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Last response: in Graphics Cards
November 24, 2008 5:16:04 AM

Hey guys,

I am upgrading from my 3.6ghz E7200 to a used QX6700 Quad Core Extreme for $150. I am also going to upgrade my graphics from a 4850 to something better. I play mostly COD4 and Crysis. I want to upgrade to either a gtx 260 w/ 216 cores or the 4870 512mb/1 GB. I was wondering what card I should go for. I am also planning on later adding another card.

I was told the 4870 1GB would better than the 512 mb because of my screen size. How much would this affect me. Should I get the 1 Gig instead of 512mb even though i would later add another and have 1 GB the?

Also does the 216 cores over the 192 make huge diff?

Here is another probably obvious ? to the pros....Can I SLI on an intel P45 board or do I have to get an Nvidia 700 series (750i/780i/790i) board?

I am also thinking going water cooling. Is a 1 month old used Thermaltake Bigwater 760i system for $110 shipped a good deal and is it a good entry level start up or would say the danger den entry lvl be better?

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a c 109 U Graphics card
November 24, 2008 5:40:48 AM

No, you cannot SLi on a P45 board, well that is without using hacked and potentially unstable drivers anyway. If you want to SLi you need an SLi board. If you're going to get a P45 board then get a Radeon 4870 or Radeon 4850 and crossfire it with your existing card. While you can crossfire a 4870 and a 4850 I don't know of anyone who's done it ^_^. If you already have a P45 board then just get another Radeon 4850 and run the cards in crossfire.

The 512MB of Ram is limiting only at very high resolutions and settings. You should take a look at the charts here to get an idea of how cards are affected by their memory. Some of the results on the charts are curious though so you may want to take a look at the test setup as well as the results of other review sites for the same cards. As for the 260 core 216, yes the extra cores make a difference. Overclocked 260 core 216 have been shown to be as fast as the more expensive 280s.
a b U Graphics card
November 24, 2008 5:48:12 AM

Your 'upgrade' to a QX6700 is not really necessary.
A 3.6Ghz dual core will give you a better gaming experience than a 2.66Ghz quad.
Also, it is highly doubtable that you will be able to take a B3 quad past 3.2Ghz and you will need a good cooling setup to do it. Stick with what you have, there is no need to upgrade with what you suggest.

No, you can not SLI on a P45 motherboard.
Assuming your board has 2x PCIe 16x slots, you can CrossFire ATI cards on it.
I would not recommend 'upgrading' to an nVidia based motherboard.
They have many issues ranging from overheating, low general performance, data corruption, low overclocks, ect.
An Intel P45 motherboard is much better than any nVidia offering.

Of the listed video cards, the 4870 1Gb is the best.
The GTX 260 falls behind the 4870 512Mb, the GTX 260 Core 216 is nearly a match for the 4870 512Mb and the 4870 1Gb is faster than any of them. Yes, if you go with the GTX 260, having 216 cores is much better than 192.
As the performance increase from a 4850 => 4870 1Gb is only around 20-25% and you have a CrossFire capable motherboard, I would suggest you add another 4850 for around $150. 2x 4850 will outperform a single 4870 1Gb in nearly every game including COD4 and Crysis.

There is a reason that someone is selling their 1 month old thermaltake bigwater cooling system already.
They are not very good solutions.
If you want to get a good basic water cooling kit, look into the Swiftech 220 Apex GT kit for around $200.
It is a much better kit and is upgradable in the future.
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a c 131 U Graphics card
November 24, 2008 7:36:00 AM

Well i would definatly agree that upgrading to the QX6700 is not really necessary, but then you may have reasons other than gaming for wanting one.
Here is a review of the 4850 working in crossfire so you can decide if you want to crosfire another or not.

November 24, 2008 2:18:13 PM

Well I have an MSI neo3-FR P45 board but with only one pci-e 16X. I was going to change out the card and sell the 4850 or put it in a system i am building and sell it with that so price is not an issue. It would be cheaper to get a new card. As for Xfiring I can get another board with dual pci-e and sell it the same way. I just don't know what card to get.

Is a 1 Gig 4870 going to make a diff at 1920X1200 res? would it be alright to get a 4870 512mb and later add another to make 1GB or would it be better to have two 1GB 4870's for 1920X1200.
November 24, 2008 3:08:03 PM

After looking at benchmarks i am going to stay with the intel p45 chipset and add another 4850 and go crossfire. My MSI Neo3-Fr is a kickass OC'er. E7200 @ 3.8 GHz 100% stable. I wan to go XFIRe so I need a good board for around $100-$130 that is a good overclocking board with good xFire. I have found these on newegg but don't know what one to get.




The msi looks good but not as many reviews as the gigabyte or asus.

The gigabyte has a gazillion reviews and lots of people who know what they're doing when it comes to overclocking. Great results like on my MSI. The Asus also looks good w/ lots of overclocking reviewers but not sure if its as good as the Gigabyte.

What board would you guys get? Asus is $15 cheaper but the gigabyte might be a better Overclocker.
a b U Graphics card
November 25, 2008 6:03:43 AM

My choice would be the ASUS P5Q Pro but that Gigabyte looks to be a great choice also.
As a rule, I avoid MSI products.
Their products never seem to be as high quality or as overclockable as an ASUS or Gigabyte motherboard.
Every MSI motherboard I have had has either failed or had it's own 'special' issues.