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What is a good GPU for 19" monitor? 4850 vs 4870 vs GX2 vs GTX 260

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November 3, 2008 10:16:28 PM

I want to build a gaming pc (~$1000). I already have a 19" monitor (max res. 1440x900) and C2D E8500. But I have not decided on the GPU and thus the MOBO (nforce vs intel for SLI or CF in the **FUTURE**, maybe in a year or 2 for newer games).

I am considering 4850 512mb, 4870 512mb, 4870 1gb, gtx 260 or 9800 gx2. Which video card should i get for this resolution? Right now, I play CoD most of the time. But I definitely want a video card to play other games like crysis as well.

Thanks!
November 3, 2008 10:46:29 PM

i'd say the 4870 1gb. leaves a little room for gpu intensive games, but not too much overkill.
Related resources
November 3, 2008 11:21:26 PM

spidy said:
i'd say the 4870 1gb. leaves a little room for gpu intensive games, but not too much overkill.






According to the benchmarks, it seems like the 9800 gx2 is a better choice over any other single cards. And the GX2 is only slightly more expensive than 4870 1gb. I do not mind spending for either of these 2 cards, but will they give a better performance over the other cards on a 19" screen? Will 4870 performs much better than the 4850 on 1440x900, given that it is $100 more expensive? Is 1gb memory really needed for this resolution?
November 3, 2008 11:31:57 PM

justin182 said:
According to the benchmarks, it seems like the 9800 gx2 is a better choice over any other single cards. And the GX2 is only slightly more expensive than 4870 1gb. I do not mind spending for either of these 2 cards, but will they give a better performance over the other cards on a 19" screen? Will 4870 performs much better than the 4850 on 1440x900, given that it is $100 more expensive? Is 1gb memory really needed for this resolution?


4870 perform better than 4850, but not exactly "much better." 1440x900 is around the same area as 1280x1024. Relative fps difference tends to be smaller the lower the resolution.

As for 9800gx2's performance, it's a dual gpu card, compare to single gpus. Not exactly fair comparison. It's like comparing 2 4850s in cf to a single 4870. Of course performance will be far better.
a b U Graphics card
November 3, 2008 11:51:42 PM

9800gx2 suffers with low ram on each card, loud, hot, micro stutter and cant handle high aa very well. returned my card got sick of it.
right now i would go with the 4870 or gtx260 which ever is cheaper.
November 4, 2008 12:13:11 AM

invisik said:
9800gx2 suffers with low ram on each card, loud, hot, micro stutter and cant handle high aa very well. returned my card got sick of it.
right now i would go with the 4870 or gtx260 which ever is cheaper.


That's wrong, the 1gb onboard is the same as the typical 4870 512mb, no more, no less. Microstuttering of x2 cards are the same as any crossfire/sli setup, in other words, mostly nonexistent. It also handles AA fine.
http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3341&p=14
http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3341&p=17
http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3341&p=19
November 4, 2008 12:22:42 AM

Don't listen to the banter. Get a 4850. At your resolution this is plenty. Any more and you are wasting your cash. Enjoy the extra cash in your pocket and get the 4850!
a c 106 U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
November 4, 2008 12:24:15 AM

I'm going to put my 2 cents in here because dagger keeps whipping out anandtech's graphics. dagger probably only owns one graphics card........ the 9800gx2. Get a gtx 260, preferably one of the over clocked ones, 192sp are fine. It outperforms my 4870 for one and the gx2 is not any good for Crysis....... PERIOD ! It also tanks when things get intensive....and they heat up and tank. I can keep going but won't. Remeber, the more you crank up the goodies, the more card you are going to need.
November 4, 2008 12:25:15 AM

bornking said:
Don't listen to the banter. Get a 4850. At your resolution this is plenty. Any more and you are wasting your cash. Enjoy the extra cash in your pocket and get the 4850!


+1

Other than Crysis, 4850 is enough for everything at that resolution. No reason to pay more when it's unnecessary.

Edit: Ignore all the fanboyism against 9800gx2. None of those people actually own the card, how could they know other than hearsay? Those highly opinionated views based on nothing, while directly contradicting benchmarks/facts, are worthless.

In any case, 4850 is enough. At that resolution, no need for anything higher, including 9800gx2, unless you play Crysis.

