HD4870 512mb vs 1gb


I have been doing some research for the my next comp upgrade or better yet i'm planning on getting a complete new system and i've been doubting between the Powercolor HD4870 PCS w/512mb and the one with 1GB ram.

I am not an expert in the field so I hope you guys could give me some helpful feedback. The comp will be used mostly for gaming (no specific genre) so it can be assumed that all games apply and for general ms-office usage.

After reading various posts I'm still uncertain whether there is a significant difference / influence the extra ram will have on performance or whether I will benefit from the extra ram in the long run, in order to make the extra 20-30 euro's a worthwhile investment.

I have a limited budget, and currently planning on getting the following:

X4 9950 Black edition
MSI P9A2 Platinum
4 gb A-DATA ram pc6400 Cl4
Probably WD HD 1TB

PSU-see question below

I hope given the potential specs it is easier to conclude whether the extra 512mb would have a major impact on performance.

This brings me to another question I know its kind of off topic since this is the display catagory of the forum anyhow my question is whether a 550watt PSU would be sufficient for the CPU (if overclocked) and the HD4870. The in the info on the HD4870 states that it reqs atleast a 500w but combined with the CPU I suppose the 550 will not suffice. Since it the 9950BE is 125w. Does the HD4870 demand 500w at full usage or is that just stated as advised requirements?

I am askin this because my budget is limited as mentioned before and a stronger PSU would require an extension of the budget which I prefer to avoid. Unless of course the influence of the additional ram on the gpu is very limited than I will consider spending that extra bit on the PSU.

Anywayz, I hope you guys have enough information as is. Otherwise don't hesitate to ask.

Thanks in advance.

- Shugs

PS if anyone has experience and happens to find anything that clashes or may lead to problems (given the specified hardware), i'll be glad to hear of it.
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  1. as i understand it the 1gb version is better for the higher resolution screens (like 1920+), so if your only using a screen with 1680x1050 or lower resolution i dont think it will matter if you get the 512mb version.

    personally i have the force3d 512mb version.

    i have a 700w psu in my machine which has an overclocked e8600 plus ive slightly overclocked the 4870 aswell. i seem to remember that your going to need around a 600w to run a 4870 so might want to pay an extra 20 dollars for the upgrade..
  2. A pretty standard system with a 4870 needs around 300 watts at max load. Decent quality psu at 400+ watts should give enough headroom for overclocks.
    If on a tight budget I would get the 512mb version. The 1 gig is within overclock-distance (except for a very few examples at very high resolution).
  3. It depends on your monitors native resolution.

    If you're at 1900x1200, you'd definitely want the 1gb model.

    If you're at 1680x1050, it kind of a tossup. Sure, newer games will continue to use higher qaulity textures and the price difference is only what, $40?

    On another note, it depends on the quality of your 550w PSU. If it's something along the lines of a Corsair 550vx, you're definitely good to go. I think people blow PSU wattage out of proportion. I'm using a Corsair 450vx (450w, 33amps) to power:
    Q8200 @ 3.33ghz (overclocked from 2.33ghz)
    9800 GTX
    8gb of DDR2-800 @ 950mhz (OC'ed from 800mhz)
    3 x 7200rpm sata drives
    2 x DVD burners
    and 3x120mm fans

    and it runs fine with no PSU hiccups.
  4. Thanks for all the replies, you guys have been very helpful!

    I think i will consider getting the 1GB card, at first I will be playing 1680x1050, but I eventually want to upgrade the monitor to be able to get 1920x1200 although this will be sometime next beginning year ;)

    I'll do some more research on the PSU's, so if i understood correctly it is possible to say that (for example) a good 500w PSU is as good as a cheap 600w? would be best to compre amps then?

    Thanks again.

  5. You can't really say a good 500 watt psu is as good as a cheap 600 watt psu. A good 500 watt psu will make less noise, produce less heat and be cheaper on the electrical bill(because of high efficiency).

    I think wikipedia does a pretty good job:

    Unless you're planing to do a high end crossfire/sli setup a good quality psu at 400-500 watts is the way to go - even if you have the money for a good quality 1000 watt psu(sounds strange, but is explained in the wikipedia article).
  6. Thanks daskrabbe for link, i'll be sure to check that out!

    There were two i was doubting between at first namely:

    Xilence Gaming Edition 600W


    Thermaltake 600W Toughpower

    But i'm gonna check wikipedia first then see which one is better ;) atleast at first glance i noticed they have differing fans, but regarding the voltages etc, thats another world :)

    - Shugs

    PS there's a good 30 euro ~ 45-50 dollar difference between the two. Anywayz I'll check out wiki tomorrow and then do some more research on PSU's.
    Thanks again for you help.
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