MSI Radeon HD 4830 512MB OC Edition Graphics Card

We take the time to look at the new HD 4830 and this particular one comes from MSI. Can it do anything to stand out from the pack?
| Jan 4, 2009 at 11:00 pm CST
Rating: 88%Manufacturer: MSI

Introduction

MSI Radeon HD 4830 512MB OC Edition Graphics Card
IntroductionI have to admit that until the HD 4830 arrived on my door step I really hadn't heard of it; a bit like what happened to NVIDIA a while back when everyone was more interested in seeing what ATI was doing with the new HD 4800 series. Now the tables have turned and everyone is paying more attention to the new NVIDIA cards due out rather than what ATI is doing at the moment.The HD 4830 is the latest card to enter the HD 4800 series line-up and is the lowest of the bunch. The thing is, though, I really do wonder how much lower it is than the HD 4850, which is one of the best valued cards on the market to date.This is the first HD 4830 we've looked at so we really have no idea where exactly the card is going to be sitting. We're also not sure what it looks like or if it requires power to run. But before we find out that information, let's have a quick look at the MSI package.

The Package

The PackageIt's been a while since we've seen anything from MSI, but not a whole lot has changed in their box design. Across the top of the box we have the MSI logo along with the ATI one on the other side, while down the bottom we have mention that this card is an OC edition and that it's part of the "Gaming Series".
MSI Radeon HD 4830 512MB OC Edition Graphics Card
In the middle of the box we can see the model of the card mentioned; in this case, it's the HD 4830. Below that we can see some of the main features on the card which include 512MB of GDDR3, HDMI and more.
MSI Radeon HD 4830 512MB OC Edition Graphics Card
Turning the box over, we have more details on the features to the left of the box. On the right side of the box we have some more information in a number of languages. Across the bottom of the box we have a number of logos and a bit of info on Live Update 3.
MSI Radeon HD 4830 512MB OC Edition Graphics Card
Getting inside the box, we can see that two quick user guides have been included for the paperwork side of things while a CD with some drivers and utilities rounds off this part of the package.
MSI Radeon HD 4830 512MB OC Edition Graphics Card
The cable department doesn't show any surprises with a component out, s-video out and RCA-out dongle included along with an s-video cable and a DVI to VGA connector.

The Card

The CardPulling the card out of the box, we don't see anything that we haven't really seen before. Length wise we come in at the same size as the HD 4850 and we see the typical red PCB that we've become accustomed to.
MSI Radeon HD 4830 512MB OC Edition Graphics Card
MSI has opted for a larger single fan directly on top of the core that manages to make the card a dual-slot one. As far as the overall fan design goes, there isn't anything too fancy going on with no heat-pipes present or even direct contact with the memory modules.
MSI Radeon HD 4830 512MB OC Edition Graphics Card
MSI Radeon HD 4830 512MB OC Edition Graphics Card
Having a quick look around the card, we continue to see nothing out of the ordinary. Towards the back we have a single 6-pin PCI Express power connector and across the top of the card we have two Crossfire connectors.
MSI Radeon HD 4830 512MB OC Edition Graphics Card
As far as the I/O side of things goes, we have two Dual-Link DVI connectors and a single TV-Out port. As mentioned, the card is a dual-slot one and we can see there are some vents for the heat to escape.SpecificationsThe HD 4850 and HD 4830 share a lot of common features; both are based on the RV770 with 16 ROPs, have 956 million transistors and both cards also run 512MB of GDDR3 and a 256-bit memory bus.
MSI Radeon HD 4830 512MB OC Edition Graphics Card
Where the cards begin to differ are the 640 shaders on the HD 4830 versus 800 on the HD 4850 along with the lower clock rates of 575MHz on the core and 1800MHz DDR on the memory. As mentioned, this card from MSI is overclocked and has had a 10MHz bump on the core, bringing it to 585MHz.

Test System Setup and 3DMark Vantage

Test System SetupProcessor(s): Intel i7 920 @ 3.8GHz (190MHz x 20)Cooling: Noctua NH-U12P (Supplied by Noctua)Motherboard(s): GIGABYTE EX58-UD5 (Supplied by GIGABYTE)Memory: 3 X 2GB OCZ Technology PC-12800 DDR-3 8-8-8-24 (OCZ3G1600LV6GK) Hard Disk(s): Western Digital 300GB Velicorapter (Supplied by Western Digital)Operating System: Windows XP Professional SP2, Windows Vista SP1 64-BitDrivers: Catalyst 8.12Today we'll take the time to see how the HD 4830 512MB goes up against a stock clocked HD 4850 512MB. We don't doubt for a second that the HD 4830 is going to be slower than the HD 4850, but how much slower is the question on everyone's mind. So with that said, let's get stuck into the benchmarks.3DMark VantageVersion and / or Patch Used: 1.0.1Developer Homepage: http://www.futuremark.comProduct 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.
MSI Radeon HD 4830 512MB OC Edition Graphics Card
Straight off the mark we can see the HD 4830 lagging behind the HD 4850 by around 20%.

