Plugging the Performance Gap - The ATI Radeon HD 4830


Three's a Company - Our Trio of HD 4830 Cards

PowerColor Radeon HD 4830 512MB GDDR3

Our first Radeon HD 4830 card is from PowerColor. It comes with PCS (Professional Cooling System) cooler, which is increasingly common on PowerColor cards these days, and sports ATI's reference clock speeds. The memory chips and voltage controllers are cooled by copper heatsinks, which are a nice touch.

The PowerColor HD 4830 has a trio of video outputs, DVI, VGA and HDMI. As it is probably a review sample rushed to us by PowerColor, the box it came with had nothing other than a quick installation guide and a CD containing the necessary drivers.

We've been seeing the PowerColor warrior girl around alot lately, and here she is again. As usual, the PowerColor box sports a simple design, nothing flashy, and we approve.

There's nothing outstanding about the card (other than the PCS cooler) that tells you its a Radeon HD 4830 rather than a HD 4850. It still requires a 6-pin connector to power up, and like the HD 4850, has two CrossFire connectors.

Sapphire Radeon HD 4830 512MB GDDR3

Also sporting reference clock speeds is the Sapphire Radeon HD 4830. It has a cooler that's very similar to the one found on the PowerColor, with the exception of the rather outlandish plastic styling that is on the cooler, of course. Unlike the PowerColor Radeon HD 4830, however, the eight memory chips from Qimonda on the Sapphire are left exposed.

This is what the Sapphire Radeon HD 4830 came with:

  • Quick installation guide
  • CD containing drivers
  • 1 x DVI-to-VGA adapter
  • 1 x DVI-to-HDMI adapter
  • 1 x Molex-to-PCIe connector
  • 1 x S/Video out

Of the trio, the Sapphire came in the smallest box. Like the PowerColor, it too features a warrior girl. What's with warrior girls we wonder. Are gamers so enticed by them?

We first thing we noticed about the card from Sapphire is its odd looking cooler. The top part is plastic and is there entirely for cosmetic purposes, although we'd have to wonder who on earth would actually think it looks good.

HIS Radeon HD 4830 512MB GDDR3

Our third and final card is one by the Hong Kong-based HIS. It too has reference clock speeds though quite unfortunately, this model does not come with HIS' acclaimed IceQ 4 cooler. Rather, it employs a cooler that looks similar to the ones found on the other two cards. Also, like the Sapphire Radeon HD 4830, the memory chips on the HIS Radeon HD 4830 are left exposed. The voltage controllers, however, are cooled by a copper heatsink that has lots of grooves and fins.

The following are what we found in the package of the HIS Radeon HD 4830:

  • Quick installation guide
  • CD containing drivers
  • 1 x DVI-to-VGA adapter

No IceQ 4 cooler here, just a simple cooler that looks very much like the PCS cooler on the PowerColor card. It's rather sharp on the edges, so please, handle with utmost care.