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Is an AMD 4850 too much card for a socket 939 system?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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July 7, 2008 2:17:49 AM

As the title says, I'm looking to upgrade the graphics card on a socket 939 board and processor.

System specs are:

AMD Athlon 64 3800X2 - 2.0 Ghz
4 GB Corsair PC 3200 RAM - 400Mhz, timing 3.3.3.8
Motherboard - Nforce 4 SLi Edition
(http://www.motherboards.org/reviews/motherboards/1565_1...)
PSU - Antec 650W (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...)


I'd like to overclock the processor to 2.4 Ghz, to get the most out of this system. Does anyone know if an AMD 4850 would be too much card here? Would the rest of my system bottleneck it's power? I've heard that this setup can run an 8800GTS, but if this rig can handle more, for the price, I'd drop in a 4850. Thoughts?


July 7, 2008 2:31:47 AM

Monitor? Typical resolution used?

Still, I'd rather be CPU bound than GPU bound. There will always be a bottleneck somewhere.
July 7, 2008 2:33:44 AM

I have a 3800x2 @ 2360mhz. If I didn't already get a 8800gs I would have gotten the 4850. For 150 bones it will play almost all games at full eye candy. I would get it and then take it with you to your next system and then go sli. Your system is going to be a bottleneck for the card but who cares.

I would get it!
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July 7, 2008 2:35:50 AM

my guess would be that your CPU is going to bottleneck the 4850. when i had my Q9450 at stock 2.66 and was playing games fine, but when i OC-ed it to 3.2ghz, i saw a noticeable difference in the FPS during demanding scenes.

same goes with my friend, b4 i OC-ed his Q6600 to 3.0ghz, his 8800GTS would lag during heavy scenes...but he told me now that is at 3.0ghz, it is noticeably better in FPS.

so from those two experiences, i would guess that your CPU would be a bottleneck.
July 7, 2008 2:46:49 AM

Hey thanks for all the replies.

Monitor is a single 20" Acer at 1680 x 1050

Quote:
I have a 3800x2 @ 2360mhz. If I didn't already get a 8800gs I would have gotten the 4850. For 150 bones it will play almost all games at full eye candy. I would get it and then take it with you to your next system and then go sli. Your system is going to be a bottleneck for the card but who cares.


My only problem with doing this, is I've been in similar situations before. Technology changes so fast that I don't really believe in future proofing any more. I'm into MMO's so I'm just looking to play Warhammer Online without a hitch when it comes out. By the time I move on to a new chipset and full system upgrade, the 4850's will probably be just a footnote in history.

I may actually end up going with the cheaper 8800GT if it's going to bottleneck anyway.


a c 107 U Graphics card
a b À AMD
July 7, 2008 2:48:24 AM

I don't know what video card you would be replacing but your processor will, without a doubt, hold back on performance to an extent. Having said that, the 4850 should take you to places you've never been graphics wise. Like one of the posters said... better to be cpu bound than vga bound. Go for it.
July 7, 2008 2:52:23 AM

4850 is just fine,
it all depends on the game. things like Flight sim will struggle but things like Crysis are not going to make a big difference if you got a new cpu
July 7, 2008 11:45:47 AM

Well, I'm running an AMD 4850e (the 2.5ghz 45W CPU) and an ATI 4870 until the next wave of AM2+ CPU's come out. It may bench like garbage in 3dmark06, but runs silky smooth and beautiful in every game I've thrown at it so far. There aren't really that many games that are processor heavy these days, though there are notable examples (FSX). You'd be surprised with what you can get away with as far as lower end CPU's and today's games.

