Gainward Radeon HD 4850 Golden Sample Graphics Card

Gainward have dipped their toes into the pool that is ATI. Today we check out the HD 4850 Golden Sample.
@ShawnBakerTW
Published Thu, Sep 25 2008 11:00 PM CDT   |   Updated Fri, Sep 18 2020 10:50 PM CDT
Rating: 86%Manufacturer: Gainward

Introduction


Gainward Radeon HD 4850 Golden Sample Graphics Card



Gainward is one company that we didn't think would ever release an ATI based graphics card, but with Palit acquiring the company a while ago and bringing them in under that massive umbrella, it seemed weird that Palit wouldn't capitalize on the strong Gainward name.

We first saw Gainward dip into the ATI pool in the HD 3800 series of cards. With that said, though, they didn't do a whole lot. Jump forward to the next generation of cards, which have quickly become some of the hottest on the market and Gainward have taken the time to attack the cards and introduce two of the new HD 4800 series variants under the Golden Sample naming scheme.

The HD 4850 Golden Sample packs everything you want from a graphics card; good cooling, big clocks and a decent price tag. Let's have a look at what's going on with the box and package before we take a closer look at the card and the clocks it carries.

The Package




Across the top of the box we have the Gainward logo while just below that we have the G logo. The middle of the box is taken up by a picture of a wolf-like creature behind some bars. Here we also have mention that the card is part of the Golden Sample series along with some ATI logos on the other end.

Gainward Radeon HD 4850 Golden Sample Graphics Card


Across the bottom of the box we have the model mentioned along with a list of features which include 512MB of GDDR3 memory, Dual DVI, HDCP, Crossfire X, 256-bit memory interface and more. We can see that Gainward have opted for a red theme which helps differentiate the ATI based cards from the NVIDIA ones.

Gainward Radeon HD 4850 Golden Sample Graphics Card


Turning the box over, we have some details on DirectX 10, Avivo, CrossFire X along with the system information, the Gainward logo again and also their URL.

Gainward Radeon HD 4850 Golden Sample Graphics Card


Inside the package there isn't a whole lot going on. As far as paper work goes, we have a quick install guide while the only disk included is one that holds a copy of the drivers.

Gainward Radeon HD 4850 Golden Sample Graphics Card


The cable department is also on the light side of things with a DVI to VGA connector and 6-pin to 8-pin connector included.

The Card




Pulling the card out of the box, you can see it's a cooler that we haven't had a chance to look at before. In the middle sits a fan and underneath that we can see the aluminum fins along with the copper heatsink.

Gainward Radeon HD 4850 Golden Sample Graphics Card


We can see the G logo on the front of the card towards the top right corner, but apart from that there isn't a whole lot going on with the cooler. Poking out of the top we can see two copper heat pipes that help move the heat away from the core.

Gainward Radeon HD 4850 Golden Sample Graphics Card


Looking around the card, instead of the standard 6-pin PCI Express connector that we would normally find on a HD 4850, we find that just like Palits own brand, Gainward have opted to use an 8-pin connector. Fortunately they've been kind enough to include a convertor in the package, which is great in the event you don't have one available on your power supply.

Gainward Radeon HD 4850 Golden Sample Graphics Card


Towards the front we have the two Crossfire connectors that we're used to seeing which gives you the ability to run up to three of these cards together.

Gainward Radeon HD 4850 Golden Sample Graphics Card


The I/O side of things doesn't hold any surprises. Apart from the exhaust point at the top of the card we have a single TV Out connector located between two Dual-Link DVI connectors.


Specifications

Being part of the Golden Samples series, the card does of course come overclocked out of the box. Gainward have increased the core from a boring 625MHz to an extremely healthy 700MHz. With 512MB of .8ns GDDR3 memory on hand, the stock memory clock has also been increased from 1986MHz DDR to 2200MHz DDR.

With the package and card looked at, let's see just what kind of increase this massive overclock offers us when compared to a stock HD 4850.

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 8.9


Today we'll be checking out the HD 4850 Golden Sample card from Gainward against a stock clocked HD 4850 to find out just what kind of gains the overclocked Gainward has put on offer for us.


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.


Gainward Radeon HD 4850 Golden Sample Graphics Card


3DMark06 shows the Golden Sample getting some pretty impressive scores over the stock clocked offering at all resolutions.

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.


