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Price, not an issue

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October 20, 2008 6:37:27 PM

Hi im planning to build a new gaming rig, but after reading a few of the post here bout the HD4870, im in a bit of a doubt.

Im planning to get either

2x HD4870 1GB

or

1x HD4870x2 2GB, so maybe later im capable of upgrading to one more (dont think itll happen but you never know)

However theres alot of post with this card failing and other stuff.

So my question is, is this a good card ?, according to THG it should be realtivly fast. or should i reconsidere and go with the 280 nvidia ?

More about : price issue

October 20, 2008 6:41:03 PM

Definitely get the HD 4870 X2 over two HD 4870, it should not only be cheaper, but has a few built-in improvements to correct microstuttering.
October 20, 2008 7:27:03 PM

thankyou
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October 20, 2008 8:28:38 PM

How well does 2x HD4870x2 scale, are there any reported problems with them or is it all just candy dandy ? :D 
October 20, 2008 8:45:27 PM

2 4870 X2s don't scale to justify the cost, but it is the fastest GPU solution available if that tells you anything.
October 20, 2008 8:51:33 PM

If price is truly not an issue... why not Tri-SLI 280's?

Or if you wish to be a smart consumer, wait until Nov/Dec and see what the next gen offering is from nVidia and ATI.

If your looking to spend some serious cash its a little late in this Gen to do so in good conscience, your $500-$750 GPU solution is going to be last Gens tech in 30 or so days and if you still want a 4870x2 or a couple of 280's then they are going to be much cheaper come November.
October 20, 2008 8:56:14 PM

Why 3 GTX 280s? More money than 2 4870 X2s and pretty much the same performance with less benefits such as DX 10.1. Unless he has an SLI board I can not see why he would go Tri-SLI...
October 20, 2008 8:58:10 PM

I don't think ATi's next gen comes out until early NEXT year. The HD 5000 series is going on 40nm, and TSMC won't be ready for production this year. The HD 4870x2 is the better way to go about it, and it probably won't be surpassed for another 4-5months.
October 20, 2008 9:02:34 PM

"Pretty much the same performance" is not "The same performance" Tri-SLI 280's and if money is not the issue and price is not the concern then you may as well get the best there is, even if its little more than to stretch the e-peen.

Once again, the smart thing to do is to wait until November and that is still my recommendation.

DX10.1... great if the only game you ever plan on playing is Far Cry 2, otherwise... somewhat unnecessary.

nVidia's new line is November and they are probably going to make a big to knock the HD4870x2 off the throne, if nothing takes his fancy from that lineup then wait until ATI's next offering, this is still the end of the life time of being the Flagship cards for both the 280 & the HD4870x2, the end of Oct is a bad time to be making a heavy investment in a Video card.
October 20, 2008 9:12:41 PM

The_Blood_Raven said:
Why 3 GTX 280s? More money than 2 4870 X2s and pretty much the same performance with less benefits such as DX 10.1. Unless he has an SLI board I can not see why he would go Tri-SLI...


It depends on game and resolution. Gtx280 is faster than 4870x2 quad in most games, although some major titles, like CoD4, are among exceptions.


With AA and AF pumped up, quad 4870x2 outperforms tri gtx280 in CoD4 overall. But then again, with this game, at those settings, the raw power of quad 9800gx2 also shows.
Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
October 20, 2008 9:18:59 PM

if price REALLY doesn't matter... then get a GF...
October 20, 2008 10:09:48 PM

Thank you all for the nice replys and suggestion.
here is how i see it, yes price is more or less not an issue, but im not stupid either. so im not going to fire alot of money on a slight performance increase.
if that was the case then I'd buy the ioeXtream flash drive insted of the velociraptor :D .
And im going to start out with only 1x HD4870x2, however i was just investigating the possiblities for later upgrades ect.


But all that aside, the reason why i building now, is that i was waiting for the Nahelem but im a bit unsure when it arrives some say november, but start of november or the end i dont know. if anyone could shed som light on that i would be happy.
and my system have been due an overhaul for half a year now (was hoping for the new chip to arrive in september).

Also ive read that the new chip shouldnt scale so well with games, IE the price/performance wouldnt be worth it. on the other hand its true that other chips will fall in price. but then again they always do.

And yes VoidNull i was hoping to build a system capable of running FC2 :D 


October 20, 2008 10:23:56 PM

I'm not sure what you guys are reading. I did a LOT of research and found that the 4870 X2 and Tri SLI 280 GTX are about even with them winning in different games. Tri SLI 280 GTXs has a little bit more horsepower, but it does not have much room for improvement, while the 4870 X2 crossfireX drivers are still in beta more or less and should get improved soon (ATI is taking it's sweet old time). 8.10 was supposed to give a boost in performance for the 4870 X2 crossfireX, but did not deliver. From what I can see the 4870 X2 crossfireX performs 99% as well as Tri SLI'd 280 GTXs, but the 4870 X2 crossfireX still has a lot of room to improve. Add this and the DX 10.1 which might allow the card to be fully compatible with DX 11 according to popular rumors and the enhanced video quality of the ATI cards make the 4870 X2 crossfireX the best GPU solution to date, in my opinion atleast... I will admit that the 4870 X2 does not perform as well in older titles, but none of the 4xxx series does and honestly what does it matter when your hitting triple digit FPS?!
October 20, 2008 10:28:58 PM

