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 );
Driver: AMD 9-4_vista32_win7_32_dd_ccc_wdm_enu.exe
Vista 32 SP1
In Futuremark's 3DMark Vantage High test, Gainward HD 4850 GS GLH 512MB GDDR5 beats Gainward HD 4850 1024MB by 12%, and it seems like memory speeds and bandwidth have decided on a winner. Radeon HD 4850 GS GLH runs at 3600MHz whereas HD 4850 GS’ memory runs at 2000MHz.
The fact that this test couldn’t care less about memory quantity is evident from the fact that this card didn’t manage to outrun the reference GTS 250 with 512MB memory. Still, cards with more memory pack potential which will probably stay unharnessed in synthetic tests, but upcoming games as well as some already on the market will surely know how to put the extra memory to good use.
Far Cry 2
You can see Gainward’s cards in our tables, and while the GTS 250 2GB can be considered the “weakest player”, it still scores great compared to the GTS 250 512MB in FarCry 2. At 1680x1050, we see that it wins by 10%, but the 2GB of memory proves to be a godsend at higher resolutions with antialiasing on.
The fastest HD 4850 is Goes Like Hell with 512MB of GDDR5 memory. This Gainward HD 4850 card scores 17% better than reference HD 4850 512MB GDDR3 at 1680x1050. The same card beats Gainward’s HD 4850 GS 1GB GDDR3 card by 4%.
HD 4850 GS GLH’s 512MB weakness is exposed at high resolutions and antialiasing on, as it scores lower than 26fps and loses to HD 4850 GS 1024MB.
GTS 250 2GB card allows for 1920x1200 with antialiasing on where it scores about 30fps, whereas the same resolution sees the fastest HD 4850 card with 512MB of memory losing by 28%, and the reference HD 4850 512MB by 41%. The same resolution sees the reference GTS 250 512MB losing by as much as 48%.
We find two Gainward cards in HD 4890’s range – the GTX 260 GLH and the GTX 275. Both of these cards excel in gaming at all the tested resolutions, and we see over 40fps at 1920x1200, even when antialiasing and anisotropic filtering are on.
World in Conflict
Unlike in the previous game where additional memory comes in handy at high resolutions and antialiasing scenarios, this game seems to care little about additional memory. Gainward GTS 250 2GB ended up lagging behind the reference GTS 250 512MB card, and the reason behind Gainward HD 4850 1GB’s victory are the higher clocks.
Nvidia has the upper hand in World in Conflict as the GTS 250 beats the reference HD 4850. HD 4850’s good name was thankfully saved by Gainward’s HD 4850 GS GLH as this super fast card leaves the reference HD 4850 512MB GDDR3 card behind by 26%, while Gainward HD 4850 GS 1024MB GDDR3 lags behind by 17%. Geforce GTS 250 falls behind the HD 4850 GS GLH by 22%.
Gaiward HD 4850 GS GLH isn’t too far behind the the reference HD 4870 512MB card, but HD 4870 still takes the cake as its core ticks 50MHz faster than HD 4850 GS GLH’s.
Left 4 Dead
Playing Left 4 Dead won’t be a problem with any of Gainward’s tested cards, as all of them score over 60fps at all the resolutions. Unlike in FarCry 2, here we see that HD 4850 GS GLH 512MB GDDR5 is constantly beating the HD 4850 GS 1024MB GDDR3. Core and memory clocks have resulted in GLH card beating the GTS 250 with 2GB of memory by up to 24% and Gainward’s HD 4850 GS 1024MB by up to 19%.
Like in Left 4 Dead, Gainward HD 4850 GS GLH beats the HD 4850 1GB, and all the tested resolutions give a playable framerate.
You’ll notice how the GTS 250 2GB scores good compared to Radeon cards when there’s no antialiasing, but as soon as we turned it on it the results dropped significantly. The reason lies in the actual game, as Radeon cards feature DirectX 10.1 support, something not featured on Geforce cards.