Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Two HD4850 or one 4870?

Tags:
  • Radeon
  • Configuration
  • Build
  • Graphics
  • Product
Last response: in Graphics & Displays
Share
November 5, 2008 7:31:37 PM

Just wondering which one is faster, crossfiring two 4850's, or just one 4870 (both 512mb)?

I'm planning to build a new rig and trying to figure out the most cost-efficient config...

More about : hd4850 4870

November 5, 2008 7:38:55 PM

the HD4850 Crossfire is faster, no doubt about that.
November 5, 2008 7:42:46 PM

2 4850's would be quite a lot faster, and depending on which specific cards you're looking at, it might not even be more expensive.
Related resources
Can't find your answer ? Ask !
November 5, 2008 7:46:40 PM

I had this decision a year ago and no I am wishing I would have went with the more powerful single card solution. Because here I stand today wanting to upgrade and it would be so easy to buy another card and get the performance gain, but since I have 2 lower end cards, I will have to scrap em.

I'd go with the 4870 so next year when you want a performance gain, you can just toss another one in.
November 5, 2008 9:25:55 PM

4850's CF is faster, but serpent has a good point. It's probably a better choice in the long-run to buy a 4870 and get a second later.
November 5, 2008 9:33:34 PM

Well you see, I thought along the lines of Serpent's too. But then... when I look at my 4+ years old computer I'm currently running -- the only upgrading I've done to it is adding RAM.

I just don't want to run into a situation in the future where the 4870's price doesn't drop enough to buy a second card, so I hold off on the upgrade, and then after a while, it doesn't even make sense to buy another 4870 any more because the performance gain won't be enough to justify it, with new tech coming out in the future...

Hmm. Does that make sense? LOL
November 5, 2008 10:19:04 PM

4850x2?
November 5, 2008 11:23:20 PM

There is a 4850x2?? I don't see any on newegg.com...

And btw.. if someone could provide some insights.. why is the faster version of the ASUS HD4850 512mb (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121272) cheaper than the regular version (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121253)?

Looking at the specs, the faster version has higher core clock speed (680Mhz vs 625Mhz) and Memory clock (2100Mhz vs 1986Mhz), yet it's $10 USD cheaper... what gives??!!

Or should I just go for the 1Gb version of 4850...
November 6, 2008 12:40:48 AM

The 4850x2 is supposed to come out soon, but I don't think it has yet. Yes, that card is good. I'm not really sure why it's cheaper though... Personally, I'd prefer a dual-slot card for better cooling, but those are more expensive. Personally, I think the 1gb 4850's are a waste of money, but if you can get one for the same price, go for it.
November 6, 2008 1:12:46 AM

br3nd064 said:
The 4850x2 is supposed to come out soon, but I don't think it has yet. Yes, that card is good. I'm not really sure why it's cheaper though... Personally, I'd prefer a dual-slot card for better cooling, but those are more expensive. Personally, I think the 1gb 4850's are a waste of money, but if you can get one for the same price, go for it.


Does one 4850x2 beat two 4850 in CF?

Sorry I haven't been following the hardware stuff too closely -- what are dual-slot cards? Does it mean there are two versions of the 4850 -- single slot and dual-slot?
November 6, 2008 2:48:55 AM

A 4850x2 will 'probably' beat 4850 CF. I haven't seen any benchmarks, but it should be better than crossfire because it doesn't have to send data from one card to the other. All work is done on one card.

Dual-slot cards are cards that take up two pci-e spaces (but still plugs into only one). Single-slot cards push all the heat back into the case, so it heats up the rest of the components. Dual-slot cards push all the hot air out the back, so it doesn't affect the rest of the case as much.

Single slot
Dual slot
November 6, 2008 5:05:17 AM

Hmm. Well if the 4850x2 hasn't even come out yet.. when it does, the price will probably be quite high -- judging from the > $500 price of the 4870x2. Therefore I think I'll just stick with two 4850 for now.

Unless I'm blind (I might be), how do you tell from the specs whether the card is single or dual slot if you don't look at the picture?

And how to you CF two dual-slot cards anyway? I thought most mobo only has two PCI-E 2.0 slots? Is there enough space between the two slots on the mobo so that the dual-slot cards can fit?

I'm planning to get a Antec 900 case, and from what I've heard, this case has pretty good air ventilation -- would you think that'd be good for CF'ing two single-slot 4850's?
November 6, 2008 9:29:26 AM

I think the best way to tell if the card's single or dual slot is to look at the picture. Sometimes a card will mention it in the specs or name, but rarely.

What motherboard do you have? Most newer motherboards support dual-slot cards and have space between the slots.

The Antec 900 has good ventilation. You'd be fine with using two single-slot cards. Just try to keep all the extra cables out of the way so they don't block the air.
November 6, 2008 2:20:03 PM

I'm not sure I understand why everybody is saying 2 4850s are better than 1 4870. I was reading the FAQ on graphic cards in the main Graphics card section here, and came across this:


Quote:
Should i get 2 midrange cards instead of one high-end card ?
No, again i will answer this with example. 2 8600GT or single 8800gts ? this is one of the most common questions in forums. single 8800GTS (320 or 640) will beat 2 8600GT in games , because a single 8800GTS has more stream processors , more memory clock , more bandwidth. so again 1 single high-end card will beat 2 midrange cards.




Is this information out of date? Or is there some new improvement with CF and the HD4800 series that changes it?
November 6, 2008 2:26:46 PM

if you buy 2x 4850, then you need to replace both of them comes upgrade time.

if you buy 1x 4870, then you can either add a second one or change a single one for whatever makes sense at the time.

