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Buying a new graphics card.Help?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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September 26, 2008 12:47:54 AM

I'm switching from Nvidia to ATI.

I've decided to go with the RADEON 4870.
But,I don't know which brand is best to go with (Performance & reliability)

I picked out these,
if you know of any better,then let me know :) 
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

More about : buying graphics card

September 26, 2008 12:51:50 AM

If those are the options, I'd pick the Powercolor for the improved cooling or the Sapphire one.
September 26, 2008 12:53:40 AM

Those are all the same, except the last one, which use aftermarket heatsink, and therefore should run cooler. Not sure how much though.

4870 for $300 is really overpriced though. A 9800gx2 cost only $280 for factory overclocked version.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Benchmarks, including 4870 and stock 9800gx2.
http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3341&p=13
http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3341&p=14
http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3341&p=15
http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3341&p=16
http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3341&p=17
http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3341&p=18
http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3341&p=19

You need to find a cheaper 4870, otherwise it's just not a good idea.
Related resources
September 26, 2008 12:57:29 AM

Umm really... I'm sure if he wanted a 512MB card, he would've picked the HD 4870 512MB, so there's no point for you to show the 9800GX2, which is also limited to 512MB per GPU.

But to be honest, unless we're looking at a really big screen here, I would just get a regular 512MB.
September 26, 2008 1:09:13 AM

emp said:
Umm really... I'm sure if he wanted a 512MB card, he would've picked the HD 4870 512MB, so there's no point for you to show the 9800GX2, which is also limited to 512MB per GPU.

But to be honest, unless we're looking at a really big screen here, I would just get a regular 512MB.


I was aware of that. It just doesn't make a difference. The 1gb version has only very slight fps increase over 512mb version even at high 2560x1600 resolution. It's essentially the same.
http://hothardware.com/Articles/PowerColor-PCS-HD-4870-...
http://hothardware.com/Articles/PowerColor-PCS-HD-4870-...
http://hothardware.com/Articles/PowerColor-PCS-HD-4870-...
http://hothardware.com/Articles/PowerColor-PCS-HD-4870-...

The few fps increase isn't enough to overtake 9800gx2, not by a long shot. Vram is the same as system ram, unless you run out, there's hardly any difference. 512mb per core is more than enough, for 4870 or 9800gx2. Frankly, few monitors can even support bigger than 2560x1600 resolution. 1gb vram was, and remains a marketing gemmick.
September 26, 2008 1:22:01 AM

I wouldn't say a marketing gimmick... but you certainly have to find the correct situations for it to shine. If it matters at all, I do agree with you that it isn't worth it at this time to get a 1GB card, unless it's the HD 4870 X2, which was made to play at 1920x1200 and above.

If anything I'd get a CF HD 4850 setup (The HD 4850 X2 just can't come soon enough now... can't it?)...
September 26, 2008 1:30:28 AM

I don't want nvidia.
The motherboard i have is designed for ATI.
And I'll be able to have up to 4 crossfired.

So the 1GB of memory won't make much of a difference compared to the 512MB?

Seems like the 1GB wouldn't have to be upgraded as soon as the 512MB.
September 26, 2008 1:56:21 AM

That depends on your resolution, if you're playing at 1680x1050 or below, I don't think it matters at all, at 1920x1200 you might see *some* gains, albeit not worth the money.

Praise to the lord... you are the first guy in months who is actually set on getting an Ati card instead of an nvidia, usually it's the other way around and people need to get seduced into the Ati side.
September 26, 2008 3:11:46 AM

emp said:
That depends on your resolution, if you're playing at 1680x1050 or below, I don't think it matters at all, at 1920x1200 you might see *some* gains, albeit not worth the money.

Praise to the lord... you are the first guy in months who is actually set on getting an Ati card instead of an nvidia, usually it's the other way around and people need to get seduced into the Ati side.


Isn't being fanboy of either one bad? It's always smarter to get whatever gets higher fps for less money. :p 

As benchmarks show, it doesn't matter even at 2560x1600, so basically, it doesn't matter, period. 1gb version is not worth the extra money over 512mb.
September 26, 2008 3:26:37 AM

Yeah, but it's just a breath of fresh air to see an Ati fanboy. I feel like I'm drowning in a pool of nvidia fanboys wanting to buy 780i and 790i boards or GTX 280...
September 26, 2008 3:38:03 AM

emp said:
Yeah, but it's just a breath of fresh air to see an Ati fanboy. I feel like I'm drowning in a pool of nvidia fanboys wanting to buy 780i and 790i boards or GTX 280...


