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AMD ATI Radeon HD 4850 - Counter-Strike: Source

By Edward Chester

Reviewed:

Awards

  • Recommended by TR
AMD ATI Radeon HD 4850

Summary

Our Score:

9

What can we say about Counter-Strike: Source that hasn't been said before? It is simply the benchmark for team-based online shooters and, four years after its release, it's still one of the most popular game in its genre. In complete contrast to Enemy Territory: Quake Wars, it focuses on small environments and incredibly intensive small-scale battles with one-shot kills the order of the day. If you want to test all elements of your first person shooter skills in one go, this is the game to do it.

We test using the 32-bit version of the game using a custom timedemo taken during a game against bots on the cs_militia map. This has a large amount of foliage, so transparency antialiasing has a significant impact on image quality and performance, and is generally one of the most graphically intensive maps available. We find a framerate of at least 60fps is required for serious gaming as this game relies massively on quick, accurate reactions that simply can't be compromised by dropped frames.

All in-game settings are set to their maximum and we test with 0xAA 0xAF, 2xAA 4xAF, and 4xAA 8xAA. Transparency anti-aliasing is also manually turned on through the driver, though this is obviously only enabled when normal AA is being used in-game.

All the cards on test here rattle through this game with consummate ease so there's little to choose between them. At the maximum settings we tested at, though, the HD 4850, HD 4870 and nVidia GTX 260 all pull away from the crowd. So if you want to game at 1,920 x 1,200 or higher any one of these three cards will be the way to go.

kalniel

July 21, 2008, 4:11 pm

Very interesting results, especially Crysis. Given the feature set is identical between the 4850 and 4870 you'd expect the only differences be due to slightly increased clock speed and significantly increased memory bandwidth. That being the case the OC'd 4850, especially if the memory is OC'd, should bring performance closer to the 4870 - as in fact the other games show.





So what's going on in Crysis - driver optimisations for the 4870? Heat throttling for the 4850?

aprado17

February 6, 2009, 10:16 pm

I got this card (the 4850) built-in the Dell Studio XPS (currently in production, hasn't shipped yet). I am not a gamer at all and personally only care about the connections that the card allows me to do: I noticed two DVI outputs and one s-video output. Does this mean that I can connect simultaneously (a) two computer monitors (one for each DVI) plus a TV through the s-video or (b) one computer monitor to one DVI output and a TV to the other DVI output? I would really love to be right in my guess. And this is pure guess, as I am not very familiar with the terminology of graphics cards (my old PC packs a whopping 64MB graphics card and I don't even know the brand). I would really appreciate it if someone would clear this little doubt of mine. Thanks.

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