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Ati 4870 sapphire vs asus...possibly wait for 4890?

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  • Graphics Cards
  • Asus
  • Sapphire
  • Graphics
Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 14, 2009 6:33:34 AM

So i currently have an 8800gt but it's currently encountered some artifacting issues that require me to underclock it to keep it from crashing. I'd RMA it but i bought it off of a friend and he didnt register it for the warranty when he had the chance (EVGA first 30 days blah blah) so i'm thinking i might as well just upgrade, but i've become faced with a few issues.

my mobo is crossfire so i plan to go ATI, and i've been looking at the 4870 more specifically these two models:

Asus Dark Knight 4870 1GB:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Sapphire 4870 1GB:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

i was originally thinking of getting the the toxic sapphire 4870 but it seems to be discontinued on newegg and any other site i find it on seems super sketch...

ASUS has a 3 year warrenty vs Sapphire 2 year, and i've heard mixed thing about boths RMA service. What i'm mainly wondering is, is the cooling in the asus model any better than the sapphire model? they both seem to utilize heat pipes and are non-refference but i don't know much about it. I don't want to have to deal with upgrading the fan myself either.

so with the 1 year extra warranty, is the asus worth 20-30 bucks more? or should i just go with the sapphire? which company tends to produce better cards and most importantly which will have BETTER COOLING!

I also realize the 4890 is coming out in a few weeks, the 512 for 200 bucks, and a few weeks later the 1gb for 300, what do people reccomend? i'd want the 1 GB model for future proofing sake, should i wait or not? is it worth the extra 100 bucks?

this is my rig:

Gigabyte EP45-UD3P Mobo
Intel e8500 3.16 Dual Core processor (have gotten it to 3.8 easily, could probably hit 4 without an issue)
Corsair Dominator 4Gb DDR2 1066 Memory
Seagate 7200.11 500 gb and 80gb HDs
Antec 900 Case
Asus VH222H Monitor

I plan to play at 1920x1080

More about : ati 4870 sapphire asus possibly wait 4890

a b U Graphics card
March 14, 2009 9:13:49 AM

I haven't seen any pricing on 4890 yet so you may not want to assume it is going to be that high. Sources say it will be priced very competitively and $300 for the 1GB card may be a bit high.

It is only a couple of weeks away, if future proofing is that important you can hold out if you aren't in dire need of a card right now. It will not be a new chip however, just note that going in.

As far as the OEM of choice, I have heard better things about Asus support than Sapphires.
March 14, 2009 2:38:51 PM

I'll throw in my two cents. I use Asus parts quite frequently and have always been satisfied, but I actually own the Sapphire model you are refering to. I have had no problems with the card and the framerates it is getting are staggering. Jokingly enough I was actually gonna buy the Dark Night card (mostly because it looks sweet...), but went with the sapphire because the silicon was blue to match the rest of my components... lol.

And my view on waiting, I wouldn't. Prices are way lower than when I bought my card, and can I commit the ultimate sin and say that you really don't need anything above this for any of todays games.
(Also, from what I know, the 4890 is probably gonna be just a higher clock speed version of the 4870, with a possible die shrink.)
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March 14, 2009 3:11:25 PM

waiting for any card if its soo close to release, is never a bad idea. It should lower prices more so than they already are:) 
March 15, 2009 7:44:03 AM

The Toxic edition has special cooling as well as the factory overclock.

Also, the reason it disappears is because it goes out of stock about twice a month (I'm watching as I wait to build my new comp >:)  and you cant buy it during that time.
March 15, 2009 9:32:19 AM

hmmm i think buy the asus one

or! buy a 4850x2
March 15, 2009 12:10:20 PM

Don't sacrifice raw power from 1 card for 1 with 2 weaker GPUs, not only that the 1 gig on the 4870 is actually useful, compared to the 4850 which is limited both by the ram speed and the bus width.

Either wait around for the 4890, or grab the 4870 1 gig.
March 15, 2009 10:59:21 PM

well my plan is to get a 4870 then evnetually either crossfire or trifire it, a 4850x2 would pay off more immediatley but in the long run the 4870 seems a better route. I'm also considering waiting for the 4890 to come out and picking up one of those instead.

Right now i'm leaning a little more towards the Sapphire model. I've read alot of reveiws on both and it seems that Sapphire model can acheive much higher overclocks than the HIS model (every review i've read shows the sapphire hitting up around 850 and the his not being able to get past 780 or 790 on the core clock). That and the cooling solutions seems potentially better than the HIS cooler, it runs a bit hotter than the HIS but also runs slower and quiter at it's stock speed, meaning if i matched the speed of the HIS one it'd cool just as well if not better.

The warranty is the only thing I'm hesitant about, 1 year isn't that long and 2 years would be nice. But 1 year is also a long time in the hardware world...so i'm still unsure...
March 16, 2009 5:03:22 PM

There isn't really a big difference, it has a slightly higher clock speed, and overclocked memory, which the overclocked memory hardly does a thing with the massive memory bandwidth GDDR5 has, this was tested many times in overclocking sessions\benchmarks, the only thing that really improved performance was core clock increase. When you can get a 4870 1GB for 200$, I see no need to wait, and spend 300$, for something that feels to me, like a over-clocked 4870. Same chip design, not really anything *new* so to speak.
March 16, 2009 5:33:34 PM

its not only to wait and buy the 4890, its to wait and see the prices go down.

We're not just talking about increase power, we're talking about decreased prices ont he 4870.
March 16, 2009 5:39:03 PM

and less juice sucked out :D 
March 16, 2009 5:57:59 PM

I thought this guy was actually wanting it now...if he's patient, then by all means, wait, as estimates are 4870s starting at 100$ when the 4890 comes out, I'm saying if he wants a card RIGHT now, it's not worth waiting to GET the 4890, due to it's price point, when currently 4870 1GB's are 190-200$ and the 4890 will barely be more powerful. :p 
I don't know if you will see "less power consumption" as the 4890, is entirely based on the current 4800 series design...it's not a NEW chip, so I can't see it sucking much less juice, but we'll see.
March 16, 2009 6:39:38 PM

@ rescawen: by the looks of it, it might not suck less juice but more. Its an oced 4870 with added SP, so think of it as a 260 GTX Sp 216 (instead of 192) + an OC.

Although the innovation is more than that, as the memory is set to be faster (though won't add too much).
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