Sapphire HD 4830 Video Card Review
By Gabriel Torres on October 30, 2008


Introduction

Hardware Secrets Golden Award

The recently launched Radeon HD 4830 is basically a capped Radeon HD 4850, running at lower clock rates and having less graphics processors  available, but offering a far more attractive price tag than its big sister. Does this new video card provide a good cost/benefit ratio like its big sister? Let’s see.

Radeon HD 4830 uses the same architecture of Radeon HD 4850 and Radeon HD 4870, but with 640 graphics processors instead of 800 like these other high-end models. Clocks are also different. While Radeon HD 4850 runs at 625 MHz and accesses its memory at 1 GHz (2 GHz DDR), the new Radeon HD 4830 runs at 575 MHz and accesses its memory at 900 MHz (1.8 GHz DDR).

One very important thing to know is that the first batch of Radeon HD 4830 came with the wrong BIOS installed, which enabled 560 graphics processors instead of all 640 the graphics chip has. According to AMD this problem affected around 400 video cards. The solution to this problem is performing a BIOS upgrade. According to Sapphire, their model does not suffer from this issue. For a more detailed description and correction of this problem, click here.

In our review we will compare Radeon HD 4830 to a myriad of video cards available on the market, including its direct competitor, GeForce 9800 GT. We will talk more about the differences between the new Radeon HD 4830 and all other video cards included in our review in the next page, but before let’s take an in-depth look at the reviewed model from Sapphire.

The first thing that caught our eye was the fact that Sapphire decided to use its own cooler instead of using the infamous standard cooler designed by ATI/AMD, which is heavy and known to heat a lot, increasing the temperature inside your PC.

Sapphire Radeon HD 4830
click to enlarge
Figure 1: Sapphire Radeon HD 4830.

Sapphire Radeon HD 4830
click to enlarge
Figure 2: Sapphire Radeon HD 4830.

Sapphire Radeon HD 4830
click to enlarge
Figure 3: Sapphire Radeon HD 4830.

This video card requires the installation of one 6-pin auxiliary power connector.

The reviewed video card has eight 512 Mbit GDDR3 memory chips from Qimonda (HYB18H512321BF-10), making its 512 MB memory. These chips support up to 1 GHz (2 GHz DDR), so there is an 11% margin for you to overclock the memories with them still inside their specs. Of course you can try overclocking them above their labeled maximum clock rate.

In Figure 4, you can see all accessories and CDs/DVDs that come with this video card. With the accessories that come with this card you can convert the video output to VGA, HDMI, component video and composite video, plus the DVI and S-Video connectors already present on the product.

Sapphire Radeon HD 4830
click to enlarge
Figure 4: Accessories.

This video card doesn’t come with any games.

Now let’s compare the Radeon HD 4830 specifications to the specs of all other video cards included in our comparison.

More Details

To make the comparison between Radeon HD 4830 and the other video cards we included in this review easier, we compiled the table below comparing the main specs from these cards. If you want to compare the specs of the reviewed video card to any other video card not included in the table below, just take a look at our NVIDIA Chips Comparison Table and on our AMD ATI Chips Comparison Table.

