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upgrading my HD4850

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October 15, 2008 7:02:01 PM

hey guys.. so i have an VisionTek HD4850 512mb GDDR3 and i want to upgrade it.. it's a wonderful card that ran crysis at almost 25fps on 1280x1024.. so hats off to that :) 
so basically i'm restrained with my PSU.. i have a thermaltake toughpower 650W
so i was wondering what to get.. here are the options
another HD4850 in crossfire
HD4870 512mb GDDR5
HD4870 1GB GDDR5
gtx260
and with my PSU, what is the most power hungry graphics card that i can install (either single or SLI or Crossfire)
also, is the difference between the 1GB and 512MB noticeable ? is it worth it ? if so, in what way ?
and one last thing, is it wise to get factory overclocked graphics cards like this one ?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
or better stick to the stock specs like this one ?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

thanks for your help guys.. i really appreciate it..

More about : upgrading hd4850

October 15, 2008 7:16:23 PM

another HD4850 will give you the most power. Your PSU should be fine, 650W is plenty.
October 15, 2008 7:16:45 PM

i would say keep your current 4850 and get another one for crossfire and at 1280 x 1024 the difference between 1gb and 512 mb isnt really noticable maybe 1 fps
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October 15, 2008 7:22:59 PM

but i saw on the benchmarks that the single HD4870 beats the HD4850 Crossfire.. so basically what i understand is that the gtx260 is out of the competition ? its between 2xHD4850 and 1xHD4870 ?
hmm..it's the same price because if i'll get the 4870, i'll sell the 4850 and it would come down to the same..
at larger resolutions, 1600 and 1900, which one is better ?
October 15, 2008 7:38:23 PM

In most benchmarks with a resolution at 1680 x 1050 and under 2x 4850 will do better than a 4870.
a c 143 U Graphics card
October 15, 2008 7:41:23 PM

Between HD 4870 1GB and GTX 260 Core 216, the HD 4870 seems better.
http://www.anandtech.com/showdoc.aspx?i=3415&p=2

Between HD 4870 512MB and HD 4850 CF: in general HD 4850 CF wins at 1680x1050 and 1920x1200 in Crysis and in World in Conflict.
http://www.vr-zone.com/articles/Graphics_Slugfest%3A_ATI_Radeon_HD_4850_CF%2C_HD_4870%2C_HD_4870_CF_vs._NVIDIA_GeForce_GTX_260%2C_GTX_280/5935-11.html
The 1GB version of the HD 4870 will do better than the 512MB version at those resolutions, but I suspect it would still be less than HD 4850 Crossfire.

My feeling is that you should try to sell the HD 4850, but actually sell it only if you can get a very good price. If you sell it, get the HD 4870 1GB. if not, add a second HD 4850.

With your PSU you can even install a HD 4870 X2, unless you have an overclocked quad and lots of PCI cards/fans/hard disks. Any single card these days is still under 300W max.
With two cards, HD 4870 CF is still OK, again unless you have tons of other parts in there. HD 4850 CF or a single HD 4870 shouldn't be a problem.

What kind of motherboard do you have? If it's X38 or X48, then HD 4850 Crossfire will work at its best. If it's P45, you have an additional reason to switch to a single HD 4870 or a single HD 4870 X2 or a single GTX 260. This article shows how P45 bottlenecks HD 4850 Crossfire. It's not bad IMO, but it does reduce performance.
http://www.legionhardware.com/document.php?id=761&p=8



October 15, 2008 7:55:01 PM

i have an intel original P35 motherboard.. the problem is that i live very far away from the US and so we dont have aftermarket IMO..
i have a Q6600, 2x320GB SATA, 4GB DDR2 800 of RAM, and thats about it.. so i dont think thats a lot :p 
is the performance of the HD4870X2 any different from the 4870 in crossfire ? (ie, single 4870x2 different that 2 4870s?)
and at low resolution, 1280x1024, which one is better?
a c 143 U Graphics card
October 15, 2008 8:24:23 PM

A HD 4870 X2 has 2 GB of RAM, while two HD 4870 cards have only 512MB each (unless you get the newer version with 1GB each). In general the X2 wins. Also, the X2 doesn't suffer if it's in a P45 motherboard, while two HD 4870 cards in a P45 would have a bottleneck and won't do their best.

