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How Badly will my Comp limit the 4870x2

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August 20, 2008 11:56:12 AM

Specs on the computer are:

Antec 650W psu
Asus A8N-SLI SE Motherboard
4 Gigs DDR Ram (PC3200) Kingston Hyper X
AMD Athlon X2 3800+ (2.0 Ghz Dual core overclocked to 2.5ghz) (Socket 939)
Vista Ultimate 64 Bit OS
and Currently BFG 7800 GT OC until my Diamond Radeon 4870x2 comes today.

I plan on building a new one when socket AM3 comes out but I would just like to know how badly I am limiting this card, Since I will have it another 6 months or so. I havent been into gaming for over a year now but looking to get back into it.

BTW Bench for Comparison Later
FEAR: Max Settings 1600x1200

LOW: 19
Average: 34
HIGH: 47
August 20, 2008 12:06:26 PM

Your system is a huge bottleneck for that card.
August 20, 2008 12:11:55 PM

The first thing that comes to my mind is that if the card is limited by your system, it will still offer the best of your system. Is your system is limited by the card then it's bad. If you were looking for a card that is on the edge of limiting the system with a decent price i would say go for a lower one but you use it as a temporary solution, it's fine.

On the other hand, you can't predict what will happen in 6 months and maybe there will be cheaper and better cards. Maybe it's better to get a 100$ card now and upgrade in 6 months.
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August 20, 2008 12:14:38 PM

I already bought the card it will be here today, I was just wonder how badly I was restricting it. I may build one even sooner, but Im still in the research phase of my new build.
a b U Graphics card
August 20, 2008 12:27:43 PM

customisbetter said:
Your system is a huge bottleneck for that card.


Well, I would not go so far as to say "huge".
And I do not like the term "bottleneck".
In the PC world it is mis-used and mis-placed, and mis-understood. There is always a "bottleneck" of some kind somewhere, but that should in no way limit your decision on a piece of hardware you buy, especially a video card! Always, always, without doubt buy the best you can afford, regardless of the rest of your system. After all, everything else can be upgraded too. Buying a lesser video card because you don't have a high end processor is not a smart move.

Indeed, your system is not going to run the 4870X2 to it's full potential, you will be just fine. You are going to see a very, very large improvement over your 7800.

When you do decide to upgrade, simply carry your GPU over. Then again, you are going to see some improvement. But it's not going to be anything like like the intial improvement you saw over your 7800.
August 20, 2008 12:29:04 PM

Crossfire and SLI are hugely CPU dependent, and your CPU leaves much to be desired. Still, you will probably get decent framerates in games that aren't very CPU heavy.
August 20, 2008 12:30:22 PM

I agree with jitpublisher. . .

You should still be able to max out most games (if not all) at high resolutions.
August 20, 2008 12:34:58 PM

dont waste your money on that card. you wont get near the potential out of it and would benefit just as well from a 4850. how much do you think the 4870x2 will cost in 6 months when you're ready for its full potential?
August 20, 2008 12:40:37 PM

Regardless of how much it costs in 6 months i wanted a new graphics card now and I bought it to carry over into the next build. I realize that my system will limit it. But tell me what Nvidia is going to release anytime before the end of the year that is better than the 4870x2. The next card out is just a die shrink. not impressed. I bought it because it will give me max frame rates in this computer and still be a hell of a card in my new one.
August 20, 2008 12:43:14 PM

Ill post the results of the Benchmarks once i get the card installed after work tonight. I have yet to find a site with benchmarks for an older processor in PCI-E 1.0.
August 20, 2008 2:20:27 PM

ik694 i got same socket let me know please.
August 20, 2008 2:36:31 PM

I have an A8NSLI- Deluxe w/ 4200 X 2 OC to 2.5Ghz, 2 G Ram, Onboard Sound, and a Sapphire Toxic 3870. I went with the same approach this spring in buying the3870, and it was a huge improvement over my same system with a 7800 GTX before, disregard the "HUGE Bottleneck" BS, they probably don't even know what Socket 939 is there so newbish..... Yes, we could run benchmarks and show lower scores with same video card in a $500 Core2Duo Mobo and CPU combo, but that is not the point! I went from 4600 3dmark06 to 9200 3dmark06 just by bumping up to the 3870. I am sure you will break 10k even with a "HUGE BOTTLENECK" chipset and 939 Dual Core, show us the results! : ) >

ps. I also wanted to futureproof, I still have full intentions to go full spider platform and now that SB750 is out it may be soon, but in the meantime I've had a perfectly playable gaming machine with a video card upgrade untill I do go Spider!

a c 130 U Graphics card
August 20, 2008 2:57:41 PM

ik694 said:
I already bought the card it will be here today, I was just wonder how badly I was restricting it. I may build one even sooner, but Im still in the research phase of my new build.


