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HD4850 Roundup

Four cards that break the mold
Gainward  Gigabyte
Sapphire   Palit  
Author: Toni Siik
Published: 17.11.2008
Product Group: GFX cards
In English In English
Suomeksi Suomeksi

Intro

After being left in the dust in the last few graphics generations, AMD has finally gotten its act back together with the HD4000-series graphics cards. The new cards have taken the graphics markets by storm, as AMD has gotten the performance/price ratio in order. Even though even the basic HD4870 couldn't compete with Nvidias flagship model, they offered great performance at a much lower price. Now that AMD has gotten the 4870X2 out on the market, they also have the performance thrown back from Nvidia for the first time after Nvidias release of the 8-series.

Today we are going to get a bit more familiar with some of the more interesting HD4850-offerings. All of these cards feature an improved cooler, higher frequencies and better performance than the reference cards.

 

Ati HD4850 Roundup (Gainward, Sapphire, Gigabyte and Palit)
 

RV770

As the RV770 based cards are really not that new anymore, and you all have probably read about the architecture already before this, we thought that we'd just do a really short recap of the RV770 chip.

AMD has taken a slightly different approach than Nvidia in GPU-design. As Nvidia has chosen a large chip, AMD has designed a smaller GPU-chip. They use one RV770 chip in both HD4850 and HD4870 cards and two in the HD4850X2 and HD4870X2 cards.

When comparing the RV770 core to the GT200 core, the size difference alone is tremendous. The GT200 core is around 500-600mm^2 in size and it have 1.4 billion transistors. The RV770 on the other hand has "only" 956M transistors and the chip is around 260mm^2 in size. In addition to the difference in transistor amounts, the size difference is also explained by the different fabrication techniques, Nvidia produces the GT200 chip with the 65nm technique as AMD is produces their chips with the newer 55nm technique.

ATI Radeon™ HD 4800 Series - GPU Specifications

  • 956 million transistors on 55nm fabrication process
  • PCI Express 2.0 x16 bus interface
  • 256-bit GDDR3/4/5 memory interface
  • Microsoft® DirectX® 10.1 support
  • Unified Superscalar Shader Architecture
    • 800 stream processing units
  • Dynamic Geometry Acceleration
  • Anti-aliasing features
    • Multi-sample anti-aliasing (2, 4, or 8 samples per pixel)
    • Up to 24x Custom Filter Anti-Aliasing (CFAA) for improved quality
    • Adaptive super-sampling and multi-sampling
    • Gamma correct
    • Super AA (ATI CrossFireX™ configurations only)
    • All anti-aliasing features compatible with HDR rendering
  • Texture filtering features
    • 2x/4x/8x/16x high quality adaptive anisotropic filtering modes (up to 128 taps per pixel)
    • 128-bit floating point HDR texture filtering
    • sRGB filtering (gamma/degamma)
    • Percentage Closer Filtering (PCF)
    • Depth & stencil texture (DST) format support
    • Shared exponent HDR (RGBE 9:9:9:5) texture format support
    • OpenGL 2.1 support
  • ATI Avivo™ HD Video and Display Platform
  • ATI PowerPlay™ Technology
    • Advanced power management technology for optimal performance and power savings
    • Performance-on-Demand
    • Constantly monitors GPU activity, dynamically adjusting clocks and voltage based on user scenario
    • Clock and memory speed throttling
    • Voltage switching
    • Dynamic clock gating
    • Central thermal management – on-chip sensor monitors GPU temperature and triggers thermal actions as required
  • ATI CrossFireX™ Multi-GPU Technology
    • Scale up rendering performance and image quality with two, three, or four GPUs
    • Integrated compositing engine
    • High performance dual channel bridge interconnect



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