naval action simulator that places gamers in charge of a mosquito fleet of the Allied Forces, Russia or Germany during the height of World War II.

Using the latest Direct X 10 technology PT Boards - Knights of the Sea manages to apply a lot of stress to the components of today which in turn gives us quite an intensive benchmark.


GIGABYTE Radeon HD 4850 Graphics Card


GIGABYTE Radeon HD 4850 Graphics Card


Moving to something a bit more real-world, we can see that the HD 4850 continues to beat out both cards, but it only edges ahead of the 9600 GT.

Benchmarks - CINEBENCH R10


CINEBENCH R10

Version and / or Patch Used: Release 10
Developer Homepage: http://www.maxon.net/
Product Homepage: http://www.maxon.net




CINEBENCH is a real-world test suite that assesses your computer's performace capabilities. MAXON CINEBENCH is based on MAXON's award-winning animation software, CINEMA 4D, which is used extensively by studios and production houses worldwide for 3D content creation. MAXON software has been used in blockbuster movies such as Spider-Man, Star Wars, The Chronicles of Narnia and many more.

MAXON CINEBENCH runs several tests on your computer to measure the performance of the main processor and the graphics card under real world circumstances. The benchmark application makes use of up to 16 CPUs or CPU cores and is available for Windows (32-bit and 64-Bit) and Macintosh (PPC and Intel-based).


GIGABYTE Radeon HD 4850 Graphics Card


Under CINEBENCH we see the HD 4850 come out well ahead of the competition.

Benchmarks - World in Conflict


World in Conflict

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.0.0.5
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage: http://www.massive.se
Product Homepage: http://www.worldinconflict.com





World in Conflict is a real-time strategy video game by Massive Entertainment and to be published by Sierra Entertainment for Windows (DX9 and DX10) and the Xbox 360.

The game is set in 1989 where economic troubles cripple the Soviet Union and threaten to dissolve it. However, the title pursues a "what if" scenario where, in this case, the Soviet Union does not collapse and instead pursues a course of war to remain in power. It is an intensive new game is sure to put plenty of stress on even the latest graphics cards and we use the built-in benchmarking for our testing.


GIGABYTE Radeon HD 4850 Graphics Card


GIGABYTE Radeon HD 4850 Graphics Card


At the lower resolution we can see the HD 4850 and 9600 GT are quite close. As we start moving up the resolution table we can see that the HD 4850 is able to pull ahead.

Benchmarks - Crysis


Crysis

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.2.1
Timedemo or Level Used: Custom time demo
Developer Homepage: http://www.crytek.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.ea.com/crysis/
Buy It Here





From the makers of Far Cry, Crysis offers FPS fans the best-looking, most highly-evolving gameplay, requiring the player to use adaptive tactics and total customization of weapons and armor to survive in dynamic, hostile environments including Zero-G.

Real time editing, bump mapping, dynamic lights, network system, integrated physics system, shaders, shadows and a dynamic music system are just some of the state of-the-art features the CryENGINE 2 offers. The CryENGINE 2 comes complete with all of its internal tools and also includes the CryENGINE 2 Sandbox world editing system.


GIGABYTE Radeon HD 4850 Graphics Card


Crysis puts the HD 4850 well ahead of the 9600 GT at all resolutions.

Benchmarks - Unreal Tournament 3


Unreal Tournament 3

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.1
Timedemo or Level Used:
Developer Homepage: http://www.epicgames.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.unrealtournament3.com/
Buy It Here





Following the formulae that made Unreal Tournament so great the third installment to the series has hit us recently with better than ever graphics. The games uses the latest Unreal Engine which like most modern day games when maxed out puts the pressure on our lineup of graphics cards.


GIGABYTE Radeon HD 4850 Graphics Card


UT 3, not unlike WIC sees both the 9600 GT and HD 4850 quite close at the lower resolution. As we move up the resolution table the HD 4850 really does pull out ahead.

Benchmarks - High Quality AA and AF


High Quality AA and AF

Our high quality tests let us separate the men from the boys and the ladies from the girls. If the cards weren't struggling before they will start to now.


3DMark06

GIGABYTE Radeon HD 4850 Graphics Card


Under the synthetic 3DMark06 we again see the HD 4850 come out well ahead.


World In Conflict

GIGABYTE Radeon HD 4850 Graphics Card


GIGABYTE Radeon HD 4850 Graphics Card


In WIC under high load we can again see that the HD 4850 pulls out ahead of the 9600 GT.

Benchmarks - 3DMark06 - XP


3DMark06

Version and / or Patch Used: Build 110
Developer Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com
Product Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com/products/3dmark06/
Buy It Here





3DMark06 is the worldwide standard in advanced 3D game performance benchmarking. A fundamental tool for every company in the PC industry as well as PC users and gamers, 3DMark06 uses advanced real-time 3D game workloads to measure PC performance using a suite of DirectX 9 3D graphics tests, CPU tests, and 3D feature tests.

3DMark06 tests include all new HDR/SM3.0 graphics tests, SM2.0 graphics tests, AI and physics driven single and multiple cores or processor CPU tests and a collection of comprehensive feature tests to reliably measure next generation gaming performance today.


GIGABYTE Radeon HD 4850 Graphics Card


Again under the synthetic test we see the HD 4850 have a good lead for the most part against both 9600 cards.

