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1gb 4870 or crossfire 4850's

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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October 26, 2008 6:27:22 PM

So i just wanted to know what would be better to buy a 1gb 4870 or 2 4850's and set it up in crossfire.. Ill be playing computer games ect. Both are around the same price about $300.
October 26, 2008 6:30:34 PM

Crossfire 4850's if you have the motherboard for it obviously.
October 26, 2008 6:32:39 PM

ill be getting the GIGABYTE GA-X48
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October 26, 2008 6:47:58 PM

Go for the two 4850s then. Also depends on your monitor size/resolution. That is really the most important.
October 26, 2008 6:54:20 PM

go for the 4870 and buy another one when needed, but it all depends in the rez u play at
a b U Graphics card
October 26, 2008 7:04:34 PM

The 4870 is awesome but the 4850 offers the best bang for the buck.

Since DDR5 is not mainstream memory yet you are going to be paying a premium for 4870 cards.

Two 4850s cost the same as a single 4870 and out performs it by a significant amount.

Just make sure you have a strong enough power supply and your case has good cooling.
October 26, 2008 7:18:41 PM

i have two systems with both gpu cards (just check my system specs) The 4850 crossfire is the better setup it also has a higher 3d-mark-06 score (for what that's worth) but i do not notice a difference on either setup they both run great, so you might just want to go for the cheapest
October 26, 2008 7:25:48 PM

rwayne said:
The 4870 is awesome but the 4850 offers the best bang for the buck.

Since DDR5 is not mainstream memory yet you are going to be paying a premium for 4870 cards.

Two 4850s cost the same as a single 4870 and out performs it by a significant amount.

Just make sure you have a strong enough power supply and your case has good cooling.


Two 4850's do not cost the same as a single 4870.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - cheapest 4850, x2 = $320

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - cheapest 4870 = $250

Then there are the "hidden" cost, of needing a Crossfire mobo ($120-$200, depending on if you want 8/8 on a P45 or 16/16 on a X38/48. Or $180 for a 790FX w/SB750 for 16/16, or a $110 790GX with 8/8), and a larger PSU than you would use for a single card solution. And the 4870 is priced well for what it offers, and you arent really paying a premium for GDDR5, considering its $50 cheaper than the GTX 260 216 that uses GDDR3 and performs about the same. GDDR5 is better, period.


October 26, 2008 7:34:36 PM

If he's already getting an X48 board, then definitely get dual HD 4850.
October 26, 2008 8:39:25 PM

Thx for the help guys.....Ill be using a 22 inch monitor which has a res of 1680x1050 i belive. Also to make it clear this is a 1GB version of the 4870. comparing the prices thier both about $300.
October 26, 2008 8:45:12 PM

boomh3adsh0t said:
Thx for the help guys.....Ill be using a 22 inch monitor which has a res of 1680x1050 i belive. Also to make it clear this is a 1GB version of the 4870. comparing the prices thier both about $300.


Yea, forgot you mentioned that in the above post, I linked the 512mb one in my above post. Regardless, just get two 4850s.
October 26, 2008 8:49:08 PM

kk thank you very much for the help.
October 26, 2008 8:57:03 PM

wow very questionable.. umm

your gonna play 1680x1050, so buying a 1gb 4870 will do ABSOLUTELY NOTHIGN... if anything go for the toxic edition sapphire[512]...

your getting a x48? two 4850's would do wonderfully on 1680x1050, but so would 1 4870... i personally would get 1 4870 now, and when they drop down[THEY DEF WILL DROP DOWN, LOOK AT THE 3870 NOW, ITS $100 COMPARED TO $300 EARLIER THIS YEAR]and get the second one later... your getting a x48, 2x 4870's would alst you longer than 2x 4850's

one more plus about 1 4870 over 2 4850's... you don't have to worry about the inconsistencies of scaling, seeing how almost no game scales properly with crossfire...except cod, oddly, it scales like 115%...now THATS what you call scaling. lol
October 26, 2008 9:03:49 PM

spathotan said:
Two 4850's do not cost the same as a single 4870.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - cheapest 4850, x2 = $320

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - cheapest 4870 = $250

Then there are the "hidden" cost, of needing a Crossfire mobo ($120-$200, depending on if you want 8/8 on a P45 or 16/16 on a X38/48. Or $180 for a 790FX w/SB750 for 16/16, or a $110 790GX with 8/8), and a larger PSU than you would use for a single card solution. And the 4870 is priced well for what it offers, and you arent really paying a premium for GDDR5, considering its $50 cheaper than the GTX 260 216 that uses GDDR3 and performs about the same. GDDR5 is better, period.


Dual 4850 will far outperform single 4870. They're not in the same league. The extra $70 is a lower % price increase for higher % performance increase.

As for ddr5 and ddr3, it's not nearly as important as most people make it out to be. To say that "ddr5 is faster than ddr3" is a gross oversimplification, and often wrong.

Use this formula for memory access bandwidth/capability:
(ddr# - 1) x single channel clock = effective clock
(Bus bandwidth / 8) x effective clock in ghz = overall capability

Let's do a bit of calculation:

4850 = 2 x 993mhz = 1986mhz -> 1.986ghz
4870 = 4 x 900mhz = 3600mhz -> 3.6ghz
gtx280 = 2 x 1107 = 2214mhz -> 2.214ghz

4850 = (256/8) x 1.986 = 62 gb/s
4870 = (256/8) x 3.600 = 115.2 gb/s
gtx280 = (512/8) x 2.214 = 141.7 gb/s

Imagine it as 2 rivers, one is narrower, but flows faster (ddr5, with 256bit bus), the other is wider, but slows slower (ddr3, with 512bit bus).

Of course, since 4850 also use 256bit bus, its memory is slower than 4870, unlike gtx280. But still, performance is determined mostly by the processor itself. Higher bandwidth, whether it's in the form of ddr5 or wider bus, is only a contributory factor. 4850's core is almost as strong as 4870, and benchmark performance reflects this, as 4870's performance edge isn't nearly as high as the 115.2/62 ratio would suggest.

Hope this sheds some light on ddr3-ddr5. :p 
October 26, 2008 10:16:18 PM

Just go with the 4850 Crossfire that is the better one they both perform really good but the 4850 crossfire is slightly better. reason i went for a 4850 crossfire and a 4870 1GB is because my second pc did not have any slots left because of my tv tuner.

4850 crossfire 15700 (under XP)
4780 1 GB 14600 (under Vista)

that is with no OC? and identical specs
!