GPU

Core Clock

Shader Clock

Processors

Memory Clock

Memory Interface

Memory Transfer Rate

Memory

Price

GeForce GTX 280

602 MHz

1,296 MHz

240

1,107 MHz

512-bit

141.7 GB/s

1 GB GDDR3

USD 405 - 470

GeForce GTX 260

576 MHz

1,242 MHz

192

1,000 MHz

448-bit

112 GB/s

896 MB GDDR3

USD 240 - 310

GeForce 9800 GX2

600 MHz

1,500 MHz

128

1,000 MHz

256-bit

64 GB/s

1 GB GDDR3

USD 220 - 285

GeForce 9800 GTX+

738 MHz

1,836 MHz

128

1,100 MHz

256-bit

70.4 GB/s

512 MB GDDR3

USD 190 - 210

GeForce 9800 GTX

675 MHz

1,688 MHz

128

1,100 MHz

256-bit

70.4 GB/s

512 MB GDDR3

USD 148 - 180

Palit GeForce 9800 GT 1 GB

600 MHz

1.5 GHz

112

900 MHz

256-bit

57.6 GB/s

1 GB GDDR3

USD 170

Radeon HD 4870 X2

750 MHz

750 MHz

800

900 MHz

256-bit

115.2 GB/s

1 GB GDDR5

USD 530 - 550

Radeon HD 4870

750 MHz

750 MHz

800

900 MHz

256-bit

115.2 GB/s

512 MB GDDR5

USD 290 - 310

Radeon HD 4850

625 MHz

625 MHz

800

993 MHz

256-bit

63.5 GB/s

512 MB GDDR3

USD 160 - 200

Radeon HD 4830

575 MHz

575 MHz

640

900 MHz

256-bit

57.6 GB/s

512 MB GDDR3

USD 130

Sapphire Atomic HD 3870 X2

857 MHz

857 MHz

320

927 MHz

256-bit

59.3 GB/s

1 GB GDDR3

Radeon HD 3870

776 MHz

776 MHz

320

1,125 MHz

256-bit

72 GB/s

512 MB GDDR4

USD 95 - 150

It is important to note that this table reflects the current prices for the listed video cards at Newegg.com, which are lower than the prices we published in other reviews, since prices tend to drop every day.

Some important observations regarding this table:

Before going to our tests let’s recap the main features from Sapphire Radeon HD 4830.

Main Specifications

Sapphire Radeon HD 4830 main features are:

* Researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review.

How We Tested

During our benchmarking sessions, we used the configuration listed below. Between our benchmarking sessions the only variable was the video card being tested.

Hardware Configuration

Software Configuration

Driver Versions

Software Used

Resolutions and Image Quality Settings

Since we were comparing very high-end video cards, we ran all our tests under three 16:10 widescreen high resolutions: 1680x1050, 1920x1200, and 2560x1600. We always tried to run the programs and games in two scenarios for each resolution, one with low image quality settings and then maxing out the image quality settings. The exact configuration we used will be described together with the results of each individual test.

Error Margin

We adopted a 3% error margin; thus, differences below 3% cannot be considered relevant. In other words, products with a performance difference below 3% should be considered as having similar performance.

3DMark06 Professional

3DMark06 measures Shader 3.0 (i.e., DirectX 9.0c) performance. We run this software under three 16:10 widescreen resolutions, 1680x1050, 1920x1200, and 2560x1600, first with no image quality enhancements enabled – results we call “low” on the charts and tables below –, then setting 4x anti-aliasing and 16x anisotropic filtering. See the results below.

Radeon HD 4830

3DMark06 Professional 1.1.0 - 1680x1050 - LowScoreDifference
Radeon HD 4870 X21755761.10%
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X21626049.20%
GeForce 9800 GTX+ SLI1622148.84%
GeForce 9800 GX21562343.36%
GeForce GTX 2801490436.76%
Radeon HD 48701421530.44%
GeForce GTX 2601370125.72%
GeForce 9800 GTX+1335522.55%
GeForce 9800 GTX1275917.08%
Radeon HD 4850118428.66%
GeForce 9800 GT114715.26%
Radeon HD 483010898 
Radeon HD 3870106941.91%

Radeon HD 4830

3DMark06 Professional 1.1.0 - 1920x1200 - LowScoreDifference
Radeon HD 4870 X21741477.93%
GeForce 9800 GX21554758.85%
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X21548958.26%
GeForce 9800 GTX+ SLI1548658.23%
GeForce GTX 2801421545.24%
Radeon HD 48701301733.00%
GeForce GTX 2601266829.44%
GeForce 9800 GTX+1220624.72%
GeForce 9800 GTX1163118.84%
Radeon HD 4850106919.24%
GeForce 9800 GT102534.76%
Radeon HD 48309787 
Radeon HD 387094543.52%

