ATI radeon HD 4830


AMD Introduces a $129 Radeon HD 4830 Graphics Card

Update: Shortly after Legit Reviews published our Radeon HD 4830 articles we were notified by AMD that every reference card they sent out to reviews came with an incorrect BIOS. The BIOS that shipped on the Radeon HD 4830 had one too many of the SIMDS disabled and that the Radeon HD 4830 had just 560 stream processors enabled instead of the 640 stream processors that it should have been running. Read this article to see what the right BIOS does for performance!

ATI Radeon HD 4830 Graphics Card

AMD has been pretty aggressive in the video card market lately and with the success of the Radeon HD 4800 series who could blame them. Today AMD is announcing the ATI Radeon HD 4830 graphics card, which looks like the Radeon HD 4850 at first glance. It would be easy to confuse the two cards as they use similar printed circuit boards and both use 512MB of GDDR3 for the frame buffer. What is the difference then? The Radeon HD 4830 has lower clock speeds across the board in conjunction with 160 fewer stream processors and eight fewer texture units than the Radeon HD 4850. With less features comes a lower price tag and at $129 the Radeon HD 4830 can still offer great performance for the price being paid.

ATI Radeon HD 4830 Graphics Card

When you compare the specifications on the three single GPU Radeon HD 4800 series cards you can see how they stack up across the board. Notice that the max board power remains the same on the Radeon HD 4830, so power consumption and temperatures should be close to what is seen on the Radeon HD 4850 graphics card. The clock rate on the Radeon HD 4830 is 575MHz with the memory clock being 900MHz. The Radeon HD 4830, 4850 and 4870 all have 956 Million transistors and are built on the 55nm process.

ATI Radeon HD 4830 Graphics Card

AMD has a very nice product stack in the market now with mainstream gaming graphics cards from the $79 price point all the way up to the $300 mark for those looking to spend a little more for performance.  The Radeon HD 4830 is set for the $100-$150 price point, which makes it direct competition to the GeForce 9800 GT graphics card from NVIDIA. Now that we have a basic understanding of the specifications, let’s take a closer look at the card itself.

The Radeon HD 4830 Graphics Card

ATI Radeon HD 4830 512MB Video Card

The Radeon HD 4830 video card is a single-slot solution that is 10.25″ long, which is small enough to fit in most desktop chassis. The reference Radeon HD 4830 graphics card has support for two dual-link DVI ports and also HDMI via the included DVI-to-HDMI adapter in retail packaging. There is also an analogue output that is located in-between the DVI ports that supports both S-video and component output with an included dongle.

ATI Radeon HD 4830 512MB Video Card

The Radeon HD 4830 graphics card does have one 6-pin PCI Express power connector on it, as the card has a total power rating of 110W and draws more power than the graphics slot alone can supply.

ATI Radeon HD 4830 512MB Video Card

With the copper heat spreader removed we can get a better look at the card. The Radeon HD 4830 does have two CrossFire interconnects and fully supports CrossFire and CrossFireX configurations, so you can run two, three or four of these cards together for better performance. The eight black rectangles are eight Qimonda GDDR3 memory ICs that total 512MB for the 256-bit frame buffer. The memory data rate on this card is 1.8Gbps with a memory bandwidth of 57.6 GB/s.

ATI Radeon HD 4830 512MB Video Card

The back of the Radeon HD 4830 graphics card is pretty plain as no memory or interesting components are located there.

ATI Radeon HD 4830 512MB Video Card

Here is a closer look at the GPU on the Radeon HD 4830, which is the same core used on the other Radeon 4800 series cards and is built on the same 55nm process with 956 million transistors. Clocked at 575MHz this core has 640 stream processors, which is good enough for 740 GFLOPS of compute performance.

