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4870 base vs. factory OverClocked versions

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September 20, 2008 5:54:51 PM

Hi everyone,


I'm planning to build a new gaming PC and I'm trying to choose carefully every component. One of the most important ones for me is the Graphics card... even though I dont plan to spend too much on my build I am ready to spend a bit more here, always keeping in mind performance/price ratio.

The kind of components I'm planning to buy are the following (so you have and idea of my budget): q6600, 4gb DDR2 800, (ATI 4870), Corsair650TX, WD6400AKKS.

I want my build to last as long as possible, and thats why I thought the upgrade from 4850 to 4870... but now im thinking about another step. Some of the OCed versions of this GPU.

So... the contenders would be:

Sapphire HD4870 - 200 € (aprox)
Gainward HD4870 "Golden Sample" - 229 €
Club 3D CGAX-4872DDO Overclocked - 234 €

SAPPHIRE HD 4870 TOXIC Edition - 269 € (the place i was checking it just got the card at this price)


The Sapphire TOXIC looks really good... but I havent found it anywhere.. and I have no idea of how much it would cost... do you guys think it could be worth the wait plus the possible extra cash ?


I've read that the 4870 can get quite hot.. and since this "special" versions all have improved cooling I thought it could be already worth the extra money because of that... On the other hand money is really an issue, and I dont wanna spend extra if its not worth it.


Thanks in advance.


P.D. In case everyone is intersted here is where im checking the prices: http://www.alternate.es/html/shop/productListing4C.html... is in spanish but specs and prices are understandable by everyone I think :p 
September 20, 2008 11:20:38 PM

Gainward:
core clock 775 MHz
memory clock 1000 MHz
temperature 46C / 62C

Saphire Toxic
core 780 MHz
memory 1000 MHz
temperature ? / ?

Club
core 800 MHz
memory 900 MHz
temperature ? / ?
Related resources
September 20, 2008 11:41:28 PM

Factory oc is the same as do it yourself oc. There is no point paying more for the same thing.
September 21, 2008 10:28:57 AM

dagger said:
Factory oc is the same as do it yourself oc. There is no point paying more for the same thing.


Well,it depends... the "normal" cards with this chip seem to be having some heating problems... so it seems like the stock cooling systems are not that good. All this OC'd cards have improved cooling... so they should be cooler even when they are already factory overclocked. Plus... they would be factory guaranteed.

Thanks for the comment anyway :)  I just dont know if its like that with this exact GPU...
September 21, 2008 10:45:13 AM

Honestly, I wouldn't spend the extra 69 € for something I can do myself (OC'ing the GPU yourself does not void its warranty, if you're worrying about doing it yourself).

OC'ing the GPU is relatively easy and quite fail-safe if you don't attempt anything too extreme.
September 21, 2008 10:55:46 AM


Sapphire "standard":
core clock 750 MHz
memory clock 900 MHz
temperature ?? / ??

Gainward "Golden Sample":
core clock 775 MHz
memory clock 1000 MHz
temperature 46C / 62C

Saphire Toxic
core 780 MHz
memory 1000 MHz
temperature ? / ?

Club
core 800 MHz
memory 900 950 ??MHz
temperature ? / ?



Thanks hannibal
September 21, 2008 11:04:30 AM

johnyeah said:
Honestly, I wouldn't spend the extra 69 € for something I can do myself (OC'ing the GPU yourself does not void its warranty, if you're worrying about doing it yourself).

OC'ing the GPU is relatively easy and quite fail-safe if you don't attempt anything too extreme.

Well, yeah, your probably right.. I shouldnt spend the 69€ extra on the Toxic for example (unless the price goes down....), but the other is more like 30€ difference... which as I said.. could be the price for the cooling system it has ? that would allow some additional overclocking perhaps ?
I´m just afraid of overclocking a card (im talking about the normal ones), that everyone is saying heats up too much without even doing any OC....

johnyeah said:
Forgot to include the link of where you can read up on GPU overclocking.

Here it is:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/245841-29-guide-overc...

