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MSI R4850 Review

gotdamojo06    -   August 10, 2008
Category: Video Cards
Price: $184.99
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Introduction:  

Is it about that time you begin to look for a few upgrades for your computer? Forum Wars begins in about a month - are you looking for some beneficial upgrades to get you a few extra points in your benchmarks? Well, if you are looking for a video card, the new HD4850 from ATI is going to be able to give you those points you are after. You probably know this, but are worried about the temperatures others have been getting, and you do not want to mod your video card's drivers to have the fan speed work properly. Well, MSI has you covered - they have released a new R4850, which is the HD4850 with their own special cooling solution to help with the high heat loads of the RV770 GPU. I am excited to see the first wave of cards with upgraded coolers on them from the factory; I am curious to see how it will perform, so let's get a look at the MSI R4850.  

 

Closer Look:  

The packaging that the MSI R4850 comes in is very similar to just about every other video card's packaging, as it is a nice large enclosure that displays all sorts of information about the card. The front of the packaging is where you are going to find a large image of a computer generated medieval warrior that is supposed to represent the absolute raw and brutal power of the HD4850 series. The top left hand corner of the front is where you are going to find MSI's logo with the ATI logo in the right hand corner. In the left-center of the package is where you are going to find the model name of this particular card - "R4850" - with the three biggest features that MSI wanted to let you know about: 512MB GDDR3 RAM, HDMI ready capabilities, and PCI-E 2.0 compatible. There is the "Game MSI" logo in the bottom left hand corner with the "Live Update" logo next to that. On the back of the package, we see our warrior again in the center; to his right is where you are going to find a lengthy features list. Below him are all of the badges that are associated with the card, such as ATI CrossFireX, Windows Vista certification, PCI-E, etc. On his left hand side, you are going to see another list of some main features in a few different languages. The two sides of the package are simple, just displaying the MSI logo, and the R4850 logo along with our warrior. Enough of what the packaging looks like, what's inside of it?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When you open up the package for the MSI R4850, you are able to see exactly how MSI decided to protect the R4850 - not only is it wrapped up in an anti-static bag to protect it from any electrical damages that could possibly occur during the shipping process, it is also kept in place nice and tight by a molded foam protector, which will absorb any force applied to the package. There is a cardboard box towards the bottom of the package that will hold all of the accessories, which not only keeps them organized, but keeps them from sliding around during the shipping process and damaging the R4850.

 

When you open up the white box at the bottom of the package, you are able to see all of the bundled accessories that come with the MSI R4850. These accessories are basically the standards that come with a video card - you get the R4850 user manual, as well as the Quick Users Guide to help you install the card into your system. The cables and adapters that come with the card are also pretty standard; you get a DVI to Analog dongle, as well as the DVI to HDMI dongle, an S-Video and an RCA cable converter. The CD that is contained in the packaging is a drivers/software installation CD. I was disappointed to find out that there were not any CrossFireX bridges included with the card, which is fine - as most CrossFire capable motherboards come with them; however, the cards should as well.

 

 

 

Now that we know what the packaging for the MSI R4850 looks like and what accessories are included with the card, I know that I'm ready to take a look at the actual video card and see what she looks like. I am especially interested to see how the custom cooling for the card works and looks, mainly because of the overheating problems many 48xx users are experiencing.




  1. Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Closer Look Continued (The Video Card)
  3. Configuration (Installation)
  4. Configuration (Catalyst Control Center)
  5. Specifications & Features
  6. Testing: Setup & Overclocking
  7. Testing: Crysis
  8. Testing: Knights of the Sea
  9. Testing: BioShock
  10. Testing: Call of Duty 4
  11. Testing: World in Conflict
  12. Testing: Call of Juarez
  13. Testing: Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts
  14. Testing: 3DMark06
  15. Conclusion
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