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#2538933 - 06/25/08 06:28 AM SimHQ Preview: ATI Radeon HD 4850 Performance Preview  
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citizen guod Offline
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SimHQ Hardware Editor John Reynolds tests the new ATI Radeon HD 4850 in single and CrossFire mode. How does the 4850 compare in performance to the venerable NVIDIA 8800 GTX? Read on.

http://www.simhq.com/_technology2/technology_113a.html


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#2538959 - 06/25/08 08:43 AM Re: SimHQ Preview: ATI Radeon HD 4850 Performance Preview [Re: citizen guod]  
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Paradaz Offline
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The R600 was a large, hot chip that failed to compete against NVIDIA’s GeForce 8800 GTX that had been released a full half-year earlier.

Oh yeah, one of those full half year things?


On the Eighth day God created Paratroopers and the Devil stood to attention.
#2538974 - 06/25/08 09:32 AM Re: SimHQ Preview: ATI Radeon HD 4850 Performance Preview [Re: Paradaz]  
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A good rundown. Thanks, John!


"I like to find out that I died, and that I'm currently in a ballet in China, and all the other very accurate and important things that the Wikipedia site brings us all."

-Stephen Fry
#2538989 - 06/25/08 10:54 AM Re: SimHQ Preview: ATI Radeon HD 4850 Performance Preview [Re: Torquatus]  
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Paradaz Offline
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Does anyone know when the 4870's are due at retail?


On the Eighth day God created Paratroopers and the Devil stood to attention.
#2538993 - 06/25/08 11:06 AM Re: SimHQ Preview: ATI Radeon HD 4850 Performance Preview [Re: Paradaz]  
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July, is what I heard. It can't be long now, what with the GTX 280 on the shelves ...

Torquatus


"I like to find out that I died, and that I'm currently in a ballet in China, and all the other very accurate and important things that the Wikipedia site brings us all."

-Stephen Fry
#2539026 - 06/25/08 12:21 PM Re: SimHQ Preview: ATI Radeon HD 4850 Performance Preview [Re: Paradaz]  
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John Reynolds Offline
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 Originally Posted By: Paradaz
The R600 was a large, hot chip that failed to compete against NVIDIA’s GeForce 8800 GTX that had been released a full half-year earlier.

Oh yeah, one of those full half year things?


LOL

#2539069 - 06/25/08 01:45 PM Re: SimHQ Preview: ATI Radeon HD 4850 Performance Preview [Re: John Reynolds]  
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I've been pondering in whether to swap out my 8800GTX for a 4850......From the article and other reviews I can conclude that performance within games is nigh on identical?

For gaming at 1680 x 1050 would you say that the extra memory on the 8800GTX will be utilised? If anything I was going down the route of a more recent card would be better purely for the fact that the 8800GTX will soon be worth a lot less and will go down a slippery slope in value. I was thinking that putting my 8800GTX on ebay will pretty much get 120 therefore a direct swap for a HD4850....there is also the CF option down the line.

What do you reckon? Worth the hassle or not for a pretty much identical card? Do you think that mature drivers down the line will also give a good performance boost or it's already running nicely as it is?


On the Eighth day God created Paratroopers and the Devil stood to attention.
#2539082 - 06/25/08 02:06 PM Re: SimHQ Preview: ATI Radeon HD 4850 Performance Preview [Re: Paradaz]  
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Well, IMO the 8800GTX is still a kickass card, so I wouldn't be so quick to throw money away unless you are really unhappy with the performance it has. I don't think the extra memory would help at that resolution. Could be wrong ...

Torquatus


"I like to find out that I died, and that I'm currently in a ballet in China, and all the other very accurate and important things that the Wikipedia site brings us all."

-Stephen Fry
#2539121 - 06/25/08 03:09 PM Re: SimHQ Preview: ATI Radeon HD 4850 Performance Preview [Re: Torquatus]  
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I'm happy with performance but think that it can't be too long before it rapidly loses its value.

My idea of getting a 4850 is that I can basically do a direct replacement and have a CF option down the line. If I keep hold of the 8800GTX for another 6 months, it will probably be worth about 50.


On the Eighth day God created Paratroopers and the Devil stood to attention.
#2539134 - 06/25/08 03:22 PM Re: SimHQ Preview: ATI Radeon HD 4850 Performance Preview [Re: Paradaz]  
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That is a good point, I tend to assume that parts are valueless as soon as I take them out of the box \:\)

As you say, you've just got to look at whether selling the 8800GTX now and buying a 4850 at release is going to cost less than just donating the 8800GTX to a friend or second PC and buying two 4850s after a price drop (or two). If you really can get that much on eBay for it, then I think you probably would come out ahead. But I don't think you'll get a noticable increase in performance from upgrading to a single 4850. And if your mainboard isn't currently crossfire enabled then there is that cost to look forward to as well ...

Torquatus


"I like to find out that I died, and that I'm currently in a ballet in China, and all the other very accurate and important things that the Wikipedia site brings us all."

