ASUS EAH4850/HTDI/512M Radeon HD 4850  (Source: Newegg)
Newegg has HD 4850's available now

Yesterday, AMD’s Radeon HD 4850 video card was making headlines. The card promises good performance and will fight for the middle of the road market alongside NVIDIA’s freshly announced price change for the GeForce 9800 GTX and new 9800 GTX+ GPU.

The initial HD 4850 video cards that are hitting the market will use GDDR3 RAM, though AMD has publically said that its RV770 will work with GDDR5 and GDDR5 versions are expected at a later date.

Both NVIDIA and AMD are known for their paper launches of products that are announced and get gamers excited, to be unavailable for weeks or months after the initial press releases are sent out. This time AMD is on the ball and the HD 4850 graphics cards are already sitting on store shelves.

Newegg has HD 4850 cards from Sapphire, MSI, Gigabyte, ASUS, and Diamond available for purchase now. The Sapphire Radeon HD4850 retails for $199.99 and has a $20 mail-in rebate. The Sapphire card appears to lack any software or games bundled with the card.

Likewise, Newegg has an ASUS HD 4850 card for a low $169.99 after a $30 mail-in rebate.

Specs show that all cards contain 800 stream processing units, 512MB of GDDR3, a 256-bit memory interface and support for Crossfire. Core clock speed for the cards is 625MHz. Despite the significantly increased number of stream processors on the 4850 compared to the 9800 GTX+, NVIDIA maintains that the GTX+ significantly outperforms the 4850. Hands-on reviews will provide the tale of the tape.

The HD 4850 wasn't expected to hit store shelves until June 25.

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