Radeon HD 4830

3DMark06 Professional 1.1.0 - 2560x1600 - LowScoreDifference
Radeon HD 4870 X215920117.84%
GeForce 9800 GTX+ SLI1414693.57%
GeForce 9800 GX21301578.09%
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X21231568.51%
GeForce GTX 2801176661.00%
Radeon HD 48701015939.01%
GeForce GTX 260989435.39%
GeForce 9800 GTX+936528.15%
GeForce 9800 GTX874319.64%
Radeon HD 4850807710.52%
GeForce 9800 GT76795.08%
Radeon HD 48307308 
Radeon HD 387068237.11%

Radeon HD 4830

3DMark06 Professional 1.1.0 - 1680x1050 - HighScoreDifference
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X216260104.71%
Radeon HD 4870 X216134103.12%
GeForce 9800 GTX+ SLI1394675.58%
GeForce 9800 GX21390075.00%
GeForce GTX 2801215753.05%
Radeon HD 48701106339.28%
GeForce GTX 2601061733.66%
GeForce 9800 GTX+939118.23%
GeForce 9800 GTX898113.07%
Radeon HD 4850888111.81%
Radeon HD 48307943 
GeForce 9800 GT78990.56%
Radeon HD 3870691514.87%

Radeon HD 4830

3DMark06 Professional 1.1.0 - 1920x1200 - HighScoreDifference
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X215489117.88%
Radeon HD 4870 X215313115.40%
GeForce 9800 GTX+ SLI1309184.15%
GeForce 9800 GX21221371.80%
GeForce GTX 2801099154.61%
Radeon HD 48701001440.86%
GeForce GTX 260945032.93%
GeForce 9800 GTX+814414.56%
Radeon HD 4850797212.14%
GeForce 9800 GTX78119.87%
Radeon HD 48307109 
GeForce 9800 GT68264.15%
Radeon HD 3870611416.27%

Radeon HD 4830

3DMark06 Professional 1.1.0 - 2560x1600 - HighScoreDifference
Radeon HD 4870 X212479139.38%
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X212315136.24%
GeForce 9800 GTX+ SLI10893108.96%
GeForce 9800 GX2982988.55%
GeForce GTX 280870466.97%
Radeon HD 4870755044.83%
GeForce GTX 260728539.75%
GeForce 9800 GTX+606516.34%
Radeon HD 4850589613.10%
GeForce 9800 GTX577410.76%
Radeon HD 48305213 
GeForce 9800 GT50453.33%
Radeon HD 3870431920.70%

3DMark Vantage Professional

3DMark Vantage is the latest addition to the 3DMark series, measuring Shader 4.0 (i.e., DirectX 10) performance and supporting PhysX, a programming interface developed by Ageia (now part of NVIDIA) to transfer physics calculations from the system CPU to the video card GPU in order to increase performance. Mechanical physics is the basis for calculations about the interaction of objects. For example, if you shoot, what exactly will happen to the object when the bullet hits it? Will it break? Will it move? Will the bullet bounce back? Notice that we didn’t upgrade the PhysX to the latest version, which would make the physics calculations for CPU Test 2 to be made by the GPU instead of the CPU on NVIDIA video cards (since we aren't considering CPU or 3DMark scores this change wouldn't produce any increase in our results anyway).

We ran this program at three 16:10 widescreen resolutions, 1680x1050, 1920x1200, and 2560x1600. First we used the “Performance” profile, and then we used the “Extreme” profile (basically enabling anti-aliasing at 4x, anisotropic filtering at 16x, and putting all detail settings at their maximum or “extreme” value. The combination of 2560x1600 resolution with extreme settings didn’t produce reliable results according to the program, so we aren’t going to add them here. The results being compared are the “GPU Scores” achieved by each video card.