Benchmarks - PT Boats: Knights of the Sea

PT Boats: Knights of the SeaVersion and / or Patch Used: Benchmark DemoDeveloper 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.
MSI Radeon HD 4830 512MB OC Edition Graphics Card
MSI Radeon HD 4830 512MB OC Edition Graphics Card
Under PT Boats we can see at up to 1920 x 1200 both cards perform very similar. It's only at 2560 x 1600 do we see the HD 4830 begin to lag behind.

Benchmarks - CINEBENCH R10

CINEBENCH R10Version and / or Patch Used: Release 10Developer 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).
MSI Radeon HD 4830 512MB OC Edition Graphics Card
Both cards put out similar performance here with the HD 4830 actually sneaking out ahead just slightly.

Benchmarks - World in Conflict

World in ConflictVersion and / or Patch Used: 1.0.0.5Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in TestDeveloper 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.
MSI Radeon HD 4830 512MB OC Edition Graphics Card
MSI Radeon HD 4830 512MB OC Edition Graphics Card
Like PT Boats, we see the HD 4830 actually perform quite close to the HD 4850 at up to 1920 x 1200. It's only when you kick it up a notch to 2560 x 1600 does it begin to lag behind.

Benchmarks - Crysis Warhead

Crysis WarheadVersion and / or Patch Used: unpatchedTimedemo or Level Used: AirfieldDeveloper Homepage: http://www.crytek.comProduct Homepage: http://crysiswarhead.ea.com/Buy It Here
Crysis Warhead updates and refines the gameplay of the original game through a sidestory plot involving Psycho, one of previous protagonist Nomad's allies. The game is a parallel story that follows Sergeant Michael "Psycho" Sykes, a character from the original Crysis, as he faces his own trials and challenges on the other side of the island during the time period of the first game.It also showcases a new, enhanced and optimized version of CryEngine 2 using full DX10 extensions and is the first game developed by Crytek's Budapest studio.
MSI Radeon HD 4830 512MB OC Edition Graphics Card
MSI Radeon HD 4830 512MB OC Edition Graphics Card
Under Warhead we again see the HD 4830 lagging that 20% behind like we saw in Vantage.

Benchmarks - Far Cry 2

Far Cry 2Version and / or Patch Used: 1.01Timedemo or Level Used: Ranch LongDeveloper Homepage: http://www.ubi.com/Product Homepage: http://www.farcry2.com/Buy It Here
The Dunia Engine was built specifically for Far Cry 2 by the award-winning Ubisoft Montreal development team. It delivers the most realistic destructible environments, amazing special effects such as dynamic fire propagation and storm effects, real-time night-and-day cycle, dynamic music system, non-scripted enemy A.I. and so much more.
MSI Radeon HD 4830 512MB OC Edition Graphics Card
MSI Radeon HD 4830 512MB OC Edition Graphics Card
Far Cry 2 performance continues to show the HD 4830 performing similar to the HD 4850 up to 1920 x 1200. While we actually see the HD 4830 come out faster in the minimum department when compared to the HD 4850, you can see the average is lower. This is a bit of a weird result, but testing a few times did yield the same result; higher minimum but lower average.

Benchmarks - S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - Clear Sky

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - Clear SkyVersion and / or Patch Used: 1.5.07Timedemo or Level Used: Custom TimedemoDeveloper Homepage: http://www.gsc-game.com/Product Homepage: http://cs.stalker-game.com/en/Buy It Here
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky, is the stand-alone prequel for S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl, a first-person shooter computer game by Ukrainian developer GSC Game World.[3] The game consists of a roughly 50/50 mix of new areas and old, remodeled areas from the previous game. The X-ray graphics engine has been updated to version 1.5 and includes DirectX 10 support (later patch 1.5.06 included DirectX 10.1). Additionally, the AI received an overhaul to accommodate the new faction wars feature.
MSI Radeon HD 4830 512MB OC Edition Graphics Card
MSI Radeon HD 4830 512MB OC Edition Graphics Card
Across the board we see the HD 4830 sitting 20% - 30% behind the HD 4850 at all resolutions.

Benchmarks - Left 4 Dead

Left 4 DeadVersion and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam UpdateTimedemo or Level Used: Custom TimedemoDeveloper Homepage: http://www.valvesoftware.com/Product Homepage: http://www.l4d.com/Buy It Here
Left 4 Dead uses the latest version of Valve's Source engine, with improvements such as multi-core processor support and physics-based animation to more realistically portray hair and clothing, and to improve physics interaction with enemies when shot or shoved in different body parts. Animation was also improved to allow characters to lean realistically when moving in curved paths. Rendering and artificial intelligence were scaled up to allow for greater number of enemies who can navigate the world in better ways, such as climbing, jumping or breaking obstacles. Lighting has been enhanced with new self-shadowing normal mapping and advanced shadow rendering that is important to convey information about the environment and player actions.
MSI Radeon HD 4830 512MB OC Edition Graphics Card
Across the board we see the HD 4830 sit behind the HD 4850 by about 15%.

