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  • JonnyDough - Friday, October 24, 2008 - link

    Half the time you don't get the money back, or it takes half a year. Not only that, but they always make you jump through hoops. Even if you follow the directions to the T, sometimes they say you didn't.

    Furthermore, you have to cut up your box and include the UPC code, which sometimes means you suddenly have no serial number from the proof of purchase for warranty service.

    I refuse to purchase a product based on a "rebated price." I always look at the regular price. I was taught to do that over a decade ago in consumer mathematics in H.S. and it took me a bit of life experience to learn the value in that lesson.

    So as my title states, I would like to just re-iterate.

    Rebates BLOW. As long as people are purchasing products that have a rebate available, the companies will continue to rip us off with them. My advice, skip over anything with a rebate and don't buy it.
  • strikeback03 - Monday, October 27, 2008 - link

    I've probably filed over 100 rebates in the past 10 years, I have failed to receive 2. Only one was due to actual shadiness by the company (MSI), the other was due to a poorly worded rebate form and a customer-service rep who was also not properly informed. I've occasionally had to fight for rebated by re-sending copies of the materials, but have almost always gotten them.

    Given the choice, I'd go for the lower purchase price and if one seller is slightly higher but no rebate will choose that. But I don't ignore that rebates exist.
  • Mr Roboto - Friday, October 24, 2008 - link

    That's why I really like because they show the price BEFORE the rebate. Anything after that is just icing on the cake as it would seem NewEgg understands that a product with a rebate doesn't mean anything.

    Look at, almost every product has a little * next to it. TD has some of the worst rebate scams going in all of the internet. Just look at to see how badly they treat their customers. Of course I speak from experience. I bought an EVGA 680i and a BFG Tech 8800GTX from the local TD outlet a year and a half ago. When I got home both of the rebates were already expired. Very shady business.
  • Mr Roboto - Friday, October 24, 2008 - link

    AMD has confirmed worked with us to confirm 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.

    So does this mean that if I pick up a new 4830 there is a possibility of hacking the BIOS to enable all of the SIMD units? Well if this is the case than I will definitely be picking up what apparently is a 4850 in 4830 clothing.
  • Gary Key - Friday, October 24, 2008 - link

    I flashed the 4850 BIOS on my retail 4830 card today, no changes to the SIMD units or clock speeds. ;) Reply
  • poohbear - Friday, October 24, 2008 - link

    why didnt u show the 4300 in Crossfire? would reall give us a great idea of whether picking 2 of em up is better than the 4850/4870.:0 Reply
  • Tiredoldfart - Friday, October 24, 2008 - link

    Very long time lurker, first time poster.

    As always the article is well detailed and plenty juicy on content.
    However this growing trend on the articles here at anandtech is truly annoying.

    Do we really need 2+ pages tellings that a possible rebate on the competition's card might make it a better deal by a few percentile points?

    Rebate talking has no place on tech articles, the people that come here are perfectly capable of recognizing a good deal when they see one.

    I came here to read about a part that fits perfectly into the video card niche i want, and end up slightly annoyed that a review of the 4830 ends up with a ton of "how a slightly better deal the 9800 series is if you get a rebate" references. Rebates are marketing doodah, its not a direct reduction in base price, your money is still tied in, dog knows for how many months.

    I initially came here to read anand's articles, a good deal years back, and they had a purity and razor edge objectivity to what was being reviewed that i find increasingly lacking anywhere i look these days. I'd really really like to see more reviews that focus more on the merits of the hardware, than on the fogginess of the "final price after xyz marketing tricks".

