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Friday, 06 February 2009 12:05

XFX's HD 4850 XXX premiers in our lab - 3. FarCry2, Overclocking and Conclusion

Written by Sanjin Rados

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Review: XFX has the best of both worlds


Today we’re looking at how XFX’s HD4850 XXX card fared, and you’ll also see results scored by Gainward HD 4850 1GB Golden Sample (Clocked at 700MHz) and Nvidia Geforce 9800 GTX+ (marked in our charts with 9800 GTX). XFX overclocked their card from reference 625MHz to 650MHz, whereas the memory was overclocked from 1986MHz to 2100MHz.

FarCry2

In this game, the Geforce 9800 GTX+ ends up a bit faster than XFX HD 4850 XXX with filters on, whereas it loses at resolutions with no filters on, opposite of what we’ve seen in World in Conflict. The highest resolution, 2560x1600 with maximum settings, is not quite for these cards but lower resolutions result in decent gaming on both cards.

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Overclocking

XFX strapped their card with a dual slot cooler which surely adds to overclocking potential. At 650MHz core and 2100MHz memory speeds, the cooler keeps the temperatures below 62 degrees Celsius, which is a great result considering that reference HD 4850’s temperatures hit 85 degrees Celsius. In idle mode, temperatures stick around 44 degrees Celsius.

We were quite surprised to see that temperatures didn’t change much after we overclocked the card to 770MHz core and 2200MHz memory. At these frequencies, the card ran stable in all the tests except for 3DMark06. In order to complete this test, we had to lower the speeds to 730MHz. This is a great overclocking result, 105MHz more than HD 4850’s reference speeds. After our overclocking, temperatures rose to 65 degrees Celsius.

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Maximum consumption of our rig was the lowest with XFX HD 4850 XXX card, whereas using the 9800 GTX+ adds another 30W. 

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Gainward might have the best cooler, but other cards are nowhere close to overheating.

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A 12% overclock we performed on XFX’s card (650MHz to 730MHz) results in 15% better performance. Although not stable in all the tests, 770MHz core speed improves FarCry 2 results by as much as 19%.

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Conclusion

For the first time, we have tested and XFX card not coming from Nvidia. HD 4850 650M 512MB DDR3 DUAL DVI TV PCI-E XXX with its long name is actually the famous Radeon HD 4850 but with that special XFX flavor. XFX guys used their own cooler, ended up using different PCB painted black, overclocked the card and sell it at about €140.

This card is the 9800 GTX+’s direct competitor, and XFX HD 4850 XXX is a capable cards that beats it in quite a couple of tests. You can find the reference HD 4850 at about €120, but XFX’s card comes with an overclocked core, dual slot cooling that will add to the card’s overclocking potential, and a name that says you didn’t make a mistake in buying this card, as XFX once again proves it’s a force to be reckoned with.

On that note, we sincerely recommend the HD 4850 650M 512MB DRR3 DUAL DVI TV PCI-E XXX, as the HD 4850 still has one of the best price/performance ratios out there.

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(Page 3 of 3)
Last modified on Sunday, 08 February 2009 23:30
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