Back to Article

  • CEO Ballmer - Sunday, October 26, 2008 - link

    You people need to give Vista a second chance too!">
  • JonnyDough - Sunday, October 26, 2008 - link

    a button. My guess is that AMD did this intentionally to get more people talking about their card. Reply
  • Griswold - Sunday, October 26, 2008 - link

    Oh yea, I'm sure the somewhat unfavorable comparisons to the 9800GT in a number of reviews because of this mishap will magically turn into an advantage too.

    Glad you're not responsible for any marketing at AMD - you'd proof that it *can* get worse. :P
  • MrSpadge - Sunday, October 26, 2008 - link

    from what you're writing it's clear that the x-axis indicates "performance improvement in %", but it's not written there. Professional graphs need proper axis. Reply
  • RagingDragon - Saturday, October 25, 2008 - link

    So will be seeing a 4810 with 480 or 560 SP's? That'd fit nicely in between the 4670 and 4830...

    Also, are there any idications whether all 4830 will be made from partially disabled/defective dies? Or will AMD be fabbing smaller 4830 specific RV770's?
  • Goty - Saturday, October 25, 2008 - link

    I highly doubt AMD would try to produce an entirely new chip for the 4830. The more SKUs you have, the more waste you get. The 4830 is a cost recuperating measure for the dice that don't make the bin for the 4850 or 4870. Reply
  • DerekWilson - Saturday, October 25, 2008 - link

    if the 4830 overtakes the 4850 and 4870 combined in volume and amd runs out of parts binned for the lower performance part, they may need to make 4830s out of some GPUs that could handle higher performance.

    but there's a lot of ifs and such in that one. it's not impossible that some GPUs could be capable of running with all SIMDs enabled. but it might also be impossible to make the card tell the GPU to turn them all on (depending on how AMD has built the thing).

  • PrinceGaz - Saturday, October 25, 2008 - link

    Hehehe, "dice". The last time I used them was in a tabletop D&D session. The last time I used real physical ones you could hold, anyway.

    The plural of "die" is "dies" for a manufactured physical component like a processor, or anything else for that matter. Pretty much any reliable online (and especially paper) dictionary will agree.

    Talking about CPU dice is good for a light-hearted comment, but not for anything else.
  • Griswold - Sunday, October 26, 2008 - link

    No, smartpants. Both works just fine. Open your eyes to the real world and you'll see. Reply
  • Goty - Saturday, October 25, 2008 - link

    Most industry documents would disagree. Reply
  • JAKra - Saturday, October 25, 2008 - link


    I thought that these disabled SIMDs were fused off in the ASIC. What if you flash your HD4830 with an HD4850 BIOS or a modified one enabling all the SIMDs? The PCB looks the same, they use the same GPU.( I think )
    Good old modding days are back: 9800SE to 9800XT, anyone? :D
  • Clauzii - Sunday, October 26, 2008 - link

    Heh, I have that :D Still rockin' :D Reply
  • JAKra - Saturday, October 25, 2008 - link

    Wehehe Marlin1975, you beat me to it. You won. :D Reply
  • DerekWilson - Saturday, October 25, 2008 - link

    we'll have to look into that :-) Reply
  • Marlin1975 - Saturday, October 25, 2008 - link

    Does this mean we might be able to just do a firmware flash and get a 4850 level performance??? :) Reply
  • Gary Key - Saturday, October 25, 2008 - link

    I tried that on a retail card, no go. Reply
  • PrinceGaz - Saturday, October 25, 2008 - link

    Did you down-clock the 4850 BIOS so that it was within the limits of the 4830 card? I'm thinking especially about the memory here which would be most likely to have problems at the 4850 clock-speed, unless you've already verified that your 4830 can run at the 4850 core and memory clocks. As an nVidia owner, I don't know what BIOS editing tools are available for AMD cards, but I doubt any have been tailored for the 4830 as it is brand new.

