Sapphire HD 4830 Video Card Review

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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 4830Figure 1: Sapphire Radeon HD 4830.

Sapphire Radeon HD 4830Figure 2: Sapphire Radeon HD 4830.

Sapphire Radeon HD 4830Figure 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 4830Figure 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.

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Author: Gabriel Torres

Gabriel Torres is a Brazilian best-selling ICT expert, with 24 books published. He started his online career in 1996, when he launched Clube do Hardware, which is one of the oldest and largest websites about technology in Brazil. He created Hardware Secrets in 1999 to expand his knowledge outside his home country.

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