Review: Dual-slot cooling keeps the core 30°C cooler
Motherboard: MSI P45D3 Platinum ( Provided by: MSI
Processor: Intel Core 2 QX9770 Extreme edition at 3.6GHz ( Provided by: Intel
Memory: Corsair Dominator 12800 7-7-7-24 ( Provided by: Corsair);
HDD: WD VelociRaptor 300G 10,000RPM ( Provided by: SmoothCreation
ATI CCC 8.12
Gainward HD 4830 runs at reference 575MHz for the core and 900MHz for the memory. The card features a large cooler that runs like a charm, so we had no problem in overclocking the core all the way up to 700MHz. Since we recently reviewed MSI’s HD 4830 that runs at 585MHz core and 900MHz for the memory, we included those results, too. We also overclocked the MSI card to 700MHz core and 1000MHz memory, so that it matches Gainward’s HD 4830 speeds, and those results were included, also.
Vantage doesn’t report any significant difference between HD 4830 cards at 575MHz. Overclocking Gainward’s card results in 20% better result than reference HD 4830 and 2% better result than overclocked MSI card. Geforce 9800 GT lags behind the overclocked Gainward HD 4830 by 11%, but beats the reference HD 4830 by 7%.
Far Cry 2
At maximum settings, Far Cry 2 is playable with all the tested graphics cards. Gainward’s HD 4830 fared the best in this test, and we see that overclocking resulted in 18% better performance compared to reference HD 4830.
World in Conflict
The highest advantage over the reference card is 23%, and we measured it after overclocking the Gainward HD 4830 at 1280x1024 with AA. We see that 1680x1050 resolution is playable without overclocking, but higher resolutions with antialiasing on are simply too much for this card.
Gainward HD 4830 is another non-reference card, characterized by a large dual-slot cooler. The cooler does a great job and keeps the small 55nm core temperatures at about 50°C, which is 30°C cooler than the reference card with single-slot cooling. Although it does a great job of cooling, we can’t say that it’s very quiet, as noise levels are about the same as with reference cooling. By moving the power components to the unused part of the PCB, Gainward cut the length of the card from reference 23cm to 19cm.
The core runs at reference 575MHz and the memory at 900MHz. It’s a well known fact that HD 4830 is a nice overclocker and we had no trouble pushing it up to 700MHz for the core and 1000MHz for the memory. Core temperatures went up by only 4°C, which is still 29°C less than on the reference 575MHz card.
Gainward HD 4830 will provide some nice gaming potential, but don’t expect to be gaming at extra-high resolutions with filters on. If you’re on the prowl for a sub-€100 card, we sincerely recommend it.