apologies in advance for another "I don't get it" topic, I'm sure you get lots of them in here.
But yeah, I don't get it. From reading reviews and forum posts here, and in line with my budget, I've decided to buy a 4850 to replace my ageing and somewhat underpowered x1900. But that seems to be the easy bit, the hard part is figuring out which one to go for. They all have such different specs.
Now the first one has faster ram and a faster gpu clock, but the second one has twice as much ram. So which counts more? Equally there's
512MB Power Color HD 4850 OC, PCI-E 2.0, 2200MHz GDDR4, GPU 675MHz, 800 Cores, 2xDL DVI-I/ HDTV
which has gddr4 rather than gddr3, so is that a massive leap in performance and worth getting rather than the other two?
I assume it's tied to task, so the main reason I'm doing this is to improve the aesthetics on GTAIV, which presently looks hideous. I know I'll probably have to upgrade the rest of my system at some point (Intel Core2Duo at 2.66ghz, 2Gig Ram), but this is the first step since it doesn't require a new mobo.
I'd appreciate any help you can give, I really struggle to keep up with the various specs of components since I only really want to know when I'm trying to upgrade .
What's the price difference? If price isn't a problem for you on either card then go with the 1GB of ram. That will help you out a lot more. The Radeon 4800 series overclocks pretty easily and you can easily overclock the 1GB to match that of the 512MB. If you can afford the extra 40-50 bucks then go with the 4870. Newegg is offering a good price on the Gigabyte version for about 160 bucks. The 4870 has GDDR5 memory.
Those three I mentioned are all the same cost within about five pound or so. I've just stumbled across this one though which seems to do all of the above..
Gigabyte Radeon 4850 1GB DDR3 CC 700MHz PCIE 2xDVI
Faster clock speed and 1gb ram. Comes in at £160, but still pretty reasonable.
I did look at the 4870, I just have concerns about my PSU being able to cope and I don't want to replace that as well. It's an Enermax Noisetaker 2, with 2 22a 12v rails total 485w. Not sure if it'd handle a card that size.
The recommended power supply for a 4870 is 500W so you are right at the border of that. 4850 only requires a 450W PSU. Take into account these numbers are usually pretty conservative. I've heard of people powering a 4870 with a 450 PSU with no problems. I'm running two 4850s in crossfire on a 800PSU but take into account I'm also running 6 hard drives and a water cooling system. If you are really worried about the PSU then just go with the 1GB 4850, overclock it conservatively and you'll be good to go. But if you have a little extra cash and can afford the 4870 then definetly go with that. I wish I would of waited another month before I bought my 4850s. I would of gone with the 4870s instead. If you want to wait another month the prices on all those cards will drop even more when Nvidia starts selling their GTX 295.