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Which 4870 1GB?

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  • Graphics Cards
  • Cooling
  • Sapphire
  • Graphics
Last response: in Graphics Cards
November 9, 2008 7:33:13 PM

Well, i've got the whole system planned out, but i've been debating as to which 4870 1GB to go with.

I trust Sapphire ($284, or $309), Gigabyte ($299), Asus ($269), maybe MSI (OC to 780MHz $269).

the only warranty listed is for the gigabyte (3 years), but the others must have them too, right?

The Asus is only officially supported to the 8.5 drivers, so that seems like a deal-breaker.

the more expensive sapphire looks like it's got great cooling (but isn't the toxic cooling from the lesser 512 and 4850s). Is that cooling worth an additional ~$40? Would the 512Mb Toxic version be worth it?

or should i just go with the cheap OC'd MSI? is MSI good?

More about : 4870 1gb

November 9, 2008 8:05:25 PM

What resolution are you playing on? Anything larger than 1680 x 1050 and teh 1GB one might not be worth it, however the reviews on teh 1GB card showed that the extra memory helps FPS pretty significatly even at "lower" resolutions where 1GB isnt needed.

As far as the actual topic goes, id go with the Sapphire one with the black cooler.
a c 128 U Graphics card
November 9, 2008 8:38:20 PM

I have the 512 card and there are times when it doesn't make me happy. So much so that it sits in my closet in the box it came in. If I had a choice I'd go with the 1gig card for the extra video memory. As far as what card to get........... the best warranty...( you can goto the man site to find out if it isn't listed where it's for sale )........ the best price...... the best bundle..... it's a toss up. I game @16x10.
Related resources
November 9, 2008 8:41:36 PM

At the moment i'm running a Samsung 930B @ 1280x1024, but i hope to also get a new monitor soon, so i'm looking around at those right now. i'd say at least a 22'', and i plan to use this system for a long time, 3+ years, but i will upgrade the graphics as needed along the way.

please suggest monitors as well. i play almost any genre of games, so it needs to be good, but i don't want to spend a whole lot more right now. $200-$300? maybe more if that just isn't a good price range.
a c 128 U Graphics card
November 9, 2008 9:46:54 PM

To be honest, people mention resolution and what card is gonna work great at that resolution. When you crank up the settings, and yes, even at

1024x768, if you have a "lower end" card, your gaming pleasure will suffer because you miss a lot when running without AA or AF......even at high res. If

anybody disagrees they're full of bologna. The more video memory the better. This next statement will get me in trouble. Cards that have a 256bit

memory interface aren't worth peoples time or trouble.......... don't care if it has gddr5 or not !!!!!!!!!!! Like I said above, my 4870 is boxed and doing

time in the closet.

I replaced with an xfx gtx260. No game, even Crysis bends under it. Having said that, a fast core2 duo or quad is the ticket to making either card run best so far.
November 9, 2008 11:03:20 PM

^ Youre right about that statement. 256mb interface is nothing to whine about. And you said it yourself, you dont realize that because you dont care about GDDR5, which means you also dont realize that the larger memory interface on the Nvidia GTX cards make up for its slower GDDR3, GDDR5 cards DO NOT NEED anything larger than 256mb interface, in the end they perform about the same. Its just fine and definetly nothing that should impact your purchase.

You are giving the OP a false judgement on this card hes looking at and you're pumping up Nvidia in the process. Both of these cards basically perform the same. Anybody that bought a 4870, and threw it back in the box and replaced it with a GTX 260 not only wasted $300, but shouldnt be taken seriously when it comes to video card advise. No offense.
a c 128 U Graphics card
November 9, 2008 11:29:51 PM

No offense taken. I expected to hear worse....... LOL. It's just the cold hard facts. This particular 260 runs all my games better. In fact I got another

one last Monday to run them in sli. I'm not pumping up one manufacturer over another. In fact I was elated when ATI finally came out with a new card.

So much so that I bought one as soon as they came out and knowingly paid a premium for it. Unfortunately it fell short.

