ASUS HD 4850 MATRIX HTDI 512M A Review :: ASUS EAH4850 MATRIX HTDI 512M A Features

02-01-2009 · Category: Hardware - Video Cards

By Ben Sun
  • RV770 Pro chip
  • 800 Stream Processors
  • 625MHz core clock speed
  • 1986MHz memory clock speed
  • 512MB GDDR3 memory
  • 256-bit memory interface
  • DirectX 10.1
  • Pixel Shader 4.1
  • Vertex Shader 4.1
  • Tesselation
  • OpenGL 2.1
  • Hybrid Cooler
  • iTracker
  • Auto Phase Switch
  • Advanced Dynamic GPU loading Detection
  • PCI Express 2.0
  • CrossfireX

Brand Name ASUS
Part Number EAH4850/MATRIX/512M/A
Graphics Chip RV770 Pro
Core clock 625
Shader Clock 625
SPs 800
Fabrication Process 55 nm
Transistors 986 million
Memory clock 1986MHz
Memory Interface 256-bit
Memory bandwidth 64GB/Second
Memory Size 512MB
ROPs 32
Texture Filtering Units 64
Texture Filtering Rate 16 Gigatexels/second
HDCP Support Yes
HDMI Support Yes (via adapter)
Connectors Dual DisplayPort, DVI, TV-Out
Bus PCI Express 2.0
Form Factor Dual Slot
Power Connectors 6-pin power connector

ASUS's EAH 4850/MATRIX/512M/A video card is based upon ATI's RV770 chip that was released last year. The RV770 Pro chip is an impressive beast with 986 million transistors, 800 Stream Processors and the ability to use GDDR5 memory. There have been many chips released in the last few months based upon this core chip including the RADEON HD 4870, the HD 4850, the HD 4830 and the mainstream and value versions of the chip, the HD 4670 and HD 4350.

Sometime in 2009, Microsoft will launch Windows 7 with DirectX 11, the next major graphics API. In the meantime, DirectX 10.1 which remains as the current API. DirectX 10.1 includes improved visual improvements in the form of anti-aliasing, and parallel cube mapping. DirectX 10.1 is an intermediate step between DX10 and DX11 and all future hardware which supports DirectX 11 will require support for DirectX 10.1. In any event, the HD 4850 card from ASUS fully supports DirectX 10.1 features.

Tessellation hardware allows the video card to do complex geometries on the card without taking a major hit in performance. Tessellation breaks down polygon meshes into higher polygon meshes. This allows for smoother looking surfaces and more lifelike faces for example. Tessellation is a major part of DirectX 10.1 and ATI cards including the Xenos chip on the Xbox 360 and the RV 770 Pro support Tessellation. Note that these cards do not support the full range of tessellation in DirectX 11, but support a subset of that feature including

The EAH4850/MATRIX/512M/A card has 512MB of GDDR3 memory clocked at 1986MHz, the same memory speed as the reference HD 4850. The card has a 256-bit memory interface, meaning that the EAH 4850/MATRIX/512M/A card has a memory bandwidth of 63.552GB/second. The card has a clock speed of 625MHz, which is similar to the reference clock of the ATI HD 4850. Where the MATRIX card really shines though is in its cooling and software.

ATI introduced Crossfire with their RD580 chipset and the RADEON X1800 series video cards a few years back. Crossfire allows the enthusiast to install more than one ATI graphics card on a system improving performance almost exponentially. The 4850 has two bridges for Crossfire mode, meaning that the card can be daisy-chained with up to three other HD 4850 cards to improve performance in games and applications that support it.

ASUS spent a lot of time designing their card and software to work together on the EAH4850/MATRIX/512M/A card. One of the key features of the new card is the cooling system. ASUS took the standard 2D cooling from the reference HD 4850 and added a heatsink mode which transfers the heat up to cool the card when in 3D Mode. ASUS claims the card saves 28% power when in 2D mode and is up to 17% faster when in 3D Mode.

iTracker is ASUS's new software to track the clock speeds, voltages and fan speeds of their card. ASUS has a Power saving mode, a Gamer's mode, a User Define mode and a Optimized Mode. The Power saving mode clocks the card in 2D at 400MHz for the clock 1000MHz for the memory. The voltage is set to 1.22V for the GPU and 1.979V for the memory. Gamer's mode has a default clock of 660MHz for the core, 1986Mz for the memory with 1.27V for the GPU and 2.08V for the memory.

When you use User Define Mode you can overclock the card. The GPU clock can be set from the 625MHz default clock to a maximum of 800MHz (the same as ATI's Overdrive utility), the memory from the default 1986MHz to a maximum clock speed of 2200MHz, the GPU voltage can be set from the default to 2.2V while the memory voltage can be set from the default to 2.1V. This gives the widest possible range.