Asus EAH 4830 Review
Reviewed by: Desja
Reviewed on: December 21, 2008
It is that time of year once again; all of the top manufacturers are releasing their best games in time for the rush. You want to play them so bad but your good old standby 6600 agp graphics card is all you have left after your latest card died. You have spent all your money on gifts for family and have no where near enough for the new x2 series of cards. There are other choices out there that can give you a decent bang for your buck don't give up just yet.
The Asus EAH 4830 could be your best choice it is a very cost effective card. The 4830 has the same chip as a 4850 it is just under clocked this may be the answer to your prayers. You can easily buy this card and still have enough for one of the block buster games out this quarter.
As with all of the Asus cards the first thing you will notice is the gamer chick on the front and asus is known for their bright color scheme and the Asus EAH 4830 is no exception. The box also lists all of the standard programs that Asus includes such as gamer osd, smart doctor, and drivers
Included in your packaging is a dvi to vga converter for users that still have analog ports. There is also a molex to 6 pin PCI-E converter for ones that don't have the newer modular power supplies. Also included is component cabling to hook this up to your hdtv which is a nice bonus. Of course last but not least you get your driver/software disk and both a hard copy and a cd copy of your user manual.
Let's keep going and see this card more closely.
The Asus EAH 4830 uses the same RV770 GPU core found in higher end 4850 and 4870 video cards. The factory core clock is set at 575MHz. The GDDR3 memory runs at 1004MHz through a 256-bit interface. The design of the card looks impressive for a lower end version of it's senior sister cards. This fan is much larger than the EAH 4850. The board design is also very well laid out which I like to see in comparison to some of the older graphics card in the past. This of course is not just for aesthetics but also for even heat distribution.
The video output of the Asus EAH 4830 has two DVI ports and a TV-out port. Of course as is with most of the mid range cards there is a 6 port power plug at the back end of the card.
The Asus EAH 4830 has two Crossfire bridge connections. This feature allows 3 ATI cards to be used in a CrossfireX configuration to increase the graphics horsepower in your system.
The design of the heat sink is quite substantial but is not a full coverage design like the reference cooler on the HD4850. Using a combination of a large fan and an aluminum heat sink; the potential for cooling properties is higher in my opinion than larger heat sinks with thinner fans like the reference HD4850 cooler.
Four screws on the back of the PCB are removed to get access to the GPU core. A large amount of thermal paste is factory applied to the GPU. The heart of the 4800 series and of course this card is no exception to the RV770 core.
Let's see what kind of goodies Asus has in store for us in its software package.
Now that you have physically installed the Asus EAH 4830 into your pc it is time to install the drivers. The drivers for those of you that do not know; are the way Windows recognizes how to use your newly installed hardware. The drivers are found on the VGA driver’s disk included with the 4830 graphics card. I would suggest checking on ATI's website incase there are any new drivers to download.
Included in the drivers installation is Asus's proprietary utility pack which has bonuses included we will get into further on this page.
Gamers OSD is also part of the installation process. With Asus's Gamers OSD you have the ability to do on the fly video and screen captures while playing using various hot keys you set up.
After the installation has completed it asks you to restart your computer. After you have done so you will notice a new utility called Asus Smart Doctor. Much like Ati's Control center you can use this tool to keep track of temperature, clock speeds, and if enabled on your particular card; fan control. This tool makes it much easier to overclock your graphics card but I personally prefer the Control center because that smart doctor caps out at 650MHz on the GPU and that's not enough for me.
Let's get a good look at the control panel now.
The catalyst control center’s name speaks for itself; it is the central nervous system for all of the settings on your Asus EAH 4830 Video Card. There are numerous capabilities a user can choose. Everything is tweakable from specific viewing properties to image quality.
Information Center: In the Information Center you can view extensive information based on your driver, CCC, and DirectX versions.
Digital Panel: In the Digital Panel you can fix color correction, DVI settings, and GPU scaling.
3D: In the 3D tab you can adjust Anti-Aliasing, Anisotropic Filtering, and color schemes. There are also a few settings for DirectX and OpenGL. There are also general image quality settings.
AVIVO Video & ATI Overdrive: AVIVO settings alter the color settings for better viewing. The ATI Over Drive is where the enthusiast will bolt for first. This sections allows you to set the clocks on both video card memory and GPU. There is also an auto clock option that will inspect your hardware configuration and clock your card for you. This option is for the unexperienced overclocker that wants a little more oomph from his/her card without knowing exactly what to do.