I think the reason ATI put a 256bit memory interface on those cards was to save their hides in tough times. Next batch of new cards might say so long

to the 256bit memory interface......... at least on the top end anyways. And I think both manufacturers will be using gddr5 also. As far as not needing a

bigger interface.......... nuts to that statement ! I know the difference that's all that matters.

I didn't say I would never use that card again, but not in my #1 gaming machine.

As far as answering the original posters question.....if you read above........ "As far as what card to get........... the best warranty...( you can goto the

man site to find out if it isn't listed where it's for sale )........ the best price...... the best bundle..... it's a toss up. I also said something to the effect

of getting a 1gig cart over a 512 card.
November 10, 2008 12:14:36 AM

i will bet you that 4870, nvidia will drop the 512bit and go for 256bit and gddr5 on there next high end card
a c 128 U Graphics card
November 10, 2008 12:34:40 AM

rangers said:
i will bet you that 4870, nvidia will drop the 512bit and go for 256bit and gddr5 on there next high end card



I can't really see them doing this at all......... not top end. As far as the card goes.......... I'm not going to throw $300 away twice .. LOL

And I will say, the 4870 isn't a bad card, and it's kind of cruel to say I threw $300 away.......................

And while I'm thinking of it........... you guys can read all the benchmarks you want. Until you have the hardware to test, and can see the difference for yourself................................don't tell me I'm wrong.

This guy is going to spend his hard earned money, what's wrong with giving good advice or being informative of some of the things I found on my own no thanks to some of these "tech" sites.
November 10, 2008 2:10:53 AM

Thanks Swifty and Spathotan, always great to have a topic that causes a little havok. and i don't mind getting someones personal experience, even if it is negative.

i will be sticking with the 4870, and i'm sure i'll be fine with it, because even if i have to lower the settings because it's not perfect, i just remember that:
1) no matter what, this new computer is going to be so much faster than the machine i have now (athlon 64 2.0GHz, nvidia 7600 GT), and
2) i will upgrade at some point later, when today's (or tomorrow's) high end cards are considered midrange. i just hope it doesn't have to be sooner because of overrated technology.

just out of curiosity Swifty, which brand 4870 did you get? i was originally planning on the $309 sapphire, because it looks awesome and that cooling system, while not toxic, is still better than all the others.


Also, any suggestions for 22'' or 24'' monitors?
November 10, 2008 2:41:47 AM

Well I dont have a 1gb card but my visiontek 4870 is great. I max all my games at 1080p res. On a 32 in FHDTV. I got my 512 4870 for $250 back 3 months ago. Also Vision tek has the Lifetime warranty. I have the stock cooler and idle is 38C and load is 60C fan speed is at 30%. Its great so much faster than my 3870. It goes well with my phenom 9950 OC to 2.85Ghz and 4gb DDR2 800 RAM.

So I say try to find a visiontek card.

My 2 cents
a c 128 U Graphics card
November 10, 2008 2:57:18 AM

I got the HIS one. One of 4 available at the time I think. I haven't looked at the designs of those cards lately, but the newest set of drivers from ATI have a fan speed control so you really don't need elaborate cooling systems. If you set the fan to run at 35 to 40% it won't make a lot of noise and will push enough hot air off the card to help keep it "cool".

Without a doubt, whatever you're putting together now will certainly blow the doors off your old one........lol ....I've been there.

Monitors........ I've seen "name brand" that weren't worth the extra $100 and I've seen some that were. I run an inexpensive 22" and it looks real good. Not big enough sometimes though. Really ! Doesn't seem to be high ( tall ) enough either. Read up on them....... and I mean all over because opinions vary. I think FarCry2 needs something a whole lot bigger. It's a tough choice to make.


a b U Graphics card
November 10, 2008 3:34:51 AM

There's nothing inherent about a wide memory bus that makes a card faster. Instead, what does make it faster is memory bandwidth. The GTX200 series achieves this through a wide bus. However, the ATI HD4870 achieves just as much bandwidth through the use of GDDR5. The two methods have the same result.
November 10, 2008 3:43:38 AM

So between the Sapphires, is it worth $40 for the theoretically better cooling of the $309 one? or will the standard cooling on the $269 one be worth saving $40? i don't think i'll be overclocking them, since there isn't that much to gain from it.
November 10, 2008 5:06:25 AM

If your not going to OC the card than I think the 269 one would be fine. I have mine clocked at 765/1000 up from the 750/900 And its still cool. My bandwidth went from 105Gb/s to 128Gb/s with just a small oc to the ram.