Pretty much if the GPU is outdated, it's outdated, the 10% increase in core speed won't make it last any longer.


Thanks for the link.. I´ll take a look a it. I dont know about overclocking.. but I would do it once I have the knowledge.

September 21, 2008 11:27:00 AM

If it's 30€ difference, well, it's really up to you. I checked up on the CLUB 3D card, it seems to use the standard cooler instead of an aftermarket one (it's only worth the 30€ difference if it uses a decent aftermarket, otherwise it's no different from a standard one).

Or if you're lucky (like I was), you might get a factory overclocked GPU when you order a standard one, heh.
a b U Graphics card
September 21, 2008 12:27:29 PM

Golden samples are nice cards. Ive never had one, but seen alot of good responses from people who have
September 21, 2008 1:38:13 PM

johnyeah said:
If it's 30€ difference, well, it's really up to you. I checked up on the CLUB 3D card, it seems to use the standard cooler instead of an aftermarket one (it's only worth the 30€ difference if it uses a decent aftermarket, otherwise it's no different from a standard one).

Or if you're lucky (like I was), you might get a factory overclocked GPU when you order a standard one, heh.

That would be nice.. but is the kind of thing that probably wont happen to me :p 
Now I´ll illustrate the post with some photos.. so you can see the difference

JAYDEEJOHN said:
Golden samples are nice cards. Ive never had one, but seen alot of good responses from people who have

Yes.. the golden sample looks good, and is not too expensive. I´ve just read somewhere that its quite noisy... cos the smaller fan keeps spinning no matter what you do, and it can be a bit annoying...

Well, here are some photos:

Sapphire HD4870 512MB:

huge photo here: http://www.sapphiretech.com/ss/gallery/img/337/11133-00...

Club 3D HD4870 512MB:

high res: http://www.club3d.nl/index.php/download/highres/CGAX_48...

Club 3D FActory overclocked:

high res: http://www.club3d.nl/index.php/download/highres/CGAX_48...

Gainward HD4870 Golden Sample


Sapphire HD4870 TOXIC:

also: http://www.sapphiretech.com/ss/gallery/img/346/11133-06...

(edited to fix some issues with the photos... )
September 21, 2008 1:45:26 PM

That "Golden Sample" version vents hot air inside the case, as opposed to outside for stock model. Not exactly a good thing. :p 
September 21, 2008 1:47:42 PM

but not with the TOXIC.. or it looks like it (why does it have to be the most expensive ?!).

I was planning to get an Antec 900 though... so airflow should be good.
a b U Graphics card
September 21, 2008 1:50:54 PM

Find out which one has the better higher clockable bois too. That way, if you want to go even higher on your overclock, you can. Ive heard good things about both the GS and the Sapphire, havnt heard anything on the Club3D tho
September 21, 2008 2:19:23 PM

To be honest, the time you spend on figuring out these nitty-gritty details, you might as well pay the extra $$, heh.

Either way, they're all 4870's (aftermarket cooler or not, it's really a fractional difference in performance), sure overclocked means it'll run faster, but it's only slightly faster (unless you need every single FPS you can get from games like Crysis, then I'd say just wait for next generation cards).
September 21, 2008 3:21:10 PM

JAYDEEJOHN said:
Find out which one has the better higher clockable bois too. That way, if you want to go even higher on your overclock, you can. Ive heard good things about both the GS and the Sapphire, havnt heard anything on the Club3D tho

Yes... me too, I´ve heard good things about Sapphire and Gainward.. and dont know that much about Club3D... well, except my personal experience: I´ve had one for 5 years or so.. and no problems with it. Never touched it or measured its performance though... I prefer the 1st two brands anyway.

johnyeah said:
To be honest, the time you spend on figuring out these nitty-gritty details, you might as well pay the extra $$, heh.

Either way, they're all 4870's (aftermarket cooler or not, it's really a fractional difference in performance), sure overclocked means it'll run faster, but it's only slightly faster (unless you need every single FPS you can get from games like Crysis, then I'd say just wait for next generation cards).