Honestly, I say stay the hell away from Nehalem until Q1/2 09. The performance in games seems to be worse than the current contenders from what I have seen and you don't need all that muscle in much else. I would put the 6400+ in your rig and forget about Nehalem until later. Believe me I am disappointed too, but maybe the previews will be wrong and Intel will save the day. Though the shortage of decent DDR3 RAM in the foreseeable future is also somewhat upsetting and I am not talking about the price which actually seems somewhat reasonable to me. the 4870 X2 is a great card, though a bit overpriced, but the high end always is.
October 20, 2008 10:56:17 PM

optimist said:


And yes VoidNull i was hoping to build a system capable of running FC2 :D 


Excellent, at least you have a goal in mind and if Far Cry 2 is your poison of choice then the 4870X2 all the way sir, however if you are waiting on building the system until the Nehalem is released, then wait on buying the GPU until you get the CPU, the prices for everything will have gone down by then and we should see a handful of new cards on the market to toss back and forth on the benchmarks.

:) 
a c 259 U Graphics card
October 20, 2008 11:47:15 PM

If your new gaming PC will be powered by a cpu costing over $350, particularly a quad, then you should look at nehalem first. The entry 2.66 cpu will be priced at $284 in 1000 unit trays. 2.93=$562, 3.2=$999. Clock for clock, it will be faster, but nobody who knows is telling yet by how much. If you will play multicore optimized games like FSX or supreme commander, the new i7 is for you. The NDA's are supposed to expire in early november. That says to me that product should appear by the end of November.

Otherwise the E8500/E8600 is as good as it gets.

For a build now, I would suggest looking at the strongest EVGA GTX280 you can find.
It will run a bit behind the 4870X2 today, but still be very good. Use the EVGA "step-up" program to upgrade to the next best thing from Nvidia if one should appear within the next 90 days.
October 21, 2008 2:18:47 AM

Nothing is going to appear from nvidia in the next 90 days that will top the 4870 X2, it will just be a die shrink. Get the 4870 x2.
October 21, 2008 6:23:18 AM

I dont think anything will appear from nvidia that can top the HD 4870 X2 until their 40nm GPU hits the shelves and the soonest that can happen is Q2 2009, since TSMC won't have 40nm ready until then.
October 21, 2008 7:00:13 AM

Go for Core 2 Extreme instead of Nehalem. Its better established and pretty close to Nehalem's performance, except for the 8 threads. There's nothing that utilizes 8 threads anyway. As for the gfx, just go for the 4870x2. Its memory bandwidth and flops are higher
October 21, 2008 7:31:57 AM

it has to be crossfire because you dont have to get a motherboard with a nvidia chipset, they pretty much bring a lot of problems with them, and with all the dx10.1 games coming to market there's absolutely no need to go with nvidia
October 21, 2008 9:37:40 AM

Oh my, looks like I've started the old Nvidia vs ATI :D . Thank you all for all the imputs and suggestions.

This is my plan for now, i Think ill go with the Q9550 until it get obsolete, since i do not think that there will be any games in the neer future which would utilize the Nehalem fully anyways. However i will wait for the Nehalem to be launched or at least announced so the prices on all the other hardware will drop. which would mean that i have to wait at least 2 weeks.

However I cannot wait half a year for the Nehalem as some of you suggest, since my current system have started to behave weird. Plus I've been looking at water cooling parts for the system as well and if i have to wait until Nehalem is out plus for the makers to make a cooling block for it. it will be close to the middle of January before i get a new system.

Also i do think simply by having a GFX which is DX10.1 compatible will give me a better advantage over Nvidia in future games .

so all in all my current system config will look something like this


Core 2 Quad (Yorkfield) Model Q9550 (2.83GHz), Quad Core
Asus Rampage/Formula, Intel X48, LGA775

Corsair Twin2X 2x2048MB DDR2, PC8500 DDR1066 - Might change them to finde something else

EAH4870X2/HTDI/2G, Radeon HD 4870X2, 2048MB GDDR5
Velociraptor 300GB
Real Power Modular RS-700-ASAA-A1, 700 Watt, 120mm Fan


October 21, 2008 9:46:28 AM

To Geofelt

Sorry I've never heard about the "Step Up" program for Nvidia, do you have a link for that ?
and is it something that is globally covered ?

To Rags_20

Ive been looking at the Extreme CPU's, and i do not think i get enough performance for my money there compared to a Q9550 OC'ed. and the cheapest Extreme is close to 3 times as expensive.