Therefore, 1x 4870 makes more sense.
November 6, 2008 2:39:40 PM

kingtz said:
I'm not sure I understand why everybody is saying 2 4850s are better than 1 4870. I was reading the FAQ on graphic cards in the main Graphics card section here, and came across this:


Quote:
Should i get 2 midrange cards instead of one high-end card ?
No, again i will answer this with example. 2 8600GT or single 8800gts ? this is one of the most common questions in forums. single 8800GTS (320 or 640) will beat 2 8600GT in games , because a single 8800GTS has more stream processors , more memory clock , more bandwidth. so again 1 single high-end card will beat 2 midrange cards.




Is this information out of date? Or is there some new improvement with CF and the HD4800 series that changes it?


Yes, that info is out of date.

Correct me if Im wrong but the 4850 and 4870 use the same core. The only difference is the memory and the board its on.

I run a pair of 4850s in Xfire at 1680x1050 res. I have no problems maxxing out any of the games I play, Fallout3, Warhammer, COD4 mostly. However when I move to a 1920x1200 res monitor this winter, I will probably need to update my video cards as at that res they will probably stumble somewhat. When I get the new monitor Ill make a decision then.
November 6, 2008 5:42:51 PM

I'm planning to get this Mobo (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128358).

If the Antec 900 provides adequate ventilation, then I think I'll go for the single-slot cards since they cost less.

Is there a final verdict on this issue between one 4870 and two 4850 CF? Does the DDR5 memory of the 4870 really improve performance that much? If two 4850 CF is faster then I'm definitely gonna go with the 4850's! It only cost a tiny bit more than a single 4870... and perhaps, later on after the 4850x2 comes out and has a price drop... I could CF a 4850 and a 4850x2...
November 6, 2008 6:57:18 PM

A single 8800gts will outperform 2 8600gt's because it is a LOT better. The difference between a 4850 and 4870 isn't as big.

If you're concerned about long-run performance, get a 4870 now, and CF it later. If you want all the performance now, get 2 4850's now, and upgrade to new cards later.
November 6, 2008 8:22:47 PM

Sorry if I seem to be dwelling on this issue, but I looked at some benchmark results things get really murky. The link is here:
http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/gaming-graphics-char...

As for which is better, I've come to the conclusion that it really depends on the game and at which resolution. Generally, it seems that the 4850CF outperforms the 4870 only at higher resolution (higher than 1680x1050) and with everything turned on.

I currently have 1 4850, but take it from me, if I had the money, I'd definitely have gotten the 4870 and later CF when needed. I bought the 4850 due to a tight budget - but now I'm happy as I get 70-92 fps in COD4 (multiplayer, and depends on the map).

November 21, 2008 3:00:06 AM

Buy for your needs now.

(and 2x HD4850 definitely beats a single HD4870)

I bought an SLI rig thinking I'd add another 6600GT 128MB when prices dropped. Then I found out that the memory is "cloned" for anti-aliasing etc but you do NOT get 256MB of total memory.

After a year went by a single card made more sense then adding another 6600GT anyway. Sure I could get a 6600GT for fairly cheap but the extra performance did not compare to the upgrade of the latest, and reasonably priced graphics card.

Now I have a single HD3870. I could upgrade this but now I have an issue with older DDR3200 (400MHz) RAM etc. Where do you draw the line?

I say go Crossfire or SLI but don't plan on getting one card now, then another later. Most people that do that don't ever get that second card, they either get a top-of-the-line single card or two very good ones like the HD4850's.

Despite a single HD4850 being a great card, it's almost impossible to max out any newer games with it.

Still, if I was building a system today, I'd build one based on a Core i7 Intel, 6GB RAM, 64-bit Vista and your choice of Crossfire or SLI. I'd then swap the video cards out in two years and possibly even upgrade the CPU. If you use CTRL-ALT-DEL and then open the Task Manager and run it in the background you can see if your CPU is maxed out in a game. If it's not, there's no need to upgrade.

My two cents.
November 21, 2008 4:05:12 AM

Quote:
After a year went by a single card made more sense then adding another 6600GT anyway. Sure I could get a 6600GT for fairly cheap but the extra performance did not compare to the upgrade of the latest, and reasonably priced graphics card.


Yeah that's exactly what worried me -- the extra performance doesn't compare with a newer, reasonably priced card. You've convinced me, I'm gonna go with two 4850 CF. Would you say it's better to get two stock ones, or two manufacturer-overclocked ones?

Quote:
Now I have a single HD3870. I could upgrade this but now I have an issue with older DDR3200 (400MHz) RAM etc. Where do you draw the line?


Sorry, I'm a lil confused about what you said here. DDR3200 -- are you referring to the memory on the video card, or the RAM that is plugged into your mobo? If it's the RAM on the mobo, what does that gotta do with upgrading your video card (HD3870)?

Quote:
Still, if I was building a system today, I'd build one based on a Core i7 Intel, 6GB RAM, 64-bit Vista and your choice of Crossfire or SLI. I'd then swap the video cards out in two years and possibly even upgrade the CPU. If you use CTRL-ALT-DEL and then open the Task Manager and run it in the background you can see if your CPU is maxed out in a game. If it's not, there's no need to upgrade.


I haven't read the in-depth stuff on Core i7, but most headlines say it's excellent. My concerns are 1) is it worth the extra $120 over the Q6600 ($180 VS $300 for Core i7 920 2.66Ghz), and 2) adopting 1st generation technology.

What are your thoughts on these?

November 21, 2008 10:14:46 PM

The only people that should be adopting 1st generation tech. are people w/ very well padded wallet's or ones that really need features of the new technology for work [as in their livelihood depends on it]

I'm not saying that the core i7 will disappoint [I doubt it will], but do read as many reviews as possible, and try and keep up w/ biod updates and so on.
!