Gtx280 is pathetic, cost $420 and can't even outperform a $280 9800gx2. It's fanboy-only.
September 26, 2008 3:45:36 AM

Exactly... the other even bigger joke are the nvidia chipsets... Oh well I'm going off-topic now.
a b U Graphics card
September 26, 2008 4:10:29 AM

Just got the Powercolor 4870 about a week ago - Apears to be good, Moderately OCed to 780/1090.

It is the 512 Meg version, BUT was only $225 (After MIR), To me the small difference was not worth the 75 -> 90 premium.

Hmmm, 4 in cross fire mode, Must be getting ready for winter and use in liew of a space heater. Joking aside these puppys run on the warm side. With GPU fan speed up to 40% @ idle it raised my inside case temp by 6 degrees Compared to ATI X1950XT). (Case = Cooler master 690 W Front, back, left/right side and top fans)
September 26, 2008 4:16:41 AM

if he does eventually settle on CF over 9800gx2, 2x4870's can beat 2x 9800gx2's, correct? because of pathetic scaling? yes no? and if you really want that aftermarket heatsink, maybe you should wait a week or so for the 4870 toxic edition?
September 26, 2008 4:50:16 AM

emp said:
That depends on your resolution, if you're playing at 1680x1050 or below, I don't think it matters at all, at 1920x1200 you might see *some* gains, albeit not worth the money.

Praise to the lord... you are the first guy in months who is actually set on getting an Ati card instead of an nvidia, usually it's the other way around and people need to get seduced into the Ati side.


i agree with what emp said, it depends on the resolution you're running.

http://anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3415

that's the latest article from anandtech benching the 4870 1gb version, in the final page it says it's only around 20-30$ more than the 512mb version. it's priced around 300 i believe. from the benches i saw on there, a 20-30$ price tag is worth it for the increase in framerates across almost every test. it pretty much obliterated the gtx260 in every test and even beat out the gtx280 in some cases as well.

if it was me, i would go for the 1gb, 20-30$ for a 512mb increase in memory, count me in :) 
September 26, 2008 8:13:33 AM

aznguy0028 said:
i agree with what emp said, it depends on the resolution you're running.

http://anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3415

that's the latest article from anandtech benching the 4870 1gb version, in the final page it says it's only around 20-30$ more than the 512mb version. it's priced around 300 i believe. from the benches i saw on there, a 20-30$ price tag is worth it for the increase in framerates across almost every test. it pretty much obliterated the gtx260 in every test and even beat out the gtx280 in some cases as well.

if it was me, i would go for the 1gb, 20-30$ for a 512mb increase in memory, count me in :) 

you beat to the punch. that link portrait how 1gb vs 512 in variety of high res. I would suggest that it comes down to price range. you can find 4870 512mb for $250 because i dont count rebate. 1gb for $300.

personally I would buy 1gb if it is 20-30 bux difference;however, in reality 1gb version is about 50> bux. it is really your choice.
September 26, 2008 11:23:01 AM

Powercolor
September 26, 2008 1:01:51 PM

eklipz330 said:
if he does eventually settle on CF over 9800gx2, 2x4870's can beat 2x 9800gx2's, correct? because of pathetic scaling? yes no? and if you really want that aftermarket heatsink, maybe you should wait a week or so for the 4870 toxic edition?


Not quite true. 9800gx2 quad still edges out 4870 cf in everything except Half Life 2 at up to 2560x1200 resolution, despite bad scaling. The difference is so small it doesn't matter though. Since 2 4870s (512mb version, forget the 1gb versions) cost less than 2 9800gx2 and consume less energy, it's a no brainer for this setup. 9800gx2 is only for single card setup.
http://hothardware.com/Articles/ATI-Radeon-HD-4870-X2--...
http://hothardware.com/Articles/ATI-Radeon-HD-4870-X2--...
http://hothardware.com/Articles/ATI-Radeon-HD-4870-X2--...
http://hothardware.com/Articles/ATI-Radeon-HD-4870-X2--...
September 28, 2008 2:32:03 AM

Thanks everyone. You've all helped me make my decision.
!