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HD 4850 / 4870 / Golden Sample and Bliss 9600 GSO Golden Sample

Novelties from Gainward.

October 1, 2008



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Gainward used to be NVIDIA's stronghold that didn't even consider manufacturing graphics cards on competing GPUs. But times changed and Gainward, as part of Palit, decided to make products based on AMD (ATI) GPUs.

On the one hand, this decision seems incredible. We are all used to Gainward GeForce cards and expect nothing else from this company. But on the other hand, Gainward is actually a Palit subsidiary, so it has to obey the parent company. And we know that Palit has been manufacturing both GeForce and RADEON products for a long time already.

Anyway, the fact is that Gainward has launched some very interesting novelties.

Along with them, we also got a GeForce 9600 GSO card. As you might know, 9600 GSO is a renamed 8800 GS. But this one has 768 MB of memory instead of 384 MB. Such memory capacity is a result of paring down memory bus by installing fewer memory chips (6 instead of 8, or 12 instead of 16). When six 64MB (or 512Mb) chips are installed, we get 384 MB (64x6). When a card has 12 chips, memory volume becomes 768 MB (64x12). Besides, 9600 GSO is based on the G92 core, which is pared down to 96 unified processors.

Graphics Cards


Gainward HD 4870 Golden Sample 512MB
  • GPU: RADEON HD 4870 (RV770)
  • Interface: PCI-Express x16
  • GPU frequencies (ROPs/Shaders): 775/775 MHz (nominal 750/750 MHz)
  • Memory frequencies, physical (effective): 1000 (4000) MHz (nominal 900 (3600) MHz)
  • Memory bus width: 256bit
  • Vertex processors: -
  • Pixel processors: -
  • Unified processors: 800
  • Texture processors: 40 (BLF/TLF)
  • ROPs: 16
  • Dimensions: 210x100x33 mm (the last figure is maximum thickness of the graphics card).
  • PCB color: red
  • RAMDACs/TDMS: integrated into GPU.
  • Output connectors: 2xDVI (1xDual-Link/HDMI, 1xSingle-Link), Display Port.
  • VIVO: not available
  • TV-out: not installed.
  • Multi-GPU operation: CrossFire (Hardware).
Gainward HD 4870 512MB
  • GPU: RADEON HD 4870 (RV770)
  • Interface: PCI-Express x16
  • GPU frequencies (ROPs/Shaders): 750/750 MHz (nominal -- 750/750 MHz)
  • Memory frequencies, physical (effective): 900 (3600) MHz (nominal -- 900 (3600) MHz)
  • Memory bus width: 256bit
  • Vertex processors: -
  • Pixel processors: -
  • Unified processors: 800
  • Texture processors: 40 (BLF/TLF)
  • ROPs: 16
  • Dimensions: 235x100x33 mm (the last figure is maximum thickness of the graphics card).
  • PCB color: red
  • RAMDACs/TDMS: integrated into GPU.
  • Output connectors: 2xDVI (Dual-Link/HDMI), TV-out.
  • VIVO: not available
  • TV-out: integrated into GPU.
  • Multi-GPU operation: CrossFire (Hardware).
Gainward HD 4850 Golden Sample 512MB
  • GPU: RADEON HD 4850 (RV770)
  • Interface: PCI-Express x16
  • GPU frequencies (ROPs/Shaders): 700/700 MHz (nominal -- 625/625 MHz)
  • Memory frequencies, physical (effective): 1100 (2200) MHz (nominal -- 1000 (2000) MHz)
  • Memory bus width: 256bit
  • Vertex processors: -
  • Pixel processors: -
  • Unified processors: 800
  • Texture processors: 40 (BLF/TLF)
  • ROPs: 16
  • Dimensions: 210x100x32 mm (the last figure is maximum thickness of the graphics card).
  • PCB color: red
  • RAMDACs/TDMS: integrated into GPU.
  • Output connectors: 2xDVI (Dual-Link/HDMI), TV-out.
  • VIVO: not available
  • TV-out: integrated into GPU.
  • Multi-GPU operation: CrossFire (Hardware).
Gainward HD 4850 512MB
  • GPU: RADEON HD 4850 (RV770)
  • Interface: PCI-Express x16
  • GPU frequencies (ROPs/Shaders): 625/625 MHz (nominal -- 625/625 MHz)
  • Memory frequencies, physical (effective): 1000 (2000) MHz (nominal -- 1000 (2000) MHz)
  • Memory bus width: 256bit
  • Vertex processors: -
  • Pixel processors: -
  • Unified processors: 800
  • Texture processors: 40 (BLF/TLF)
  • ROPs: 16
  • Dimensions: 210x100x32 mm (the last figure is maximum thickness of the graphics card).
  • PCB color: red
  • RAMDACs/TDMS: integrated into GPU.
  • Output connectors: 2xDVI (Dual-Link/HDMI), TV-out.
  • VIVO: not available
  • TV-out: integrated into GPU.
  • Multi-GPU operation: CrossFire (Hardware).
Gainward Bliss 9600 GSO Golden Sample 768MB
  • GPU: GeForce 9600 GSO (G92)
  • Interface: PCI-Express x16
  • GPU frequencies (ROPs/Shaders): 600/1512 MHz (nominal -- 575/1440 MHz)
  • Memory frequencies, physical (effective): 900 (1800) MHz (nominal -- 850 (1700) MHz)
  • Memory bus width: 192bit
  • Vertex processors: -
  • Pixel processors: -
  • Unified processors: 96
  • Texture processors: 28 (BLF)
  • ROPs: 12
  • Dimensions: 210x100x32 mm (the last figure is maximum thickness of the graphics card).
  • PCB color: red
  • RAMDACs/TDMS: integrated into GPU.
  • Output connectors: 2xDVI (Dual-Link/HDMI), TV-out.
  • VIVO: not available
  • TV-out: integrated into GPU.
  • Multi-GPU operation: SLI (Hardware).