And yes the 8.10 has teh fan speed thing so the card can get cooler or louder.

Also good air flow is important.

I have an Antec 900 with 4 120mm fans and a 200mm fan along with the 120mm fan on my OCZ 700 Watts PSU. So I have good airflow. If your case doesn't have the best airflow than I would say spend the bit more to get better cooling for the card.


2 more cents
November 10, 2008 11:47:52 AM

I'm in the same boat as the OP. I was actually thinking of buying the Asus 4870 1gb because it is less expensive than the others. Anyone have more info on the driver problem the OP mentioned?
a b U Graphics card
November 10, 2008 12:03:45 PM

Im tired of people who dont understand that GDDR5 on a 256 bus will run just as well as another card on GDDR3 on a 512 bus. The GDDR5 runs twice as fast, tho its half as wide, so its = to the 512 on much, much, much, much sloooooower memory. The future is GDDR5, and thats fact. The end of GDDR3 in mid to high end is this generation of graphics cards. Also, GDDR5 will onlyy get faster yet, while GDDR3 has seen its best days already, and wont get faster than what we have now.

If you cant figure that out, and are having problems, its either something the users overlooked, or PEBKAC
a b U Graphics card
November 10, 2008 1:12:23 PM

mey mr. threadstarter. have you seen the palit dual-fan 4870? i think you should also consider that in your choices.
a c 128 U Graphics card
November 10, 2008 3:51:29 PM

JAYDEEJOHN said:
Im tired of people who dont understand that GDDR5 on a 256 bus will run just as well as another card on GDDR3 on a 512 bus. The GDDR5 runs twice as fast, tho its half as wide, so its = to the 512 on much, much, much, much sloooooower memory. The future is GDDR5, and thats fact. The end of GDDR3 in mid to high end is this generation of graphics cards. Also, GDDR5 will onlyy get faster yet, while GDDR3 has seen its best days already, and wont get faster than what we have now.

If you cant figure that out, and are having problems, its either something the users overlooked, or PEBKAC



I'm tired of people who don't get it too. I have both these cards and have tried them with different hardware and the gtx plays everything smoother than the 4870....... What don't you get about that ???????????????
November 10, 2008 4:44:50 PM

^^^the concept of a card with 256bit gddr5 being the same as a card with 512bit gddr3 has escaped you, that makes you look dumb and your experience with both cards unlikely
a c 128 U Graphics card
November 10, 2008 5:19:31 PM

rangers said:
^^^the concept of a card with 256bit gddr5 being the same as a card with 512bit gddr3 has escaped you, that makes you look dumb and your experience with both cards unlikely



IDIOT


good timing........ here are some new benchmarks. Suck on these !

http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/2008/11/10/winter-2008...

November 10, 2008 6:50:11 PM

i noticed that Toms graphics guide lists the 4870 in the $230 range (and i'm about to pay $309!), now obviously this is the 512MB version, but if i'm going to get another 512MB, it shouldn't put me into the next price range. the guide lists 2 4850's for $330, and while i don't want 2 cards, i'm thinking i might not want to pay the same amount for the next step up for only a small step forward. Basically, i just don't think that only a 512MB upgrade is worth the additional $80+ anymore.

i do understand that 512mb gddr5 is like 1gb gddr3, which comforts me in my choice to downgrade.

that being said, there are 15 versions of the 4870 512MB, 1/2 of which are OC versions. i would still like a second slot cooler/exhaust, not OC'd and low price(~$230), which limits the choices to Sapphire and HIS. neither has an obvious warranty, but i think both a 2 years. i did notice that the visiontek has a limited LIMETIME warranty, but the card is $275, so maybe not. 2 years and i'll probably be upgrading anyway.

