Covering (but not limited to) all of my thoughts on the PC gaming scene.
Things are looking good for ATI
Published on June 22, 2008 By Phazon88 In Personal Computing

ATI has been hard at work on their next series of graphic cards. After the excellent HD38xx release, things are looking better for ATI since the release of the HD2xxx series which didn't go down too well at the time.

The HD48xx series of cards are armed with ATI's new RV770 chipset, built using 55nm production. The card also sports 512MB of GDDR3 memory. It is extremely powerful for its size (with the stock HD4850 being a single-slot product), price (launch price for HD4850 is only $200 USD) and power usage (with the card only using 269 watts when under a load).

Just check out some of the benchmarks over at the Guru3d article I linked to see this little beauty in action. Its got a little more grunt than Nvidia's 9800 GTX in most titles, with ATI's card retailing cheaper to boot (and sporting a better feature set).

In a few more weeks the HD4870 will be unleashed (with more agressive clock speeds and sporting GDDR5 memory) that'll pack even more bang. A little while after that we will see the HD4870X2 which is 2 GPUs stacked onto one board.

Needless to say its exciting times for both ATI fans and even Nvidia fans alike, because this newfound competition will drive down prices in every direction and lead to even more innovation in graphic solutions.


Comments (Page 3)
on Jul 14, 2008
For those who already own one, any thoughts or considerations for when I install the card beyond the driver issues?


PSU is the the big issue...although watt rating is not the whole story on PSU's you should be fine. Lots of ventilation is #2. I'd try to put any additional cards as far away from it as possible. Other than that we just wait for the Omega drivers to come out

I'm enjoying mine......playing DOOM3 & COD4 at 1600x1200 real smooth...no bottle necks. Runs AutoCAD like bat-outa-hell. I've got MilkdropII set for 60 frames/sec in all 3 modes with Winamp....beautiful.

I'm thinking about a pair of 24" widescreen monitors for my B-Day in September.......
on Jul 14, 2008

Well, it's a beefy PSU in general, highly rated for power users and overclockers, so I figure that's going to handle this card OK.  If it doesn't, then something is very wrong.

I also picked up the Antec Nine Hundred case, which is loaded to the brim with fans and exhaust vents.  Again, rated highly for gamers and such.

The parts all arrive this afternoon.  I'll probably be doing a set of articles with pics going through the unboxing, building and testing process on the system.

on Jul 14, 2008
Zoomba, the new ATI cards have one small issue with their fan not being able to scale with load, which will be resolved in the next driver update. If you want to keep your card cool you'll need to create a CCC profile and change a couple values and manually adjust the fan at a set percentage. My 4870 at default was idling 96-99°C and when I changed the fan to 40% I am now idling in the low 50's°C.

Here's some info on how to adjust the fan speed:
http://www.hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1320351
on Jul 14, 2008
mike, if your new card is of the asus variety, it comes with their SmartDr app which allows you to control the fan speed. i bumped mine up to 50%. the sound is a bit louder, but not much, and the gpu temp is down to 41 degrees C instead of teh mid 80's. if it's of another variety, i definitely recommend the CCC profile method. i'm sure the different manufacturers will have apps to change the fan speed soon or maybe amd will integrate the process with the new relkease of drivers. also, definitely get the hotfix for 4850's on the amd/ati site.
on Jul 14, 2008
definitely get the hotfix for 4850's on the amd/ati site.


The 8.7's should be out any day now as well.
on Jul 14, 2008
isn't the new generations of Graphics Cards with 1GB of video Ram is suppose to supplement the CPU with extra computational power. that is what i read in PC Gamer. I think Nvidia call it their Compute Unified Device Architeture. It is suppose to provide extra processing power for process which requires intense computation. For the rest of us regular users. How can we take advantage of it besides graphics. It is not like MS word needs that much CPU power.
on Jul 14, 2008
Extra VGA ram usually means games at a higher resolution will run smoother, it also helps out with higher resolution textures that games may use. Since there is a lot more memory available the game can load more things into VGA memory rather than system memory to speed things up.
on Jul 14, 2008
Zoomba, the new ATI cards have one small issue with their fan not being able to scale with load, which will be resolved in the next driver update. If you want to keep your card cool you'll need to create a CCC profile and change a couple values and manually adjust the fan at a set percentage. My 4870 at default was idling 96-99°C and when I changed the fan to 40% I am now idling in the low 50's°C.Here's some info on how to adjust the fan speed:http://www.hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1320351


Mine idled at 77 degrees. Used that tweak to set it to 65 and now it's at 50 as I type this, and still falling. Nice find.
on Jul 14, 2008
mark, i just saw your question directed toward me. sorry for the delay. yes, i think the asus software would work. my understanding is the 4850 cards from different manufacturers are all reference cards. based on that, i'm betting the asus software would work on a sapphire card.
on Jul 16, 2008
Mine idled at 77 degrees. Used that tweak to set it to 65 and now it's at 50 as I type this, and still falling. Nice find.


Thank you. Although the next CCC update is suppose to fix this, and allow downclocking of the GPU when it is idle, further reducing heat and power consumption.
on Jul 16, 2008
Mine idled at 77 degrees. Used that tweak to set it to 65 and now it's at 50 as I type this, and still falling. Nice find.


Yes, thanks
I was idling at 79C. It's down below 60C now with the Fan at 40% I had to set mine to manual, automatic did nothing.
on Jul 16, 2008
Using that tweak, I can play Crysis on high, and the card is cooler under load than the hotfix drivers stock setting on idle.
They really cocked that one up. I read the 8.7's will be released this month, can't come soon enough.
on Jul 16, 2008
They really cocked that one up. I read the 8.7's will be released this month, can't come soon enough.


ATi releases drivers every month, for example take the 8.7 drivers: The 8 stands for the year (2008) and the 7 stands for the month (July).
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