Now let's start testing the Asus EAH 4830 and see its true potential.
Graphics GPU Features
ATI Radeon™ HD 4830 graphics
Full Microsoft® DirectX® 10.1 Support
ATI CrossFireX™ Technology
Dual-link DVI Support: Able to drive the industry’s largest and highest resolution flat-panel displays up to 2560x1600
- Special designed Heat Dissipation to Lower working temperature
- Solid Polymer Aluminum Capacitors greatly extends lifespan
- EMI Shield to reduce EMI interference
- PCI Express & PCI Express 2.0 sSupport
- ASUS Splendid:
Watching movies on PC is as good as on Top-of-the-line consumer television
- ASUS Gamer OSD:
Real-time overclocking, benchmarking and video capturing in any PC game!
- ASUS Smart Doctor:
- ASUS Video Security Online:
Your intelligent hardware protection and overclocking tool
Keep an eye on your home at all times no matter where you are
Let's get on with the overclocking and testing
The Asus EAH 4830 is based off of the HD 4800 series using the RV770 core I am really interested in seeing how it does next to a 4850. In order to provide fair testing grounds all of the cards I will be testing will be in the same range. The cards will also go through all of the same testing with the same system specs for each one.
- Processor: Intel Core2 Quad Q9450
- Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-X48-DQ6
- Memory: Mushkin XP2 Redline 8000 2 x 2GB
- Video Card: Asus EAH 4830
- Power Supply: Mushkin 800w Modular Power Supply
- Hard Drive: Seagate 750GB SATA
- Optical Drive: LG DVD-RW
- OS: Windows Vista Ultimate
Comparison Video Cards:
- Asus EAH 4830 700/1075
This little card blew me completely away I went from 575MHz stock gpu clock all the way to 700MHz. A phenomenal 125MHz increase on a little card like this is very impressive. After overclocking the GPU I was able to get an additional 71MHz out of the memory taking it from an impressive 1004MHz already to an even more jaw dropping 1075Mhz. It was at this point I noticed the temps jumping up between 53 and 56 degrees still well within limits in my opinion. At this overclock I did not run into any issues with display problems and was able to successfully complete the benchmark suite.
- Knights of the Sea
- Call of Duty 4
- World in Conflict
- Call of Juarez
- Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts
- 3DMark 06 Professional
- 3DMark Vantage
Crysis has been out for quite some time now but it still stress tests the high end cards available now. Will the EAH 4830 be the first to show it up? The Crysis single player demo includes both CPU and GPU benchmarks to test the performance of your processor and video card. I will be using the benchmark utility that encompasses both tests in one.
- Anti-Aliasing: x2
- Advanced settings to high
I am impressed with how well the card did at 1920. We see the EAH 4830 isn't quite up there with the big boys but it did much better then I would have imagined. Let's see some more tests.
PT Boats: Knights of the Sea is a new DX10 title that features its own proprietary graphics engine currently in development. The game is a combination of Real Time Strategy and Simulation where you have control over the entire crew or just a single member. Play as the German, Russian or Allied navies, and prove your mettle on the open seas. The benchmarking program has a large range of graphical and cpu testing which makes it a good choice for modern cards.
- Anti-Aliasing: x0
- Image Quality: High
- DirectX Version: 10
- All resolutions: 60Hz
We can see the Nvidia card is taking the lead in this test. The 4830 again keeping up pretty good with higher end cards when overclocked; but showing its colors in the stock benchmarks. Let's keep going and see what else there is this card has to offer.
BioShock is creepy from start to finish and is hands down one of the creepiest games I have played. The creators of this game knew what they were doing when they added Gothic faced little girls that skip about sucking “Adam” from dead victims. All the while singing creepy songs while there guardians or “Big Daddies” stand at there guard. This game is based on a city built under water by a mad visionary trying to create a Utopian based community around the theme of rapture; where its citizens can inject themselves and achieve super human feats. Something went horribly wrong in the process causing chaos to ensue. This game is very graphically intense even under today standards it makes weak hardware cry and provides a fantastic platform for benchmarking.
- All settings to maximum
- V-Sync: Off
Again the Asus EAH 4830 did pretty good considering it is up against some larger cards let's keep going and see what else it can do.
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare is the successor to the Call of Duty crown. This iteration of the game is fought in many of the world's hot spots with modern armaments and firepower. You can play as either a US Marine or British SAS trooper. This is the first in the call of duty series to bring the fight to modern times. Since this game does not feature an in-game test, I will run through a section of the game and measure average FPS using Fraps 2.9.3.
