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3850 to 4850 on 1024x768 (+2xAA) .... Noticable performance increase?

  • Graphics Cards
  • Performance
  • Radeon
  • Graphics
Last response: in Graphics & Displays
July 2, 2008 2:28:56 PM

Well, basically, I'm very intrigued by the Radeon 4850 and it's wonder beating the 9800GTX (Which still costs about $400 here) while selling for $200+ here......

But currently I'm still stuck on a 17 inch monitor with a natural resolution of 1024x768, however, the latest game I bought, Race Driver : Grid, has showed me the wonders of Anti Aliasing for video cards. Or least this game shows me how terrible it looks without any AA. :pt1cable: 

So in short, would there be any bottlenecks if I buy the Radeon 4850 on 1024x768.

My current computer :

Athlon64 X2 5600 @ 3010Mhz (215x14)
GeCube Radeon 3850 256MB

Currently, Grid on maximum graphical settings at 1024x768 on my system runs about 30FPS. I'm also thinking I might be processor bottlenecked as well.

More about : 3850 4850 1024x768 2xaa noticable performance increase

July 2, 2008 2:57:46 PM

Well, if you buy the 4850 and replace the 3850, you won't want to play games at 1024x768 (+2xAA) ANYMORE. Trust me, it's just that great.

I don't think there'll be bottlenecks.
July 2, 2008 3:15:02 PM

AA is WAY better on the 4800 series, and the 4850 will be more than enough for your resolution. 4x AA is basically free, little or no performance hit at all.

I think the processor will bottleneck it a bit. 3 ghz looks nice but 215 FSB isn't really that much. If the cpu/motherboard can handle it it's always better to bump the FSB up some and lower the multiplier. guru3d tested the 4850 in Grid and got 70fps at your resolution with settings on ultra and 4xAA.
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July 2, 2008 3:15:53 PM

At that resolution, you'd be able to play any game you want (maybe even Crysis) with maximum details and maximum AA/AF. Of course, given how some games aren't quite down with ATI, you could run into problems, but those games are few. So yes, I do think you'd see a noticable difference, but only if you crank up the settings TO THE EXTREEEEEEEEEEME!
a b U Graphics card
July 2, 2008 3:34:22 PM

To check your CPU, try 800x600 and 1024x768 both with and without fsaa. You may want to use fraps and benchmark a lap or two of a race. If you see you hit a wall and get the same FPS regardless of these settings, it's CPU related. If you see performance drops as you increase resolution and fsaa, it's GPU related. Keep in mind some of both may be happening too.

BTW, with the drivers Tom's had, the HD4850 refused to play Grid:,1957...
July 2, 2008 3:47:06 PM

I'd get a new monitor, not a new GPU. that resolution is way to small.

although, I'm pretty sure on most 17 inch monitors, you can still use 1280x1024 resolution. You should try that.
July 2, 2008 4:11:25 PM

copasetic said:

I think the processor will bottleneck it a bit. 3 ghz looks nice but 215 FSB isn't really that much.

The FSB on Athlon CPUs is (as far as I know) deceiving as it is the HyperTransport that does the actual info transfers (I could as always be wrong)
July 2, 2008 4:14:31 PM

Grid only looks bad without AA for you because of you low rez. 1024x will bring out all the jaggies! Been a while since I ran at 1024x, and at that time AA was still a somewhat unheard of thing. I guess if I were you, I would want to try to strike a balance. The balance of not paying to much for a gpu (like not even $200, maybe try an 8800GT 256mb or ATI's equivalent, if they have one), while still having a good enough gpu to apply a load of AA.
At 8x or 16XAA, despite you low resolution, I'm not even sure 256mb of vid RAM would cut it, especially for a game like Grid. So perhaps a 320mb card (8800 GTS 320)?

I'm mentioning a couple nv 8 series cards here just because they have the new architecture of being able to handle AA much better. Like 8xAA (in CSAA I think) performing nearly as well as 4x AA (in MSAA mode). Definite bang for you buck.
So in conclusion, just get a card that can do AA very well, but is still cheap. You have some good options, whether ATI or NV.

