4870 - Motherboard specs?
I'm contemplating buying one of the new ATI 4870 cards but I'm unsure if it will work in my motherboard. Currently I have an ASUS P5B motherboard. It runs my 8800gts fine but the 4870 is a little newer. Will I need a motherboard upgrade and what would I need to look for on a new motherboard to run this card.
As long as your mobo has a PCIe 16x slot, there isn't any reason this card would work on it. Since you have the 8800gts, there is absolutely no reason that upgrading to a different PCIe card would not work. Only thing you have to worry about is power consumption... I know that the 4870 uses a little more power than an 8800gts, but as long as your PSU is even halfway decent you should be fine. The worst case scenario with a bigger graphics card would be that the PSU is inadequate, and you'd have to upgrade to a better one. Also keep in mind that the 4870 has two 6-pin power connectors, and that your 8800gts has one. Even if your PSU only has one, don't go out and buy a new one just because, try a 4-pin molex to 6-pin PCIe adaptor first... couple bucks on newegg.
Thanks very much for the replies! My current rigs is as followed:
E6600 - OC'ed to 3.2ghz
Asus P5B Mobo
4gb 800mhz Crucial Ballistix Tracer DDR2 RAM
Evga 8800gts 320mb
400gb hd space
CM690 Case (soon to be modding )
What I was worried about was this DDR5 Memory that the card has, whats that all about?
I second the power consumption... as long as you have a decent enough power supply (if you could provide the brand I am sure people can comment) you will be fine. The wattage of the power supply generally does not matter (it does, but the brand is generally more important). I recommend Corsair, OCZ, or Thermaltake power supplies personally. If you were able to supply enough power for an 8800-series card; you should be fine for the 4870, it draws a little bit more than those cards.
With regards to your question about the GDDR5 memory; ATI and NVIDIA took different approaches to achieve more memory bandwidth with both of their new cards (NVIDIA 260/280, ATI - 4850/4870). NVIDIA increased the bus-width of their memory to 468-bit and 512-bit but kept the memory as GDDR3, so the bus-width allowed for much higher bandwidth. ATI however decided to keep the bus-width at 256-bit, and increased the memory to GDDR5 memory; therefore allowing for more bandwidth. Two different approaches; GDDR5 being a bit cooler (not hot/cold cool, kick-a$$ cool). I would say it is inevitable that ATI will switch to 512-bit bus in the next couple years, and also will definately go to 1GB of RAM, but why would they right now when they have a better card for half the money, and didn't have to do it . Just goes to show that taking a small chance on a new technology (GDDR5) can pay off.
Oh; and if you had a board that ran an 8800-series card; it will be fine to run the 4870, as long as it has a PCI-Express slot, and it is x16 you are good... the only speculation I would have would be to worry about it if you wanted to run two of them (which you cannot). You may have a bit of a CPU-bottleneck there with the E6600, and will eventually have to upgrade you CPU to see the full potential of the new card, but it will still show a good improvement over the 8800 card.
Just my two cents.
OK, the 4870X2 will probably be bottlenecked in a PCI-E 1 slot, even at x16. That's like a PCI-E 2 slot at x8, and we know that HD 4850 Crossfire is bottlenecked on P45 chipsets i.e. PCI-E 2 slots at x8.
If you get a HD 4870 you'll be fine.
If you get a HD 4870x2 it should still work, but I'm guessing it will not be at its best. Too early to tell since the card is not out yet. Get a GA-EP43-DS3L or something else with a PCI-E 2 slot to make it happy.
A 700W PSU should be able to handle HD 4870x2 and even a quad CPU and a disk or two, no worries.