October 21, 2008 10:32:59 AM

Step up program wont help because anything new coming out will not arrive in the 90 day period. Stick with the Q9550 if you want a quad or get the E8600 which outperforms all the quads in games and many other areas. Change that power supply to the Pc Power and Cooling 750w, the one you listed is junk.
October 21, 2008 11:45:47 AM

To The_Blood_Raven

Just try'ed a compare between the Q9550 and E8600 on Toms hardware, and the Q9550 is slightly ahead in some of the high end games, and since future games might utilize multicore much more than they do now.
And i can with the current price level, get the Q9550 for bout 40$ more than the E8600, from that conclusion i think ill stick with the Q9550.

But if you have other sources with diffrent information i would be happy to see it, because I'm basing my arguments on what information i can get from this only.


Thank you for the PSU suggestion, but im still a bit unsure as to how much power my system will used, think id go as far as a 1Kw. since the one i have currently is a 550w which might be cutting it a bit closely.
a c 259 U Graphics card
October 21, 2008 3:05:46 PM

optimist said:
To Geofelt

Sorry I've never heard about the "Step Up" program for Nvidia, do you have a link for that ?
and is it something that is globally covered ?

To Rags_20

Ive been looking at the Extreme CPU's, and i do not think i get enough performance for my money there compared to a Q9550 OC'ed. and the cheapest Extreme is close to 3 times as expensive.

The "step-up" program is from EVGA which develops Nvidia vga cards and motherboards. Here is a link: http://www.evga.com/stepup/
I think it is valid for europe also.
Unfortunately, I am not privvy to Nvidia's plans like some other posters here would have you believe. That does not keep me from offering my own speculation. What you should see from Nvidia before the Christmas selling season is a 55nm die shrink of the GTX260 and GTX280 series. They can either make them smaller and cooler, or give them higher clock rates. I am betting on the latter. Nvidia very much wants to take the single card throne away from the 4870X2. With the GTX280, they are not very far away.

If you have a cpu that has a clock rate of 3.0 in today's cpu architecture, you can drive the strongest single vga card out there, and play any games very well. More than that, in cpu, or vga card, you are getting rapidly diminishing returns with each increase in power. I also would not get an extreme cpu if money or value was an issue. Assuming that Nehalem arrives in November, as many are indicating, you will not be happy with a Q9550 purchased today. At that time, the i7 cpu's will be so very much better that the price of competing current generation quads will have to be greatly lowered to clear out the inventory.

For the PSU, the first concern should be the quality of the unit. Low quality units deliver inconsistent power. They do so only at an unrealistic 20c instead of the 40c which you might actually see in a case. The watts claimed are peak watts, not continuous, and are delivered to the 3.3 and 5.0 v rails instead of the 12v rails where modern computers need them. Quality units come from Corsair, PC P&C, seasonic, antec for starters. The primary determinant of psu requirements come from the vga configuration. In a simple way, look at how many 6 and 8 pin pci-e connectors you need for your vga configuration. A quality unit can power those leads fully with enough elsewhere for your system. For example, a PC P&C silencer610 has two 6/8 pin leads, and can power the 4870X2, the most power hungry single card out there. The silencer750 has 4 leads and can power two 4870x2 units. It is not a bad idea to increase the psu a step above the minimum, though. That will let the psu operate in it's most efficient mid-range.
October 21, 2008 4:08:32 PM
October 23, 2008 9:59:10 PM

WAll of text crits Optimist for xx damage :D  .. Thank you

Quote:

The "step-up" program is from EVGA which develops Nvidia vga cards and motherboards. Here is a link: http://www.evga.com/stepup/
I think it is valid for europe also.
Unfortunately, I am not privvy to Nvidia's plans like some other posters here would have you believe. That does not keep me from offering my own speculation. What you should see from Nvidia before the Christmas selling season is a 55nm die shrink of the GTX260 and GTX280 series. They can either make them smaller and cooler, or give them higher clock rates. I am betting on the latter. Nvidia very much wants to take the single card throne away from the 4870X2. With the GTX280, they are not very far away.


Maybe, or they might just try to get away with one with 1GB of mem for the same price. However since im also going to add a watercooling solotion to my rig, i cannot change GFX just right away since id have to buy a new waterblock for the new gfx. So looking at it, the HD4870x2 is pritty much the best solotion, because with watercooling, i might be able to push it alot harder, and by buying an x2 i have the possibility to buy another later on.

Quote:

If you have a cpu that has a clock rate of 3.0 in today's cpu architecture, you can drive the strongest single vga card out there, and play any games very well. More than that, in cpu, or vga card, you are getting rapidly diminishing returns with each increase in power. I also would not get an extreme cpu if money or value was an issue. Assuming that Nehalem arrives in November, as many are indicating, you will not be happy with a Q9550 purchased today. At that time, the i7 cpu's will be so very much better that the price of competing current generation quads will have to be greatly lowered to clear out the inventory.


I do not think the extreme CPU is realy worth it, since when the game creators gets thier heads out of thier asses, and start producing games which uses all the potential of the current CPU, i should be ok with a none-extreme. also the price for the smalles one is 3 times as much as the q9550, and i dont even think the performance of that one is better.
!