MSI Radeon 4850 R4850-V101 Video Card Review :: MSI R4850 512MB Radeon HD 4850 Card

09-05-2008 · Category: Hardware - Video Cards

By Ben Sun

MSI has given their version of the HD 4850 a special cooling system. Modern video cards like the HD 4850 require active cooling of the graphics chip in order to keep them cool under load as even 55 nanometer graphics chips can get warmer than 60C under load sometimes exceeding that by a large factor up to 70 degrees Celsius or even more while running tests. The other 4850 cards Iíve tested showed no problems with stability even at high running temperatures.


MSI Radeon 4850 R4850-V101 Video Card Review card

card

MSI Radeon 4850 R4850-V101 Video Card Review Heatsink

Heatsink

MSI Radeon 4850 R4850-V101 Video Card Review Fan

Fan

MSI Radeon 4850 R4850-V101 Video Card Review Heatsink 2

Heatsink 2


MSI decided to go with a 2-slot cooling solution on their HD 4850 card. While it is sometimes preferable to go with single slot solutions a 2-slot solution is the norm for high performance video cards. MSI uses a dual slot aluminum heatsink with four copper heatpipes leading out of the graphics chip to the heatsink exterior. This keeps the card 10C cooler under load than the standard ATI cooler on the other card. A 9-fin fan blows air through the entire cooling assembly to keep the card cool.


MSI Radeon 4850 R4850-V101 Video Card Review R4850 logo

R4850 logo

MSI Radeon 4850 R4850-V101 Video Card Review Capacitors

Capacitors

MSI Radeon 4850 R4850-V101 Video Card Review Top of card

Top of card

MSI Radeon 4850 R4850-V101 Video Card Review Memory heatsink

Memory heatsink


The rest of the design of this card is identical in appearance and form to ATIís reference design for the HD 4850. The memory chips are laid out identically to the reference board and the circuitry and capacitors are laid out exactly the same as ATIís reference design. MSI chose to focus on cooling the graphics chip rather than fool around with the layout, which is a good thing. The rear of the card has the Serial Number and Part number stickers which allow the user to identify the card when needing RMA service.


MSI Radeon 4850 R4850-V101 Video Card Review Rear of card

Rear of card

MSI Radeon 4850 R4850-V101 Video Card Review Power connector

Power connector

MSI Radeon 4850 R4850-V101 Video Card Review PCI Express

PCI Express

MSI Radeon 4850 R4850-V101 Video Card Review IO

IO


The card is a CrossFireX capable video card. Crossfire allows up to four video cards to be used on the same motherboard if the motherboard supports it and has the requisite number of available slots. There are two Crossfire bridges on the top of the card to allow daisy-chaining of cards from one to another. ATI claims that using more than one card is very efficient and you can get over 3x performance over a single card.


MSI Radeon 4850 R4850-V101 Video Card Review Rear on view

Rear on view

MSI Radeon 4850 R4850-V101 Video Card Review Head on view

Head on view

MSI Radeon 4850 R4850-V101 Video Card Review Caps off IO

Caps off IO

MSI Radeon 4850 R4850-V101 Video Card Review Rear card view

Rear card view


The input and output area of the video card is important in determining what monitors can be used by the video card and system. The MSI HD 4850 comes with the standard Dual Link DVI-I ports on the IO, and an S-Video out port for connecting to a television. This allows the use of up to two 2560x1600 monitors at the same time. The video card has a 6-pin power connector for the extra power it needs beyond the 75W provided by the PCI Express 2.0 slot.