I think i'll go with the $230 512MB Sapphire, unless anyone can post anything soon that'll convince me it's worth $55 to upgrade back to 1GB.


those benchmarks just posted by Swifty really show where the 1GB comes to life, and that's when the AA and AF are cranked up, besting the 512 by at least 10FPS (and when that 10 fps is the difference between ~15 and ~30, it really matters...

from the review "With that said though, there is still one card that is almost unrivalled when it comes to value for money. That card is the Radeon HD 4870 1GB, which not only delivers great performance in comparison to Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 260+ but also clips the GeForce GTX 280’s heels on a number of occasions as well. What’s more, there are clear performance benefits over the Radeon HD 4870 512MB in a number of big titles as well – ultimately, the additional 512MB of memory is just money well spent."
but they don't say how much they spent!!!

well, maybe swifty's post just made me go back to the 4870 1gb, but the cheaper version ($285). maybe
November 10, 2008 8:26:19 PM

swifty_morgan said:
IDIOT


good timing........ here are some new benchmarks. Suck on these !

http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/2008/11/10/winter-2008...


You should also know that's not the regular GTX 260 nor the GTX 260 that you have, so your point is invalid. That's either the GTX260 216 or a 3rd revision, given the date on the article its more than likely a 3rd revision yet to come of the GTX 260, or the author is just an idiot and is months late on the news of the GTX 260 216. That didnt help your argument at all.

**EDIT** Yea, it is the GTX 260 216, well it at least has 216 shader cores. Regardless, the 1GB 4870 beats it in everything except Crysis at every resolution, this was proven ages ago when the 1GB 4870 was released, it actually uses that extra memory, even at lower resolutions it helps.. I heard from the grapevine that Crysis isnt the be-all-end-all.

@ OP, just stick with the damn 1GB 4870, you cant go wrong and you wont regret it. Its barely weaker than the GTX 280.
November 10, 2008 8:39:09 PM

Well, with Toms new graphics guide saying the nVidia 260+ is better, and it has the equivalent of 1GB of gddr5 (896MB gddr3 448bit) AND it's available for $265 - $300, AND you can get a lifetime warranty, is it still legitimate to dismiss it so quickly? (and then there's "step up", where you pay only the difference w/in 100 days to upgrade to a new card)

the bit-tech article does it too, but the benchmarks are about equal for the two, so i don't know.

if only AMD/ATI could begin competing in the processor market too...
November 10, 2008 8:41:31 PM

Im not dismissing the GTX 260. Like I already said in my first or second post in the thread, both cards are pretty much even and it comes down to taste. I only say stick with the 4870 because it was your original pick.
a b U Graphics card
November 11, 2008 3:21:16 AM

Ive seen people who have both cards, and usually the 4870 is the gaming card, and the G260 is the folding card. So, your point is? Are we going smoother now? As in Phenom smoother? Not faster but smoother? Go sell some beer, cause I hear smoother works with beer.
November 11, 2008 3:47:08 AM

Great, so the $309 sapphire is the winner, since I feel the $15 upgrade to a better cooler is worth it.

Vista Ultimate is being sold on Newegg for $180, but you get a $50 Newegg Gift card, so it's really $130, only $30 more than Vista Home Premium. worth it or not?
November 12, 2008 6:20:53 PM

Well keep in mind that most of the games out right now are still optimized for Nvidia that's why they have the upper hand. We can see with games like GRID where it's video card neutral that ATI shines pretty well on. Also note that the future of computer games is DX10.1.

I've tried FC2 last night on Vista x64 using ATI 4870 1gb and well.. frames were at stable 50 most of the time while my res is at 1680 x 1050, all settings to max (ultra) with 2x AA turned on. For once DX10 shines above DX9 in fps. The highest fps I got in the game was approx 80 and the min was around 40. Average that out you get around 60 fps. The only issue I noticed is the game stutters a little when I'm driving (game glitch?)

Left 4 dead under expert mode I got a low of 50 fps and 90% of the time I get stable 60 fps (60 being max on the demo). Again all settings set to the max running on 22" res (stated above). I don't see any problems.

One draw back about having 1 GB of memory is the reduction of OC capability. Since it doubled its memory density, you don't get much OC out of it as you would with a 512mb version but nevertheless the performance gains you get is still very respectable and well worth it for future games :)