Sapphire Radeon HD 4830 – Budget Overclocking

Sapphire LogoJust last week Tom took us through a budget Radeon roundup with the likes of the 4670, 4830 and 4850 locking horns on both performance and price. The end result saw the recently released HD4830 coming out top of the charts, offering extremely playable frame rates along with a cost per frame unmatched by any of the other cards. Today we’re going to be re-visiting the 4830 once again, but this time to find out what Sapphire Technology have to offer.
As many of us will already know, Sapphire is one of ATI/AMD’s key AIB partners. With a graphics card production rate of over 1.8million cards per month, Sapphire are also used as the OEM for many of the other top 10 ATI based graphics card companies. It’s no surprise then that Sapphire are often also the first to the market with the very latest AMD/ATI based GPU’s and have often been seen to dabble in non-reference designs such as the X1950 Pro Dual we were lucky enough to take a look at quite some time ago. Here’s what Sapphire have to say on the About Us section of their website:
Since ATI announced its manufacturing & distribution relationships with ODMs and AiBs in June of 2001, SAPPHIRE has been THE key ATI Graphics Boards Supplier worldwide and now stands poised and ready to capture the mainboard audience of those who seek a stable platform for their mission critical operations.

Captured within the circuitry of each of SAPPHIRE’s graphic cards and mainboards can be found the collective feedback from generations of enthusiasts in every market niche. Brought to life through performance oriented innovation and an emphasis on quality control, SAPPHIRE designs, manufactures and distributes the most complete range of ATI video boards and mainboards–from the mainstream products that afford the casual user the opportunity to enjoy enriched graphics and affordable platform solutions to the state-of-the-art technological marvels that drive fantasies to before unattainable thresholds of realism, and offer the pinnacle of stability and performance! SAPPHIRE refuses to compromise quality by cutting corners at the expense of its customers experience with their products. All ATI board designs undergo a stringent layout inspection by our staff of engineers to guarantee that they represent the usual high-quality image of ATI original boards. We also enjoy the resources of a highly innovative technical department that layout complex designs to accommodate different market niches as they arise. SAPPHIRE ATI video boards have long been the reliable choice for a great number of OEMs and large System Integrators in Europe, North America, Asia and Latin America based largely on our ability to meet a fast paced technical markets advancements as well as our means to produce large quantities of product.

Obviously having already reviewed the HD4830 but only a week ago, we need to add some twist to the review. So today we’re going to be finding out just how much extra performance we can eeek out of this circa £100 graphics card by doing what we do best…overclocking. With a stock speed of 575MHz (Core) and 900MHz (Memory) the 4830 has quite a way to go before it can match up to the 625/993MHz speeds of it’s bigger brother, but let’s not get deterred quite yet and instead check out the rest of the specs listed on Sapphire’s website:
The new SAPPHIRE HD 4830 shares the award winning graphics architecture used in the existing HD 4800 series and offers the same features, but with an optimised specification and lower price point to deliver the best performance in its price category. With 640 shader engines and clock speeds of 575 MHz (core) and 900MHz (memory), it offers similar overall performance to the HD 4850 model but at a reduced price point.

• GDDR3 memory 256-bit memory interface
• DirectX® 10.1
• 24x custom filter anti-aliasing (CFAA) and high performance anisotropic filtering
• ATI CrossFireX™ multi-GPU support for highly scalable performance
• Use up to four discrete cards with an AMD 790FX based motherboard
• PCI Express® 2.0 support
• Dynamic geometry acceleration
• Game physics processing capability
• ATI Avivo™HD video and display technologyUnified Video Decoder 2 (UVD) for Blu-ray™ and HD VideoBuilt-in HDMI with 7.1 surround sound supportOn-chip HDCP
• ATI PowerPlay™ technology

Now that we know exactly what we’re dealing with, let’s go in for a closer look at what you get for your money…