Even with lots of AA, on that low of a resolution you don't quite get optimal visuals. AA is just sort of a trick to get rid of the jaggies. Certainly it is better than nothing, but nothing beats just having a higher resolution to play at.
For example at my resolutions, running at 1680x on my WS & 1600x on my other LCD, I won't benefit from AA quite as much as you would. I do still benefit though. 4xAA for me is nearly optimal, 8xAA is only a tad better so I only use it when I have the fps headroom.

I personally love GRID though! What an awesome game. Both GRID and DiRT are equally amazing with the settings cranked high. The visuals are comparable to that of Crysis as just pure looks go. Granted, racing games don't have nearly as much "other stuff" going on like a Crysis does, but still having a game like GRID look as amazing as it does and run as well as it does is pretty damn cool.

I'm running GRID and DIRT here at 1680x1050, completely maxed out game & driver settings, 16xAF and 8xAA. Ran FRAPS on it the other day and my FPS was a steady 60 fps the whole time!!! Only dipped below that when the menu loads (and who cares about that!).

If those fps sound too good to be true, I should not that I do have a new GTX 280 SSC card with a manual overclock of nearly 700mhz core and 2500mhz memory. So....yeah, that helps!
However, both my 8800 GTS 320 KO, & my 8800 GTX KO ran these games quite well too, was still able to run everything maxed, even with 4xAA. Just the occasional stutter. Wasn't getting 60 fps though, but definitely an acceptable 30 to 40.
a b U Graphics card
July 2, 2008 4:38:17 PM

I wouldnt go the 320gts route, as I have one, and it fails in many games, and still has somewhat of a memory leak, and at 320 it really cant afford to leak any heheh. Go for the 4850, and know youre setup for awhile, even if you upgrade your res.
July 2, 2008 4:48:22 PM

Yea, I had an 8800GTS320, and there is quite a noticeable difference in a substantial amount of games when switching to the 4850. Particularly newer games that take advantage of all the shaders that the 4850 has to offer. Since I run my games at 1680x1050, the increased frame buffer helped quite a bit, because consequently the 320mb vram can only handle so many textures that when the vram fills up it starts to draw from the system memory (65gb/s on the vram compared to 9.5gbs on the sysram, plus the massive latency) which drops the fps significantly in certain scenarios.
July 2, 2008 5:12:44 PM

Lets put it this way ATI had to be a big risk taker bother series but the 4xxx they just got it rigth...
July 2, 2008 5:53:43 PM

robx46 said:

I'm mentioning a couple nv 8 series cards here just because they have the new architecture of being able to handle AA much better. Like 8xAA (in CSAA I think) performing nearly as well as 4x AA (in MSAA mode). Definite bang for you buck.
So in conclusion, just get a card that can do AA very well, but is still cheap. You have some good options, whether ATI or NV.


just get a card that can do AA very well, but is still cheap yes and that card is 4850 runs AA better than any nvidia card right up to and including the 280
July 2, 2008 6:04:03 PM

Don't skimp on memory. The more memory you video card has, the better it will be with AA. If you only have 256MB of memory on your video card, then you're only getting half the performance of what AA will do on a good 512MB video card. A 320MB video card doesn't cute it. I would go for the 4850 512MB card. The 9800GTX is not as good as the 4850 and also the 980GTX is $10 to $30 more which is over priced. If you have disposable income then go on and get a Nvidia based card.
I don't buy Nvidia based products because I got tired of being screwed over. The way it used to be was. Nvidia had bad video cards and really good drivers and ATI had very good cards but their drivers were a joke. But now it's different. Today ATI has very good cards and very impressive drivers at a very reasonable price which can't be beat when it comes to getting what you paid for.
As for the bandwidth issue: Yeah, The hyper transport has issues with the PCI-E bus due to the PCI-E just being an over clocked PCI slot with no direct memory access for starters. What happens when the video memory gets used up, the system has to use main memory to render the rest which slows your system down to a craw because the CPU has to cycle instruction code 8 to 16 addition times in-order to render the rest of the scene.
That's one of the reason why I always preferred AGP cards over PCI-E.
The AGP doesn't have the same theoretical bandwidth as the PCI-E does but the AGP has 3 advantages over the PCI-E which is Direct Memory Access, 64MB to 512MB Aperture memory which nothing can touch except for the AGP it's self and lower CPU usage. The PCI-E uses 4 CPU cycles for each PCI-E instruction. The AGP only uses one CPU cycle per AGP instruction, the AGP does the rest on it's own without help from the CPU.
The PCI-E is a flawed invention for 3d rendering.
What they should have done was make a 64bit AGP slot with 128bit transfer when side banding was enabled running on a 133MHz bus with a aperture size up to 1GB .
Talk about a screamer. That would last us for 10 years or more.
Why did they short change us on the PCI-E slot?
The answer is simple. The reason why they short changed us is because people are stupid, plain and simple.
July 3, 2008 12:19:21 AM

