ATI Graphics Question

This is probably a really obvious question, but it's been a while since I've looked into video cards..

I built a computer two years ago, and I originally installed an x 1950xt. I have an asus p5w mb, and it has 2 pci x16 slots so I was planning on eventually using crossfire.

Anyway, you can't find the CF edition of 1950xt on the web (yes, the one with the external 'dongle') and last time I looked they were about 200$ more than an 8800 GT, which would make it a bad choice to buy anyway.

So, I've decided to scrap the x1950 xt and buy an HD 4000 series card, and I have a few questions.

If you have PCI x16 1.0 slots and you buy a 2.0 card, will you see that much of a difference taking it back to 1.0 or do the 2.0 cards currently on the market not really take full advantage of the 2.0 bandwidth to start off with? Another way to re-word this is, would it be a waste to buy a 2.0 card and use it in a 1.0 slot?

I also remember something about if you have 2 cards in crossfire you will NOT be able to have a dual screen configuration unless you install a third independent graphics card to support the second monitor. I'm not sure if this still holds true because CF cards are now internally bridged or connected by the driver.

Finally, I can't figure out which of these two cards will perform better (At 1680 x 1050. The first would probably outperform at higher resolutions, but then again I'm not really sure because of the slower memory clock..) They are both about the same price as well. (~225$)

I'm also open to suggestions for other cards.

Card 1:

SAPPHIRE 100259-1GL Radeon HD 4870 1GB
mem clock: 900 mhz 3.6 gbps

Card 2:
HIS Hightech H487F512P Radeon HD 4870 512MB
mem clock: 1800 mhz

Thanks in advance for any help :D
7 answers Last reply
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  1. Review of some boards for core2

    mem clock is the same for the 2 cards...
  2. No there isn't much difference between PCIe 2.0 and PCie1.0 currently in the future it could grow. But if your only going to be using a screen resolution of 1680x1050 you really only need one 4870.
  3. If the clocks are the same then it would be an obvious choice to go for the 1 gig then right?
  4. You should read,2095.html as it will answer a few questions and/or concerns. One of the test motherboards happens to be a P5W DH Deluxe (975X chipset, PCIe v1.1). It performs very well at a resolution of 1680x1050.

    This arcticle should answer your question about an HD 4870 512MB vs 1GB:
  5. well, after some tests, a pcie2.0 slot will let you get an average of 2 FPS more. that is, when you have a cpu that isn't limiting your GPU. all in all, just get a single 4870, the 1gig will always be a better choice dispite your lower resolution. the second 4870 will do next to nothing but be a large, expensive, hot paperweight. another solution would to crossfire a pair of 4650/70's they use less power, are a lot cheaper, and of course, would be more appealling to the resolution that you have
  6. Thanks for the advice and links guys. I'm going to research a little more into this before I buy anything..
  7. use the 1 gig card

    dont crossfire . Just that single card is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay more powerful than your previous card .

    Pci-e 1 and 2 are compatible . Just because two can move twice as much data doesnt mean that the data is there to move . A single 4870 should be working the pci-e 1 bus quite hard but not maxxing it out so no worries there .
    Two 4870's wont be able to reach their potential because the crossfire system will cut the pci-e bus in half so each card gets a share .
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