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ATI 4870 - 512 mb or 1 gig?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 2, 2009 5:52:30 PM

Hi, I have a 25.5 inch 1920 x 1280 Samsung monitor and I want to buy the ATI 4870 video card. Do I need to get a 4870 with 1 gig of ram over to play games at that resolution or will a card with 512 mb of ram be enough? Thank you.

David

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a b U Graphics card
March 2, 2009 6:18:48 PM

4870 1gig ftw
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a c 147 U Graphics card
March 2, 2009 6:39:00 PM

I'd get what you can afford. The 4870 512MB usually comes in just under the 1GB version. However, some games benefit more from the larger memory than other, at the time that I got my 4870 1GB it was only a $25 difference after rebate. However, on Newegg it looks like the 4870 cards have actually gone UP in price, what gives. That makes the gtx 260 216 core look pretty appealing. The 4870 and GTX 260 trade punches constantly, so you sorta have to know what games you place and check the benches.

On a note though I have the Asus 4870 1GB Dark Knight version OCed pretty well to (825/1050). I JUST upgraded from XP to Vista Ultimate 64-bit, and saw a REALLY noticeable improvement in ALL games, especially when running DX10. Those cards love DX10 games. Just an FYI. I had a GTX 260 for a week before it became defective and it actually performed better than the 4870 1GB I have now in XP. However when we tried both of them in my buddies PC, which is Vista, the 4870 really shined.
March 2, 2009 7:25:49 PM

Thanks for all the replays and suggestions. I guess I will be going with the 1 gig version but I will check out the GTX260 first.

David
a c 147 U Graphics card
March 2, 2009 7:29:38 PM

The GTX260 consumes less power and I believe it is cheaper than the 4870 right now. Although the 4870 has a price drop very shortly. They are both nice cards.
March 2, 2009 9:35:46 PM

I had bad luck with 3 Powercolor HD4870 PCS+ 1gb cards and now have a 285 GTX as a replacement/upgrade for the same price I initially paid for the Powercolor card. Powercolor's PCS+ is a non ATI reference design so the problem may lay there. It certainly had problems running at the initial release 800/925 clocks. The third card was factory clocked to only 780/925 yet was still glitchy in games until I underclocked it to 770/900. From that point it seemed to work fine. Unfortunately, shortly there after one of the DVIs decided to quit. There may have more problems than reported (I suspect with the VRM as my second card fried the VRM) as Newegg has dropped the prices on their Powercolor cards (the PCS+ 512mb card is down to $154 after $15 MIR) while most of the other 4870s have increased a bit recently. So far the EVGA 285 GTX has been problem free much easier to get set up.
March 3, 2009 12:02:13 AM

1 gig for that size.
March 3, 2009 9:59:31 AM

If you wanna have HD4870, go for 1GB version...
March 3, 2009 11:13:23 AM

It's easier with the ati cards to be honest. They only release 1 driver so it's easier to pick the right one, the only one :) . With Nvidia you have to find the right serie not really much harder, but I doubt anyone has a problem with either.
March 3, 2009 1:38:49 PM

Zippy in a word...Yes! The 285 GTX was a lot easier but as I said I think it was a Powercolor problem. To start with, the first card was DOA, the second and third cards began with card installed the CATs would not install as the hardware (card) wasn't recognized requiring shutting down of most of the startup items (obviously a display driver conflict somewhere), then I had to disconnect the 2nd monitor to get either display after loading windows after the CATs were installed, at stock speeds the PCS+, had random flicker problems and would hang in games causing the CATs to restart and change the display back to a lower default requiring me to reset the display settings. The cards were an absolute PITA.

To be honest, I installed a Sapphire 4850 in another rig and it was and has been no problem, OCs well, and performs great! It was what motivated me to get the 4870 PCS+ in the first place. I am neither ATI's nor Nvidia's fanboy. It just was what it was...like it or not!
March 3, 2009 1:56:19 PM

trinix said:
It's easier with the ati cards to be honest. They only release 1 driver so it's easier to pick the right one, the only one :) . With Nvidia you have to find the right serie not really much harder, but I doubt anyone has a problem with either.


Actually Nvidia only rolls out one driver package as well, it contains all series in that one package. They do make you select which series card you have on their website, but this is either for survey of cards in use, or for future implementation of splitting the packages, but at this point it is a unified package.

Easier/harder is subjective, with both brands, the process is the same. Some will have an easier time depending on existing drivers/hardware/case/psu/etc.

To the OP:
At that resolution, you will benefit from the 1GB 4870, or the 896MB GTX 260. Features like AA/AF will need the extra texture memory at that resolution, the 512MB cards would likely struggle with it.
!