Power Consumption & Temperatures

The power consumption levels of the Radeon HD 4850 are superb. This new graphics card uses less power than a GeForce 8800 GTS while delivering significantly more performance.

The operating temperatures on the other hand are not superb. The Radeon HD 4850 idled at an insane 71 degrees, while under load the card almost reached 90 degrees, which is just unacceptable. Even though this is an Asus board and they are partly guilty for shipping with this cooler, you will find that a majority, if not all current Radeon HD 4850 products from different manufacturers are shipping with the exact same cooler.

We definitely appreciate the silent operation and single-slot cooler design, but if we could have it all we would rather have a graphics card that won't heat up our entire case at idle!

We decided to investigate our cooling issues a little further. Considering the Radeon HD 4850 is based on a 55nm design we were sure the problem was with the heatsink being insufficient. Our suspicions were confirmed when we installed the Thermaltake DuOrb on the Radeon HD 4850. With the new cooler in place idle temps sat at 28 degrees, while full load temperatures went down to 37 degrees. These figures go way more in line with the kind of low power consumption levels that the Radeon HD 4850 produces.