I'm not sure how HD 4870X2 works in a P35 MB, i.e. in a PCI-E 1.1 slot. It might not work at its best either. Anyway, with a P35 you shouldn't do Crossfire, because the second slot works at 4x only and it hurts performance a lot.

At 1280x1024 you could get a single HD 4870 and play anything well, even Crysis. Between HD 4870X2 and HD 4870 CF at that resolution I think they're equal, because the extra RAM on the X2 isn't needed and won't make a difference. Anyway, it's insane to spend $550 or so on video cards if you play at 1280x1024, so it may be hard to find benchmarks to prove this.


October 15, 2008 8:37:17 PM

so i get the 4870 1GB, try to sell the 4850, and if i want to upgrade my screen to a 20-22inch, i'll get another 4870 1GB so it should be like the 4870x2 but on several payments that wont hurt the pocket as much :p 
so at 1280x1024, and the p35, should i wait with the 4850, improve to 4870 512mb or to a 4870 1gb ?
thanks aevm i really appreciate it
a c 191 U Graphics card
October 15, 2008 8:38:51 PM

Agree with AEVM, at 1280x1024 a 1GB HD4870 would be more than enough and would play well up to 19x12 with reduced AA.
At this res a Crossfire soloution would be massive overkill, no matter how high you set the graphics bar.
Remember, you only need a game to run at 60 FPS. My mere rig runs so fast that I use V-synch on many games to slow down the frame rate so the display does n`t look jittery.
October 15, 2008 8:42:24 PM

a second 4850 would be a more cost effective solution, but a single 4870 would be good too. at you're res a 1gig 4870 makes ZERO sense.
a c 191 U Graphics card
October 15, 2008 8:43:22 PM

Damn, must type faster!
C-J, yes get the 1Gb HD4870 but you probably won`t need another card, even at 19x12, and do not crossfire, as AEVM says, you second slot is only at X4 speed, a HD4870 there will be wasted.
October 15, 2008 8:47:54 PM

thanks man.. mopman shut up please.. thanks coozie7..
October 15, 2008 8:49:16 PM

oh.. and any specific brand in mind? some maybe better than others? diamond, sapphire, msi, powercolor ?
a c 191 U Graphics card
October 15, 2008 9:05:45 PM

I`ve never been that bothered by brand or `bundles` or overclocked specials so tend to buy whatever is cheapest and stock.
However, I`ve seen plenty of positive reports for EVGA. Any comments, guys?
One last point, the stock cooled HD4870 can run very hot, check out other threads on the forum for this, and how to solve it or, of course, you can purchase a card with improved cooling.
a c 143 U Graphics card
October 15, 2008 9:10:15 PM

eVGA is one of the best when you buy nVidia cards. They don't make ATI cards.

For a HD 4850 or HD 4870 my favorites are Visiontek and Sapphire. The one to avoid most is Diamond, apparently, but I haven't had any personal experience with them.
a c 191 U Graphics card
October 15, 2008 9:18:37 PM

^^^^^oops :cry: 
Mine`s Sapphire
October 15, 2008 9:53:33 PM

I agree aevm:
EVGA or Visiontek is what I choose.


OP... I would purchase a second 4850 if i were in your shoes.
October 15, 2008 10:33:48 PM

grieve said:


OP... I would purchase a second 4850 if i were in your shoes.


That would not work as you think. On an Intel P35 Chipset, one of the PCI-E Slots runs t 16x while the other runs at 4x. So one card will be performing faster than the other, causing a bottleneck and the fact that Crossfire requires a lot of cross PCI-E communication, therefore increasing the bottleneck even further. Conclusively, there is absolutely no point in getting dual cards on that motherboard. He should instead purchase a more powerful card with more than a 30% boost in performance in order to really notice it and justify the price increase. The only thing on the market that is actually worth upgrading to right now from a 4850, is either a GTX280 or the 4870X2. For me, I am nearly in the same predicament. I recently upgraded from the 8800GTS320 to the 4850 at 1680x1050. Although the performance increase was decent, It wasn't what I really wanted. I want something that is capable of more than doubling the performance of my card, on a single GPU, while costing a modest $300-$450.
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