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Crossfired 4670s or single 4850?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 2, 2009 11:32:11 PM

Hey, I'm picking out parts for a customer who wants a quadcore gaming rig. I decided on a Phenom 9950 and a 790GX motherboard. Now I can't decide between 2 4670s and 1 4850 for the graphics. They both cost the same and perform the same from what I can see, so what do you think? I'm leaning towards the 4850 just for the single card design, but the 4670s might perform a bit better and they do OC very well.
January 3, 2009 12:06:55 AM

Depends on which 790GX board you have. Does it support Crossfire & Hybrid Crossfire or just Hybrid Crossfire?
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January 3, 2009 12:14:37 AM

The single 4850.
January 3, 2009 12:33:16 AM

This thread is almost a joke. It's tough enough sometimes to game on a card with a 256bit memory interface. Gaming on a 128bit memory interface means not being able to SEE almost any of what any game has to offer because you can't crank it up enough. 2 - 128bit memory interfaces don't equal one 256bit one. Another one of these "benchmarks tell all" believers. I don't know what games you play or at what resolution but the 4850 would be the absolute minimum I would get.......... unless your games are 10 years old.
January 3, 2009 12:44:53 AM

4850 if anything you don't have those CF issue's and the scaling is not always up to par
January 3, 2009 12:54:19 AM

128 bit would not make much of a difference in this scenerio, I knew that. I do not just believe in benchmarks as I know there are many other factors, however when the 4670 can be overclocked easily to high speeds where it becomes close to a 4850, the crossfire would outperform a 4850 somewhat consistently. The entire question is whether it is worth the hassle of a 2 card setup. Swifty, if you can not actually lend USEFUL information then don't lend ANY information. However, I would like to know what you think benchmarks do not tell you in this instance? FPS is FPS. If you commented about micro stuttering, scaling issues, compatability issues, or driver issues then that would make sense. But you didn't, you commented on the memory bandwidth, and you are right it does have an impact on performance that is why 1 4670 does not equal 1 4850.
January 3, 2009 1:23:29 AM

First of all moron if you don't want my opinion don't post a question. Others have given their "opinion" and not posted a reason for it. I HAVE and it seems not to please you. As far as 2 4670's equaling a 1 4850....... well you're nuts if you believe the idiot that made those benchies you're citing. They don't equal......... maybe in frame rates but NOT in performance. Maximum frame rates don't mean anything. The MINIMUM frame rates do because they deem weather or not a game will play well or not. So does the memory interface. Drop dead.

January 3, 2009 1:30:31 AM

I'm so glad that I based my research on minimum framerates because I knew that crossfire scaling usually suffers with minimum framerates. The only reason I don't like your opinion is because you insist on insulting me. If you had been polite I would have corrected you and been done with it. If it makes you feel good to insult people over computer hardware then good for you, but it seems a little pathetic to me. If nothing else you have given me a good laugh. :lol: 
January 3, 2009 1:48:08 AM

I read the 6th paragraph as you asked and it tells me absolutely nothing I don't already now. Here is one of those *gasp* evil benchmarks!



WOW!!!! I guess your argument does not work, what a shocker![/sarcasm]

Keep the it coming Swifty, I need a good laugh. ;) 
January 3, 2009 2:01:09 AM

thanks for posting a link that works "swifty". I'm laughing now........ and by the way, it was the 5th paragraph. :kaola: 
January 3, 2009 2:18:51 AM

A single 4850 would be better as you can always add a second one latter to run in crossfire. By the time you feel that you need to upgrade to a second card in crossfire you will be able to get it on the cheap. If you get two 4670s then that's it, upgrading will mean replacing both cards.
January 3, 2009 2:27:20 AM

mmm... you people fight a lot, makes you look like a 12 year old, jeje... returning to the subject, is it worth it to get a single HD4850 over a CF 4670, short answer no... in my experience the CF solution out performs the stock HD4850 most of the time in MaxFPS, but loses some time in MinFPS, good examples like Fall Out 3, And Mass Effect were a single HD4850 gives the better performance... when monitoring the the temps the HD 4670 run cooler but and this is a big but, jejeje my case temp went up, because the CF solution increases the hot air in my case and reduces air flow while my HD4850 doesn't ... mmm if the HD 4670 were dual slot they probably wouldn't affect my case temps that much they throw the hot air out but still reduce the air flow that said the increase is about 8 Celsius nothing to die for... power im not sure but i think the CF 4670 solution takes a bit more power to run, but its always better to buy the best single GPU and CF or SLI latter, if they cost the same perform on par id go with the Single card solution to avoid CF and Sli issues and some games simply don't perform well with multiple GPU...
January 3, 2009 2:28:02 AM