Not trying to be funny but if you already bought the card why are you asking ? You will know soon enough.
The use of the word "Bottleneck" to describe a CPU restriction is here to stay thats how the majority of people refer to the issue. Yes the card is Overkill by any definition for that system, but it makes sence as you plan to carry it over to a new system soon. What would be silly is buying a 3870/4850 knowing full well that in a while you will be spending more on another card. You wanted a X2 and now you have one, just be prepared to be both impressed an dslightly dissapointed at the same time. :) 

Ps. Do please post your results as this kind of set up isnt tried very often and the input will help us to advise people in the future.

Micromac :) 
August 20, 2008 3:00:33 PM

deuce271 said:
dont waste your money on that card. you wont get near the potential out of it and would benefit just as well from a 4850. how much do you think the 4870x2 will cost in 6 months when you're ready for its full potential?

I mostly agree, although I recommend a 4870 instead of a 4850.
August 20, 2008 3:20:29 PM

As Mactronix stated, if you already purchased the card, why would you ask for advice?

Logic suggests seeking advice before dropping an inordinate amount of money on something that isn't going to do much for you. Essentially you've invested in a video card. Video cards are worse investments than SUVs right now. Their value depreciates so fast that unless you sell them a month after purchasing, you never get any money back for them.
August 20, 2008 3:30:06 PM

I didnt ask for advice I asked for the opinion of the group, what kind of drops we would see from all the standard benches with a hi end system. It was just an opinion thing. I was wondering what people were thinking and see if anyone knew if it had been tested. The post is basically because I am at work and wont get home till later, to install the card. Im really excited to do this upgrade.
August 20, 2008 3:47:06 PM

You ask us how badly it will bottleneck the GPU? I believe you are the one with the pc and I hope you will know better than all of us. It sounds like you already know the answer and want to hear it from every member of the forum.
a c 130 U Graphics card
August 20, 2008 4:11:01 PM


Hang on a minuite guys lets not crucify the guy for asking our opinion, asking why the question even after the card is bought is one thing, no need to go all holier than though on him.
@ik694 clearly you cant wait to see what this card can do but as i already said it wont perform near what you might be expecting. There is a guy asking about a single 4870 and the same CPU as you. He has a big restriction and is asking about the best way around it. For comparison. He can run Grid on his system and get 23 FPS while at the same settings I get 55-60. The differance is i have a E4600 running stock at 2.4 and he has the same CPU as you running at 2.4.
Hope that sheds some light on what to expect. I hope it goes well and please do let us know :) 

mactronix
August 20, 2008 5:24:44 PM

ik694 what size monitor? My opinion is your FPS will be up there with the C2D since that card is the fastest on the planet.
August 20, 2008 5:38:54 PM

2- 24" Widescreens Dell Ultrasharps
a b U Graphics card
August 20, 2008 5:41:59 PM

That'll certainly mitigate a lot of the CPU bottleneck - at higher resolutions, more and more load gets transferred to the graphics card.
August 20, 2008 5:45:20 PM

maximiza:
He will be running at 1600x1200.

I have the Saphhire one and at 1920x1200 it was a noticeable increase in gaming over my bfg 8800gtx oc2. Videos look better, color quality looks better, its sharper and clearer, and my fps just never dip. With my 8800gtx i got ~30fps in wic benchmark (everything on high, no cloud reflections or shadows, no AA), with my 4870x2 i get 34fp average in the benchmark with everything on ultra and every setting turned on (no vsync) and AA at 4x and asnoscopic (spelling) at 16x. Yeah... its damn good.