-Stephen Fry
#2539156 - 06/25/08 04:05 PM Re: SimHQ Preview: ATI Radeon HD 4850 Performance Preview [Re: Torquatus]  
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A Good Review I must say it, but I wonder if it is possible to test some Sim Games like IL-2, Lock On, Flightsimulator or Armed Assault.

Because I think a lot people would really like to know if those Cards Works and performs better with some "older" games that they play every day. I know that those games are "old" and perhaps they not perform so well with new cards like the new games where recently were released like Grid or so. But it would be a good indicator for Upgrading or not.

I would be very pleased they were some other Simulation games as Benchmark reference in.

And sorry for my poor English. I'm from Switzerland. ;\)

#2539217 - 06/25/08 05:47 PM Re: SimHQ Preview: ATI Radeon HD 4850 Performance Preview [Re: THE ERASER]  
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Very good point Eraser, I was about to post the same when I read the review (which is nice apart from that). The only thing that could count as a Sim is Race Driver, but if I wanted to get results for Crysis, CoD4 or World in Conflict I can find them in nearly every review that has been release over the last couple of days, no need to visit SimHQ, while benchmark results aimed at the SimHQ audience are rare/nonexistant. And there are graphically demanding Sims that could be used as benchmarks, like (in addition to what Eraser already mentioned) X-Plane, SH4 or the PT Boats DX10 techdemo, let alone some older Sims that would probably interest alot of people.

#2539390 - 06/25/08 09:59 PM Re: SimHQ Preview: ATI Radeon HD 4850 Performance Preview [Re: Acedy]  
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The PT Boat people seem to have a real axe grind against NV so I'm reluctant to use that. I'm also reluctant to use SH4 since it slaps StarForce onto the system, isn't really that graphically stressful, and messing up a test system after the hours spent getting it configured makes me pull what's left of my hair out. IL-2 is about as graphically demanding to modern GPUs as I don't know what, it's just not a good test at this point IMO. Same for LOMAC, which has always been horribly CPU-bound in its performance. Same with FSX.

I'm certainly open to suggestions, though. Have never given X-Plane a close look but finding a good looking true sim that isn't nigh-on 100% CPU-limited in performance in recent years has not been an easy chore.

#2539458 - 06/26/08 12:42 AM Re: SimHQ Preview: ATI Radeon HD 4850 Performance Preview [Re: Paradaz]  
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Maryland, USA, 3rd rock from S...
 Originally Posted By: Paradaz
Does anyone know when the 4870's are due at retail?


Get in line?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102748


Life [lahyf] (n): That annoying time between racing events biggrin
#2539505 - 06/26/08 02:43 AM Re: SimHQ Preview: ATI Radeon HD 4850 Performance Preview [Re: THE ERASER]  
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 Originally Posted By: THE ERASER
A Good Review I must say it, but I wonder if it is possible to test some Sim Games like IL-2, Lock On, Flightsimulator or Armed Assault.


I agree, if I wanted Crysis benchmarks I can go to any hardware site. I want to see sims tested on SimHQ.

#2539530 - 06/26/08 03:52 AM Re: SimHQ Preview: ATI Radeon HD 4850 Performance Preview [Re: Cobra84]  
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 Originally Posted By: Cobra84
 Originally Posted By: THE ERASER
A Good Review I must say it, but I wonder if it is possible to test some Sim Games like IL-2, Lock On, Flightsimulator or Armed Assault.


I agree, if I wanted Crysis benchmarks I can go to any hardware site. I want to see sims tested on SimHQ.


DITTO!!! Very disappointed and puzzled.

What in the world? This is a sim website, with a dominance in flight sims... Where are the flight sim benchmarks??? I assumed I would see IL-2, Lock on, FS9, and FSX... I hope additional benchmarks are released here that cover these sims... Perhaps a revision when the 4870 review is done???


Win XP w/directX 9.0b / MSI Neo2 Plat / Athlon 64 3500+ (939, 90nm) & XP-90-Panaflow 92mm / Lian-Li 1100B / PC P&C 510 Deluxe SLI PSU / 1 Gig OCZ 3200 Rev 2 / BFG 6800 ultra & NV5 Cooler / Audigy 2Zs / 74Gig SATA Raptor / 80Gig Barracuda IV IDE / Plextor PX-712A DVD Burner / Lite on 56X CDR / NEC FDD
#2539543 - 06/26/08 04:09 AM Re: SimHQ Preview: ATI Radeon HD 4850 Performance Preview [Re: John Reynolds]  
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 Originally Posted By: John Reynolds
The PT Boat people seem to have a real axe grind against NV so I'm reluctant to use that. I'm also reluctant to use SH4 since it slaps StarForce onto the system, isn't really that graphically stressful, and messing up a test system after the hours spent getting it configured makes me pull what's left of my hair out. IL-2 is about as graphically demanding to modern GPUs as I don't know what, it's just not a good test at this point IMO. Same for LOMAC, which has always been horribly CPU-bound in its performance. Same with FSX.

I'm certainly open to suggestions, though. Have never given X-Plane a close look but finding a good looking true sim that isn't nigh-on 100% CPU-limited in performance in recent years has not been an easy chore.