    I hope this doesnt sound too harsh, but this has been a pet peeve of mine for a long time now.
  • DerekWilson - Friday, October 24, 2008 - link

    i actually agree with you.

    it's frustrating for me though because to fight the battle better nvidia decided to employ a whole lot of massive rebates. i'm still not going to say one piece of hardware is better than another because of a rebate, but with the size of some rebates out there it is hard to ignore them as a factor.

    i tried to paint the picture but it's a tough situation.

    i agree that rebates are marketing tools and i've said as much in previous articles. but the if both AMD and NVIDIA are going to get into it, it benefits no one but the consumer.

    for practical reasons though, i really don't want to compare prices with rebates -- it changes and there are multiple different offers and way too many combinations to make a practical comparison.

    honestly, i wish these guys would all just stop offering rebates and lower prices. but they aren't going to do that cause that cuts into their bottom line rather than their marketing budget.

    it's just as frustrating on this side of it as it is for you guys to have to read about it ... but we do want to tell the whole story and the rebate battle seems like something of interest. maybe i was wrong.

  • Tiredoldfart - Sunday, October 26, 2008 - link

    Derek, i'd like to thank you for taking the time to reply.
    I like your work quite a bit, and am only replying to better clarify what i mean.

    My biggest concern is that the inclusion of the rebate system into the reviews of hardware has really been on the rise, on all the major sites.
    It is slowly becoming "set in stone" as something as valid as a base price drop, when its far far shadier.

    I understand that, as a reviewer, you cannot overlook something that affects the value of what you are reviewing.
    But major exposure on a major tech site like this ends up re-enforcing the rebate system as acceptable and valid.

    As far as reviews go, rebates can have the insidious effect of being there for the launch of an item, prompting the side with the larger marketing budget to get off more positive reviews. And once those initial reviews are out, nothing stops the company from changing the rules.

    Rebates are by definition something outside of base price, often outside the company itself, efficiently outsourced to other companies. No reputation harm to the big brands, fire and forget. Everyone's had bad experiences with them, they are not good for the consumer in the medium and long run, in my opinion.

    If there was a more stern position towards rebates by the consumers and those that inform/represent them, eventually alternatives to rebates would have to be found by the companies.

    In the end, i ask a difficult thing, i know this.
    For the people responsible to bringing us the news to mediate exposure of topics based on what serves the reader best.

    But that has always been the juggling of the media, how to deal with the part that wants to sell without compromising its position towards the part that is willing to buy.

    The amount of sway a review at anandtech has over both the consumers and the major tech companies these days is gigantic.

    So to sum up what i mean, and use a far too worn out quote to boot..

    "With great power there must also come — great responsibility!"

  • DerekWilson - Thursday, October 23, 2008 - link

    Hi guys --

    I thought I had tested the 4870 on the 790i board, but it was apparently tested on the intel x48 board instead.

    I reran the test because of what you guys were pointing out and I have updated the numbers in the charts. Power draw for the 4870 is higher in idle and load.


    I've also been following the issue where AMD samples have 3 SIMDs disabled instead of 2 ... We are talking to AMD about the problem and will update you when we know what's going on.

    Derek Wilson
  • 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.
  • 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...
  • 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).
  • 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
  • mczak - Thursday, October 23, 2008 - link

    While the text says 1 simd disabled (which is clearly wrong), it seems AMD sent out review samples with 3 simds disabled instead of 2, hence the review samples being slower than they should be ("> So did you also test such a card? Reply
  • 7Enigma - Thursday, October 23, 2008 - link

    Where is the Assasin's Creed data? Where is the broken line graph for The Witcher showing performance at different resolutions? I've commented on the last several articles on your data analysis and frequently dislike the chosen resolution you use for the horizontal bar graph, but at least you had the broken line graph to compare with.

    With the vast majority of people using 17-19" LCD's with 1280X1024 (especially in the price range of the card being reviewed), it seems kind of strange to me the higher resolutions for 20-22" LCD's are the ones being selected for the large bar graphs. I know the playability difference between 60fps and 70fps is moot, but the trend it shows is very important for those that do not plan on upgrading to a larger monitor and want to know which is the better card.

    For instance the only data we see for The Witcher is at 20-22" resolutions. This single data point shows the AMD card 9% faster than the Nvidia at a just playable (IMO) framerate. As that is likely the average framerate, a 9% difference could be huge when you get into a minimum situation. If I have a 17-19" monitor this data is worthless. Does the trend of AMD being 9% faster hold true at the lower resolution, or does the Nvidia card pull closer?

