If you hit up Newegg or other major online retailers and check available Radeon HD 4850 models, you may see some striking similarities. In stark contrast to their GeForce counterparts, all 4850s seem run at the same clock speeds.
That situation may soon change. According to a report by TG Daily, AMD's partners are readying a "second wave" of Radeon HD 4850 cards with higher-than-normal clock speeds. If true, this move may be AMD's way of warding off competition from Nvidia's $229 GeForce 9800 GTX+, which is runs faster than the vanilla 9800 GTX.
Quoting "senior ATI officials," TG Daily claims these faster Radeon HD 4850s will have core speeds at least 50MHz above current models with memory "clocked to get at least 5-6 GB/s of bandwidth." The vanilla 4850 gets around 60GB/s, so we're not quite sure what the site means there, but it could be that speedier models will also have a few extra GB/s of bandwidth. We've asked AMD's partners to weigh in on this report, so stay tuned for more details.