Published in Graphics
HD 4800 series still offers killer value
4850 for €75, 4870 for €110
Although it's been around for two years, AMD's HD 4800 series still offers exceptional value for money, although in some markets it's rather hard to find many 4800 series cards, as they have already been phased out.
AMD is facing next to no competition from Nvidia in the mainstream DirectX 11 market segment, hence it has no reason to drop HD 5000 series prices. However, the good old HD 4800 series has become ridiculously cheap and in our opinion it is an exceptional choice for consumers on a budget. HD 4870 prices start at €111 for an overclocked PowerColor with 512MB of GDDR5. There is also quite a few 1GB models and what's more several of them are non-reference models, with higher clocks and better coolers, but you will have to cough up around €130 for one of those.
The HD 4850 sounds like an even better deal. Prices start at just €75 for reference boards with 512MB of GDDR3, which is nothing short of a bargain. There is also a ton of non-reference boards with 1GB of memory and dual-slot coolers for around €90. In addition, it's much easier to find HD 4850 cards in stock nowadays, as the HD 4870 is barely available in some parts of Europe.
Of course, HD 4800 series lack DirectX 11 support and they might not be a good choice for some buyers. However, they are still a good choice for many casual gamers who don't rush to buy the latest titles, or those who are hooked on current or older games. In terms of performance, an HD 4870 is marginally faster than the HD 5770, yet it is 15 to 20 percent cheaper. The HD 4850 is an even better deal, as it is 30 percent faster than a similarly priced HD 5670, let alone an HD 5570.
Mind you, we like shiny new stuff and we're not recommending that you go around scouring retailers for ancient cards, but in our opinion, you're much better off with an HD 4850 than any 5500/5600 series card. DirectX 11 support is important, but on such cheap cards it hardly makes any sense, as they won't have the muscle to run new titles in high resolutions anyway.
You can check out the listings here and here.