Only reason to go two 4670's IMO is if 1) it costs less while providing equal performance or 2) it provides more performance. Seeing how cost is relatively the same, and the 4670's at best trade blows with an HD 4850 .... I also agree single 4850 is the better option. It's better for your customer who can add a second 4850 later, and better for you to not have to provide tech support for a crossfire build. (more chance for driver/game support/scaling issues).
January 3, 2009 2:34:48 AM

I would go for the 4850 as it is always easier to upgrade one mid/high end card than it is to try and sell 2 low end cards.

@Swifty
I understand the point you are trying to make, but your conduct kind of sucks. When the first words of your post are "This thread is almost a joke", you aren't setting a very friendly or helpful atmosphere. Just my observation, maybe you've just had a bad day.
January 3, 2009 2:36:49 AM

From what I can see the 4670 crossfire performs about the same with min frame rate and has slightly higher max frame rate. I felt that the 4850 was the better choice, but I hadn't really kept up on the 4670/4650s and the few reviews just showed somewhat equal performance. I just wanted to confirm my suspicions, after all this is not my money I'm spending so it is really important that I make sure that what I pick out is the best that it can be. Thanks for the quick responses.
January 3, 2009 2:39:32 AM

A low/mid range crossfire for a customer is just an act of foolishness.

As I said earlier, the single 4850.
January 3, 2009 2:44:37 AM

I disagree, I've gone with dual cards for customers a lot. One had 2 4830s, 2 9600 GTs, and 2 8800 GTS 512mb. It depends on the circumstances.
January 3, 2009 3:19:48 AM

The_Blood_Raven said:
I disagree, I've gone with dual cards for customers a lot. One had 2 4830s, 2 9600 GTs, and 2 8800 GTS 512mb. It depends on the circumstances.


Mmm unless you actually need multiple monitor the CF4670 doesn't make sense, when you say CF HD4830 rember you get a pair of these and they actually out perform the GTX 280 or at least theyre on par just as the 8800GTS 512 and lets remeber theyre far cheaper than a single GTX280, but the CF 4670 perfoms on par with a single card that cost the same, so if you ask me it doesnt make sense with the HD 4670 but it does with the HD4830CF and the 8800GTSSLI, and hell even with the 9600 GTSLI...
January 3, 2009 4:51:03 AM

The_Blood_Raven said:
I disagree, I've gone with dual cards for customers a lot. One had 2 4830s, 2 9600 GTs, and 2 8800 GTS 512mb. It depends on the circumstances.
If it works for you, then I guess it's a toss up. If I had an almost even up I wouldn't even consider a dual card. I'm sure assume that I give better software support than you do, and I don't get payed for my builds. To me it sounds like insanity for a few frames... wait... for enough frames that might make us consider it. You do what you want.
January 3, 2009 4:56:47 AM

I just built a "budget" gamer for my buddy's girlfriend. Yes, it was a 4850.

Put a 4850 in and you can sleep tonight knowing that it will be good.
January 3, 2009 5:13:29 AM

xfire is a hit or miss. if it fails to kick in you'll end up with half the fps you're suppose to be getting.

reflecting on what zorg said, hell you'll be sleeping for the next 2 months knowing it will be good.
January 3, 2009 12:23:49 PM

The_Blood_Raven said:
I disagree, I've gone with dual cards for customers a lot. One had 2 4830s, 2 9600 GTs, and 2 8800 GTS 512mb. It depends on the circumstances.

But, I'm guessing at the time, all of those offered THE BEST bang for the buck, correct? I've done the same thing numerous times.

But, depending on your customer's talents and patience, it's a risk for your tech support time. If it doesn't offer better performance, more often than not, or at least in the specific games important to the customer, going with the single card solution makes more sense IMO. As you already know, dual 4830's are sweet; I'd talk them into that budget if they want to run crossfire. Otherwise knowing they are ready for a second 4850 (if need be) should add value to them.

