Author: Frank Stroupe
MSI R4830-T2D512 OC Overview
The Radeon HD 4830 is what I’d consider an economy gaming card, filling the gap between the HD 4850, and ATI’s upper-end mainstream card, the HD 4670. The card uses a red PCB as do most Radeon video cards.
It looks exactly like an HD 4850, and I suppose it is the same, excepting the GPU, which has 640 streaming processors rather than the 800 found in the HD 4850. Both cards utilize 512MB of GDDR3 memory, MSI has chosen Samsung memory for this overclocked card.
It isn’t a massive overclock, the GPU is clocked to 585mHz, as opposed to the reference 575mHz, but hey, it is overclocked.
The 2-slot cooler is made of machined aluminum alloy, and is pretty massive. Of significance is the fan, which MSI calls a “seaweed” fan. The blades are curved in a couple of different directions, and I guess that it would remind you of submerged seaweed moving with the current. I probably wouldn’t have paid attention to the significance of the way the blades are curved, but recently saw a documentary on jet engines, and this fan uses the same concept as the turbine fan of the largest jet engine in the world, the GE 90115B. The shape allows for greater airflow at the same pressure.
The R4830 has a pretty serious looking power supply. You may have heard recently about people having problems with video cards making a “squealing” sound when stressed, I have seen this mentioned a lot lately on various forums. The reason is the ferrite chokes that most manufacturers use on vid cards and motherboards, along with most other electronics stuff. Any electronic component that involves coiled wire can make noise, the noise is created when high current passes through an electronic part that has components of different densities. Anyone into old tube-type amplification may have heard transformers hum or whine.
The problem is that the latest video cards use so much power and have such high currents that the chokes, which previously haven’t seen such stress, begin vibrating creating the squealing sound.
To eliminate this, MSI has started using solid state chokes, which have the coil actually inside of the iron rather than wire wrapped around the outside. This process creates a choke with a single component rather than the multiple parts inside of a ferrite choke. Besides making the choke totally silent, a solid state choke can withstand higher current than a ferrite one, and also can handle sudden high currents, as when overclocking, much better than ferrite chokes. Also, something I find very interesting, the manufacturing process to build a solid state choke takes about 10% of the energy that is used in manufacturing a ferrite choke, making a solid state choke much greener than a ferrite choke.
Another significant feature of the R4830′s power supply is 4 + 1 Power Phase. The reference design of the HD 4830 calls for 2 power phases, which means the components of each phase has to withstand 45A of current. MSI’s 4 phase design allows each phase to carry only 22.5A of current, which means lower temperatures, better power efficiency, and longer component lifespan. Besides each of these creating a better performing card at factory clock, each improves overclocking capability.
Additionally, MSI places most of the MOSFETs on the rear of the card, helping to control temperatures even more.
The R4830 has a single 6-pin PCI-E power connector.
The R4830 has a 2-slot PCI bracket that has the MSI logo punched out of the vent. I don’t know if they noticed it or not, but the logo will be upside-down when the card is installed in a rig. The card has dual DVI ports, and S-Video.
The R4830 comes with a fairly complete bundle, besides drivers you get a DVI/Sub-15 adapter, S-video/HDTV cable, S-video cable, and S-video/composite cable.