You are limiting it from your CPU but when you upgrade later this year or early next, that will remedy that.
August 20, 2008 5:53:23 PM

i really wanna get one of these 4870 x2.
August 20, 2008 6:15:47 PM

Hey there,

I recently went through this same situation. I am running an old socket 939 Athlon XP 4000+ (mild OC to 2.6GHz). Previously I was running 2 GeForce 6800 Ultra's in SLI (which I spent a freaking fortune on when they were brand new), which should be approximately the same as your single 7800 GT. I also recently found myself getting back into more PC gaming so I decided to pick up a GTX 260 OC card last month when the egg had it on for $225 and plan on a system upgrade next year. On games like BioShock and Age of Conan I was barely able to run at the lowest graphic settings, only managing a maximum of 30 fps in BS at 1440x900 on low settings and 45 in AoC at 1680x1050 on low settings.

After plugging in the GTX 260 I was quite impressed in the boost. I cranked my bioshock settings to max and am now getting 45+ fps at highest detail 1680x1050 (averaging around 60) and anywhere from 50-150 fps in AoC on high detail (usually averaging around 85). In other words you should definitely see an impressive performance boost with your new card. Not only are my min/max/avg fps higher, but I am at MUCH higher detail levels than I could run on the old cards.

Yes it is true that your CPU will limit your fps in some situations. This is the reason why my minimum frame rate dips down into the 40-50 range in the highly graphically intense areas since the CPU can't keep up with the demand, but my average and max fps are still way up there. In other words, I agree with the previous statement in that you should always buy the best video card within your budget if you plan on gaming with it. It is the most important piece and will always give you the best results for your dollar when you upgrade from an older model card.

Good luck with your 4870 :wahoo: 
a c 130 U Graphics card
August 20, 2008 7:21:08 PM

cjl said:
That'll certainly mitigate a lot of the CPU bottleneck - at higher resolutions, more and more load gets transferred to the graphics card.


Dosent work like that, The way it works is the CPU can do what it needs to do to render a scene (physics mostly) at a certain speed. If the GPU can render frames faster than this it has to wait for the CPU to finish its calculation first. If the load on the graphics card is increased, higher res more detail AA/AF etc, then the FPS or the speed it can run at if you like is reduced. This dosent take any load from the CPU it just evens out the respective loads or reduces the time the GPU has to wait.

Mactronix
August 20, 2008 7:25:00 PM

Well i have the card in hand now i just have to wait an hour and a half to get out of work, then we will see what happens.
August 20, 2008 7:31:16 PM

hope it fits in your case
August 20, 2008 7:38:33 PM

Huge Case No Worries
August 20, 2008 11:45:42 PM

OK, got the card installed ran two benchmarks:

First Fear 1600 x 1200 Max Settings
Vsync on:
Min: 35
Ave: 57
Max: 80

Vsync Off:
Min: 38
Ave: 105
Max: 280

3D Mark Vantage:

CPU Score: 3230
Graphics Score: 9049
a b U Graphics card
August 21, 2008 12:16:39 AM

mactronix said:
Dosent work like that, The way it works is the CPU can do what it needs to do to render a scene (physics mostly) at a certain speed. If the GPU can render frames faster than this it has to wait for the CPU to finish its calculation first. If the load on the graphics card is increased, higher res more detail AA/AF etc, then the FPS or the speed it can run at if you like is reduced. This dosent take any load from the CPU it just evens out the respective loads or reduces the time the GPU has to wait.

Mactronix

It was a gross oversimplification, to be sure, but it is certainly true. At lower resolutions, the CPU load will tend to be higher because it is primarily only dependent on the framerate (assuming the same physics settings), while GPU load is much more resolution dependent. A CPU that can't even keep up with an 8800GT at 1280x1024 might keep up just fine with a 4870x2 at 2560x1600.
August 21, 2008 2:46:05 AM

So i was right.
the point is, you will see a huge frame rate increase when you upgrade your system. simple and true.

TS
i don't know crap about either benchmark cuz im not very sophisticated. ; )
you wanna run a Crysis bench or maybe 3dmark06? Im just curious.
August 21, 2008 12:30:18 PM

Vantage is a DX10 benchmark. That score is fairly good for your system! My Q6600 is getting a litte better than that, but not much.