I'm all for cheap multi gpu solutions that can spank a single GPU for the same budget. Matter of fact many months ago had hoped on doing a budget sli/crossfire article with dual 4850's, 4830, 4670, 3850, 2600XT, 9800GTX, 8800GT, 9600GT, 8800GS, 8800GTS320, and 8600GT with maybe a few high end single cards thrown in for comparison. Super time consuming to do a large game suite, but I wish the idea had gone through as I'd enjoy the hands on testing and more importantly seeing the results.
January 3, 2009 12:26:02 PM

Most games that anyone would play will utilize crossfire or SLI, especially new titles. Those that don't at this point are either old enough that it is not needed or are totally bugged games (Gothic 3). The extra frames are worth it when it was 2 4830s OC'd to 4850 speeds or a 4850, kind of simple. The 8800 GTS 512s where great because I picked them up for $100 each. And of course 2 9600 GTs scale well enough to equal 2 8800 GTs. The extra frames are quite important as is the longer lasting performance. The difference might only be 10-20 frames now, but later it will mean running a game on low or on high, that is a big difference.
I also give decent software support, basic maintenance utilities and security software. I leave the rest to the user since it is THEIR computer. That said I also put software on to match their needs. What do you do? I'm always interested in making my services better.
I charge $25 an hour on building and repair computers, I usually make around $200 a month like that and I rarely charge more than $50 for a build (I enjoy it so I go easy). The money more or less covers the gas and the time I spend on it. Not to mention I stock up on parts such as cases and power supplies when I see great deals to save people money. I'll finally be building a Phenom system which I can put in that 2x2GB kit of 1066 kit I got for $20 for this guy.

Thanks for the help guys, now that it is morning over here I can clearly see that the 4850 was the better choice. I guess picking out PC parts is best not to be done late at night. :D 
January 3, 2009 12:30:55 PM

pauldh I would love to have seen a 4830 Xfire vs 4850 Xfire shootout. I found that if you slightly overclock the 4830 it will pull the weight of a 4850. I also found that the 4830 can OC well beyond that too. You reminded me that my mother used to have 8600 GTs in SLI, now before you say anything I got both for $30 and you couldn't beat that. And in case your going to say something anyway I did buy her a GTX 260 which I got for a great $180 so that her Blu-Ray system fully looks great.
January 3, 2009 1:42:06 PM

Yeah, my pair of 8600GT were super cheap too. About $30 shipped (AR) for GDDR3 EVGA's, probably back in Apr-May 08??

Thanks for the info, it's always interesting to hear what fellow system builders do. I'll PM ya later when I get a chance to return to the forums.
January 3, 2009 4:15:27 PM

The_Blood_Raven said:
What do you do?
Probably less that you. I load Antivirus, Office and Firefox with all the plugins and a few extensions that I like (kinda presumptuous of me aye?). Also Thunderbird and set up the email account and subfolders move the emails over etc. Then all the must haves e.g., Acrobat, Quicktime, maybe Spybot S&D Tea Timer if they can handle it etc. Finally image the HD.

The last one I had to install Lytec, a client database program, and move the data over and also set up a video surveillance program.

I do my work for free, but I had to recommend that he buy a Dell because he would get a free 22" display for the same price as the parts and I would still set it up. He said he didn't want the display so I built a system for him.

I gave him a mild OC on a Q6600 to 3G and his Prime95 small FFT temps were ~47,47,45,45, I was jealous... no... pissed (J/K). I told him I wanted it and he said ok. :lol: 

He was saying that he was going to tell everyone, so I looked him in the eye and said NO do not tell anyone, I only do this for friends. There's not enough money in it for the aggravation, assuming I was charging the going rate. Not the aggravation on the front end, but the PEBMAC.
January 3, 2009 7:35:18 PM

From my point of view its got to be the single 4850,
Its better for the customer all round. What happens when the next big game that streatches a systems legs comes out ? especially if its like Crysis and dosent support dual cards from the word go ?
Much better to provide the single card that wont have these kind of issues in my opinion.
That way the customer can either crossfire if its thier choice when the time comes, or sell the 4850 and trade up. If you go with the crossfire option the customer still has to trade up but is stuck with what will be two low end cards that will be harder to sell on.
Mactronix
January 4, 2009 9:46:51 AM

Get a single HD4850X2
January 4, 2009 9:55:01 AM

Thats still overcomplicating the issue, its still crossfire.
@ Raven
Why not just ask the customer ? One of your questions was is it worth the hassle ? The answer always when building for someone else in my book would be no. You also have to consider the Overclocking you are talking about, that may end up with a unstable rig.
Why make your life and the customers more complicated than it needs be ? Unless there is a part of you that just wants to build the crossfire 4670 rig to see how it flies ?

Mactronix
!