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XFX's cool, different Radeon HD 4850 hits the market

by Tarinder Sandhu on 28 January 2009, 10:41

Tags: XFX Radeon HD 4850 , ATi Technologies (NYSE:AMD), XFX (HKG:1079)

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Back in December 2008 HEXUS reported that XFX was planning to jump ship and sell ATI Radeon HD 4800-series cards. Now we're seeing the first few come through, and they're a little different than what you might expect.

Giving you a sneak peek, looking at the Radeon HD 4850 512MB offerings, XFX will sell two models - stock- and pre-overclocked - which eschew the reference cooler that we see on most cards and replace it with, dare we say, one that looks like it belongs on a GeForce card. Take a looksie:

Both the HD 4850 512MB cards are identical in external appearance, with the cool-looking black PCB largely hidden under a double-height cooler.

The obvious downside is that, now, the card takes up two slots rather than just one present on most cards, but it's not really a big a problem as it would be on lower-end cards, which are more-suited for HTPC chassis. Anyone considering HD 4850, and above, will be using a large-ish chassis, we reckon, so space should not be an issue.

The XXX Edition will be clocked in at 650MHz core and 2,100MHz memory, so another 25MHz on the GPU and 100MHz (effective) on the GDDR3. Overclocking should be good, however.

The black PCB makes the board stand out from the competition. But a PCB is just a PCB. You'll probably know that the two fingers at the top-right of the board mean that (up to) three further boards can be daisy-chained for four-way CrossFireX.

The red-coloured DVI ports are a nice touch, too.

Right now, the standard-edition card is available on pre-order for £141 at whilst the XXX part, also available at Scan, costs some £152 at the moment. We'll have the full review of the Radeon HD 4850 512MB XXX and HD 4870 1GB XXX in a few days time, so stay tuned for that.

Trouble is, a default-clocked, albeit reference, Radeon HD 4850 can be had for around £115, and a basic, vanilla Radeon HD 4870 512MB for £180. XFX's cards look good, but pricing will need to come down a touch. Let's not get ahead of ourselves....

HEXUS Forums :: 17 Comments

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Looks like a GTX reference cooler to me

I knew XFX were in the green camp, but still…
Nvidia cooler or not… I much prefer that the gfx card dumps its heat outside the case.

They look nice anyway. Lets see if they worth the price. Otherwise i'll just get the most basic 4850 i can and overclock it with watercooling.
Bad time for this release, just after the 4850x2 massive price drop.
Anyone considering HD 4850, and above, will be using a large-ish chassis, we reckon, so space should not be an issue.
I don't agree with that to be honest - in fact space is something that's really going against the 9800GTX/GTX260/280 by nVidia. One of the most attractive points about the 4850 and 8800GT is their normal size. That said, two slots isn't as much of a problem as say a longer card.

Now if they could sort out their prices the non-OC'd model might be worth a look.
Considering how much fuss has been made about the 4000 series coolers, I think this was a great move by XFX.