Mushkin ATI 4850 512Mb UltimateFX Video Card Review
Quite some time has passed since we had the chance to review new products from our friends at Mushkin. However today we have the chance to review one of their ATI 4850 graphic cards! I haven’t had the chance to read many reviews on their graphic cards, so I hope this article will correct that.
Mushkin in the past has been mostly known to computer enthusiasts and overclockers for their high quality memory modules. Recently however, they have expanded their business in new and emerging fields. It’s nice to see that Mushkin in expanding their business in this year of worldwide economic crisis. They have started with ATI, but in two months they have expanded their product offering with nVidia based graphic cards! And all the while most other companies only complain about problems, Mushkin have been able to successfully enter a very competitive market and to release as always, high-quality product.
Now a bit about the company:
Founded in 1994, Mushkin Enhanced is best known for producing memory modules. Located at the base of the Rocky Mountains in Denver, Colorado, Mushkin Enhanced provides performance computer products to users worldwide. Exceptional quality, enhanced performance and unparalleled customer support are what make our products the best in the industry.
Mushkin Enhanced products include power supplies, digital storage devices and a complete selection of memory upgrades for desktops, servers and notebooks – we offer something for everyone; from business user to gamer. Our memory products are available in several performance categories from standard to extreme, with our REDLINE™ series in a class of its own. Our power supplies offer superb regulation and ripple characteristics, modularity and plenty of power to supply the most demanding systems.
With customers including Apple Computer, NASA and Rockstar Games, and a user base ranging from casual users to programmers, Mushkin Enhanced knows what is important to customers – superior performance with uncompromised quality. With Mushkin Enhanced, you Get more.™
As it goes for this article, I’ve decided not to write detail specification of ATI 4850 product with RV 770 chipset and support for DirectX 10.1 with Shader Model 4.1. On the internet you can find tonnes of technical specifications and diagrams on the GPU internals and architecture as it was officially introduced to the market over 16 months ago.
I’m have been in the IT business for exactly 20 years. So I’ve seen quite amount of hardware and software product offerings and packages. From Commodore 64 up until today. When I thought that nothing can surprise me and that I’ve seen every product packaging there is on market – Mushkin has been able to surprise me. They are very well known for their great visual design, but to receive the graphic card in the wooden box?!?
Packaging and Card
What a great impression and I still haven’t open the package. Just wanted to live in the moment, and I have spent some time just looking at the nice box. The wooden box has ‘UltimateFX’ logo on top, and brief product description on side. Notice the golden clutches and hinges on the side of the box. It looks like there is hidden treasure hidden in it…. To finish this nice box story, I just wonder if anyone who purchases this card will ever possibly receive some damaged parts when you buy Mushkin card, right?
I’m saying this since in last year I’ve received quite amount of retail packaged with damaged packaging and in two situation the damage was so rough, it even damaged the product inside! It’s just that you can expect this when you buy via Web shops and over the Internet.
Inside of this package reveals several items including: short and informative multilanguage manual, CD driver with utilities, protective foam and anti static bag which protects the graphic card itself.
Here are some photos of the card from various angles:
There are eight GDDR3 chips on the PCB working on 1 GHz frequency, labelled Hynix H5RS5223CFA in 8 chips in 32 MB configuration. 4 chips are on the upper side of the card and are covered with aluminium cooler. The other four chips are not directly under the cooler, but there is only 1cm gap between them and the cooler. Specifications of this memory can be found here.
The great thing here is that these GDDR3 chips are used in all sorts of various graphic card solution (from both nVidia and ATI, from mainstream cards to high-performance cards). It would be nice to have GDDR5 chips on the card, but hey those modules are reserved for ATI 4870 graphic card series.
The card has usual output ports which now days modern card have: HDMI, D-Sub and DVI connector. Crossfire connector at the top, on the right side of this card there is passive copper cooler for memory chips, and also additional 6-pin power connector which is needed to supply additional power for this card.
I was concerned when I wrote this article about my power supply unit – Seasonic 430watt. Will it be enough to power this card? I have checked the link of certified components on AMD’s website, and my PSU wasn’t on the list. It’s not that much odd because this PSU model is more than 3 years old now!
The main problem here is that this PSU doesn’t have integrated 6-pin PCIe power connector, so I just connected the 6-pin PCIe connector to one 4-pin molex connector and everything from the start worked flawlessly during POSTing, right up to working in Windows in idle mode or when I’ve played games. To just inform you readers that sometimes the Watt specification of the PSU’s don’t mean much. Just try to buy brand names which have few years of warranty, quality reviews and some 80+ certification.
Next, Cooling and testing.