PowerColor HD 4850 PCS 2GB PCI-E

Packaging & Appearance

Packaging & Appearance
Presented in a slimline cardboard box with dimensions not dissimilar to the graphics card contained within, the PowerColor HD4850 PCS packaging is very similar in appearance to the HD 4870 reviewed only but a few weeks ago. At the front of the box is PowerColors trademark female warrior style character (who we have to admit looks just a bit manly) along with the "PCS" logo and a couple of stickers denoting the basic specifications of the card (2GB / Dual DVI).
Powercolor 4850 Box Front  Powercolor 4850 Box Back
Around the back of the packaging are some basic bullet-point specifications along with a collection of features and short explanations. Unlike the packaging from some manufacturers, there are no hidden flaps or windows to peer into the packaging and get a glimpse of the card. This is a bit of a shame considering the rather fancy looking custom "PCS" cooling system shown further down the page.
Powercolor 4850 Box Insides PowerColor HD4850 Contents
The cards itself is protected from any courier inflicted damage by an inner-inner box, effectively placing 4 layers of cardboard between the graphics card and the outside world. Only the bare minimum accessories are included: S-Video cable, DVI-HDMI converter, DVI-VGA converter, Crossfire cable and a driver disk which is quite a disappointment considering this is essentially a premium HD4850.
PowerColor HD4850 Top PowerColor HD4850 Underneath
At first glance the PowerColor HD 4850 PCS may look just like a reference AMD card with a replacement cooler. However, when comparing the card to a few others that we had in the office it was apparent that several aspects of the cards layout have been altered. Components such as the VRM's have being moved further down the PCB and the card in general looks a bit bare. Those looking to water cool this card with a full cover waterblock should probably check for compatibility issues first.
PowerColor HD4850 Cooler PowerColor HD4850 Heatpipes
 PowerColor HD4850 Back
Finally we arrive at the cooling, and as we can see from the images above PowerColor have upgraded the stock cooling in favour of their own Zalman-like 'Flower' style cooler. Branded as the Professional Cooling System, the heat from the GPU is drawn away by a single large copper heatpipe bent into a circle. As the heat moves around the heatpipe it is dissipated by a large quantity of copper fins which are cooled by blower-style fan. The memory chips and VRM's also receive cooling via aluminium heatsinks that are securely fastened to the card with screws.
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Most Recent Comments

16-08-2008, 07:58:39

Nice review mate. Why oh why did they have to go and do that? I would have preferred some software (3DM06 etc) than extra memory that handicaps a card.Quote

16-08-2008, 12:19:40

What a shameQuote

16-08-2008, 13:40:02

...any word on the Powercolor HD 4870 PCS+ tho? clocked up to 800MHz on the core and with a Zerotherm cooler...OCuk have it for £182ish at the moment but I've seen no reviews anywhere yet.

Also Asus have the EAH4870 TOP with stock cooler but 815MHz core....

I've seen a few reviews of the overclocked 4850s but if i'm dropping money i'll pay the extra for a 4870 or GTX 280 (depending on the 55nm version getting good reviews and not being eye-wateringly pricey). Want consistency too much to go for a dual GPU option when the biggest monitor i'm ever likely to have is a 24" Quote

16-08-2008, 14:17:55

Originally Posted by name='gdawg304'
...any word on the Powercolor HD 4870 PCS+ tho? clocked up to 800MHz on the core and with a Zerotherm cooler...OCuk have it for £182ish at the moment but I've seen no reviews anywhere yet.
Don't really have any plans to review it at the moment, but if we get a break in the schedule I'll consider it. One thing I will say though is the Zerotherm/PCS cooler on the HD4850 does an extremely good job of keeping it cool. Quote

16-08-2008, 14:25:13

Ah well - that's a shame. Thought the pre-OC'd 4870 would be a hot one to review considering the fuss over the standard card....I shall have to keep my eyes open I guess!

(Not to mention comparing non-standard cooling given the issues in reviews over the temps on the stock cooler). Still - there are only so many hours in the day for reviewing!

The one on the 4870 is a different design than the 4850 so I wonder how they compare.Quote

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