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MSI R4850-T2D512 512MB Print
Written by Scott Harness   
Friday, 24 October 2008
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card_fan1.JPGMSI R4850-T2D512 512MB

MSI have updated their HD4850 card from a single slot cooler to a Quad-Piped Dual Slot solution. Lower temperatures and a quieter card, coupled with the now famous higher than expected performance should make this a winner.


The HD 4850 has proven itself to be both economical and powerful, and very popular. It's higher bandwidth CrossfireX also adds to the appeal, and the cheap prices mean a cheap Multi-graphics card setup can be achieved. One thing that many folks did realise early on is that the fan control can be a little 'off', mainly because the cards have a tendency to run a little on the warm side.

Enter . They already had an on the market, which is pretty much of a reference design, but in light of the slightly high temperatures have a new updated card with a dual slot heat pipe solution. I have to say that the new card is visually appealing because of the new cooling solution, but of course that's not the first priority. designed this quad heat pipe solution to keep the temperatures and the noise levels down, so let's see if they've succeeded.


Graphics Engine
ATI Radeon HD 4850
Bus Standard

PCI Express x16 2.0

Memory Type


Memory Size(MB)


Memory Interface 256bit
Core/Memory Clocks 625/1986 MHz
DVI Output 2
D-Sub Output 1 (via DVI to VGA Adapter)
TV-Output 1 (via S-Video to Composite)
HDMI Output 1(via DVI to HDMI adaptor)
HDTV Support Yes
HDCP Support Yes
HDMI Support Yes
Dual Link DVI Yes
Display Max Resolution 2560x1600
RMDAC's 400




Yes, CrossfireX Support

GDDR3 memory, 256-bit GDDR3 memory interface, DirectX 10.1 support, 24x custom filter anti-aliasing (CFAA) and high performance anisotropic filtering, ATI CrossFireX™ multi-GPU support for highly scalable performance, PCI Express 2.0 support, Dynamic geometry acceleration, Game physics processing capability, ATI Avivo™ HD video and display technology, Unified Video Decoder 2 (UVD), Built-in HDMI with 7.1 surround sound support On-chip HDCP, Upscale Beyond 1080p, On-chip HDCP, HDMI Supported, ATI PowerPlay™ technology, Energy Efficient Manufacturing Process


box box box box

The box for the is pretty much the same as the previous card; a large space ogre type 'mascot' and the main features on the front, with all the more pertinent information on the rear. MSI have helpfully included a carry handle. Inside the box, everything is partitioned and stored nicely. Hard copy documentation is sparse, but all the info you could need is included. A driver disk (DVD), DVI to VGA, DVI to HDMI (including sound), Component Out, Composite and S-Video out and an S-Video cable are also included.


The Card itself, in an industrial sort of way, is quite attractive. The pipework on the new cooler, the coloring, the clear plastic, the red PCB, all come together to make a pleasing image. Adorning the HSF is the obligatory MSI logos; Game with MSI and the R4850 and Ogre.

card card card card

The HSF uses a Quad-Pipe solution, which MSI say will reduce temperatures to well within acceptable levels even with a near silent fan (idle). Under load, the fan should only reach a pretty quiet 32dBA level. Looks and silence, if only my wife could ... nevermind. The copper heat pipes expel their heat into the multitude of aluminum fans which are welded together, a time tested combination for decent cooling. The clear bladed fan also provides active cooling (by proxy) for the copper plate underneath which cools the GDDR3 ram and also the heatsink at the rear which reduces the temperatures for the MOSFETs and chokes.

card2 card2

The MSI R4850 requires a single standard 6 pin power connection which sits in the traditional rear end of the card. The backside of the card is quite uneventful, however there are two status LED's which dictate power and an 'all is well' status.

card2 card3 card3

The IO panel sports two DVI and a TV-Out on the lower half, while a grill complete with punched out MSI logo above (or below, depending on how the card is orientated in your case of course).


Testing - 3D Graphics Test Suite

Test Setup: Intel E6420 (2.13GHz) @ 3.0GHz, 2x 2048MB OCZ Reaper DDR2 PC2-6400 @ 900, Maxtor 500GB 16MB Cache HDD, Vista Home Premium SP1

For Comparison, the MSI 8600GT was used to show the jump from previous generation/s to new generation in the Mid Range. A Dell 20" Widescreen Monitor was also used.

Half Life 2: Episode Two – We ran through two minutes of play at highest possible settings, including HDR on outland 6, going down to get the car above. Killing Zombies and Zombines galore, FRAPs was used to compile a graph.

Crysis – This FPS hit the scene and pretty much brought every machine to their knee's, and still does. We used a combination of FRAPS and the Crysis Benchmark Tool.

Enemy Territory Quake Wars – We used our in-house recorded demo and FRAPs at highest playable settings to test, as well as a separate in-game timedemo at matching settings between cards.

Race Driver: GRID – It's been a long time since a fun racing game has hit the PC (in my opinion of course) and while being 'only' DX9, it sure does look purdy. We blast around a test course in the Skyline R34 Z-Tune, a repeatable test run.

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