Our recent testing of the new entry-level Radeon HD 4670 card from ATI showed that the below-$100 price category had progressed just like others. The mentioned card did very well, especially against Nvidia’s solutions falling into the same price category. Of course, the cutting down of the render back-ends subsystem and memory bus affected the new card’s performance, yet it proved to be competitive even to the more expensive GeForce 9600 GT. The Radeon HD 4670 left no chance to its direct market opponent GeForce 9500 GT.
The next step undertaken by AMD’s graphics department was the announcement of the Radeon HD 4500/4300 series. Here, in the most affordable price category, the former ATI Technologies had advanced significantly as its solutions were head above Nvidia’s counterparts, at least in decoding and output of HD video and audio. Moreover, the Radeon HD 4550 proved to have a very low power draw. Coupled with its enhanced multimedia capabilities, this made it an ideal solution for inexpensive, quiet, but advanced HTPCs.
There was only one niche left between the Radeon HD 4850 ($150-199) and Radeon HD 4670 ($79) and Nvidia filled it with its GeForce 9800 GT which was based on the time-tested G92 core and, judging by test data, was quite worth its price. However, product diversification basing on the same graphics core is a game that can be played by two, and ATI’s answer didn’t take long in coming.
It was logical for ATI to develop a new inexpensive below-$150 graphics card based on the superb RV770 core. This could help put to good use the cores that didn’t pass the frequency check and/or had some defective subunits. Thus, the release of the Radeon HD 4830 is an expected step in the evolution of the Radeon HD 4000 series and complies with ATI’s overall strategy.
Our today’s review is about this new addition to the Radeon HD 4800 family. As usual, we will report to you on the practical performance of the new card in a number of tests. We will also check out such important parameters as power consumption, heat dissipation and noise. But let’s first read through the Radeon HD 4830 specifications.