- Anti-Aliasing: x4
- Anisotropic Filtering: Max
- Texture Quality: Extra
- All settings max
Incredible performance on lower resolutions especially when over clocked but again the higher end cards squeak ahead in the higher resolutions. Still very impressive none the less.
World in Conflict Released last year World in Conflict is a Real Time Strategy game that simulates the all-out war the world hopes never comes. The difference in this RTS game is that it is not the typical "generate wealth and build" type of game. Instead, you advance by conquering your foe with limited opportunities to replenish your troops..
- Anti-Aliasing: x4
- Anisotropic Filtering: x16
- Graphic Detail: Very High
This relatively lower end card is doing phenomenally against the 8800GT and 9800GTX consistently this more I test it the more impressed I am with it.
Call of Juarez is a DX10, first-person shooter set in the Wild West of the late 1800's. The game is inspired, in part, by the movies of the Wild West genre of the seventies and eighties. The game can be played in both single player and multiplayer modes. You can play this game as two different story lines. The game focuses on realistic graphics and gameplay designed to take advantage of the latest video cards on the market.
- Details: High
- Shadowmap Size: 2048x2048
- Shadow Quality: Normal
- Anti-Aliasing: MSAA x4
Again the Asus EAH 4830 does well compared to the 9800GTX and 8800 GT. I can't get over how well this card performs.
Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts is the latest chapter in the Company of Heroes series. The scene is WWII. The mission is Operation Market Garden, the first allied attempt to break into the Third Reich. Play as the British or Germans. This Real Time Strategy game is brought to us by Relic Entertainment.
- Anti-Aliasing: x8
- All other settings to maximum
This card is battling it out with the pros and holding its own, but frame rates can only tell us so much. It's time for the big boys at Futuremark to tell us what this card is really worth.
3DMark06 is the PC enthusiast equivalent to a drinking game the winner gets bragging rights and the envy of his peers. 3DMark 06 is a full spectrum test of your system capabilities, and really gives meaning to how your computer works in unison.
- SM2.0 Graphics Tests: GT1- Return to Proxycon, GT2- Firefly Forest
- CPU Tests: Cpu1- Red Valley, CPU2- Red Valley
- HDR/SM3.0 Graphics Tests: HDR1- Canyon Flight, HDR2- Deep Freeze
The rule of the Asus EAH 4830 had to come to an end. This is where we see the other cards taking a lead over the 4830. It was a good run but all good things must come to an end. Let's see how the newer benchmark Vantage tests this card's capabilities.
Featuring all-new game tests, this benchmark is for use with Vista based systems. "There are two all-new CPU tests that have been designed around a new 'Physics and Artificial Intelligence-related computation.' CPU test two offers support for physics related hardware." There are four preset levels that correspond to specific resolutions. 'Entry' is 1024x768 progressing to 'Extreme' at 1920x1200. Of course, each preset can be modified to arrange any number of user designed testing. For our testing, I will use the four presets at all default settings. The bench mark is incredible to watch especially the space battle.
- All default settings in each preset level
- Entry 1024x768
- Performance 1280x1024
- High 1680x1050
- Extreme 1920x1200
It seems Vantage likes the EAH 4830 a little more than its predecessor. The Asus EAH 4830 did a bang up job for a lower end card. I was impressed with its performance against the Asus Nvidia based cards and love its overclockability.
There you have it; Asus's EAH 4830 held its own against some considerably more substantial cards. I was very impressed at how far I could push this card and how low the temperatures were, considering how much of a huge jump it was from stock speeds. If you are tight on money and want some serious horse power for your money, there is no other card I would personally recommend instead of the Asus EAH 4830.
If I was to change anything it would be how the Smart Doctor interfaces with the fan because I was unsure as to how much yield the fan was giving. I felt I could not fully test this card's capability. If the fan was not running at 100% it could have a limiting factor in the overclocking phase of the review. If you are a modder at heart this is exactly the kind of card to play with by converting the fan to a 12v Molex connection to see exactly how far you can push it. In summation I loved this card, it held its own in a big pond and put on a decent show next to the higher end cards when overclocked. If Asus ever releases this with a more substantial cooler you may well be able to pull even more performance from the EAH4830 .
- Overclocked Performance
- Low Price
- Fantastic Temperature regulation for a smaller card
- Smart Doctor could not interface with fan control