The Test System

The Main Test System

The ATI test system was running Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit with SP1 and all available Microsoft updates. The ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2 was using CCC 8.8 beta drivers. The ATI Radeon HD 4670 and Radeon HD 4550 were using 8.9 drivers. The Radeon HD 4870 1GB, Radeon HD 4850 and Radeon HD 4830 all used Radeon 8.10 drivers. All results shown in the charts are averages of at least three runs from each game or application used.

The Video Cards:

  • ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2 – GDDR5(500MHz/1800MHz)
  • ATI Radeon HD 4870 1GB – GDDR5 (750MHz/1800MHz)
  • ATI Radeon HD 4850 – 512MB GDDR3 (625MHz/1986MHz)
  • ATI Radeon HD 4830 – 512MB GDDR3 (575MHz/1800MHz)
  • PNY GeForce GTX 280 – GDDR3  (602MHz/2214MHz)
  • BFG Tech GeForce GTX 260 – GDDR3 (602MHz/2214MHz)
  • ATI Radeon HD 4670 – 512MB GDDR3 (750MHz/2000MHz)
  • XFX GeForce 9600 GT – 512MB GDDR3 (650MHz/1800MHz)
  • EVGA GeForce 9600 GSO – 384MB GDDR3 (550MHz/1600MHz)
  • NVIDIA GeForce 9500 GT – 256MB GDDR3 (600MHz/1000MHz)
  • ATI Radeon HD 4550 – 512MB GDDR3 (600MHz/1600MHz)

All of the ATI video cards were tested on our Intel X48 Express Test platform, which is loaded with the latest and greatest hardware.  The Intel Core 2 Quad QX9770 ‘Yorkfield’ processor was used for testing as it proves to be the best desktop processor when it comes to game performance. The test system was also loaded with 4GB of memory and water cooled to ensure throttling of the processor or memory wouldn’t cause any issues. The Corsair DDR3 1600MHz memory kit was run at 1600MHz with 9-9-9-24 memory timings. The Gigabyte X48T-DQ6 motherboard was running BIOS version F5, which was the most recent available at the time. It should be noted that the Radeon HD 4870 X2 was run on the Coolermaster 1000W power supply when running in CrossFireX mode as the Corsair HX 620W power supply was unable to handle the load. The Corsair HX 620W power supply would run the cards and was pulling more than 791W from the wall, but the games displayed artifacts and the +12V rail was low.  A quick switch to a bigger PSU, and the issue was resolved.

Intel Test Platform
Component Brand/Model Live Pricing
Processor Intel Core 2 Quad QX9770
Motherboard
Gigabyte X48T-DQ6
Memory
4GB Corsair PC3-1600C9
Video Cards See Above
Hard Drive Western Digital SATA RaptorX
Cooling Corsair Nautilus 500
Power Supply Corsair HX620W
Operating System Windows Vista Ultimate

The Main Test System

All of the NVIDIA video cards were tested on our nForce 790i SLI Ultra test platform, which is loaded with the latest and greatest hardware.  The Intel Core 2 Quad QX9770 ‘Yorkfield’ processor was used for testing as it proved to be the best desktop processor when it comes to game performance. The test system was also loaded with 4GB of memory and water cooled to ensure throttling of the processor or memory wouldn’t cause any issues. The Corsair DDR3 1600MHz memory kit was run at 1600MHz with 9-9-9-24 memory timings. The EVGA 790i SLI Ultra motherboard was running BIOS version P06, which was the most recent available at the time. The GeForce 9500 GT, 9600 GT and 9600 GSO used Forceware 177.93 video card drivers while all other NVIDIA graphics cards were run with Forceware 177.83 video card drivers installed.

Intel Test Platform
Component Brand/Model Live Pricing
Processor Intel Core 2 Quad QX9770
Motherboard EVGA 790i SLI Ultra
Memory
4GB Corsair PC3-1600C9
Video Cards See Above
Hard Drive Western Digital SATA RaptorX
Cooling Corsair Nautilus 500
Power Supply Corsair HX620W
Operating System Windows Vista Ultimate

Now that we know exactly what the test system is, we can move along to performance numbers.

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