Radeon HD 4830

3DMark Vantage Professional 1.0.1 - 1680x1050 - PerformanceScoreDifference
Radeon HD 4870 X211697177.18%
GeForce 9800 GTX+ SLI8725106.75%
GeForce GTX 280769582.35%
GeForce 9800 GX2699065.64%
Radeon HD 4870619346.75%
GeForce GTX 260589839.76%
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X2565133.91%
Radeon HD 4850479713.67%
GeForce 9800 GTX+44996.61%
Radeon HD 48304220 
GeForce 9800 GTX380510.91%
GeForce 9800 GT369114.33%
Radeon HD 3870297741.75%

Radeon HD 4830

3DMark Vantage Professional 1.0.1 - 1920x1200 - PerformanceScoreDifference
Radeon HD 4870 X29472186.94%
GeForce 9800 GTX+ SLI654598.27%
GeForce GTX 280610684.97%
GeForce 9800 GX2537962.95%
Radeon HD 4870488047.83%
GeForce GTX 260458238.81%
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X2433631.35%
Radeon HD 4850372512.84%
GeForce 9800 GTX+33702.09%
Radeon HD 48303301 
GeForce 9800 GT295111.86%
GeForce 9800 GTX289114.18%
Radeon HD 3870226945.48%

Radeon HD 4830

3DMark Vantage Professional 1.0.1 - 2560x1600 - PerformanceScoreDifference
Radeon HD 4870 X25542201.69%
GeForce GTX 280354993.20%
GeForce 9800 GTX+ SLI348289.55%
GeForce 9800 GX2291058.41%
Radeon HD 4870272848.50%
GeForce GTX 260264043.71%
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X2238229.67%
Radeon HD 4850205011.59%
Radeon HD 48301837 
GeForce 9800 GTX+18151.21%
GeForce 9800 GT163812.15%
GeForce 9800 GTX155717.98%
Radeon HD 3870124447.67%

Radeon HD 4830

3DMark Vantage Professional 1.0.1 - 1680x1050 - ExtremeScoreDifference
Radeon HD 4870 X28405181.86%
GeForce 9800 GTX+ SLI6195107.75%
GeForce GTX 2806005101.37%
GeForce 9800 GX2485862.91%
GeForce GTX 260453151.95%
Radeon HD 4870436046.21%
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X2356719.62%
Radeon HD 4850344515.53%
GeForce 9800 GTX+32017.34%
Radeon HD 48302982 
GeForce 9800 GT27418.79%
GeForce 9800 GTX270310.32%
Radeon HD 3870185560.75%

Radeon HD 4830

3DMark Vantage Professional 1.0.1 - 1920x1200 - ExtremeScoreDifference
Radeon HD 4870 X26916194.42%
GeForce GTX 2804732101.45%
GeForce 9800 GTX+ SLI441587.95%
GeForce GTX 260357652.23%
GeForce 9800 GX2350849.34%
Radeon HD 4870349048.57%
Radeon HD 4850275317.20%
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X2266913.62%
GeForce 9800 GTX+23992.13%
Radeon HD 48302349 
GeForce 9800 GT21369.97%
GeForce 9800 GTX203815.26%
Radeon HD 3870143963.24%

Call of Duty 4

Call of Duty 4 is a DirectX 9 game implementing high-dynamic range (HDR) and its own physics engine, which is used to calculate how objects interact. For example, if you shoot, what exactly will happen to the object when the bullet hits it? Will it break? Will it move? Will the bullet bounce back? It gives a more realistic experience to the user.

We ran this program at three 16:10 widescreen resolutions, 1680x1050, 1920x1200, and 2560x1600, maxing out all image quality controls (i.e., everything was put on the maximum values on the Graphics and Texture menus). We used the game internal benchmarking feature, running a demo provided by NVIDIA called “wetwork.” We are putting this demo for downloading here if you want to run your own benchmarks. The game was updated to version 1.6. The results below are the average number of frames per second (FPS) achieved by each card.