    And while I'm repeating myself from previous articles, I beg of you, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE try to keep the colors of the bar graphs the SAME as in the broken line graphs. It is very frustrating to follow the wrong card from bar graph to line graph because the colors do not match up between them.

    Overall good review, there are just these nagging issues that would make the article great.
  • strikeback03 - Thursday, October 23, 2008 - link

    I only know two people using 1280x1024 LCDs, and both would consider $130 way too much to spend on any computer component. I'd guess there are more people these days using 17-19" widescreens with 1280x800 or 1440x900 resolution than the 1280x1024 screens, as these widescreens are what has been common in packages at B&M stores or a while now. Reply
  • 7Enigma - Thursday, October 23, 2008 - link

    And your point is? Those resolutions you listed are right around the 1280X1024 resolution I was referring too. It's not the height/width of the monitor that matters with these cards, it is the overall pixel resolution that can have differences between them. A 1280X1024 uses 1.3 million pixels per screen. A 1440X900 uses almost exactly the same number of total pixels, so you could directly compare the results unless the video card had some weird resizing issues. A 1280X800 uses 1.0 million or about a quarter less so this difference could be even larger between the cards than in my original example. Reply
  • GlItCh017 - Thursday, October 23, 2008 - link

    For $130.00 I would not be disappointed with that card. Then you consider it to be somewhat cheaper on newegg maybe as low as $100.00 and you got yourself a bargain, overclock it a little or buy an OC version even, not too shabby. Reply
  • Butterbean - Thursday, October 23, 2008 - link

    I jumped to "Final Words" and boom - no info on 4830 but right into steering people to an Nvidia card. That's so Anandtech. Reply
  • mikepers - Thursday, October 23, 2008 - link

    Actually what Derek says is it's shop around and get the best price between the two. If there is in fact a $20 to $30 difference then get the 9800gt. If not then get the 4830.

    Performance is about the same and right now you can get a 9800gt for $100 after rebate. (for $110 get it delivered with a copy of COD4 included)

    This doesn't even consider the power advantage of the 9800gt. Assuming you leave your PC on all the time then that little 14 watt idle difference adds up. At the 20 cents per KwH I pay here in Long Island, NY the 9800gt would save me about $24.50 a year. So personally, I would definitely get the 9800gt unless I could find the 4830 for a decent amount less then the 9800gt.
  • Spoelie - Thursday, October 23, 2008 - link

    Didn't really notice it the first read through and most of the time I don't concur with bias allegations.

    However it seems in this case the paragraphs could have been rearranged to 1-4-5-2-3-6 (no rewording necessary) and the conclusion would have said the same thing, only focusing a bit more obvious on the product at hand than what a great deal the nvidia card is.
  • DerekWilson - Friday, October 24, 2008 - link

    thats actually a good suggestion. done. Reply
  • Hanners - Thursday, October 23, 2008 - link

    "Based on the information we know about the GPU, the 4830 is clearly just an RV770 with one SIMD disabled."

    Don't you mean two SIMD cores?
  • nirolf - Thursday, October 23, 2008 - link

    That low core/mem looks promising. It would be interesting to see if you can get close to 4850 with some tweaking. Reply
  • Mathos - Thursday, October 23, 2008 - link

    And I think I found my next video card upgrade. Have been either waiting for the 4850 to drop a bit more, or something to come out between the 4670 and 4850 to come out, and this one hits exactly where I figured it would. Nipping at the heels of the 9800gtx in a few benchies there, and at the Res that matters for me 1680x1050. This looks like something I can pair with my 3870 toxic edition till I can afford a full on 4850 or 4870. Then if I wanted to I can get rid of the 3870 and run Xfire with the 4830 and 4850. Reply
  • DXRick - Thursday, October 23, 2008 - link

    The charts for power consumption are totally different (show a lot more consumption, especially at idle) than the charts done for the 4670 article:"> Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, October 23, 2008 - link

    From the other article: "At idle our entire testbed (Intel G45 + Core 2 Quad Q9450) used only 67W with the Radeon HD 4670." Note that this article uses QX9770 and 790i, among other differences. Reply
  • DXRick - Friday, October 24, 2008 - link

    I had no idea that different chipsets (or mobos) and cpus could result in such a dramatic difference in power consumption. I sure want my computer to consume as little as possible when I am not using it.