Benchmarks - High Quality AA and AF

High Quality AA and AFOur 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.Far Cry 2
MSI Radeon HD 4830 512MB OC Edition Graphics Card
MSI Radeon HD 4830 512MB OC Edition Graphics Card
With AA and AF on we see the HD 4830 fall a fair bit behind at these low FPS numbers.World In Conflict
MSI Radeon HD 4830 512MB OC Edition Graphics Card
MSI Radeon HD 4830 512MB OC Edition Graphics Card
Under WIC we again see that the HD 4830 is around 15% slower than the HD 4850.Left 4 Dead
MSI Radeon HD 4830 512MB OC Edition Graphics Card
Left 4 Dead while showing the HD 4830 slower, it's only about 10% behind this time.

Benchmarks - World in Conflict - XP

World in ConflictVersion and / or Patch Used: 1.0.0.5Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in TestDeveloper 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.
MSI Radeon HD 4830 512MB OC Edition Graphics Card
MSI Radeon HD 4830 512MB OC Edition Graphics Card
Under XP we continue to see the HD 4830 fall behind the HD 4850 as you would expect. The difference is around the 10% - 15% mark.

Benchmarks - Far Cry 2 - XP

Far Cry 2Version and / or Patch Used: 1.01Timedemo or Level Used: Ranch LongDeveloper Homepage: http://www.ubi.com/Product Homepage: http://www.farcry2.com/Buy It Here
The Dunia Engine was built specifically for Far Cry 2 by the award-winning Ubisoft Montreal development team. It delivers the most realistic destructible environments, amazing special effects such as dynamic fire propagation and storm effects, real-time night-and-day cycle, dynamic music system, non-scripted enemy A.I. and so much more.
MSI Radeon HD 4830 512MB OC Edition Graphics Card
MSI Radeon HD 4830 512MB OC Edition Graphics Card
We continue to see that the HD 4830 sits anywhere from 10% to 20% behind the HD 4850.

Benchmarks - S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - Clear Sky - XP

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - Clear SkyVersion and / or Patch Used: 1.5.07Timedemo or Level Used: Custom TimedemoDeveloper Homepage: http://www.gsc-game.com/Product Homepage: http://cs.stalker-game.com/en/Buy It Here
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky, is the stand-alone prequel for S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl, a first-person shooter computer game by Ukrainian developer GSC Game World.[3] The game consists of a roughly 50/50 mix of new areas and old, remodeled areas from the previous game. The X-ray graphics engine has been updated to version 1.5 and includes DirectX 10 support (later patch 1.5.06 included DirectX 10.1). Additionally, the AI received an overhaul to accommodate the new faction wars feature.
MSI Radeon HD 4830 512MB OC Edition Graphics Card
MSI Radeon HD 4830 512MB OC Edition Graphics Card
Here we see the HD 4830 fall back to around the 20% mark at all resolutions.

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.
MSI Radeon HD 4830 512MB OC Edition Graphics Card
The larger cooler and less power on offer from the HD 4830 seems to help keep temperatures way down.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).
MSI Radeon HD 4830 512MB OC Edition Graphics Card
The cooler of choice for MSI manages to be fairly quiet when compared to the Sapphire cooler.

Power Consumption Tests

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.
MSI Radeon HD 4830 512MB OC Edition Graphics Card
It doesn't come as any surprise that the HD 4830 manages to draw a fair bit less power when compared to the HD 4850.

Final Thoughts

Final ThoughtsThe HD 4830 actually performs better than I thought it would; it manages to perform at up to 1920 x 1200 with anywhere from similar performance to around 20% slower. With a price difference of about 10% to 20%, depending on the brand, it's going to be a hard decision deciding what card to purchase. Let's break it down into the pros and cons of the card. First, the cons; ultimately the card is not going to be as fast as the HD 4850, but that was never expected. The other thing is depending on brand, it's not all that much more expensive to move to the HD 4850 which is faster.On the pro side of things, there's the fact that the card manages to perform quite similar to the HD 4850 at resolutions of up to 1920 x 1200, meaning if you're playing at that resolution or lower, the card's a fairly good buy. Then there is of course the fact that the card manages to use less power, run cooler and make less noise than the HD 4850; all very big pluses for a lot of people.I have to admit that I was going into this review with a pretty negative attitude; I really thought it was going to be one of those cards that carries the name of its higher end brothers but put's out performance of something much lower. I was surprised to say the least and the HD 4830 is ultimately a pretty good card.
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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.

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