In 3dmarks06, my score doesnt make sense. It get just above my 8800gtx but look about twice as good. All the setting are the same but the points just dont add up... wait, nv. I had my videocard turned up all the way (all onborad options were at full and I was getting a 13000-14000 score). Hmmmm.... Now I am interested.
August 21, 2008 12:31:57 PM

that processor will limit very badly!very very bad!

upgrade to a Core 2 Duo and OC to 3Ghz+ will do the job.
August 21, 2008 1:31:56 PM

interesting.. I am liking that card
a c 130 U Graphics card
August 21, 2008 6:53:42 PM

spaztic7 said:
Vantage is a DX10 benchmark. That score is fairly good for your system! My Q6600 is getting a litte better than that, but not much.

In 3dmarks06, my score doesnt make sense. It get just above my 8800gtx but look about twice as good. All the setting are the same but the points just dont add up... wait, nv. I had my videocard turned up all the way (all onborad options were at full and I was getting a 13000-14000 score). Hmmmm.... Now I am interested.


3dmarks06 is very CPU dependant as in the CPU makes more of a differance than the GPU so it would make sence that you dont get a huge increase just because you have a better card. Think of it like a flight sim game dosent make much differance with the GPU up and over the GTX but the CPU does affect it.

Mactronix
August 21, 2008 7:03:14 PM

Yeah, I can see that. I have my q6600 humming at 3.0 GHZ. The 4870x2 was found to get about 20,000 points in 3dmarks06, though I have no idea what processor they were using (I think it was a Q9450).

When I get home today I will run it again to see it my score is better.

I am just happy to see that he got a decent game play with his setup. This shows that you still get a decent performance increase even with decent hardware.



The only thing I started to notice is during video playback I get choppy every now and them... its odd.
a b U Graphics card
August 21, 2008 7:15:56 PM

06 is a joke. Its supposed to be 3D mark right? Not cpu and 3d mark. Its all bungholian logic to me
August 21, 2008 8:00:04 PM

3DMarkd Vantage is better at showing GPU power.
August 21, 2008 8:21:13 PM

jaydeejohn, thats what i meant. kind of as a joke.
a b U Graphics card
August 21, 2008 8:36:55 PM

To me, its only good for one system at a time. Cant really compare 1 system to another, just too many variables.
August 22, 2008 5:41:20 AM

customisbetter said:
Your system is a huge bottleneck for that card.


I agree with that.

I have a slightly faster Athlon X2 and I'm bottlenecking a 3870x2. I don't think anyone should have a 4870x2 unless they have a very fast C2D or a quad core (either AMD or Intel).

Playing at higher resolutions resolves some of the bottleneck, but ultimately, the faster GPU's should be paired with a compatible CPU.


August 22, 2008 11:37:05 AM

ok, after the settings on the video card being changed to let applications choose, I am scoreing 16,444 in 3Dmarks06 and 12,674 in Vantage.


Oh, processor is overclocked to 3.02GHz.
a b U Graphics card
August 22, 2008 12:48:22 PM

ik694 said:
OK, got the card installed ran two benchmarks:

First Fear 1600 x 1200 Max Settings
Vsync on:
Min: 35
Ave: 57
Max: 80

Vsync Off:
Min: 38
Ave: 105
Max: 280

3D Mark Vantage:

CPU Score: 3230
Graphics Score: 9049


Like I said way back there somewhere, big difference.
Now, when you are ready to upgrade to a faster processor, you again are going to get a nice boost, and you will once again feel like the upgrade was worthwhile! Nothing wrong with that at all, is there?
If you had bought a lessor card, you would have been happy right now. But if you do upgrade your CPU soon, you would have been a little disappointed if you had a slower card. You would be wishing that you had the card you have now, and you probably would go ahead and spend money again to get it.
August 25, 2008 1:23:54 AM

ik694 said:
Specs on the computer are:

Antec 650W psu
Asus A8N-SLI SE Motherboard
4 Gigs DDR Ram (PC3200) Kingston Hyper X
AMD Athlon X2 3800+ (2.0 Ghz Dual core overclocked to 2.5ghz) (Socket 939)
Vista Ultimate 64 Bit OS
and Currently BFG 7800 GT OC until my Diamond Radeon 4870x2 comes today.

I plan on building a new one when socket AM3 comes out but I would just like to know how badly I am limiting this card, Since I will have it another 6 months or so. I havent been into gaming for over a year now but looking to get back into it.