Radeon HD 4830

Call of Duty 4 - 1680x1050 - MaximumScoreDifference
Radeon HD 4870 X2134.6104.56%
GeForce 9800 GTX+ SLI127.794.07%
GeForce 9800 GX2106.261.40%
GeForce GTX 280105.360.03%
Radeon HD 487093.441.95%
GeForce GTX 26091.038.30%
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X275.715.05%
Radeon HD 485072.410.03%
GeForce 9800 GTX+72.29.73%
GeForce 9800 GTX69.15.02%
Radeon HD 483065.8 
GeForce 9800 GT61.37.34%
Radeon HD 387043.053.02%

Radeon HD 4830

Call of Duty 4 - 1920x1200 - MaximumScoreDifference
Radeon HD 4870 X2120.6129.28%
GeForce 9800 GTX+ SLI110.7110.46%
GeForce 9800 GX294.579.66%
GeForce GTX 28091.774.33%
Radeon HD 487076.445.25%
GeForce GTX 26077.146.58%
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X261.316.54%
Radeon HD 485059.112.36%
GeForce 9800 GTX+59.513.12%
GeForce 9800 GTX57.79.70%
Radeon HD 483052.6 
GeForce 9800 GT50.83.54%
Radeon HD 387035.448.59%

Radeon HD 4830

Call of Duty 4 - 2560x1600 - MaximumScoreDifference
Radeon HD 4870 X283.8150.90%
GeForce 9800 GTX+ SLI74.3122.46%
GeForce 9800 GX264.894.01%
GeForce GTX 28064.894.01%
GeForce GTX 26053.560.18%
Radeon HD 487048.144.01%
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X240.621.56%
GeForce 9800 GTX+39.718.86%
GeForce 9800 GTX38.314.67%
Radeon HD 485036.79.88%
Radeon HD 483033.4 
GeForce 9800 GT33.30.30%
Radeon HD 387022.449.11%

Crysis

Crysis is a very heavy DirectX 10 game. We updated this game to version 1.2.1 and used the HOC Crysis Benchmarking Utility to help us collecting data. Since we don’t think the default demo based on the island map stresses the video card the way we want, we used the HOC core demo available with the abovementioned utility. We ran this demo under three 16:10 widescreen resolutions, 1680x1050, 1920x1200, and 2560x1600, first with image quality set to “low” and then with image quality set to “high.” Since all video cards achieved a number of frames per second below 10 at 2560x1600 with image details set to “high,” we are not including this test as the results aren’t reliable. We ran each test twice and discarded the first result, as usually the first run achieves a lower score compared to the subsequent runs since the game loses time loading files. The results below are the average number of frames per second (FPS) achieved by each card.

Radeon HD 4830

Crysis 1.2.1 - 1680x1050 - LowScoreDifference
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X212568.92%
GeForce GTX 28012568.92%
Radeon HD 4870 X212062.16%
Radeon HD 487010136.49%
GeForce GTX 2609933.78%
GeForce 9800 GTX+ SLI9122.97%
GeForce 9800 GTX+9122.97%
GeForce 9800 GTX8413.51%
Radeon HD 48508413.51%
GeForce 9800 GX2751.35%
GeForce 9800 GT751.35%
Radeon HD 483074 
Radeon HD 3870714.23%

Radeon HD 4830

Crysis 1.2.1 - 1920x1200 - LowScoreDifference
Radeon HD 4870 X211995.08%
GeForce GTX 28011588.52%
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X210877.05%
Radeon HD 48708437.70%
GeForce GTX 2608336.07%
GeForce 9800 GTX+ SLI7624.59%
GeForce 9800 GTX+7624.59%
GeForce 9800 GTX6913.11%
Radeon HD 4850679.84%
GeForce 9800 GX2633.28%
GeForce 9800 GT610.00%
Radeon HD 483061 
Radeon HD 3870585.17%