I'd go for the 4850. At ~$150 after rebates, it's well worth any cash over an 8800GT. It's a little more future-proof with DX10.1.
a b U Graphics card
July 7, 2008 11:50:28 AM

I know my processor is a bit faster (2.8 GHz) but I saw an excellent improvement going from a 2900 to a 4850, especially with AA. Can you OC at all?
July 7, 2008 12:14:23 PM

I say go for it and spend a few more bucks and get the fastest 939 cpu off ebay

**edit**

I just checked a few prices on the old 939's.. man they are expensive.... nevermind on that, but I would still get the card. Better to have to much gpu power than less for about the same money (ex 8800GT)
July 7, 2008 12:31:46 PM

As a s939 owner I would do it. Waitng for the 4870 X2 next month my self.

July 7, 2008 12:42:57 PM

I say go for it as well. I've just bought an Opteron 165, OC'ed it to 2.8 GHz. Next on the list is the 4850.
July 7, 2008 12:46:19 PM

I would say over clock that dude to 2.4Ghz or better and buy the card. That's why we spend the money to buy decent boards anyway right? So that we can overclock them and get an extra year out of them right ( many people at least ) ? I know I bought with that in mind. I am running a socket 939 (NF4 Ultra) X2 4200+ and 4 gigs of RAM and I am going to run it till I can no longer overclock and still run games smoothly. I am currently @ 2.4 Ghz so I still have a ways to go. Remember, if you're going to overclock your RAM also you will probably need to increase your memory drive strength. Besides, if you go AMD, you're not going to get a newer architecture anyway unless you go with a Barcelona and heck....they're already talking about socket AM3 at that, so I would hold off until socket AM3 boards come out to build new (if going AMD). Come to think of it, same with Intel. Nehalem is just around the corner (X58 already!!) so I would hold off there too. Get the card man and just transfer it over if its still decent when you do build, and in the mean time just turn up the eye candy a bit more so it won't be as bottlenecked.

My $.02
a b U Graphics card
July 7, 2008 1:02:41 PM

As a die hard socket 939 owner, get the 4850. It may not run at it's fullest potential, but I do not believe there is any processor out there that can run these new cards to their full potential. However, you will get a really nice performance improvement and you can do things with the 4850 you would not be able to do with a 8800GT. Get the 4850, and if you do decide in the next 6 months or year to upgrade, you have a really nice GPU to carry over to your build, maybe even get another and go Crossfire at that time. How can you lose?
July 7, 2008 2:37:19 PM

Overclock to only 2.4ghz. As an old 939 owner of several systems you should aim higher than that. Aim for about 2.6ghz. Its likely you will top out at 2.8ghz but some of the good ones hit 3.0ghz. Seriously its so easy to do with AMD chips. Just take the HT multiplier down one along with the memory multiplier then just crank up the "FSB". For 2.6ghz you need an "FSB" of 260mhz. Just put it on 260mhz straight away and see what happens. As long as you have done the other things I said you won't break anything. Worst that will happen is that it doesn't boot and you have to reset the cmos. If it does work run prime95 on both cores for an hour than continue increasing the speed till it doesn't boot.

Oh and i'd probably go with a 3870 or 8800gt. Unless you plan to keep using the card after you next do a full system upgrade.
July 7, 2008 6:04:13 PM

Hey, I just wanted to stop back in and say thanks again to everyone for all the great advice. I'll probably wait until around October to upgrade and see where prices are then, but it's good to know that the 939 processor won't completely limit the newer cards (even 8800GT). It's a nice feeling knowing I'll be pushing this system to it's limits. Thanks again.
July 7, 2008 10:22:11 PM

aznguy0028 said:
my guess would be that your CPU is going to bottleneck the 4850. when i had my Q9450 at stock 2.66 and was playing games fine, but when i OC-ed it to 3.2ghz, i saw a noticeable difference in the FPS during demanding scenes.

same goes with my friend, b4 i OC-ed his Q6600 to 3.0ghz, his 8800GTS would lag during heavy scenes...but he told me now that is at 3.0ghz, it is noticeably better in FPS.

so from those two experiences, i would guess that your CPU would be a bottleneck.


hopefully that will do the same thing for me. With my 7900GS, my E8400 at 3.6 GHz had a 1 fps gain over stock.
Can't wait until my HD 4870 comes friday :D 
!