The Sapphire ATI Radeon HD 4830 512MB is a very decent graphics card for a relatively modest outlay.
When it comes to picking out a graphics card, the issue of value is a debatable. While some may baulk at the idea of paying even £100, others will find that spending anything less than £200 or £300 leaves them feeling rather underwhelmed. So where does Sapphire's ATI Radeon 4830 at £110 fit in?
The £110 Sapphire ATI Radeon HD 4830 slots neatly into the area that lies between the ATI 4670 or 3850 at £70, and the £140-£150 Radeon HD 4850 cards. The latter offers a good comparison point, since the 4830 has an awful lot in common with the 4850. Indeed, in essence they're the same product. Both are based on the RV770 core. Both also share a 256bit memory bus.
The differences, predictably, are ones of scale - the Sapphire ATI Radeon HD 4830 simply has slightly less overall performance than the 4850. The 4830's 640 stream processors are slightly less than the 800 of the 4850. The core clock speed has fallen from 625MHz in the standard 4850 to just 575MHz in the case of the 4830.
The memory clock drops from 993MHz (1,986MHz) to 900MHz. As a result, the Sapphire ATI Radeon HD 4830's memory bandwidth of 57.6GBps falls short of the 63.6GBps of the standard ATI 4850.
And, compared to an enhanced version of the 4850 (such as this overclocked HIS model), the gap is even more stark - the HIS' memory bandwidth is 70.4GBps, a good 12.8GBps up on the 4830.
The Sapphire ATI Radeon HD 4830, then, is likely to fall some way behind the 4850 in speed testing. It finished our battery of games tests (Crysis, FEAR, World in Conflict, Quake Wars) around 16-19 percent down on the HIS HD 4850 IceQ 4 TurboX. This, though, is a very credible performance given the £40 cut in price. It also places it a long way ahead of the 4670.
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