Gainward Radeon HD 4850 Golden Sample Graphics Card


Turning up the intensity dial, we can see that the big overclock on offer from Gainward here yields some pretty impressive gains. Hopefully this translates well into the real world.

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.


Gainward Radeon HD 4850 Golden Sample Graphics Card


Gainward Radeon HD 4850 Golden Sample Graphics Card


Under PT Boats we again see the Golden Sample running faster than the stock clocked model. Here, though, the best gains are seen at the higher resolution which isn't all that uncommon.

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).


Gainward Radeon HD 4850 Golden Sample Graphics Card


Like we see most the time, CINEBENCH doesn't really see any gains with the overclock.

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.


Gainward Radeon HD 4850 Golden Sample Graphics Card


Gainward Radeon HD 4850 Golden Sample Graphics Card


We again see the Gainward Golden Sample offering a performance increase over the stock clocked model. But like some of our other tests, the best gains are seen at 1920 x 1200.

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.


Gainward Radeon HD 4850 Golden Sample Graphics Card


Across the board we can see Crysis managing to see a small bump with 10% being seen at the higher resolution.

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.


Gainward Radeon HD 4850 Golden Sample Graphics Card


UT3 shows us across the board the overclocked Golden Sample giving us some good gains. Again, the best gains are seen at the highest resolution.

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

Gainward Radeon HD 4850 Golden Sample Graphics Card


Switching AA and AF to on we can see when under 3DMark06 the Gainward Golden Sample continues to score very well.


World In Conflict

Gainward Radeon HD 4850 Golden Sample Graphics Card


Gainward Radeon HD 4850 Golden Sample Graphics Card


With AA and AF on we continue to see a gain, though, in this situation we only see an extra FPS.

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.


Gainward Radeon HD 4850 Golden Sample Graphics Card


3DMark06 under XP continues to show the Golden Sample performing strongly against the stock clocked HD 4850.

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).


Gainward Radeon HD 4850 Golden Sample Graphics Card


Like our Vista scores we see the overclock does very little for the card with both cards scoring very similar to each other.

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.

Gainward Radeon HD 4850 Golden Sample Graphics Card


Gainward Radeon HD 4850 Golden Sample Graphics Card


We continue to see the Gainward HD 4850 perform strongly against the stock model with a nice increase across the board.

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.


Gainward Radeon HD 4850 Golden Sample Graphics Card


We again see under UT3 the HD 4850 Golden Sample from Gainward performs very well when compared to the stock model.

Temperature & 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.


Gainward Radeon HD 4850 Golden Sample Graphics Card


We can see that the larger cooler Gainward has opted for gives us significantly better performance than the stock cooler used on the GIGABYTE.


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).


Gainward Radeon HD 4850 Golden Sample Graphics Card


The card manages to be slightly more peaceful while offering superior cooling, which is nice.

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.


Gainward Radeon HD 4850 Golden Sample Graphics Card


While at load both cards sit quite close to each other, the Gainward card manages to idle a bit better then the stock GIGABYTE offering.

Final Thoughts




The Gainward HD 4850 Golden Sample is an excellent card and it's good to see that the company has expanded into the ATI realm of graphics cards, especially considering just how popular they are at the moment.

Really, the only let down for the product is the limited bundle. But with that said, the no frills approach does keep the price down and really the extras on offer from the Golden Sample naming scheme is the excellent out of the box performance and the upgraded cooler.

If you're looking for a fast HD 4850 that manages to offer some excellent after market cooling, you can't go wrong with the Gainward HD 4850 Golden Sample. While the package is a bit on the light side of things, the cooler of choice helps keep temperatures down while dropping the noise levels slightly and the overclock on offer right out of the box really helps make the card stand out when compared to a stock clocked model.

The Golden Sample series from Gainward have also been an excellent line; it's great to know that even though the company comes under the Palit umbrella, they are still able to produce excellent cards that offer the performance we expect out of the GS series of cards.

What do TweakTown awards and ratings mean? Click!

PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.

USUnited States: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com

UKUnited Kingdom: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.co.uk

AUAustralia: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com.au

CACanada: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.ca

DEDeutschland: Finde andere Technik- und Computerprodukte wie dieses auf Amazon.de

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.

Related Tags

Newsletter Subscription

Latest News

View More News

Latest Reviews

View More Reviews

Latest Articles

View More Articles