Radeon HD 4830

Crysis 1.2.1 - 2560x1600 - LowScoreDifference
Radeon HD 4870 X2103171.05%
GeForce GTX 28095150.00%
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X27186.84%
Radeon HD 48705339.47%
GeForce GTX 2605236.84%
GeForce 9800 GTX+ SLI4928.95%
GeForce 9800 GTX+4928.95%
GeForce 9800 GTX4415.79%
Radeon HD 48504313.16%
GeForce 9800 GX24210.53%
GeForce 9800 GT392.63%
Radeon HD 483038 
Radeon HD 3870358.57%

Radeon HD 4830

Crysis 1.2.1 - 1680x1050 - HighScoreDifference
Radeon HD 4870 X257128.00%
GeForce GTX 2804268.00%
Radeon HD 48703748.00%
GeForce GTX 2603228.00%
GeForce 9800 GTX2916.00%
Radeon HD 48502916.00%
GeForce 9800 GTX+2916.00%
GeForce 9800 GTX+ SLI2812.00%
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X2264.00%
GeForce 9800 GX2250.00%
GeForce 9800 GT250.00%
Radeon HD 483025 
Radeon HD 38701931.58%

Radeon HD 4830

Crysis 1.2.1 - 1920x1200 - HighScoreDifference
Radeon HD 4870 X247135.00%
GeForce GTX 2803470.00%
Radeon HD 48703050.00%
GeForce GTX 2602630.00%
Radeon HD 48502315.00%
GeForce 9800 GTX+2315.00%
GeForce 9800 GTX2210.00%
GeForce 9800 GTX+ SLI215.00%
GeForce 9800 GX2215.00%
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X2200.00%
GeForce 9800 GT200.00%
Radeon HD 483020 
Radeon HD 38701625.00%

Unreal Tournament 3

Unreal Tournament 3 is the latest installment from this famous first person shooter franchise, supporting DirectX 10 graphics when installed on Windows Vista with a DX10 compatible card. We upgraded Unreal Tournament 3 to version 1.2 and benchmarked it with the help of HOC UT3 benchmarking utility using the “Containment” demo, maxing out image quality settings (image quality at “high” and anisotropic filtering at x16). It is important to note that we haven’t applied the PhysX mod to this game, which would transfer PhysX processing from the CPU to the GPU on NVIDIA cards. The results below are the average number of frames per second (FPS) achieved by each card.

Radeon HD 4830

Unreal Tournament 3 - 1680x1050 - MaximumScoreDifference
GeForce 9800 GTX11225.84%
GeForce 9800 GX210821.35%
GeForce GTX 26010619.10%
GeForce GTX 28010416.85%
Radeon HD 487010416.85%
GeForce 9800 GTX+10416.85%
Radeon HD 4850967.87%
Radeon HD 4870 X2967.87%
GeForce 9800 GT956.74%
Radeon HD 483089 
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X2845.95%
Radeon HD 3870837.23%

Radeon HD 4830

Unreal Tournament 3 - 1920x1200 - MaximumScoreDifference
GeForce 9800 GTX10831.71%
GeForce 9800 GX210629.27%
GeForce GTX 26010325.61%
Radeon HD 48709819.51%
Radeon HD 4870 X29515.85%
GeForce 9800 GTX+9414.63%
GeForce GTX 2809110.98%
Radeon HD 4850898.54%
Radeon HD 483082 
GeForce 9800 GT802.50%
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X2785.13%
Radeon HD 3870759.33%

Radeon HD 4830

Unreal Tournament 3 - 2560x1600 - MaximumScoreDifference
GeForce 9800 GTX9273.58%
GeForce 9800 GX29273.58%
Radeon HD 4870 X29171.70%
Radeon HD 48707847.17%
GeForce GTX 2607643.40%
GeForce 9800 GTX+6318.87%
GeForce GTX 2806216.98%
Radeon HD 48506013.21%
Radeon HD 483053 
GeForce 9800 GT521.92%
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X2513.92%
Radeon HD 38704712.77%