BTW Bench for Comparison Later
FEAR: Max Settings 1600x1200

LOW: 19
Average: 34
HIGH: 47


Your cpu will limit this card, however when you do the cpu upgrade don't forget about the ram, GPU,CPU and ram is the main 3 that go together for example if you have a kick ass card along with a kik ass cpu but your ram sucks , your ram will restrict both cpu and gpu. In kik ass systems you will allways find that people will not cut corners on their gpu,cpu and ram they will allways buy the best they can afford before they buy any other component then they will buy what thier budget allows trying to cut coners here and there to get a full system. You did the right thing by buying the best card out at the moment but don't screw up by buying a sucky cpu or sucky ram, also bare in mind that mainboards have a small part to play too but not as much as the 3 main bodies. but then again i could be wrong ,,,, very wrong ;) 

my new build is going to be ( only waiting for Ram And GPU to be delivered)

INTEL Q6600 SLACR 2.40GHZ
FAN THERMALTAKE CL-P0257 (BLUE ORB 140MM + 17DB)
MAINBOARD ASUS RAMPAGE FORMULA X48
VIDEO RADEON SAPPHIRE HD4870 X2
RAM CORSAIR TWINX XMS-2-8500 2x2GB
HDD 2 X 500GB S-ATA 16MB
THERMALTAKE TSUNAMI VA3000
MONITOR BENQ G2400 24" WIDESCREEN
PSU THERMALTAKE TOUGHPOWER 1000W
Vista 64 ultimate

From

Athlon 3200+ 2.2ghz won't overclock more that 2.4 stable but if i put my corsair ram in from my server it will go to 2.5
Asus KN8E-Deluxe Nforce 2 mainboard
2gig ballistix ram
Gainward 7800GS+ AGP
650 PSU Artic
2x300GB sata hdd's
19" monitor
XP Pro

so i'm kind of hoping that my setup won't limit or bottleneck my gpu i will prob run the q6600 at 3.0 or 3.2ghz.
3dmark06 gives me around the 4K region on my setup i have now which was at 1280x1024, my new system will be at 1920x1200.
August 26, 2008 12:51:23 AM

Hey guys, first off my system is as follows..

Asus M2N68-LA mobo
amd 5600 x2 Windsor (the one with 2x1mb L2 cache)
2gb A-data pc2 6400
8600gt xxx 256mb
250gb Western 7200rpm
20" Lg L204wt
XP Pro

..my question is the same as the original.

Is my cpu efficient to run..
a) the 4870 at least close to it's full potential.
b) the 4870x2 without the gpu leaving a large gap between what a newer cpu could provide.

All input would be appreciated.

P.S. I would like to run games at at least 1440x900, but prefer 1680x1050.
August 26, 2008 2:03:15 AM

shoelace said:
Hey guys, first off my system is as follows..

Asus M2N68-LA mobo
amd 5600 x2 Windsor (the one with 2x1mb L2 cache)
2gb A-data pc2 6400
8600gt xxx 256mb
250gb Western 7200rpm
20" Lg L204wt
XP Pro

..my question is the same as the original.

Is my cpu efficient to run..
a) the 4870 at least close to it's full potential.
b) the 4870x2 without the gpu leaving a large gap between what a newer cpu could provide.

All input would be appreciated.

P.S. I would like to run games at at least 1440x900, but prefer 1680x1050.


with that 20" monitor, anything over a 4870 would be overkill, as the 4870X2 wouldn't have enough pixels to push to make the crossfire usefull.
August 26, 2008 4:59:55 AM

so an hd 4870 would be a good buy? rather than say an hd 4850?
August 26, 2008 6:22:29 AM

Not sure it anyone suggested this, but why don't you buy an HD 4870 now, which will perform equally with the x2 given the weakness of your system. Then, when you're ready to upgrade, buy a crossfire mobo and get another 4870. The price will drop and two 4870s currently are cheaper than one x2.
August 26, 2008 12:37:19 PM

2x4870 =/= 4870x2

The 4870x2 is targeted t be faster than 2 4870. By a margin of 5%-20%. So yeah... bleeding edge is almost worth it.

I do agree that anything unnder 1920x1080 is really a waste of a 4870x2.
September 4, 2008 2:55:40 AM

spaztic7 said:
2x4870 =/= 4870x2

I do agree that anything unnder 1920x1080 is really a waste of a 4870x2.


Anything below 1920x1080 is probably a waste of a 3870x2 (mine's being wasted right now).
!