Well, currently, I'm pretty satisfied with my 17 inch monitor. Also, because of the high demand for LCD monitors, but still having high prices (The cheapest one going for at least $140, I have a source which sells CRT monitors for $60 or even less.

Well, yes, the monitor I have has a maximum resolution of 1600x1200. Although my main problem with it since it isn't it's natural resolution (And it being a CRT monitor) it looks the same as if I'm running on 1024x768 with a nice AA, but the performance loss is a lot higher. At least thats what it looks with my eyes.

Anyway, I noticed something. It seems that Grid's "AA" doesn't seem to be a natural AA of sorts. (The Level 1 to 3 settings. ) It's because I've tried to disable it ingame and force AA thru drivers and it seems to not solve the jagged edges on 3D models.

Edit : Wait, it seems I have confused AA with something else, it seems to be called "multi-sampling" .... What's the difference with multisampling? Because they seem to be different.
July 3, 2008 12:45:25 AM

Edit : Wait, what's the difference between multisampling and anti-aliasing? I'm now getting confused..... :( 

Multisampling is just an improved type of anti aliasing. Originally we had FSAA, full screen anti aliasing, which basically just took the finished frame, blew it up to 2 or 4 times its size, then shrunk it back down again. The edges would be smoothed out, but it doesn't look all that good, anti aliases everything including textures and really taxes video memory. So now we have MSAA, which calculates where the edges are and only applies AA to those areas. This way is faster and doesn't apply AA to textures (so they stay nice and crisp). Basic explanation anyway.
July 3, 2008 10:55:21 AM

Well, I did as pauldh as suggested and gotten ATI-Tool to measure the average FPS.

1152x864 resolution, at ultra settings, the average FPS is about 25 to 30 FPS.

In 640x480 on ultra settings, the average FPS is from 30 to 40 FPS.

Now, if I overclock the Radeon 3850 to 735/1000 mhz, my average FPS is now from 30 to 47 FPS.

In this observation I'll assume that I'm quite close to being CPU bottlenecked. I think.... And if I upgrade to the Radeon 4850. This will be the last upgrade for this mobo due to the processor.... Many thanks guys. :) 
July 3, 2008 11:18:51 AM

As resolution decreases, you are more prone to CPU bottlenecks. You'd be better with a new monitor although as said before, the 4800 series do cope with AA a lot better. Look at 2053BW.
July 4, 2008 7:35:37 AM

Well, the idea for my "test" was, if I turned the resolution to the lowest possible and the FPS didn't increase by much. This means I'm processor bottlenecked right?
a b U Graphics card
July 4, 2008 12:45:11 PM

^ yours did increase though at 640x480, so the GPU is limiting performance at 1152x864. If it were all cpu limited, you would hit a wall and fps at each resolution would be the same. But if you up the res and the performance drops, like yours did, then the GPU is limiting. You need to test alot of resolutions with and without fsaa to figure out exactly what's going on. It could be, at 640x480 you are seeing all the CPU can do, but with a 5-10 fps drop, you are certainly seeing the GPU becoming the limiting factor.
July 4, 2008 1:12:48 PM

Thank you. That was all I needed to know. Now to ftalk some person into buying my Radeon 3850 for at least $120 bucks..... ;) 
a b U Graphics card
July 4, 2008 2:05:01 PM

Well if you can get $120 for a used 3850, then yeah go for a 4850.

I now want Grid but need time to try the demo before buying. I am a huge sim and arcade racing fan who buys more racers than I have time to play, but I hated the feel to Pro Race Driver (Toca Race Driver) so much that I have shunned CodeMasters racing games since. I looked forward to that game and was so disappointed it felt my car was floating 4 inches off the ground instead of hugging the road. (end vent)