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Want to buy a new video card.

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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August 15, 2008 3:14:08 PM

I built a system last year with a sligtly restricted budget.

Specs are:

C2D E6750
4GB RAM (Upgraded from 2GB)
Nvidia 8800GTS 320MB
550W ultra X-Connect PSU
Antec 900 Case (Lots of cooling)
Asus P5K

I am wanting to get a new video card because mine, while still performing well, is starting to show its age.

The 320MB version may have been a bad move because I play at 1680x1050 and sometimes the textures just overload the VRAM.

I guess the 4870 X2 is kinda out of my leage eh? I would need a new PSU and perhaps a new mobo to get the PCI-E slot. (Although I have heard a PCI-E 1.0 slot will not hinder a PCI-E 2.0 card all that much... Can you verify?!?)

I think a 4870 512MB would do nice for me. Then, in the future if I decide to upgrade again, perhaps all I need to do is add another 4870 in crossfire. At the time the 8800GTS was just under the 8800 ultra and the 640MB version. I would have bought ATI, but they were kinda struggling then.

Basically my question is... Is the 4870 X2 overkill for my present system?

Thanks

More about : buy video card

August 15, 2008 3:20:13 PM

Well, given how much weaker the 8800GTS 320 is compared to other high-end GeForce 8 and 9 cards, the single 4870 will be, I believe, around 80-90% more powerful, as while many people didn't realize, there WAS a serious amount of performance difference between the top-end 8800 ultra/9800GTX and weaker cards... It's just that for so long, each new card was weaker, but offered substantially improved price efficiency, so it was all good.

The 4870 wouldn't be overkill, but it would likely max Crisis on those settings and typically get 20-30+ fps, so it'd be an improvement over what you have now.
August 15, 2008 3:26:53 PM

Your psu won't be able to support 2 4870s. So one is as far as you can go. :p 
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August 15, 2008 3:33:41 PM

well he is actually saying that he would like to buy a 4870 X2, which is a single card with two GPU, its like having 2 video card in one. but the 4870 X2 will definitely give you the power that you are looking for.
August 15, 2008 3:39:44 PM

Winly said:
well he is actually saying that he would like to buy a 4870 X2, which is a single card with two GPU, its like having 2 video card in one. but the 4870 X2 will definitely give you the power that you are looking for.

Same thing, only slightly lower power consumption compared to 4870 cf. The psu can't handle it.
a c 261 U Graphics card
August 15, 2008 4:18:54 PM

The 4870X2 is currently the top dog in performance, and you will pay dearly for it. The price probably won't come down until Nvidia launches their next high end card.

A 4870 , GTX260, or 9800GX2 will cost you half, and still be a major jump in performance over what you have now. Their performance is comparable.
I would get one of these, and just e-bay your 8800GT.

A future upgrade will probably involve a new motherboard, and much more powerful vga cards, so a SLI/Crossfire upgrade may not be that good.

According to specs, your PSU should work with any of them. There are, however, some concerns about the ultra psu. http://www.legitreviews.com/article/368/1/

a b U Graphics card
August 15, 2008 4:28:33 PM

i think ur psu will be fine with the 4870x2. it will come close but it will work.
a b U Graphics card
August 15, 2008 4:50:16 PM

invisik said:
i think ur psu will be fine with the 4870x2. it will come close but it will work.


It will work until it blows up from being crappy quality and fries the new $550 video card with it. Get a new better quality PSU before upgrading to a 4870 or 4870X2
August 15, 2008 4:54:06 PM

The 9800gx2 may be a good deal, at $280 on Newegg, it outperforms the far more expensive 280gtx. Still below 4870x2, of course, but it cost half as much, and the same as a single 4870.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

As for power requirement for 4870x2, the official requirement is 650watts. Obviously ATI is being cautionous, and you can probably scrap by with less, but 550w is still unlikely to be enough.
a b U Graphics card
August 15, 2008 4:58:35 PM

thats wat ppl told me when i was buying a 9800gx2 that a ea500 wont be enough. But it worked well for 5months. now i got 2 gtx 260 with the same ea500w.
heres my rig. (i can still push it further)
intel core 2 quad q6600 @3.2ghz
msi p6n diamond (X-FI sound)
4gig of OCZ oc 900mhz
Nvidia sli gtx 260 @ 714/1240
Lite-On Blue-ray
500gb x1
80gb x1
Antec 500 Earthwatt
Window vista
64-bit
22" lcd acer monitor
Logitech X-540 5.1 Speaker System


