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Palit HD4850 Sonic Review

ccokeman    -   October 14, 2008
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Conclusion:

The Palit HD4850 Sonic is an overclocked card built on a purpose built PCB. That purpose is to provide a card that is both stable and overclocks like gangbusters. It delivered clock speed increases of 15% on the RV770 core and a hefty 26% on the memory. OverclockersClub has done a few reviews on the ATI based HD4850 cards to show a wide range of performance with non reference cards with unique heatspreaders to just your basic reference video cards. Of the seven tested to date the Palit HD4850 is the cream of the crop. The three phase power design helps to get the most from this card. It just rocks. When pushed to the maximum this card gave the HD4870 and GTX260 a run for their money and and won in most instances. You just normally do not see that from a nice mid-range card. I have got to give Palit props for this card.

Performance is not the only part of the package here. There is the cooling solution that works to effectively remove the heat generated by the core. As you know, the reference design does cool decently when the fan speed is manually adjusted via aftermarket programs such as Rivatuner or with a profile edit. But ATI's driver package does not allow the card to be cooled effectively because of the way the fan speed is controlled. This causes stock cards to run under load in the 90 degree Celsius and up range. Pretty much a card killer in my book. This issue is not a problem with the Palit HD4850 Sonic. Load temperatures were in the low 60 Celsius range with the driver controlling the fan speeds. When the fan speed is manually controlled and pushed to 100% the Sonic would load in the 50 to 51 Celsius range, a nice improvement. Setting the fan speed to 70% was a good compromise between noise and heat with the Sonic in the same 51 Celsius range. The fan on the cooling solution is a lot like the reference design when it is ramped up. It can be a bit noisy but that 70% mark was a great compromise. Delivering incredible performance out of a mid-range card, Palit has done a great job with this one. It performs well above its price point when pushed to the limit. If an HD4850 is going to be a part of your next build or you are looking for a good upgrade, the Palit HD4850 Sonic Overclocking Edition is the card to buy, hands down! It's got it all, price, performance cooling and good looks!

 

Pros:

  • Massive overclocking
  • Great performance
  • Non reference design
  • Three phase power circuit
  • Cool running
  • Factory overclocked
  • Performs outside its price point
  • Priced to sell

 

Cons:

  • Fan noisy at 100%

 

Editors' Choice



  1. Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Closer Look (The Video Card)
  3. Closer Look (Drivers & Programs)
  4. Closer Look (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. Testing: 3DMark Vantage
  16. Conclusion
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