Half-Life 2: Episode Two

Half-Life 2 is a popular franchise and we benchmark the video cards using Episode Two with the aid of HOC Half-Life 2 Episode Two benchmarking utility using the “HOC Demo 1” provided by this program. We ran the game in three 16:10 widescreen resolutions, 1680x1050, 1920x1200, and 2560x1600, under two scenarios. First with quality set to maximum, bilinear filtering and anti-aliasing set to x0. This configuration we are calling “low” on the charts and tables below. Then we maxed out image quality settings, enabling x16 anisotropic filtering and 16xQCS anti-aliasing. This configuration we are calling “high” on our charts and tables. We updated the game up to the June 9th 2008 patch. The results below are the average number of frames per second (FPS) achieved by each card.

Radeon HD 4830

Half-Life 2: Episode Two - 1680x1050 - LowScoreDifference
Radeon HD 4870170.06.92%
Radeon HD 4850164.93.71%
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X2160.40.88%
Radeon HD 4870 X2160.00.63%
GeForce 9800 GTX+160.00.63%
Radeon HD 4830159.0 
GeForce GTX 260157.01.27%
GeForce GTX 280156.31.73%
GeForce 9800 GT156.01.92%
GeForce 9800 GTX153.83.38%
GeForce 9800 GTX+ SLI151.05.30%
Radeon HD 3870145.79.13%
GeForce 9800 GX2136.816.23%

Radeon HD 4830

Half-Life 2: Episode Two - 1920x1200 - LowScoreDifference
Radeon HD 4870165.019.57%
Radeon HD 4870 X2158.014.49%
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X2156.713.55%
GeForce GTX 280156.313.26%
GeForce 9800 GTX+155.012.32%
GeForce GTX 260153.010.87%
Radeon HD 4850149.88.55%
GeForce 9800 GTX+ SLI149.07.97%
GeForce 9800 GTX146.96.45%
GeForce 9800 GT143.03.62%
Radeon HD 4830138.0 
GeForce 9800 GX2135.22.07%
Radeon HD 3870120.114.90%

Radeon HD 4830

Half-Life 2: Episode Two - 2560x1600 - LowScoreDifference
Radeon HD 4870 X2156.085.71%
GeForce 9800 GTX+ SLI147.075.00%
GeForce GTX 280145.172.74%
GeForce 9800 GX2130.655.48%
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X2129.754.40%
GeForce GTX 260124.047.62%
GeForce 9800 GTX+119.041.67%
Radeon HD 4870117.039.29%
GeForce 9800 GTX107.928.45%
GeForce 9800 GT96.014.29%
Radeon HD 485093.911.79%
Radeon HD 483084.0 
Radeon HD 387072.815.38%

Radeon HD 4830

Half-Life 2: Episode Two - 1680x1050 - HighScoreDifference
Radeon HD 4870 X2157.055.45%
GeForce 9800 GTX+ SLI145.043.56%
Radeon HD 4870144.042.57%
GeForce 9800 GTX137.936.53%
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X2126.124.85%
GeForce 9800 GX2125.424.16%
GeForce GTX 260121.019.80%
Radeon HD 4850116.215.05%
Radeon HD 4830101.0 
GeForce 9800 GTX+94.07.45%
GeForce GTX 28089.313.10%
GeForce 9800 GT80.026.25%
Radeon HD 387068.347.88%

Radeon HD 4830

Half-Life 2: Episode Two - 1920x1200 - HighScoreDifference
Radeon HD 4870 X2157.084.71%
GeForce 9800 GTX+ SLI131.054.12%
Radeon HD 4870124.045.88%
GeForce 9800 GTX116.336.82%
GeForce 9800 GX2111.130.71%
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X2106.525.29%
GeForce GTX 260101.018.82%
Radeon HD 485097.214.35%
Radeon HD 483085.0 
GeForce 9800 GTX+74.014.86%
GeForce GTX 28070.320.91%
GeForce 9800 GT63.034.92%
Radeon HD 387056.849.65%

