HIS HD 4850 IceQ 4 TurboX 512MB PCI-E Graphics Card
Test Setup & Overclocking
Having already explored the performance of the HD 4850 in several of our previous GPU reviews, today we are going to be concentrating on a head-to-head comparison of the HIS HD 4850 IceQ 4 TurboX vs a stock clocked Sapphire HD 4850 512mb card also fitted with after-market cooling. While we'll be handing out no prizes to those of us who guess which card will win in terms of FPS (we hope), our focus today is going to be on whether the increase in price of a factory-overclocked card can justify the increase in performance.
The following list of games has also been chosen to test each of the cards on a number of popular game engines. Each game will be run at varying quality and AF settings at both low and high resolutions.
1280x1024 / High / 4xAA
1600x1200 / High / 4xAA
1920x1200 / High / 4xAA
Unreal Tournament III
1280x1024 / DX10 / High
1600x1200 / DX10 / High
1920x1200 / DX10 / High
Call of Duty 4
1280x1024 / Max / 4xAA / 4xAF
1600x1200 / Max / 4xAA / 4xAF
1920x1200 / Max / 4xAA / 4xAF
1280x1024 / Max / 4xAA
1600x1200 / Max / 4xAA
1920x1200 / Max / 4xAA
1280x1024 / DX10 / High / 0xAA / 0xAF
1600x1200 / DX10 / High / 0xAA / 0xAF
1920x1200 / DX10 / High / 0xAA / 0xAF
1280x1024 / DX10 / High / 4xAA
1600x1200 / DX10 / High / 4xAA
1920x1200 / DX10 / High / 4xAA
During the benchmarking phase, we will be using the following prices extracted from scan.co.uk
on 07/10/08 to produce our CPF (Cost Per Frame) graphs. Please remember that these graphs are static and only represent a snapshot of the market at the time of this review.
Using only the the ATI Overdrive™ facility built into the driver control panel, the maximum overclock we were able to obtain from the HIS HD 4850 was 690mhz on the core and 1190mhz on the memory. The Overdrive facility did actually attempt to overclock the memory higher than this using the "Auto-Tune" option, but unfortunately these settings proved to be unstable when attempting to run any benchmarking applications.
Factory OC (Left) vs Custom OC (Right)
While only a fairly small overclock on the default 685/1100 settings, this certainly shows that HIS have pushed every ounce of performance out of the card already with the factory overclock. The IceQ 4 cooling system also did an excellent job of keeping the card cool, running at around 40c idle and 60c under heavy extended load (rthdribl).
A quick run of 3DMark Vantage with "Performance" settings shows a fairly respectable increase in score from P7612 to P7779 showing that sometimes it's even worth pushing the pre-overclocked cards just that little bit further.
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