Here's power consumption:
http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3341&p=22
a c 175 U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
November 4, 2008 12:38:26 AM

And another vote for the 4850. As mentioned, 1440x900 is ~ 1280x1024. Games are more CPU bound here then GPU. Frankly, 1440x900 is more or less low res gaming, so you don't need a big GPU. Unless you will be upgrading the monitor soon, get the 4850. Put the money saved over buying the 4870 1Gb/GTX260 into a bigger/better monitor.
a b U Graphics card
November 4, 2008 12:50:06 AM

i owned the 9800gx2 so i no what im talking about. if you never owned the card dont talk. the 9800gx2 is a decent card but if you play crysis and farcry 2 enabling extensive aa heavily cripples the card. i realize the card has 512mb like the 4870 but the ati cards are much more memory efficient. Justin182 its ultimately your choice im not going to sit here and argue with people. i personally had the card for 2 months the lack of aa i was able to enable and the frequent micro stutter made me trade it in for something else.
November 4, 2008 1:08:30 AM

Get the 4850. Amazing card for an amazing price. You wont be disappointed.
November 4, 2008 1:11:14 AM

at that res.. a 4850 is already an overkill. A 4850 will do you good for the res you are playing in.

I'm using 4850 @ 1680x1050 and its serves me well.

November 4, 2008 1:31:16 AM

swifty_morgan said:
I'm going to put my 2 cents in here because dagger keeps whipping out anandtech's graphics. dagger probably only owns one graphics card........ the 9800gx2. Get a gtx 260, preferably one of the over clocked ones, 192sp are fine. It outperforms my 4870 for one and the gx2 is not any good for Crysis....... PERIOD ! It also tanks when things get intensive....and they heat up and tank. I can keep going but won't. Remeber, the more you crank up the goodies, the more card you are going to need.


dagger said:
+1

Other than Crysis, 4850 is enough for everything at that resolution. No reason to pay more when it's unnecessary.

Edit: Ignore all the fanboyism against 9800gx2. None of those people actually own the card, how could they know other than hearsay? Those highly opinionated views based on nothing, while directly contradicting benchmarks/facts, are worthless.

In any case, 4850 is enough. At that resolution, no need for anything higher, including 9800gx2, unless you play Crysis.

Here's power consumption:
http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3341&p=22


4745454b said:
And another vote for the 4850. As mentioned, 1440x900 is ~ 1280x1024. Games are more CPU bound here then GPU. Frankly, 1440x900 is more or less low res gaming, so you don't need a big GPU. Unless you will be upgrading the monitor soon, get the 4850. Put the money saved over buying the 4870 1Gb/GTX260 into a bigger/better monitor.


invisik said:
i owned the 9800gx2 so i no what im talking about. if you never owned the card dont talk. the 9800gx2 is a decent card but if you play crysis and farcry 2 enabling extensive aa heavily cripples the card. i realize the card has 512mb like the 4870 but the ati cards are much more memory efficient. Justin182 its ultimately your choice im not going to sit here and argue with people. i personally had the card for 2 months the lack of aa i was able to enable and the frequent micro stutter made me trade it in for something else.


Bob_doleee said:
Get the 4850. Amazing card for an amazing price. You wont be disappointed.


Zecow said:
at that res.. a 4850 is already an overkill. A 4850 will do you good for the res you are playing in.

I'm using 4850 @ 1680x1050 and its serves me well.


bornking said:
Don't listen to the banter. Get a 4850. At your resolution this is plenty. Any more and you are wasting your cash. Enjoy the extra cash in your pocket and get the 4850!




Thank you everyone for the great advice. Originally I had a preference over gx2 for its performance, but after reading the posts here, I could rule that out now.

So finally it comes down to 4850, gtx260, and 4870 (in the order of increasing price). 4850 seems to me to be the best choice in terms of price/performance on a 19" monitor. But I am somewhat concerned over its single-slot design. I would really love to keep the temp down inside the case. So for those who owns the 4850, is that a relevant argument or not? I know HIS 4850 has double slot design but that is ONLY a little bit cheaper than the gx 260. Is it better to get the gx260 or 4870 (much overkill from what I heard so far) for their design or the single-slot is no issue.