I´m not specially interested in crysis, and I wont play very high res neither... I just want the build to last as long as possible... And I dont mind waiting a month or so before I buy, but I guess next gen takes longer to arrive ?


Thanks once more

September 21, 2008 6:47:11 PM

Well I supose that next updates are updates to smaller production node for both companies. Not sure though Nvidia. It may be guite possible that NVIDIA reduces back to 256bit memory controller, but who knows. It would be cost effective change if everything else reamains the same.

a b U Graphics card
September 21, 2008 7:10:00 PM

From the times of the Radeon 8500 i've always noticed that OCing a video card does actually little to nothing in "real life" gaming experience. 5 or 6 FPS increase for a premium of $60? More over when you can actually get them for yourself?

Makes me wonder if it's really worth it actually. Now, paying that extra cash for the improved cooling solutions might be a different story, but then again, the regular cooling solution can handle this card perfectly.

If you ask me, wich card is worth that premium, i'd say the one with the better cooling solution.

Esop!
September 21, 2008 7:13:31 PM

Heh, I'd totally agree with Yuka.

Pretty much that's my point for the last couple posts, :p . I guess I couldn't really convey my point being that I just pulled an all nighter.
September 22, 2008 8:40:21 AM

Thanks guys.... The issue is that the cooling system that looks the best is the one on the most expensive card... the TOXIC...
But as you say its probably not worth paying that much for it

I could go for the standard... or for the club3d or "golden sample" which are just slightly more expensive... Im just a bit worried no one knows about the 1st.. and what I've heard is that the 2nd can be quite noisy.

No one seems to have heard that much about the heat issues in the standard HD4870 neither ??
September 22, 2008 8:40:47 PM

Well less heat always means longer lifespan, but how long is enough? You most propable are going to buy new GPU before anything happens... unless you are unlucky.
September 22, 2008 10:40:45 PM

Long enough... ur talking about the wait for the next gen ? or the time I want the build to last ? I could wait around 1month for the build... And I want it to last perhaps 3 years at least ? without throwing much or any money on it.

Cheers
September 23, 2008 12:15:34 AM

by the standard 4870 seriously.
even if you dont OC the card a simple fan adjustment will make it run in the 55-60c range which is perfectly fine. (mine is OCed to the max in CCC; 1100mhz on the memory and i believe its 790 in the GPU and it runs at the temps i mentioned)
a b U Graphics card
September 23, 2008 1:47:42 AM

Off topic... Could you post a link instead of the large-azz image, please?

Thanks xP

Esop!
September 23, 2008 2:24:48 PM

Edited Yuka ;) 

And it makes sense wonderingwhatis. I think I'll be either standard, or one thats only a bit more expensive... cos even if u can get lower temps with the standard cooling by adjusting... it must be a lot louder to get the same temps than the improved ones.
September 23, 2008 4:06:21 PM

I keep mine @ 28% fan speed which is pretty darn quiet.

I also have a 'game' profile if i'm going to be playing for hours at a time where the fan is 70%; now THAT is loud (not loud enough to hear over my games though haha)!!!! BUT when I run the fan that high the GPU stays around 45 celsius!!!!!!
September 24, 2008 10:08:32 AM

Where did you find the TOXIC for sale?
September 29, 2008 5:50:49 PM

Just ran into this thread from a google search.

I can totally agree with Yuka on this one, and from recent practical experience.

I just changed the two Sapphire HD3870 OC Editions that I had in my system
for one Club3D HD4870. Standard clocks: GPU 750MHz RAM 900MHz.

Immediately, it was obvious that the default fan profile is rubbish. The card
was reporting over 70C at idle! Once I had reprogrammed the BIOS with a new
profile and managed to burn the new BIOS without bricking the card, I had 52C
idle and less than 63C through a run of 3DMark06!

So then I got to thinking 'I wonder how this thing overclocks?'.