    Are there any other articles here about this?

  • strikeback03 - Monday, October 27, 2008 - link"> Reply
  • Jovec - Thursday, October 23, 2008 - link

    More importantly, all your previous reviews show roughly a 40+ idle and load watt difference between the 4850 and 4870, yet this review has it down to 3-4 watts at both. Was there a problem with 4870 power consumption that has now been fixed? Reply
  • Jovec - Saturday, October 25, 2008 - link

    And now these 4850 and 4870 numbers show a wider margin again. With a different testbed I'd expect different numbers, but the relative difference on the same testbed should be the same. These numbers are more in line with AT's other 4850/70 power numbers. The original article's numbers need to be explained. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, October 23, 2008 - link

    I believe that was one of the issues with previous Catalyst drivers: for some reason the power saving stuff wasn't working on 4870. It's good to see that finally addressed. Reply
  • Jovec - Thursday, October 23, 2008 - link

    Seems likely for idle numbers, but I'd be curious what power saving can be done under load. Reply
  • bunga28 - Thursday, October 23, 2008 - link

    Great article. It's a shame for a great site such as anandtech to make grammatical mistakes and yet it made fun of product manufacturers for their mistakes in the manuals. Case in point:"> It will probably limit the site's potential for others take it seriously, journalistically speaking, of course. Here is what I'm talking about, in one of the sentences in the 2nd page, it was written "AMD could likely have charged a lot more for their hardware at launch..." Should be "AMD could likely have charged a lot more for its hardware at launch..." I don't want to be the grammar police but this has been happening quite a bit on this site, so I want to say something. Now, we all know what you meant when we read the piece. I just think it sounds much better and we think you're probably smarter too...:) Reply
  • strikeback03 - Thursday, October 23, 2008 - link

    All that and you didn't notice the "overlocked variants" in the 4th paragraph on the second page? Reply
  • MamiyaOtaru - Thursday, October 23, 2008 - link

    You need to educate yourself about formal and notational agreement. AMD is a collective noun, a singular that refers to multiple people. As a rule in the US we go for formal agreement, and refer to AMD with singular verb forms etc, but in the UK it is common to use notational agreement and refer to such a collective noun with plural forms ("the team are ready" for example).

    Next you're going to call someone out for spelling "color" with a "u" :( :( Go back under your rock.
  • AssBall - Thursday, October 23, 2008 - link

    If you refer to AMD as the sum of its employees, then it makes perfect sense to use their.

    You wrote:
    "It's a shame for a great site such as anandtech to make grammatical mistakes and yet it made fun of product manufacturers for their mistakes in the manuals."

    Nice run-on sentence. Go grammar police somewhere else, please.
  • chucky2 - Thursday, October 23, 2008 - link

    With these lower binned parts, is there any word on AGP cards for those looking for a last upgrade?

    DirectX 10.1, SM 4.0, LPCM, HDMI...if a cheap solution existed it'd be a nice last upgrade to keep some older systems that are still useful current.

  • Jorgisven - Thursday, October 23, 2008 - link

    Actually, the street price of AGP cards has gone up considerably, especially for the late model ones, as no one makes them anymore really. I wouldn't hold your breath on a new one coming out...ever. (This is just my opinion, but the technology is limited and dated, and there's a good reason it was dropped, not having anything to do with collusion with the mobo manufacturers.) Reply
  • LTG - Thursday, October 23, 2008 - link

    They should make this in an AGP version.

    And Intel should also make a Core i7 adapter for 486DX boards.

    This way we can get the most out of our existing hardware.
  • chucky2 - Thursday, October 23, 2008 - link

    Your absolutely right. I should junk a completely working system that is simply lacking some technology that would be beneficial to have in the next year, which would hold people I know over for another 2-4 years, and instead blow $300 or so on a new rig that for the most part (but not completed) will do the exact same thing as the AGP system they have now does.

