AMD/ATI has released two new high-end graphics chips recently, Radeon HD 4870 and Radeon HD 4850, known by the codenames RV770 XT and RV770 PRO, respectively. As you can guess by the numbers, HD 4850 provides a lower performance compared to HD 4870. In this review we will benchmark HD 4850 from Sapphire and compare it to its main competitors from NVIDIA. Is this video card a good buy? Check it out.

Sapphire HD 4850 follows AMD/ATI’s reference model both on its physical aspect as in specifications: the graphics chip runs at 625 MHz with its memory being accessed at 993 MHz (real clock) through a 256-bit memory interface. Since GDDR3 memories transfer two data per clock cycle, the memory achieves a performance as if it were working at 1,986 MHz, delivering a maximum transfer rate of 63.5 GB/s.

Both new chips are based on DirectX 10.1 (Shader 4.1) architecture, where all processing units inside the graphics chip are generic, being able to process any kind of vector (pixel shader, vertex shader, etc). What is really impressive about these two new chips is that they both have 800 processing units inside the chip. We will provide a short table comparing the specs from this new video card with the specs from its main competitors. Before that, let’s take an overall look at Sapphire HD 4850.

Sapphire HD 4850Figure 1: Sapphire HD 4850.

Sapphire HD 4850Figure 2: Sapphire HD 4850.

Sapphire HD 4850Figure 3: Sapphire HD 4850.


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.