With the Radeon HD 4830 flashed with the correct BIOS and all 640 stream processors unlocked I re-did some performance testing to see how the card would perform. I re-tested CPU Utilization on the Blu-Ray version of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull to see what the additional shaders would do. This title is MPEG-4 (H.264) and has Dobly True HD 5.1 handling the audio side of things. The above chart shows CPU Utilization over the 90 second test period in order to give you a better idea of what the CPU is up to during Blu-Ray movie playback.
The average CPU utilization went down 0.9%, which is a 9.8% drop in CPU usage thanks to the additional 80 stream processors. It looks like things are off to a great start! Let’s take another look at Futuermark 3DMark06.
Once again a huge jump was seen as the overall score in 3DMark06 went from 11737 3DMarks to 13001 3DMarks, a jump of 10.8% thanks to the extra shaders. The Radeon HD 4850 has 800 shaders, but was just 84 3DMarks faster than the Radeon HD 4830 with 640 shaders. I thought this was interesting and re-tested the Radeon HD 4850, but the results were consistant around 13,075-13,125. Curious to see how the card would fair on a tougher benchmark I fired up 3DMark Vantage with Extreme quality settings.
A higher than expected 20% performance jump was seen in 3DMark Vantage, which is interesting as there is only 14.3% more shaders. I guess 3DMark Vantage was shader limited with 560 stream processors, but no complaints here. Also keep in mind that 3DMark Vantage was run in Extreme mode, which is super tough on cards.
With the right BIOS installed on the Radeon HD 4830 performance seems to have gone up on average 9-10%, with some benchmarks like 3DMark Vantage jumping up 20%. It’s a shame that AMD didn’t send out the reference cards with the right BIOS as all the performance numbers on the reference cards are lower than what one will see on retail cards. Due to time contraints and other things on the test bench we didn’t have time to do a full re-review, but this should provide you some insight on the true performance numbers on the Radeon HD 4830.
Legit Bottom Line: Someone at AMD dropped the ball and all the reviews using reference cards have incorrect performance numbers.