Radeon HD 4830

Half-Life 2: Episode Two - 2560x1600 - HighScoreDifference
Radeon HD 4870 X2130.0154.90%
Radeon HD 487075.047.06%
GeForce 9800 GTX71.339.80%
GeForce GTX 26061.019.61%
Radeon HD 485058.414.51%
Radeon HD 483051.0 
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X250.60.79%
GeForce 9800 GTX+ SLI46.010.87%
GeForce 9800 GTX+39.030.77%
GeForce 9800 GX237.536.00%
GeForce 9800 GT36.041.67%
GeForce GTX 28035.543.66%
Radeon HD 387034.946.13%

Conclusions

Let’s first compare Radeon HD 4830 to its main competitor, GeForce 9800 GT, as both can be found on the same price range (USD 130). Both cards achieved the same performance level on Crysis, with Radeon HD 4830 being between 9% and 14% faster on 3DMark Vantage, up to 7% faster on Call of Duty 4 and between 26% and 41% faster on Half-Life 2: Episode Two with image quality enhancements maxed out. GeForce 9800 GT was up to 5% faster on 3DMark06, up to 7% faster on Unreal Tournament 3 and between 4% and 14% faster on Half-Life 2: Episode Two with image quality enhancements disabled.

As you can see, we have a technical tie, because which card is faster will depend on the game, resolution and image quality settings you play, with Radeon HD 4830 having a slight advantage on DirectX 10 games.

We decided to compare it to GeForce 9800 GTX, as this model from NVIDIA can be found at USD 150, not being a far more expensive video card. Except on 3DMark Vantage, where Radeon HD 4830 was between 10% and 18% faster than GeForce 9800 GTX, this card from NVIDIA was faster than Radeon HD 4830, being up to 20% faster on 3DMark06, up to 15% faster on Call of Duty 4, up to 16% faster on Crysis, up to 74% faster on Unreal Tournament 3 and up to 40% faster on Half-Life 2: Episode Two.

Then we have the natural question: by how much is Radeon HD 4850 faster than the new Radeon HD 4830? The big sister was up to 17% faster. On 3DMark06 it was up to 13% faster, on 3DMark Vantage it was up to 17% faster, on Call of Duty 4 it was up to 12% faster, on Crysis it was up to 16% faster, on Unreal Tournament it was up to 13% faster and on Half-Life 2: Episode Two it was up to 15% faster.

Now we have to think in terms of cost/benefit ratio. Radeon HD 4850 – which is a video card that we highly recommend to users looking for a high-end performance at a very affordable price – is at least 23% more expensive than the new Radeon HD 4830, but it doesn’t bring a 23% performance increase over the reviewed card.

That said, Radeon HD 4830 (and GeForce 9800 GT, we most remember) provides a good cost/benefit ratio for users looking for a video card on the USD 130 range that will provide an excellent performance for this price point. Of course if you can afford a Radeon HD 4850, go for it. But if you are a mainstream user that likes to play but doesn’t want to spend a lot of money on a video card, Radeon HD 4830 is a good option.

As mentioned, Radeon HD 4830 is a technical tie with GeForce 9800 GT, so basically your choice will be based on the games, resolutions and image quality settings you use (see our results) and your personal preference for ATI or NVIDIA brands (unless you want to run Folding at Home; in this case GeForce 9800 GT is a better option, see here why).

Talking specifically about Sapphire’s model, we loved the fact that Sapphire decided to use its own cooler instead of using ATI’s reference model, which is heavy and heats a lot.

Originally at http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/Sapphire-HD-4830-Video-Card-Review/641


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