    Even if the 4830 could cope with 4850 clocks, there may well be other tiny but significant changes to the card components which mark it as a 4830 and prevent it being flashed with a 4850 BIOS. A modded 4830 BIOS with more than 8 blocks of 80 SIMDs enabled would therefore have the best chance of success, and may well be forthcoming now that AMD inadvertently made BIOSes with both 7 and 8 blocks enabled public, especially if combined with what can be ascertained from the 4850 BIOS. I wouldn't know where to start with BIOS editing (I can work with x86 assembly, but that is child's play compared to understanding proprietary BIOS code). Some people have produced utilities which can edit at least certain parameterrs in BIOS files, so it's possible a tool to select the number of SIMD blocks could be produced.

    It's probably not worth the effort though as the 4850 is only slightly more expensive anyway, so even if you could up the SPs from 640 (8 blocks) to 800 (all 10 blocks), given the performance differences presented in this article by going from 560 (7 blocks) to 640 (8 blocks); you'd be lucky to add more than 10% at best-- and that's assuming your card actually has a core with all 10 blocks capable of working correctly. It's not like the good old days of the 9500 non-Pro which if you were lucky could have its pipelines upped from 4 to 8 (like a 9700 non-Pro) giving a staggering increase in performance.

    It's obvious how AMD messed up with the card samples they sent out. The only possible explanation is that the 4830 was originally intended to have 560 SPs and the BIOS was designed with that limit. Late in development, serious price-drops of 9800GT cards and the like forced AMD to give their 4830 a bit extra umph to compete at the price-point they had already targeted it at. Whereas they could easily adjust any physical limitation of the hardware pretty much as it was leaving the fab if they do so (by disabling less blocks on those cores), it takes longer to modify the software and check it to a level they can be confident the card will actually function correctly, such that some review samples went out with the older BIOS.

    As such, all 4830 card cores may well be limited to 8 functional blocks (including those samples sent out with a BIOS setting it to 7 blocks), but only AMD insiders would know.
  • Goty - Sunday, October 26, 2008 - link

    Or maybe it was much less complex than that and AMD actually tried more than one configuration during testing and a batch slipped through the cracks once everything was finalized. Y'know, that whole Occam's Razor thing. Reply
  • iwodo - Saturday, October 25, 2008 - link

    ATI deliberately sent out sample with worst results. Then give better bios for enabling proper performance to catch Nvidia Off Guard. Reply
  • SiliconDoc - Monday, January 19, 2009 - link

    How about ATI did this because they are morons, the ATI division just caused another huge chargeout loss for AMD, so there's bad karma at ati , and this shows exactly why their drivers are so screwey and broken all over the place.
    " We were in a hurry" - can you imagine ? Something as ignorant as the wrong bios applied - that really takes the cake.
    Congratulations ati, you screwed up again - and no, your fanboys can't admit it, they think it's a masterous marketing plan to destroy nvidia...
    ATI blew it again.
    ( They did do very well on this card though, it's the first one at the pricepoint it's at that I like from them - since there's no CUDA, no PhysX, no driver profiles, a bloated CCC bloated a bit less, - no I don't plan on picking one up. )
    Yeah, despite the major, amatuer, almost laughable mistake - makes ya wonder if anyone is at home or in charge there, this is a nice card for the price right now.
  • JonnyDough - Sunday, October 26, 2008 - link

    They probably did this to get a double press release. Reply
  • Regs - Monday, October 27, 2008 - link

    At a price no less. Reply
  • DerekWilson - Saturday, October 25, 2008 - link

    like i said ... first impressions ... they wouldn't want poor performance results to be out there at all, even to catch NVIDIA off guard. it will definitely have impacted consumers.

    but you know, i actually thought about what you proposed as well. this business is highly competitive, and there isn't any theory we don't at least consider. it's just that when all the facts are in, this one doesn't make enough sense to have gone through all the trouble for.
  • aj28 - Saturday, October 25, 2008 - link

    I'm gonna doubt that. I mean, after all, they're responding to nVidia's existing price drops on the GTX, not the other way around. Nice to hear they corrected it though - I've had my eyes on that HIS 4830 for a good 24 hours now... Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now