Radeon HD 4870 & 4850 were released in June 2008
It is hard to imagine but Radeon RX 48×0 series is now celebrating its 15th anniversary.
AMD made an important GPU launch in 2008. The refined RV660 architecture in a form of RV770 GPUs based on 55nm node has been a headache for NVIDIA who were pushing gamers into enthusiast territory with expensive GeForce GTX 280 and GTX 280 series. In June 2008, AMD launched two models called the HD 4870 and HD 4850 based on either RX770 XT or RV770 PRO GPUs. Those graphics cards featured 956 million transistors, so over 60 times less than modern GPUs like Navi 31.
Both models featured the same core count of 800 shading units, combined with 40 texture and 16 raster units. There was 512MB of GDDR5 memory on board and each model had a 256-bit memory bus. In terms of power, it was close to what one would expect from a mid-range model these days, so 110 to 160W TBP. More importantly, both cards were very affordable at the time, with MSRP of $299 and $199 respectively for 4870 and 4850 SKUs.
AMD Radeon HD 4850, in particular, had a fantastic value, beating GeForce 9000/8000 series in most benchmarks. In fact, thanks to its multi-GPU CrossFire link it could compete with the next-gen $649 GeForce GTX 280 series while still being cheaper. This is shown by new tests provided by ComputerBase.
Worth adding that AMD was quick to notice the growing popularity of the HD 4800 series. AMD decided to launch HD 4870 X2 and HD 4850 X2 models featuring dual-GPU options just a few months later. The series still featured the ATI logo, despite the acquisition that took place 2 years prior. It wasn’t until the HD 6000 series that AMD completed took over the GPU branding.
Now, 15 years later, AMD and NVIDIA are competing in an entirely different and much pricier landscape. The only card with similar specs (TDP and pricing) would be Radeon RX 7600 based on a tiny Navi 33 GPU. This GPU has 10.9 TFLOPs of compute power, so over 9 times more than the HD 4870.
|AMD Radeon HD 4800 Series|
|VideoCardz/PurePC||Radeon HD 3870||Radeon HD 4870||Radeon HD 4850||Radeon RX 7900 XTX|
|GPU||RV670 XT||RV770 XT||RV770 PRO||Navi 31 XTX|
|Fabrication Node||55 nm||55 nm||55 nm||TSMC N5/N6|
|Max GPU Clock||777 MHz||750 MHz||625 MHz||2500 MHz|
|Memory Clock||1126 MHz||900 MHz||993 MHz||2500 MHz|
|Memory Configuration||512MB G4 256-bit||512MB G5 256-bit||512MB G3 256-bit||24GB G6 384-bit|
|Bandwidth||72 GB/s||115 GB/s||64 GB/s||960 GB/s|
|Interface||PCIe 2.0 x16||PCIe 2.0 x16||PCIe 2.0 x16||PCIe 4.0 x16|
|CrossFire||4-Way Crossfire||4-Way Crossfire||4-Way Crossfire||–|
|TDP||106 W||160 W||110 W||355 W|
|Power Connectors||1x 6-pin||2x 6-pin||1x 6-pin||2x 8-pin|
|Release Date||November 19, 2007||June 25, 2008||June 25, 2008||December 13, 2022|
Source: ComputerBase, PurePC