Thanks
November 4, 2008 2:09:11 AM

Well the GTX 260 and 4870 are prolly a lot hotter than the 4850. If you're paranoid about the heat issues you can always go after an aftermarket solution.
November 4, 2008 2:23:39 AM

Here are five comparison benchmarks for your consideration:

3870x2 vs. 4850:

Tom's Hardware - Benchmark Mass Effect

3870x2 vs. 4870:

Tom's Hardware - Benchmark Microsoft Flight Simulator X SP2

9800gx2 vs. 3870x2:

Tom's Hardware - Benchmark 3DMark06 v1.1.0 HDR/SM3.0 Score

9800gx2 vs. GTX 260:

Tom's Hardware - Benchmark Mass Effect

GTX260 vs. 4870:

Tom's Hardware - Benchmark Mass Effect

This should give you a good idea how the last generation's two GPU cards compare to this generation's top three price performance single GPU cards. I left the GTX280 and 4870x2 out because they will be seriously hampered with anything below a 24" monitor (maybe anything less than a 30" monitor).

The only way to do a true comparison is to look at the benchmarks at many reputable sites and choose based on the games you play and any minor future proofing you want to do. Minor future proofing is not buying a card that can run games 3 years later at the highest settings (that's not feasible) but buying a card that can easily handle the resolution you play at plus can do well in the next couple of higher resolutions (as upgrading a monitor is a relatively inexpensive proposition that positively impacts gameplay).

I was in a similar situation. I game at 1280 x 1024 on a 17" CRT. Still plan on upgrading to a 22" or 24" LCD by mid 2009, but I was CPU limited until I got a triple core. I might still be CPU limited, but I saw major improvements over the old Athlon X2 4600+. It will be even better when income tax time comes around and I get an LCD with a resolution that will unlock the full potential of my card.
November 4, 2008 2:46:24 AM

Hello justin182,

From my view for a 19inch monitor 4850 will be the best and will satisfy your gaming till 2010 atleast. I assembled my rig in May (2008), thanks to all the members here especially dagger. My specs are View Sonic 19inch VX1945wm monitor (1440*900), E8400, 2GB corsair DDR2 800, XFX GeForce 8800 GT (running at default clocks, till now no o/c needed for me), 500GB SATA 2 Seagate 7200.11 HDD, Corsair HX620W PSU, CM RC 690 and i game a lot but didnt do that much for the last couple of months.

These are fps i get/got. Again i run all the games at the max settings that the game provides but except for the beast Crysis which i played one level down and without AA and got around 40-45fps in Vista.

COD4, it differs in which chapter u are, normally its above 60 and goes to 100+ (night time chapters)
GEARS OF WAR, 60+
KANE AND LYNCH, 60+
GRID, 45+
DIRT 45+
FIFA 2008, 60+
STRANGLEHOLD 60+
MOH AIRBONE 100+
etc.. so far i have completed some 15+ shooters and alltogetther tried some 35-40 games and believe me except for Crysis, 8800gt was rocking....

BTW these games were run on XP home edition SP3 and i have Vista 32bit Ultmiate where the fps is 3-5 down from the ones i mentioned.

As u know 4850 is better than 8800gt, i am sure it will fulfill all ur gaming reqs.

My view is for 19inch and below 4850 is the monster and for 22 its 4870.
a c 175 U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
November 4, 2008 4:37:02 AM

How bad the heat is depends on how well your case cools itself. If you have no or few small case fans, getting a double slot cooler is a good idea. If however you have several good 120mm case fans, it shouldn't be a problem. (as long as the rooms air temp isn't high)
November 4, 2008 5:07:31 AM

4850...its the shiznit...
November 4, 2008 5:26:54 AM

Price of mid-high end cards drop by a half every year.

So for the price difference of 4850 and GTX260, probably you can buy another 4850 next year for crossfire, or maybe even a faster card.

Or you save the money and buy non-crossfire/SLI MB this year, and invest into a faster card next year.

The conclusion? Buy a card that suits your need for this year, but not the future.

It all depends on what games you play.
a c 175 U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
November 4, 2008 6:37:28 AM

Quote:
Buy a card that suits your need for this year, but not the future.


I have come to the conclusion that this is quite possibly the best advice ever. Two years ago I spent $240 on my X1800XT. Don't get me wrong, its a good card. But by the next year, the $160ish x1950pro was its equal. 18months after I bought it, the 2600XT would have been just as good. (for what? A bit over $100?) Two years later, the $80 4670 kills my card. I'm not making this mistake again.