I ran the standard 'Auto-tune' in Catalyst Control Center and got:

GPU 780Mhz RAM Clock 1090MHz

With the same fan profile, the card runs two degrees warmer at both idle and
load!! A longer 'Very High' session in Crysis proved the card to be perfectly stable
at this speed.

Here come the big 3DMark scores! Or so I thought. Even though the card handles
well above the memory levels of the 'OC' editions, and nearly the same GPU clock,
my overclock adds about 500 points to my 3DMark06 score... (17234)

So, to the original poster; save your money and stick with the stock card!
October 1, 2008 11:13:27 AM

Thanks grizewald. Its nice to hear first hand experiences :) 

I guess I´ll go for the standard... and if needed buy an aftermarket cooling system.

So.. how is it with the club3d ?? Im just worried cos not many people seem to talk about them.. and the few that do so say that they use not so high quality components.. :-S


Greetings and thanks again.
October 5, 2008 3:57:59 PM

I've had no problems with Club3D cards.

Previously I had an X1650 for my daughter's machine and
now this HD4870. No problems with either. The HD4870 is
identical to the ATI reference design, including the cooling,
so I can't see any reason to prefer one reference card over
another.

In this case I got the Club3D version as it was slightly
cheaper than the other ones available.

You most likely won't need an aftermarket cooler unless you
want to go watercooled, but that's expensive and loads of
trouble from what I've been reading.

October 5, 2008 11:11:56 PM

Thanks everyone :)  I just ordered a standard Sapphire HD4870 512MB. There was a special offer at an online shop for 199€ which is good price for Spain, and I didnt think it twice. I´ll order the rest of the components soon and start building :D 

Cheers
a b U Graphics card
October 6, 2008 3:14:04 AM

Gratz on your buy =)

Enjoy the card and tell us how you liked it =)

Esop!
October 6, 2008 4:14:32 AM

Damn, that Toxic one is niiiice looking. Id seriously sell my current 4870 and get that if I didnt have a AC Twin Turbo on the way.
October 6, 2008 2:13:43 PM

Yuka said:
Gratz on your buy =)

Enjoy the card and tell us how you liked it =)

Esop!


Thanks. Is the first part I buy.. so it will sitll take a few days untill I buy the rest and build it... But of course I will, and I´ll put some benchmarks and so on in case anyone is interested.

spathotan said:
Damn, that Toxic one is niiiice looking. Id seriously sell my current 4870 and get that if I didnt have a AC Twin Turbo on the way.


I know... :D  But at least in Spain it was a 70€ premium... Anyway, if you take a look, the photo on Sapphire´s webpage of the STANDARD HD4870 (yes, its the one that I posted in this thread), has been updated, now it looks like its gonna have the same kind of cooling system of the toxic !!! :ouch:  :ouch: 




a b U Graphics card
October 6, 2008 6:05:06 PM

Wow, if they improve the cooling solution on the "stock" 4870 it will be a "must buy" video card if you think about getting a 4870. Hope they don't charge a big premium, or do it like on the 4850: keep the price and improve the cooling solution with a board re-design *.*

Esop!
October 6, 2008 9:06:47 PM

I put the 3870 with the Toxic Vapourchamber cooler on it in a co-workers PC, and the damn thing ran at 38c under max load, and its a single slot cooler. I expect great results with this 4870 one, highly susgested.
October 8, 2008 6:43:30 AM

Very interesting thread. I am ready to buy a 4870 myself and I too want it to last as long as possible. After my research the last 2 weeks I have decided to go with Powercolor PCS+ HD 4870 1GB GDDR5. It got a Zerotherm cooler, factory overclocked with 1GB vram. I was in Singapore last week and found this card everywhere for 190 - 210 euro. I didnt get it cause warranty only valid in Singapore. I saw the Gainward GS you mention, it costs about 220 euro. People and customer owners didn't really like Gainward's name (too many returns is 1 thing I remember them saying). Also the smaller coolers noise problem is for real. So I decided to go with that specific Powercolor card. I am just waiting for it to appear in Greece, where I live. Can't wait...
!