ATI: Some 4830's are short on stream processors

Bit-Tech are reporting that ATI has finally admitted to the strange goings on with its HD 4830 graphics cards.

Bit-Tech and other hardware review sites noticed that after benchmarking, there were too many variances in the results and some cards were a lot slower than others, even though they were supposed to be identical review units.

It was later discovered that the strange results were the result of some cards only using 560 of the total of 640 stream processing units available, hence the lower scores.

Last week AMD has put out a statement that they were "aware of the issue" and now they have gone further and told the full story:

"AMD has identified that, in addition to reference samples of the ATI Radeon HD 4830 boards sent to media with a pre-production BIOS potentially impacting the card's performance, a very limited number of ATI Radeon HD 4830 boards were released to market with the same pre-production BIOS. This is in no way hardware related, and an updated BIOS fully resolves the performance limitation.

Through consultations with AMD board partners, it has been determined with a high degree of certainty that fewer than 400 ATI Radeon™ HD 4830 boards from one AMD board partner, HIS, have reached the market with the pre-production BIOS incorrectly provided by AMD. As only a small number of HIS-branded ATI Radeon™ HD 4830 cards are impacted, we ask any customers that purchased an HIS-branded ATI Radeon™ HD 4830 to test the board using the GPU-Z utility. If the GPU-Z utility reports fewer than 640 shaders, please visit the HIS website for information on how to update the card BIOS via a downloadable install utility."

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16 Comments

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The article says "a very limited number (less than 400) of ATI Radeon HD 4830 boards", so it is only the HD4830 boards that were infected.

Are you thinking what I'm thinking ?
Reverse-engineering the BIOS ? By running a comparision between BIOSes : unlocked 4830 with 640 stream processors and a locked on ewith 560 stream processors - maybe it would be possible to unclock more and unleash the true power od - say - 4850 ?

PrEzi said,
Are you thinking what I'm thinking ?
Reverse-engineering the BIOS ? By running a comparision between BIOSes : unlocked 4830 with 640 stream processors and a locked on ewith 560 stream processors - maybe it would be possible to unclock more and unleash the true power od - say - 4850 ?

you cant ... the stream processors are lasercut (disabled in hardware level)

Skynetfuture said,

you cant ... the stream processors are lasercut (disabled in hardware level)


You can't magically ad more functional stream processors than are present on the die, you know.
And it's "unlock", not "unclock." Learn to spell, please.

Well you could mod an Radeon 9500 ? Or have you forgotten this old 'golden' series ?

I wrote two times unlock, the third time made a writing mistake and wrote unclock, so ? Stop sticking to the unimportant things.
Not everyone has a degree in english grammar and some people are from another countries where english is not the default language you know...

The most important thing is to write in a fashionably manner that people would easly understand you, and not flame anybody ?

Besides - it was a pure speculation - nothing less nothing more.

well they could just take there unit into where they bought it from and ask them to flash it that way anything goes wrong they'll have to replace the card i know a few places here that if you show up with a piece of kit with a fail'd firmware/bios update they wont take responsability for it and tell you to sod off and ring/email the manufacturer so its better to get them to do it in the first place i would also be interested in if HIS could not contact the suppliers and have them do it befor the cards reach retail outlets and if they already have reached retail stores get them to do it befor the sale of the card

Punctuation my friend... but yes under normal conditions you are correct. This is a manufacture update and if anything goes wrong they will support it. (Not the retailer)

torrentthief said,
they should pay for shipping back and replace it. Asking someone to flash bios isn't right.

Thats like sending windows back to microsoft everytime they issue an update, uneconomical, costly and unecessary.

there's nothing wrong with doing it and should anything go wrong they're covered.

Digix said,
Thats like sending windows back to microsoft everytime they issue an update, uneconomical, costly and unecessary.

there's nothing wrong with doing it and should anything go wrong they're covered.


Only caveat I would add to this is that flashing a BIOS can be a risky procedure. If you aren't lucky enough to have a uninterruptable power supply handy when you go to flash the BIOS, and there's a power failure while you're in the middle of doing it, then you will end up with an motherboard that will refuse to POST. Now, at least where I live, power failures are rare occurrences... but they do happen.

The bottom line is that each and every video card should be going through a QA process that assures that foul-ups like this one don't reach the marketplace. That means that someone dropped the ball, and my money is on whoever is the corporate VP in charge of QA at HIS.

Skynetfuture said,
why are they releasing them with pre-pro bios to begin with ???

ATI is a joke

Sounds better then shipping faulty chips for nearly a whole generation.