I bought this card to replace my 6600GT. It was a sound investment because it allowed me to play DX9 and DX10 games on high settings - I was big on Counter Strike Source. The 512mb memory handles all the textures thrown at it by HL2 games and handles bloom or HDR effects with ease. Basically this card will also play Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 and Battlefield Bad Company 2 but how well will depend upon your CPU as some of these games especially HL2 games are CPU bottlenecked.
On CS: Source on most maps you can achieve well over 90 frames per second. This may drop in future mods such as Pirates Vikings Knights and Age of Chivlary because of the heavy HDR and Bloom effects. The main factor is packing a decent CPU with this card and it should sail in most of the new games.
It is a single slot cooling solution and may be problematic at times if the case itself suffers from bad cooling and airflow. I have had many reboots whilst gaming as the temperature would escalate well over 100 degrees. That aside you could probably add fan mod and solve the heat problem.
Basically this card is on par with the 5770 in most of the older games and lags behind by 5-15 frames on games such as Call of Duty MW2. The card will get noisy if you push it too much but for a 2-3 hour gaming session it will cope beautifully - both its thermal output and noise levels will remain relatively low.
The card is also very fast for encoding movies. On Nero it can encode a full length DVD in approximately 30 minutes and that too whilst you game. I have encoded a movie and play CS Source simultaneously on countless ocassions.
I would say its good for movie encoding, medium gaming and hd movie playback. Especially since now it can be purchased for less than £75. When I bought it new, it was £150.
The Sapphire Radeon HD 4850 is a great Graphics card and is made especially for extreme gaming.
This card is comes with a standard S-video to component splitter, and a 6 pin PCI-e to molex power converter along with whole load of game DVDs if you get the bundle. The bundle gives you some sample game demos so you can try out and see how good the card actually is.
The card is slightly redesigned from its previous versions with a new heatsink and better fan. the fan takes air through the front and blows it out the back taking it through the heatsink. The air is let back into the PC case no external exhaust which means you should have some good fans or water cooling in your system. The 4850 comes with a twin DVI port and also an S-video connector
It is a reliable card and runs fairly quiet. On top of this though the card can get extremely hot although this has not yet lead to me having a system failure. For normal use this is a great card, and it performs well with video encoding and gaming.
The HD4850 is very powerful and will do most of your gaming needs easily,
The 4850 is a very good card, it is quiet, if you get a decent cooler for it, and it is very reliable.
There are a few reasons you should and shouldn't buy this card, but it is up to you to decide if it is good enough for your needs.
A few reasons you should buy this card is:
Extremely good value for money - Other, more expensive cards on the market are performing at a much lower standard than the 4850, but yet, are more expensive!
Quiet with a good cooler- By default, the 4850 is quiet, but that is because the fan is set to run at just 26%! This can be easily adjusted in the control center included, but when you make it higher, it gets louder, so the good option would be to buy a better cooler.
A few reasons not to buy this card:
Heavy competition - There is very heavy competition on this card, like the GTS250 and even the 4870, if you are going to buy this card, make sure you are going to keep it for a while, and not be persuaded to get the newer model which is much more expensive, for a small performance upgrade.
Well, er, I cant think of any more reasons not to buy it, :D
There are also two DVI ports on the back, and also a S-Video port, if you screen does not support DVI, and only VGA, The card comes with a DVI to VGA converter which is very useful..
The Sapphire Radeon HD 4850 is a powerful beast by any standards specifically designed for extensive gaming which must utilise the power of a decent graphics adapter to its fullest capabilities.
The bundle with this card is very substantial and includes a standard S-video to component splitter, and the 6 pin PCI-e to molex power converter. and a whole host of bundled dvd's and a curious little usb device which alas, is only filled with Sapphire promo details and is not able to be written to. The included DVD's are games but are unfortunately only demos.
The card itself has a standard single slot cooler with a coaxial fan at one end and a newly designed heatsink. The fan draws air from the front of the card and forces it over the large copper internal heatsink. The air is then expelled out of the rear of the cooler but then is just blown back into the case. No exhaust vents here!!
At the rear of the 4850 we have the standard connections consisting of twin DVI ports and one S-video connector.
When put to the sword the 4850 is extremely quiet and can become very hot but it still didn't crash once during the time that I have had it.In general its performance for the money is outstanding, with its almost silent cooler and excellent bundled software.
Treated myself to this and have never looked back! I can play all my favourite games on the highest settings without much thought. The card supports cutting edge everything including full directX 10 support (for vista games), shader version 4 and PCIE 2.0 which covers all of the current top-end games.
This is by no means a budget card and to my knowledge the only difference between this and the 4870 is the clock speeds. The fan is virtually silent and not intrusively large, the card fits snugly - some fiddling is required if you want to put a drive behind the card but its certainly not as long as some previously disastrous ATI cards.
ATI are slowly improving their drivers, they have let consumers down in the last 18 months but the latest drivers are problem free and the 'catalyst' software is everything you need to start over clocking or to tweak for a specific game.
I haven't tried out HDMI, I'm using a HDTV through VGA without any problems and the video playback and graphics quality is fine.
Compared to NVIDIA: There is so much contension that it's impossible to declare a true winner. Some sites have posted reviews that suggest the two companies peform better for specific games. Given that there is so little difference and NVIDIA cards are up to 25% more expensive I decided to go ATI.