    Yes, that makes far more sense than buying a $50-$70 modern AGP graphics card that will get them by for the next 2-4 years without hassle.

  • Spoelie - Friday, October 24, 2008 - link

    pci-e mobo $50 + fitting cpu $50 + GPU $130 = $230
    GPU $130 + bridge chip + low volume markup = $180-200 if you're lucky

    ram is more difficult story, you can go even cheaper if you keep any ddr ram and go with a second hand mobo, or take advantage of the low-low ram prices..
  • chucky2 - Friday, October 24, 2008 - link

    NewEgg Prices Today, AGP Video Cards supporting DirectX 10.x:

    3450: $53.25 shipped
    3650: $79.00 (includes -$20 for rebate) shipped
    3650: $87.00 shipped
    3850: $118.25 (includes -10 for rebate) shipped
    3850: $138.25 shipped

    After the initial price gouging, $180-$200??? I don't think so...not after a couple months.

    NewEgg user reviews alone on these DirectX 10.x AGP cards...>600. Clearly, there's still a market - small, but a market none the less - for these cards. If not 4830, then 4350 or 4550...

  • crimson117 - Tuesday, December 30, 2008 - link

    It's all relative... both are Powercolor brand...

    Best price AGP 3850: $118.24 shipped after $10 MIR.
    Best price PCIe 3850: $68.24 shipped after $10 MIR.

    So no it's not $200, but in this low-price example AGP is still a $50 price premium over PCIe.

    If current performance is acceptable, and preserving your current system is worth the price premium, then stick with AGP and delay your move to PCIe. But if you'd like to put that cash towards performance instead of legacy preservation, and don't mind spending extra time reinstalling everything, then take the plunge and upgrade your mobo and all your legacy components.

    I built a ~$800 computer for a friend in July 2006 right when the C2D came out. Because we went with the newest technology at the time (PCIe, DDR2, socket 775), he's been able to use it for 2.5 years now. He also just easily upgraded the GPU from a 7300LE to a 9800 GT for about $100 (unlike in 2006, he now likes to play PC games), and is considering moving to faster and more DDR2 ram to take advantage of the current low prices. He could also grab a new C2D if he wanted to. He's left with tons of easy upgrade options, none of which require a reinstall, even 2.5 years after it was first built, and chances are it'll last him another year or two if he wants.

    For your situation, however, considering that the Core i7 uses a new socket and a new ram type (DDR3), and there'll be no PCIe 3.0 graphics cards until at least 2010, it's a great time to bite the bullet and upgrade all your components at once, even if it means an OS reinstall today. IMHO it's okay to skip one major product cycle, but you're tying your hands too much if you try to preserve legacy components when they're two, three generations old.

    (of course, this depends on your other parts - perhaps you have all the latest stuff like DDR2 and socket 775, but just kept AGP for some reason - in that case upgrading everything is slightly less compelling).
  • DerekWilson - Thursday, October 23, 2008 - link

    i haven't heard anything about AGP availability ... i sort of doubt it, but anything is possible. it would definitely be up to a vendor to add a bridge to the board, as this isn't likely to be something AMD will push themselves. Reply
  • chrone - Thursday, October 23, 2008 - link

    nice review Derek :) Reply
  • leexgx - Thursday, October 23, 2008 - link

    the card you got may be an card with only 540 sp (5 out of the 8 working) please run GPU-z on it and check that thay are all working or all of the results will not be correct as the powercore one that 2 other web sites have tested have come into this problem from cards from ATI test cards but not from OEM makers">
  • Spoelie - Friday, October 24, 2008 - link"> is linked in there with a better explanation.

    Apparently there's a bios fix.

    Any word on what version AT used?
  • leexgx - Friday, October 24, 2008 - link

    note has been added

    as there is likey to be an 4810 or something like that can you just add the results to the charts (like all the other sites have) of the fixed bios or an retail card that does not have this problem

    not sure what about the comments tho on each page as the card is going to operate an bit faster and is going to move the card up the chart an bit

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