I am in the process of upgrading my system. I will not be spending mega bucks on the GPU. I can buy a midrange card now, and next year or two, another. Why spend $270 on a GTX260/4870, if 18 months from now the 6750 will outperform it for only $80? As long as the card you buy now is able to handle the games you play at the settings you want, don't go above that. Remember that for computers, performance increases while costs drop.
November 4, 2008 8:26:53 AM

THANKS a lot for all your inputs. I am pretty sure I will go for 4850 in my situation. Your comments are really appreciated.

One LAST question, or actually 2 questions. If I could get 4850 for ~$135, 4870 512mb for ~$210 and GTX 260 (regular 192 cores) for $195 - Yes, they are still 50% more expensive without 50% increase in performance, but still... just curious - would any of you suggest anything other than 4850 for any reason. Second, is there a specific good brand or a good design for 4850? Some have huge heat sink [http://www.newegg.com/Product/ShowImage.aspx?ISList=14-121-272-S01%2c14-121-272-S02%2c14-121-272-S03%2c14-121-272-S04%2c14-121-272-S05%2c14-121-272-S06&S7ImageFlag=1&Item=N82E16814121272&Depa=0&WaterMark=1&Description=ASUS%20Radeon%20HD%204850%20EAH4850%20TOP%2fHTDI%2f512M%20Video%20Card%20-%20Retail] while some have small fans within a kinda thinner enclosure (I assume that they look better only) http://www.newegg.com/Product/ShowImage.aspx?ISList=14-121-253-S01%2c14-121-253-S02%2c14-121-253-S03%2c14-121-253-S04%2c14-121-253-S05%2c14-121-253-S06&S7ImageFlag=1&Item=N82E16814121253&Depa=0&WaterMark=1&Description=ASUS%20Radeon%20HD%204850%20EAH4850%2fHTDI%2f512M%20Video%20Card%20-%20Retail.. Also the spec for the thinner version states 2nd gen. Is this newer or what?

Thanks.
a b U Graphics card
November 4, 2008 10:32:00 AM

the 4850 is a good card but with newer games coming out the card is going to slowly struggle enabling all the eye candy. if you plan to play at 1440x900 for a while then 4850 should be enough but if you get a new monitor and exceed 1680x1050 i would recommend the 4870 or gtx260.
as for ati brands i would go with visiontek because i believe they offer life time warranty.

Best of Luck!
a c 103 U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
November 8, 2008 2:14:13 AM

The HD4870 1GB easily kicks the bucket of the GTX260 when it comes to newer, more demanding games. The GTX280 is pricey and definitely out of the question unless you have one monster of a display. So get an Intel Chipset mobo with the HD4870 1GB. P45 if you want everything done or an X48 if you plan to Crossfire with another HD4870 in the future (Which kicks the bucket of the GTX280).

Anyway, Intel chipsets are widely regarded as being more reliable than those of NVidia. NVidia holds near complete monopoly over their SLi motherboards, which should give you some hints about their product price and quality. You decide.
November 9, 2008 4:58:32 AM

I'd just want to share that I'd go for ATI 4850 as well. HIS iceQ TurboX is good. check google for heat issues. Its kinda similar to Sapphires 4850 Toxic ed. Since you have a 19" lcd, and majority of the people here says 4870 is overkill, I agree with them. except that if you want to Futureproof your vcard, go for 4870 1GB.

huge heatsinks are better since you're concerned about temps too. I encourage you to go for 4850 with an aftermarket cooler, like the one u posted above (or HIS/Sapphire). dont worry if it takes 2 slots, unless you want to add lots of PCI cards in your rig(like tv tuners,modems,raid cards etc). remember, less heat- longer lifespan.

If you want to save $$ a bit, prefer single slot design over 2 slot cards, and worried about heat issues, you can adjust the fan speed of 4850 by using rivatuner / ati overdrive or manually editing the .xml file of catalyst. But at a cost - Noise. Unless ofcourse youre not that kinda worried about noise issues, -adjust it according to your personal preference.

2nd Generation? I think its talkin about the 55nm GPU generation. the 1st generation was HD3800 series, and HD4800 (RV770) are the 2nd generation 55nm GPUs.

!