Gigabyte HD 4850 full review

The Gigabyte HD 4850 is no looker, but it's a graphics card that sets the world of bargain cards on fire.

There are other cards that offer more bang for your buck, but the Gigabyte HD 4850 was easily the fastest of the cards across all the games tests we threw at it.

This was all the more surprising because, on the face of it, the Gigabyte HD 4850 isn't a particularly exciting version of the 4850 chipset. Sapphire's Toxic Edition of this chip puts the Gigabyte's specifications to shame. Here, the memory clock speed 1,986MHz is down to just 1,920MHz, while the core clock speed tumbles to just 625MHz.

However, the Gigabyte HD 4850's 256bit memory interface is ample, and while the memory bandwidth figure of 61.4GBps may lag behind that finely honed Toxic Edition, it puts those of the other cards here to shame. The 1GB of GDDR3 RAM is a notable inclusion - few cards at this price are equipped with such a generous memory allocation.

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But where the Gigabyte HD 4850 really makes its case is in benchmark testing. Some of these results are a little erratic and hard to decipher, but the 4850 holds a commanding lead against similarly priced products almost the whole way across the board.

Only some slightly confusing scores in the high detail segment of the Left 4 Dead tests caused the Gigabyte HD 4850 to lose out. Emphatic confirmation that the Gigabyte HD 4850 is worth every one of its £144 asking price.

NEXT PAGE: framerate test results