i admit its cutting it close but u can use that psu as a temporary, for a few months.
August 15, 2008 5:05:06 PM

invisik said:
thats wat ppl told me when i was buying a 9800gx2 that a ea500 wont be enough. But it worked well for 5months. now i got 2 gtx 260 with the same ea500w.
heres my rig. (i can still push it further)
intel core 2 quad q6600 @3.2ghz
msi p6n diamond (X-FI sound)
4gig of OCZ oc 900mhz
Nvidia sli gtx 260 @ 714/1240
Lite-On Blue-ray
500gb x1
80gb x1
Antec 500 Earthwatt
Window vista
64-bit
22" lcd acer monitor
Logitech X-540 5.1 Speaker System


i admit its cutting it close but u can use that psu as a temporary, for a few months.

That's different. The 9800gx2 has a power draw of over 100w less than 4870x2 at max load.
http://enthusiast.hardocp.com/article.html?art=MTUzMSw5...
Besides, your psu is a good quality one that should be able to provide stable power flow even at near max load. Most psus can't be pushed near the edge without destablizing the system.
a b U Graphics card
August 15, 2008 5:15:10 PM

so the system uses 468w with a high end cpu. his is going to consume much less using the e6750. he will cut it close but i think it will work sorry for being stubborn lol.
=]
August 15, 2008 5:18:25 PM

invisik said:
so the system uses 468w with a high end cpu. his is going to consume much less using the e6750. he will cut it close but i think it will work sorry for being stubborn lol.
=]

Again, near max psu load is not a good idea. It causes fluctuations. Besides, those are measured when stressing gpu, not cpu, so that high end cpu isn't consuming as much power as it could. :p 
August 15, 2008 11:23:36 PM

Well that was a long discussion! :p 

Yeah, I knew I was grasping at thin air with trying to run a 4870 X2 with this PSU.

I can snag a 4870 for $270 CDN if I am patient.

And, if in the future I want to crossfire that puppy, as I said, I can with this mother board. It just may require a new PSU.

By then, I will probably just make a new computer :D 

I don't know what I was thinking... getting that 4870 X2 on a students budget!!!!!!!!!

Thanks for all the replies guys/gals. I believe I will get the visiontek 4870. VisionTek has a lifetime warranty.

EDIT:

"I can snag a 4870 for $270 CDN if I am patient."

Make that 249.99 @ ncix.com (after MIR). If you are Canadian (don't know if they ship to US, but you guys have newegg).
August 15, 2008 11:31:09 PM

if your running a 1680x1050 resolution dont bother getting a 4870x2 its too much just get a 4870 i live in canada too there pritty cheap to get one as were the 4870x2 in canada will run about 600 plus. i got 2 4870s even 1 i had ran my games great but my fiancee wanted to buy me something so i told her to throw in another lol but yeah the 4870 is great i run at 1680x1050 too so.
August 15, 2008 11:52:54 PM

georgep001 said:
my fiancee wanted to buy me something so i told her to throw in another


You got a diamond in the rough there!
August 16, 2008 2:04:40 AM

For single card, get 9800gx2 instead. Price is the same as 4870, but outperforms it by a huge amount. It also outperforms the much more expensive gtx280, but by a smaller amount.
August 19, 2008 11:54:15 AM

dagger said:
For single card, get 9800gx2 instead. Price is the same as 4870, but outperforms it by a huge amount. It also outperforms the much more expensive gtx280, but by a smaller amount.

Actually, the price tends to be about $15-20US higher for the 9800GX2, a tad higher... And in Crysis with AA enabled, the 9800GX2's lead is a mere 1.85% at 1920x1200, virtually indistinguishable. If you drop the resolution to 1680x1050, it actually becomes an 11.51% lead in favor of the Radeon card.

So I'd hardly qualify it as a "huge amount" of outperformance over the 4870, especially if you use AA like most high-end rig people tend to; (personally, I'd rather have AA than HDR or a higher resolution) AA REALLY puts the hurt on the 9800GX2; its large performance numbers rely heavily upon you not using it, which is a tad nonsensical for such an expensive card. Also, your statement was somewhat suspect on implying that there was a large lead of the GTX 280 over the 4870 to begin with, though your term "a smaller amount" was rather vague.
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