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First look: AMD's ATI HD 4850 GPU

Darren Gladstone | July 1, 2008
The latest in the HD 4000 line--the Palit-branded, 512MB HD 4850--is currently in our Test Center, and is an elegantly designed, single-slot board that already looks to have top marks in the sub-US$200 weight class.

Shrewd move! That's like having Mike Tyson lose a couple pounds and shoving him into a lower weight class. Just as luck would have it, we managed to get a board for testing. The results: Trading blows, the XFX-built GeForce 9800 GTX XXX and the HD 4850 end up in a dead heat. Both cost the same (as of 6/26/08), and both post roughly the same performance numbers. AMD scores a couple extra frames in Crysis, and nVidia takes it right back during Unreal Tournament 3.

Worried about running up the electric bill during this slugfest? During all these runs, our test bed fluctuated between 156 watts while idle to 241 watts under load with the HD 4850. The XXX broke a sweat keeping up with the HD 4850, running about 20 watts hotter both when idle and when playing Crysis.

AMD manages to score solid hits, but ultimately this contest is still too close to call. And so the fight goes yet another round.


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