PowerColor HD4850 Reviewajmatson - June 19, 2008
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Probably the first thing you will think when looking at the HD4850 is "Wow, that looks just like the HD3850 cards!" Well, you are kind of right. The HD4850 has the same design at the HD3850 as far as the looks go, but that is where it stops. PowerColor opted for the reference design with a red PCB and the standard single slot cooler. Looking from the top of the card, you can see the massive copper heatsink that covers the GPU, memory, and surrounding components to aid in keeping it cool. I love the way PowerColor covered the ports and CrossFire leads to keep them from being damaged.
The HD4850 offers two DVI ports and one S-Video port; the DVI ports do support dual-link DVI, and HDMI via the included adapter. There is one 6-pin power plug that provides enough juice to keep this puppy kicking. You also might notice the two notches on the top spine of the card - this is where the CrossFire Bridges get connected to enable multi-GPU action. The HD4850 is CrossFireX compatible, and can run in setups containing up to four cards, for QuadFire.
Like I mentioned earlier, the HD4850 uses a single slot cooling solution. With the core speeds getting to what they are these days, I wonder if that's going to be enough to cool this beast? The cooler has a massive copper heatsink with a plastic shroud to tunnel the air from the cooling fan. The power circuits are covered by the rear end of the heatsink, which uses a copper pin design to disperse the heat, since the fan does not provide active cooling to this area of the card.
Now, with the cooler removed, we can get a better look and the guts and glory of the HD4850. The brain of the card is a RV770 core, manufactured using a 55nm process. The core is clocked at 625MHz and the memory at 993MHz. This brings the core speed down 43MHz from the HD3850, which is clocked at 668MHz, but the memory is upped 165MHz from the HD3850's 828MHz. The card has 512MB GDDR3 made by Qimonda.
Now that we have taken a real good look at the HD4850, let's see how she performs.