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Gaming graphics on somewhat of a budget.... 3850 vs others

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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August 7, 2008 2:35:23 PM

I'm building a fairly tight budgeted gaming computer. I want to make sure I get what I really need for the graphics card though.
I'm looking at a HD3850 made by Sapphire
(http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102715) - 80 bucks after rebate.
However, there were a couple of others I was looking at like the 3870
(http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102719)
The 3850 with 1GiG
(http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102733)
And the 4850
(http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102747)

I would go for the 4850 except for the like 60 dollar jump in price. Is it really that significantly better than the 3850.... like how much difference is there.
Or what about the 1 gig 3850 does that do much for performance?

Any help would be much appreciated

oh and I already have my power supply if that makes any difference.... its a 550 watt from antec (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371016)

Thanks
August 7, 2008 2:48:20 PM

^+1 on the PSU...thats such a great deal

the 4850 is about twice as fast as a 3870...so ya, it is definitely worth getting :) 

one 4850 = 2 3870's > 2 3850's
August 7, 2008 2:52:23 PM

Don't even bother with the 3850 1 gig, its worse then the 3870 and more expensive. Between the rest its a question of price, how much do you want to spend. If you can shell out the $150 ($170) for the 4850 then go for it. If $80 or $100 is more your budget then one of the 3 series is for you. The 4850 is almost twice the cost of the 3850 (after rebates) and doesn't show twice the frame rates.
What resolution are you gaming at?
If you are <1680x1050 then the 3850, >1680x1050 then the 4850. The 3870 for $20 more doesn't seem worth it when looking at benchmarks.
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a c 143 U Graphics card
a b 4 Gaming
August 7, 2008 2:54:15 PM

The 550W PSU is good enough for a HD 4850.

World in Conflict, 1680x1050 (i.e. 20" or 22" monitor), the 3870 gets 35 fps, while the HD 4850 gets 52 fps. That's definitely worth $60 more IMO.
http://www.techspot.com/review/103-asus-radeon-4850/page9.html

Or, in Crysis, 35 fps vs 23 fps, again a noticeable improvement.

To be fair though, in the other benchmarks in that review, the HD 3870 gets close to 60 fps or more already, so you won't really have much additional benefit from a HD 4850 in those games (Quake Wars, Unreal Tournament, SupCom). It depends on your game, resolution and settings. In some scenarios you would benefit a lot from the extra $60 while in others not so much. Anyway, assuming that future games will be more demanding that current games, I think it's smart to get the HD 4850 rather than the HD 3870.

I wouldn't consider the HD 3850 any more, too old.



August 7, 2008 3:18:15 PM

The 4850 is the best bang for the buck right now you really can't go wrong with it. If you want to guarantee some decent FPS in upcoming games, you'll find that extra $60 well worth it.

You're looking at around a 60-100% improvement in speed over the previous generation (depending on the game). Which surprisingly scales very well with the price (something you don't often see, normally more expensive cards do not give you an increase proportional to the extra money spent).

Considering the budget I'd stretch the extra $60 and save yourself the hassle of having to consider an upgrade in the next 12 months when you have issues getting proper FPS in upcoming games with the 3850.
August 7, 2008 3:27:45 PM

I got my 4850 for 145$ after rebate and yes my rebate did come in!!!. So 65$ more than the 3850 and i get like 3x the performance hmmm whats the better deal here?
August 7, 2008 3:30:19 PM

I'd go with the 4850, it would be worth the extra dough.
a c 143 U Graphics card
a b 4 Gaming
August 7, 2008 3:34:01 PM

lasttarget said:
I got my 4850 for 145$ after rebate and yes my rebate did come in!!!. So 65$ more than the 3850 and i get like 3x the performance hmmm whats the better deal here?


What brand is it? Just curious. If they actually send rebate checks, I might as well buy that brand too next time :) 
August 7, 2008 4:04:32 PM

Im going for a Sapphire 3850 for my HTPC build. For several price/performance reasons and of course.....
because of the cooler.




For a real gaming rig....ill wait a bit.
August 7, 2008 7:18:10 PM

^looks sexy :) 
August 7, 2008 7:56:49 PM

Now Imagine throwing that cooler on a 4850! :lol: 
August 7, 2008 8:38:17 PM

:love: 
August 8, 2008 10:13:02 PM

aevm said:


I wouldn't consider the HD 3850 any more, too old.


Umm the 3850 is the same core as the 3870 just slower memory and base clock speed. Check the benchies you don't really get that much more out of a 3870. Dual Slot cooling is nice though, but his 3870 is only single slot which kinda kills the whole dual slot cooling advantage. If you are going to go single slot cheap video card the 3850 is really hard to beat. To quote toms hardware "The Radeon 3850 is the only high-performance 512MB card for about $100; this is an absolute steal for the powerful level of performance this card will supply."

If you can really afford the 4850 then go for it, but if you are tight on cash and don't need the extra HP the 3850 will do you fine. And remember in 6-9 months the 4850 will be $80 after rebate and you can grab one then if you need the extra power.
August 9, 2008 2:09:04 PM

Thanks for the responses. I am now leaning towards the 4850 by Asus, but have yet to order so I may change my mind yet. While I can afford the 4850 right now, I don't want to afford it (if that makes sense) If less than a year the 4850 may be that cheap, I may wait and get it later.... I'm going to have to ponder this now.
August 9, 2008 3:52:28 PM

Well, one plus for waiting is that computer components always get cheaper, not more expensive. Check again in a month :) 

Really though, I think you'd be quite happy with the performance that the 4850 gives, especially if you can get it for $150ish.

Splurge splurge splurge! heh ;) 
August 9, 2008 6:54:18 PM

Downside to waiting now is that both ATI and Nvidia have just recently rolled out their big archictectures and won't have new ones out for another 4 to 6 months, so expect prices to stay up their until the next gen of cards come out.
!