• Recommended by TR
AMD ATI Radeon HD 4850


Our Score


Review Price free/subscription

Enemy Territory: Quake Wars distinguishes itself from all our other tests by the fact it uses the open source OpenGL API rather than Microsoft's DirectX. It's a team-based first person shooter set in a dystopian future war scenario. As a player you get to choose from an enormous range of character types and playing styles, and there's a whole host of vehicles to choose from too. Battles can span vast areas of open space and involve a huge number of participants. All in all, it's multiplayer heaven.

We test using the 32-bit version of the game, which is patched to version 1.4. We use a custom timedemo from the Valley level, which we feel is about as graphically intensive as the game gets. We feel a framerate of at least 50fps is required for this game as the intense multiplayer action and high speed mouse movement demands it.

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.

Both ATI's new cards are soundly beaten by the nVidia GTX 260 in this title but the HD 4850 does at least comfortably beat all its price competitors. Most impressive, though, is the Asus EAH4850 TOP, which is pushing close to HD 4870 performance.

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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?


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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