Benchmarks - CINEBENCH R10 - XP


CINEBENCH R10

Version and / or Patch Used: Release 10
Developer Homepage: http://www.maxon.net/
Product Homepage: http://www.maxon.net




CINEBENCH is a real-world test suite that assesses your computer's performace capabilities. MAXON CINEBENCH is based on MAXON's award-winning animation software, CINEMA 4D, which is used extensively by studios and production houses worldwide for 3D content creation. MAXON software has been used in blockbuster movies such as Spider-Man, Star Wars, The Chronicles of Narnia and many more.

MAXON CINEBENCH runs several tests on your computer to measure the performance of the main processor and the graphics card under real world circumstances. The benchmark application makes use of up to 16 CPUs or CPU cores and is available for Windows (32-bit and 64-Bit) and Macintosh (PPC and Intel-based).


GIGABYTE Radeon HD 4850 Graphics Card


Under XP we see the 9600 GS and HD 4850 score quite similar under CINEBENCH. Under Vista we saw the HD 4850 outperform both cards quite considerably.

Benchmarks - World in Conflict - XP


World in Conflict

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.0.0.5
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage: http://www.massive.se
Product Homepage: http://www.worldinconflict.com




World in Conflict is a real-time strategy video game by Massive Entertainment and to be published by Sierra Entertainment for Windows (DX9 and DX10) and the Xbox 360.

The game is set in 1989 where economic troubles cripple the Soviet Union and threaten to dissolve it. However, the title pursues a "what if" scenario where, in this case, the Soviet Union does not collapse and instead pursues a course of war to remain in power. It is an intensive new game is sure to put plenty of stress on even the latest graphics cards and we use the built-in benchmarking for our testing.

GIGABYTE Radeon HD 4850 Graphics Card


GIGABYTE Radeon HD 4850 Graphics Card


We continue to see under WIC at the higher resolution the HD 4850 is able to really pull away from the 9600 series cards. At the lower resolution, though, there isn't much between the three.

Benchmarks - Unreal Tournament 3 - XP


Unreal Tournament 3

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.1
Timedemo or Level Used:
Developer Homepage: http://www.epicgames.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.unrealtournament3.com/
Buy It Here





Following the formulae that made Unreal Tournament so great the third installment to the series has hit us recently with better than ever graphics. The games uses the latest Unreal Engine which like most modern day games when maxed out puts the pressure on our lineup of graphics cards.


GIGABYTE Radeon HD 4850 Graphics Card


Like our previous test, we see at the lower resolution the 9600 GT and HD 4850 quite close to each other. As we move the resolution up, the gap between the HD 4850 and 9600 GT grows apart with the HD 4850 being the faster card.

Temperature and Sound Tests


Temperature Tests



With the TES 1326 Infrared Thermometer literally in hand we found ourselves getting real-world temperatures from the products we test at load (3D clock speeds).

There are two places we pull temperature from - the back of the card directly behind the core and if the card is dual slot and has an exhaust point we also pull a temperate from there, as seen in the picture.


GIGABYTE Radeon HD 4850 Graphics Card


Temps have been an issue from day one with the stock HD 4850 cooler, running a good 10c warmer than the 9600 GT.


Sound Tests



Pulling out the TES 1350A Sound Level Meter we find ourselves quickly yelling into the top of it to see how loud we can be.

After five minutes of that we get a bit more serious and place the device two CM away from the fan on the card to find the maximum noise level of the card when idle (2D mode) and in load (3D mode).


GIGABYTE Radeon HD 4850 Graphics Card


Noise levels between the cards aren't very different with them all being in the 65dB range when under load.

Power Consumption Tests






Using our new PROVA Power Analyzer WM-01 or "Power Thingy" as it has become quickly known as to our readers, we are now able to find out what kind of power is being used by our test system and the associated graphics cards installed. Keep in mind; it tests the complete system (minus LCD monitor, which is plugged directly into AC wall socket).

There are a few important notes to remember though; while our maximum power is taken in 3DMark06 at the same exact point, we have seen in particular tests the power being drawn as much as 10% more. We test at the exact same stage every time; therefore tests should be very consistent and accurate.

The other thing to remember is that our test system is bare minimum - only a 7,200RPM SATA-II single hard drive is used without CD ROM or many cooling fans.

So while the system might draw 400 watts in our test system, placing it into your own PC with a number of other items, the draw is going to be higher.


GIGABYTE Radeon HD 4850 Graphics Card


At load we see all cards in the 170 range while at idle there is a bit of fluctuation between the cards. The HD 4850 sits in the middle.

Final Thoughts




The GIGABYTE HD 4850, like every other reference design HD 4850 carries with it good performance and an excellent price to performance ratio. We can see against the mid-range 9600 GT at the lower resolution there isn't much difference. As we increase the load on the card by upping the resolution or turning on AA and AF, the HD 4850 really begins to shine against the competition.

Inside the package we have everything we need, from a Crossfire bridge to a DVI to HDMI adapter. It would have been nice to have seen a full version game included in the package, but it doesn't seem to be something that many ATI partners are doing at the moment.

If you're looking for a good valued HD 4850 that goes fast and doesn't cost much money, the GIGABYTE HD 4850 is a good choice. It doesn't have all the bells and whistles, but this helps keep price down and means that you can enjoy high frame rates at a decent resolution for a good price.

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Shawn takes care of all of our video card reviews. From 2009, Shawn is also taking care of our memory reviews, and from May 2011, Shawn also takes care of our CPU, chipset and motherboard reviews. As of December 2011, Shawn is based out of Taipei, Taiwan.

We openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here. Please contact us if you wish to respond.

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