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ATI radeon 3870, 4850 or 4870??

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 14, 2009 5:42:32 PM

Hey guys bit stuck on what gfx card I should get on my new build.

Build so far...
Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200 2.33GHz Socket 775 1333FSB 4MB Cache

ASUS p5q pro

Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD6400AAKS 640GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA

Corsair TX 750W ATX2.2

Compucase 6XM1 Full Tower Gaming Case

Whatever card I decide on, I am going to buy one, and then buy another one in the future to increase graphics performance by running them in xfire mode.

Not sure what card presents best "bang for buck" but also what will be best in the future when I go x2.

Been reading up on the 3 cards listed in the thread title but I'm unsure what would be best.

Cheers in advance for any advice or recommendations
January 14, 2009 5:49:51 PM

What resoloution are you playing in, and do you intend to upgrade to a bigger display?
I`d not recommend the 3870 if you plan to Crossfire in the future, because in the future you might have problems sourcing another.
January 14, 2009 5:57:04 PM

So the 3870 is out of the question then.ok

TBH, in the future I want to play games and generally use my computer through a 32"+ TV that is 1080p.

I usually play my games in 2048x1024 but my monitor is only 19" at the minute. So in the future, with the HD TV in mind, I will be playing at 1920x1080. (that is the resolution of the HD tv I have been looking at)

Thanks for the reply by the way
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January 14, 2009 5:57:04 PM

^^yep, the 3870 is pretty old allready

4870 1GB would be the best option to crossfire, the extra ram will do wonders at high resolutions/texture/AA settings when the crossfire setup has the raw power to actually play nice at high rez and settings.
January 14, 2009 5:58:51 PM

dafonz said:
So in the future, with the HD TV in mind, I will be playing at 1920x1080.


In that case take a look at either the HD4870 1GB or the GTX260 Core 216.
January 14, 2009 6:09:13 PM

Shame that I cant use the GTX260 since it isn't compatible.

But I was looking at the HD 4870, but only the 512MB version. I reckon it would be worth the money splashing out on the 1GB bad boy. Also, buying another when gaming demands it and running x2 should also last a while without the need to buy a totally new, and probably very expensive gfx card.

January 14, 2009 6:42:35 PM

Given that you are planning on a high resoloution, I`d suggest the 1Gb HD4870, the extra memory will smooth things out and stop annoying `glitches` during gameplay.
January 14, 2009 7:30:37 PM

yeah get the ATI that has the Logo Nvidia GTX on it....
"inside every ATI card is an Nvidia card screaming to get out"

Quote of the day " excuse me i have to use the restroom, gotta take an AMD"
January 14, 2009 9:53:43 PM

I am going to have to agree with the 4870 1GB version since you are planning on gaming on a 1080p TV in the future, the extra ram will make a difference at that resolution, also the extra speed of the 4870 as well. It will be worth the money
January 14, 2009 9:56:27 PM

Nice 1 guys, thanks for all the help. Got my heart set on the 4870 1GB.
January 14, 2009 10:13:11 PM

Yes I agree with the HD 4870 1GB. One recommendation I have is consider the E8400 over the 8200 that you mentioned above.
January 15, 2009 2:00:32 AM

I'd go with the 4870 1 gig too, but you'd have to overclock your CPU to get the most out of a Crossfire setup. If you don't plan on overclocking then a 4850 1 gig isn't a bad idea.

When income tax comes in, I'll drop in a Phenom II 940 and get a 4870 1 gig. I'm also looking to game on an Acer 20.5" 1080p monitor.
January 15, 2009 5:33:12 AM

When higher resolutions appear, go for the 4870!
(I would like to upgrade myself to a 24" 1900x1200 resolution, but first I have to upgrade mij GFX card. My 8800GTS is not fast enough to do that job)

What I really don't understand is your choice of processor!
OK it's a quad but I wouldn't trade my E6850 (3.0 GHz) for it.
You need definitely a faster CPU for gaming unless you play solitaire all the time.
January 15, 2009 6:29:36 AM

Along with everyone else, I am also going to recommend the 4870 1Gb for your rig.

I would recommend changing the CPU, however.
Take a look at the Q6600 which runs for about the same price.
At stock speeds, it will be a tiny bit faster with twice the L2 cache and an extra 70Mhz.

When you begin overclocking, the Q6600 with it's 9x multiplier will pull far ahead of a Q8200 and it's 7x multiplier. To get the same 3Ghz overclock that is guaranteed to a Q6600, you will have to push your motherboard's FSB to nearly 430Mhz. If you want to push forward to 3.4-3.6Ghz, which most Q6600's can do with a good cooler, your motherboard will have to be stable at 486-514Mhz.

As both can be had for the same price, I consider the Q6600 a much better buy.
January 15, 2009 9:21:42 AM

The only bad thing about either Intel decision is that they are practically EOL. Unless you go i7 920, you're not guaranteed another CPU upgrade with whatever new motherboard. So, maybe the Q6600 is a good deal for him after all? We can assume he'll give overclocking a try.

I just went back on my recommendation for myself. I decided that since AMD's new GPU's are coming out around June that I'd just spend half as much and get a Gigabyte 4850 (at least it won't have any Crossfire issues). I just ordered it from Newegg.

Still have to wait for income tax on that Phenom II, but should I go for the Ph II 940 and overclock? Anandtech's midrange $1,000 to $2,000 buyer's guide recommends the Tuniq Tower 120 for cooling. I'm just not sure how well I'll do with the SB700 instead of the SB750 of the 790gx.

Also ordered 8 gigs of Kingston (two 2x 2g). Should I upgrade to Vista 64 or give the basically free Windows 7 beta a try?
January 15, 2009 10:38:45 AM

Quote:
You need definitely a faster CPU for gaming unless you play solitaire all the time.


Point taken. for some reason that never occurred to me, I was just so fixated on 4 cores. faster CPU it is then. will have a look at the Q6600 as well since i am sure i will get into OCing with this new comp
January 15, 2009 12:47:40 PM

I am assuming that price is not an Issue, therefore the 4870 seems like the obvious choice. I have a 1GB 3870 that I got last year around April of 2008, and I have no issues running it through HDMI to my 40 Inch LCD HDTV to play Eve Online, (and or to my 22 Inch samsung LCD monitor to play some FPS's) and instead of shelling out extra $$ I will instead get a 2nd 3870 and put it into crossfire mode. Frankly i just dont get it when people upgrade their video card every year, no matter how hard you try something shinier and faster is always on the horizon and so far, ive been happy with 3870s performace and cant wait to throw a 2nd one into the mix.
January 15, 2009 1:47:46 PM

Yes i DO play eve online on the HDTV since i have multiple clients running, but i DO play crysis, far cry 2 and other fps on the desktop monitor, the point i am trying to make is that its silly to think that last years hardware is obsolete. But thats just my 2 cents. If I upgraded my componets every year I'd have to sell my kidneys on the black market to afford it.
!