Gainward HD 4870 Golden Sample 512MB
Gainward HD 4870 512MB

Each graphics card has 512 MB of GDDR5 SDRAM in 8 chips on the front side of the PCB.

Qimonda memory chips (GDDR5). These memory chips are designed for the maximum frequency of 1000 (4000) MHz.

Gainward HD 4850 512MB

The graphics card has 512 MB of GDDR3 SDRAM in 8 chips on the front side of the PCB.

Samsung memory chips (GDDR3). 1.0 ns memory access time, which corresponds to 1000 (2000) MHz.

Gainward HD 4850 Golden Sample 512MB

The graphics card has 512 MB of GDDR3 SDRAM in 8 chips on the front side of the PCB.

Samsung memory chips (GDDR3). 0.8 ns memory access time, which corresponds to 1200 (2400) MHz.

Gainward Bliss 9600 GSO Golden Sample 768MB

The graphics card has 768 MB of GDDR3 SDRAM in 12 chips (6 on each side of the PCB).

Samsung memory chips (GDDR3). 1.0 ns memory access time, which corresponds to 1000 (2000) MHz.



Comparison with the reference design, front view
Gainward HD 4870 512MB Reference card ATI RADEON HD 4870
Gainward HD 4870 Golden Sample 512MB
Gainward HD 4850 Golden Sample 512MB
Gainward HD 4850 512MB
Reference card ATI RADEON HD 4850
Gainward Bliss 9600 GSO Golden Sample 768MB Reference card NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT


Comparison with the reference design, back view
Gainward HD 4870 512MB Reference card ATI RADEON HD 4870
Gainward HD 4870 Golden Sample 512MB
Gainward HD 4850 Golden Sample 512MB
Gainward HD 4850 512MB
Reference card ATI RADEON HD 4850
Gainward Bliss 9600 GSO Golden Sample 768MB Reference card NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT

Only RADEON HD 4870 is a reference card purchased from AMD and labeled with Gainward stickers. All other products have been customized by Gainward (or Palit -- hard to say since these two companies exist as a whole). Pay attention to 4870 Golden Sample. This card allows switching between BIOS versions. When in the Turbo mode, it switches to an overclocked BIOS. Just keep in mind that the switch works only at PC startup. You can't use it on-the-fly.



The length of this card is also very important. A reference 4870 card is longer than 230 mm and its additional power connectors are installed in the rear. This might cause installation problems, if PSU cables are too hard to bend. But this card is much shorter and has power connectors installed on top, facing upwards. So it's very convenient to plug power cables. (More information on this cooling system is further below.)

Two 4850 cards are also customized and shorter. The 4850 and 4850 Golden Sample cards have the same design and differ only by operating frequencies. Note that both have 8-pin power connectors instead of 6-pin. Make sure you have a proper adapter.

All cards except 4870 GS have original TV-Out interfaces that require a special adapter to output video to a TV set via S-Video or RCA.

An analog monitor with a D-Sub (VGA) interface can be connected by means of a special DVI-to-D-Sub adapter. Also bundled are DVI-to-HDMI adapters (these graphics cards support video/audio output to HDMI receivers), so there should be no problems with such monitors.

Maximum resolutions and frequencies:

  • 240 Hz maximum refresh rate
  • 2048 x 1536 x 32bit @ 85Hz Max - analog interface
  • 2560 x 1600 @ 60Hz Max - digital interface (all Dual-Link DVIs)

As of MPEG2 playback (DVD-Video), we analyzed this issue in 2002. Little has changed since that time. CPU load during video playback on modern graphics cards does not exceed 25%.

As of HDTV, a review is available here.

All cards require additional power source, so each is bundled with a molex to 6-pin adapter, even though all modern PSUs have such cables.


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Article navigation:

Page 1: Introduction, graphics cards

Page 2: Cooling

Page 3: Bundles, boxes

Page 4: Performance tests, conclusions



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