I appreciate the time and effort put into writing one of these reviews... That said, people aren't stopping here to see the latest and greatest about the card technology. They can get that from sites that specialize in that sort of nerderotica like Anandtech... What people come here for is to see a batch of sims tested on the new cards, regardless of how old said sims are. Why? Because that's waht's relevant to them. Do they care that the benchmark may not truly reveal the exact potential of the card? No, what they care about are the "real world" gains when using the card on their "old" sims.

As far as sims being CPU bound that is true. So, how about getting a stout OC'd rig to support testing?


Win XP w/directX 9.0b / MSI Neo2 Plat / Athlon 64 3500+ (939, 90nm) & XP-90-Panaflow 92mm / Lian-Li 1100B / PC P&C 510 Deluxe SLI PSU / 1 Gig OCZ 3200 Rev 2 / BFG 6800 ultra & NV5 Cooler / Audigy 2Zs / 74Gig SATA Raptor / 80Gig Barracuda IV IDE / Plextor PX-712A DVD Burner / Lite on 56X CDR / NEC FDD
#2539546 - 06/26/08 04:20 AM Re: SimHQ Preview: ATI Radeon HD 4850 Performance Preview [Re: Caveman]  
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John Reynolds Offline
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I wrote this in the recent midrange GPU roundup a month ago:

 Quote:
Readers will notice the lack of hard simulations used for this roundup, a strange scenario for a web site with the domain name of SimHQ. Unfortunately, due to the current market reality that saw damn few simulations flight or otherwise released in recent years were forced to make use of games we feel are still of some interest to our readers. Titles such as FSX are simply too CPU-bound in their performance for graphics board testing or, like IL-2: 1946, based on an aging graphics engine that simply isnt challenging to newer GPUs.


No one is more aware of the situation than I am. I've tried to be very conscious of the audience I'm writing for over the years, yet the sim market hasn't exactly cooperated in recent years. I know I'm writing for SimHQ, but the market reality for sims the last few years is what it is. I could've very well benchmarked FSX for this article and the results would've looked something like this for each video card:

1024x768 52
1280x1024 52
1680x1050 51
1920x1200 50

Now, when my contact(s) with AMD see something like that, they think to themselves: "This guy doesn't know how to test our hardware, we hand him a pair of graphics boards based on our latest chip and he tests them with apps that are bottlenecked elsewhere in his test system. Why are we sending this website hardware to review?"

So, John's all about keeping free hardware coming his way, some might think after reading the above. No, not exactly. What I don't want to do is screw up the relationships SimHQ has had with some of these hardware vendors and then not be able to do reviews at all for when a usable sim like possibly Oleg's Battle of Britain is released. Whether the site's readers realize it or not, behind the scenes the companies have been steadily reducing the number of outlets they sample, so it's a lot of hard work staying on that list. . .especially for a site that covers what is perceived to be a greatly reduced genre (sims) of a shrinking market (PC games).

And I am genuinely sorry if I sound grouchy with this post. I worked my butt off this weekend hitting the deadline for this morning. I didn't get the 4850s until Thursday (wasn't told they were coming until the day before), and to be fair to Doug and Karan I have to get all my testing and writing done at least a full day early so they have time to html the pages and create the graphs. And I was never briefed on RV770, so I was scrambling for info on the architectural changes on top the usual real life stuff that goes on during the weekend of a married guy with children.

So, like I said, I'm open to suggestions but they need to be valid, useful ideas.

#2539655 - 06/26/08 09:43 AM Re: SimHQ Preview: ATI Radeon HD 4850 Performance Preview [Re: John Reynolds]  
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 Originally Posted By: John Reynolds
The PT Boat people seem to have a real axe grind against NV so I'm reluctant to use that. I'm also reluctant to use SH4 since it slaps StarForce onto the system, isn't really that graphically stressful, and messing up a test system after the hours spent getting it configured makes me pull what's left of my hair out.


There is no StarForce on SH4. You're thinking of SH3.

#2539731 - 06/26/08 12:58 PM Re: SimHQ Preview: ATI Radeon HD 4850 Performance Preview [Re: LukeFF]  
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citizen guod Offline
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John and I exchanged PMs last evening and we'll talk further about it this weekend. Always the optimist, I believe we will find a solution that should satisfy everyone to the current dilema. It is especially apparent at this point-and-time because we are between some significant sim title releases.

It is an inherent potential problem with testing simulations. Because of their 1s and 0s construction, sims tend to be very dependent on a big CPU and usually the bigger the better.

Now that's great if you're doing a CPU test, but it can diminish the value of testing for a video card if the testing software does not stretch the card.

John has done a good job of finding titles that stretch the card and would appeal to most SimHQ readers. We understand the titles chosen for GPU testing are not traditional sims, but we have attempted to stay within the topic range of the genres that SimHQ supports (e.g. military, racing and not "dragons and elves").

But the point is well taken and as John said, we are very well aware of it, and it's a frustrating challenge for our Hardware Editor. After we talk more this weekend we will post some more thoughts on the topic.

Your thoughts are appreciated!

- Doug


Wisdom is knowing what's enough
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