Last week, AMD was forced to release the ATI Radeon HD 4850 graphics cards early since some retailers had already started selling the card to the public before it was launched. We ran a quick preview on the Sapphire Radeon HD 4850 and then followed that up by running the Radeon HD 4850 versus the recently released GeForce 9800 GTX+. Our testing showed that the Radeon HD 4850 raised performance bar for the $199 price point and the GeForce 9800 GTX+ is NVIDIA’s answer to this price point battle. The Radeon HD 4850 is targeted at the sub-$200 market, so what will fill the void above? This week, AMD released the the Radeon HD 4870 which is priced at $299. This is the big brother to the Radeon HD 4850 and features higher clock speeds and newer cutting edge technology like GDDR5 memory ICs for improved memory bandwidth.
Pictured above is the new HIS Radeon HD 4870 and the Sapphire Radeon HD 4850. Both of these cards have the same RV770 GPU powering things as well as the same features.
This is the stock press image for the reference Radeon HD 4870 and as you can tell, HIS based their card off the reference design.
This chart shows that the ATI Radeon HD 4870 and Radeon 4850 are basically the same thing as both have the same number of transistors (965 million) and use the 55nm manufacturing process at TSMC. Both offer DX10.1 and Shader Model 4.1 support and use ATI’s CrossFireX multi-GPU technology. The only big difference here is the clock speed and the memory type! The new higher clock frequencies mean the math processing rate is now 1.2 TeraFLOPS over the 1.0 TeraFLOPS found on the Radeon HD 4850, which is something to highlight. Let’s take a look at the HIS Radeon HD 4870 and move along to testing!