Palit HD4850 Reviewccokeman - September 11, 2008
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The Palit HD4850 performed consistently just below the performance of the GTX260 and HD4870. However, it did beat out the G92 based 9800 and 8800GT cards in most of the testing. Against the 9800GTX it did not fare as well, only pulling ahead of the GTX in 20 of the 36 benchmarks. At the stock clock speeds the HD4850 falls where it should on the performance ladder. To gain additional performance the Palit HD4850 can be overclocked. I was able to gain an additional 50MHz on the GPU core and 83MHz on the Qimonda memory used on this card. The GDDR3 memory is rated to perform at up to 1000MHz so this was a pretty substantial increase. The two increases helped to boost performance at all but two resolutions. Since ATI makes the fan speed uncontrollable through its own means, an additional program or two can be used to overclock the GPU and memory on this card as well as adjust the fan speeds. Yes, the fan speeds. At idle this card ran at a toasty 84 degrees Celsius with the fan speed at 1500 RPM. Once the fan speed ramped up over 3000 RPM the temperatures started a downward trend. The new version of Rivatuner makes controlling the fan speed much easier than setting up a profile in the CCC and manually setting the fan speed in the profile XML file. By manually adjusting the fan profile in the XML file the temperatures can be managed effectively if you choose not use another application. Some cards come with an overclocking utility but not this one. There is performance as well as longevity gained by bumping the fan speed.
So you want to use the Palit HD4850 in the nice HTPC you just built but you are not sure it can do the job? Well it can. The Palit HD4850 also allows for HDCP protected content to be played through your multimedia computer. Palit has included two different means of connecting the HD4850 to your high definition system. You can use the component out dongle or the DVI to HDMI adapter. If you just need more performance, the HD4850 can be paired with another in a CrossfireX configuration. In fact, up to four cards can be connected together, with the supporting CrossfireX motherboard of course. Last, but not least, is the pricing. Palit has been pretty agressive with the pricing of its video cards lately and for around $170 the Palit HD4850 can be yours. Since power, or more correctly energy costs, are still ratcheting higher everyday, the HD4850 can help reduce the cost of running your computer. When you are in a non-3D environment, the clock speeds are reduced on the memory and GPU core, thereby using less energy. If that's not a reason to upgrade, I don't know what is. "Hey honey, it costs less for me to run my computer." If you don't need a top-of-the-line video card but need one that plays games at decent quality settings, can play all of your digital content and can reduce your carbon footprint all in one shot, then the Palit HD4850 is the card for you.
- CrossfireX capable
- High Definition capabilities
- HDCP compliant
- 55nm technology
- Hot Hot Hot