Update: AMD has confirmed to us that there were some issues with the BIOS on our sample board. Rather than 2 disabled SIMD units, our review sample 4830 had 3 disabled SIMD units. AMD has assured us that no retail boards will be affected and this is only a problem that affected reference boards built as review samples. We are working on resolving the issue with our review sample and will complete updated tests as soon as we can. This will affect our performance results, but until we run the tests we can't be sure how much more performance we will get out of retail 4830 hardware.


Update 2: We have updated all the performance graphs in the article with data re-run on a card that actually has all the SIMD's available. There was a difference, but it hasn't changed the overall conclusion of the article. For more information, see our update article with details on the problem, the situation, and performance differences.

Since the launch of the RV7xx GPU, AMD has been steadily filling out a top to bottom Radeon HD 4000 series lineup. The first markets addressed were gamer centric with the 4850 and 4870. Next in line was the hardcore enthusiast class with the dual-GPU 4870 X2. Since then we've seen the 4670, the 4550 and the 4350 filling out the bottom end value and mainstream segments. But there was a bit of a performance and price gap between the 4670 and the 4850. This gap has now been filled.

Today we see the introduction of the Radeon HD 4830 which is to be priced at or below $130. This part is poised to split the difference between the 4670 and 4850, and filling in this market segment should finish rounding out AMD's line up of RV7xx based cards for now. At least we hope.

In the past both ATI and NVIDIA have flooded the market with way too many different models that overlap in price and performance in ways that just confuse their customers. While AMD has been releasing cards at a fairly steady pace, all these parts have been well positioned and have served to disseminate their new architecture. We have been really happy to see how quickly AMD has gotten their new GPU out into the world.

By now, we've covered the architecture and other versions of the hardware quite a bit. The really interesting bit about this launch is the price and the prices of competitive hardware.

All About Price and Rebates
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  • 3DoubleD - Thursday, October 23, 2008 - link

    How would the performance difference look if you overclocked the 4830 to 4850 speeds? It is only a 50 Mhz bump, I'm sure almost all of the 4830s should manage that. If you subtract ~10% performance from the 4850 there isn't a big difference, it seems the extra stream processors/texture units aren't in high demand. Of course when discussing overclocking, you could always overclock the 4850 and I'd imagine the performance gap would remain about equal. The prices are so close to, it is really hard to say. I see a 4850 for $145 after mail in rebate. Reply
  • jasonnovak - Thursday, October 23, 2008 - link

    Newegg has a lot of 4850's for $135-$140 after rebate, so I suspect the 4830 will be at least $100 or less to be competitive very soon, comparable to the 9800gt. Right now they're at $120, you'd be better off spending the extra $15 to get a 4850, and when you take into account the 4830's all have $8 shipping and some 4850's have free shipping it's a no brainer. Reply
  • Davelo - Thursday, October 23, 2008 - link

    Why does the author put so much importance on rebates in this article? I don't like them and don't usually base my buying decision on them. It's seems to me just a way to nullify a customer's warranty. Reply
  • erikstarcher - Thursday, October 23, 2008 - link

    How does a rebate nullify a customer's warranty? Reply
  • Davelo - Thursday, October 23, 2008 - link

    "How does a rebate nullify a customer's warranty?"

    Let'say your video card dies after a month or has massive compatibility issues. You contact the vendor asking to return the product and get your money back. They tell you that you cannot because you not only destroyed the box by cutting out the UPC but you got a rebate payment (not yet in pocket) so they cannot return your money. Maybe you also sent in the receipt because of rebate requirements. No receipt, no return.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, October 23, 2008 - link

    That doesn't nullify your *warranty*; it only prevents you from returning the product for a refund. Big difference. Other than that, you are correct: rebates are a way to make a customer stick with a purchase. They are also a marketing tool to gain sales, and it's amazing how many people forget to actually send in the rebate, thus paying the higher price and buying a product they might not have purchased in the first place. I find them pretty irritating, but that's about as far as I'd go. Reply
  • Davelo - Thursday, October 23, 2008 - link

    Yep. I was thinking of the RMA process. It says on Newegg's faq an item missing a upc cannot receive an RMA. So once you send in for a rebate your return privileges disappear. So what it the rebate requires you to send in within one month but the return policy is two months? Reply
  • aj28 - Thursday, October 23, 2008 - link

    Then you're either out of luck or you don't get your rebate check. But again, that's an RMA policy, not a warranty... Most manufacturers aren't going to care about the UPC or original box and base their operations off of your product number, serial number, and date of purchase. A receipt may or may not be required, which is why it's always good to print your order (they recommend it for a reason) and make a copy of the packing slip if a rebate requires it.

    I may not like mail-in rebates, but they're a good way to get great deals, assuming you go about redeeming them smartly...
    Reply
  • 7Enigma - Thursday, October 23, 2008 - link

    I find them fantastic. They are a great way to piece meal build a system over the holiday season and save quite a bit of money.

    Rebates *only* work as a sales tactic because:

    1. People in general are marketing stupid and look at the $99.00* without realizing that's after an $X rebate. The company with the bigger rebate tends to win out due to #2.

    2. Many people fail to get the rebate. Causes include laziness, forgetfullness, failure to fill out a form properly, failure to send in the rebate timely, to the rebate companies' issues of "lost mail", improper submission (ie you are told a copy will suffice while they reject all but the real thing).
    Reply
  • bgm8800 - Thursday, October 23, 2008 - link

    ...because I can still hear comments asking: why haven't you tested this card with an older (1 - 2 years) system to determine if it would be a worthy option for an upgrade? Reply

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