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Stream Processing Units

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
April 12, 2009 7:38:56 PM

Ok, i have a 9800 GTX, 512MB ram, i just got vista 64 so memory is no longer limiting me. Im looking at getting a 4870 1gb. I compared the specs. My 9800 has a little higher Mem clock, and core clock, but the 4870 has ALOT more stream processors. How does this compare, because i dont know much about this technical stuff.


9800 gtx

Also, i was looking at 4870 x2's but i hear they have problems with games running in or out of windowed mode.
April 12, 2009 9:20:21 PM

Both cards will work fine for games. It's hard to compare the 2 because they are different technology. ATI uses 5to1 for stream processing and Nvidia uses 1to1.
It's very technical which is better for graphical programming.

Basic info

Very Technical

I would suggest basing your purchase on what you will use it for, and the benchmarks that are out there. There are some bench marks done here on tomshardware..

hope that help you
April 12, 2009 10:44:03 PM

I do alot of gaming, Company of heroes, WoW, CSS, COD4&5. Thanks alot for your help!
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a b U Graphics card
April 13, 2009 4:07:15 AM

A 4870 would be a step up, albeit not huge. If it is in your budget, you may want to consider the 4890.
April 13, 2009 5:05:16 AM

Im running a 22" 1680 x 1050? i think, and i want to spend like $200, but if its not that much better than mine im not gonna waste my time, im currently bidding on a 280 for $200 new on ebay, i prolly wont win it for under 250. I have a 650W PSU, and it has two 6pin adapters, so i can use almost any card. And i have a Phenom 9600 (2.3ghz)
a b U Graphics card
April 13, 2009 5:25:40 AM

^ The ATI and Nvidia companies use very different architechture.

ATI cards have A LOT more cores, Nvidia usually has higher clocks and more fill rates.
In the end, most of their cards are on par.

The 4870 is on par with the GTX260
The 4850 is on par with the 9800GTX
a b U Graphics card
April 13, 2009 1:06:23 PM

Things to consider.
1. When you upgrade GPU's, you need to go at least 2 tiers to see much improvement.
2. Your CPU does not have enough raw speed to push even the 9800GTX to it's full potential. You would benefit more by upgrading your CPU first to something at least 2.8 ghz.
What motherboard do you have? If you have an AM2+, I would highly suggest you move to a higher clocked Phenom II before you spend money on a GPU. I think you are going to be disappointed with any GPU upgrade until you do.
April 13, 2009 4:10:18 PM

I just got a new mobo that supports AM3, so you think i should get a Phenom II? If so, what one?!?
April 13, 2009 4:15:50 PM

Does anyone know anything about the dragon platform? I read that AMD works well wt ATI graphics cards, and if so, why?
April 13, 2009 4:31:46 PM

The Dragon Platform is the next new thing from AMD/ATI. Some say it will out perform the Spider by at least 40%, wich is a huge benchmark. I'm unaware if any are on the market yet. Some say maybe next month. I generally stay away from new stuff, untill i see it tested and benchmarked by various sites.

Oh and AMD and ATI are basically the same company, therfore they work together rather well by design.
April 13, 2009 4:47:24 PM

What does it mean when they are a platform?!? Just the videocard and processor are ment to work together?
a b U Graphics card
April 13, 2009 5:09:41 PM

magruder13 said:
What does it mean when they are a platform?!? Just the videocard and processor are ment to work together?

It means there *may* be key features on the board, the GPU, and the processor that enable the platform, when properly implemented to out perform parts from a similarly equiped PC with a mix of other parts. Whether this actually makes any real world difference or not, I would need to see the results before I put a lot of faith into it. It may just be that the parts have a keen way of pushing benchmarking programs to display stupendous results, but not really do much in games or real life. It is an old story. We will have to wait and see.

Right now, there is no just evidence or reason to suggest that an nVidia card cannot or does not perform equal to a comparable ATI card on and AMD platform, or vica versa. Unless of course you thinking of SLI or Crossfire.

But still, if your budget is not too tight, then by all means a fast Phemon II will give you some surprising results over the older slow Phemon you have now. I still suggest making that upgrade first, see how things run before you spend money on a GPU that is going to be bottlenecked by your current processor.
The 940 is great processor, 3ghz and an unlocked mutiplier.
A lot of people are having great success as well with the new PII X3's, overclock very easy, and pretty nice price.
Anyhow, minimum you want to run the GPU you have, or future GPU's you are looking at,... is 2.8~3.0ghz.
April 13, 2009 5:28:32 PM


Basically the CPU's, Graphics cards and Mother boards produced by AMD in the last 2 years are made for overclocking. Black edition CPU's have the multipiers un locked and mobo's are coming with overclocking software. Such as Overdrive a over clocking utility produced by AMD.

amd dragon news

Dragon on the other hand is the next generation OC'ing platform from AMD.

Hope that help you.
April 13, 2009 7:49:30 PM

Ok that makes alot of sense, i think im gonna go ahead and get the PII 940, i have liquid cooling so i think overclocking will be really easy and i can obtain high results, ive been told my mobo is really bad for overclocking tho.


It does support AM3, with a bios update that i have already done.
a b U Graphics card
April 14, 2009 1:26:42 PM

Well, you see that is a great processor choice for you then.
The unlocked multiplier on the Black Edition takes all the overclocking strain off the motherboard. Leave all the other motherboard settings at default, simply raise the mulitplier on the CPU. Puts all the duty directly on the processor.
If you have liguid cooling.....and an 45nm unlocked Phenom II 940, you are in overclock heaven.
April 14, 2009 8:10:44 PM

So, if i have an unlocked multiplier, i assume it has a limit, what stops me from maxing it, If the CPU stays within a decently low temp, and i don't touch the voltage, will maxing the multiplier have any negative/damaging effect? Right now my 9550 only runs at 27C atm, so it can handle a lot of heat.
a b U Graphics card
April 15, 2009 12:25:22 PM

I am not sure what the upper limit of the multiplier is, but the processor will start showing errors at some point, far before you run out of multiplier. There is after all a physical limit to how fast the processor can run, no matter how cold you keep it. The stock mulitplier is 15, (15x200=3ghz) I know the multiplier will go to at least 20, which would give you 4ghz. I am certain you can raise it even higher than that, but you are never going to get the CPU to run stable, or even boot at those kinds of speeds. So you cannot simply just go in and set it as high as it will go. But you should be able to run it to 3.4 or 3.6, maybe without much trouble.
You start buy raising the multiplier 1 at a time, until you either get a no-boot, or you start having signs of instability, like lockups, blue screens, etc. Then you back it down a notch, and be happy.
April 16, 2009 3:10:23 AM

Thanks alot for all of your help! I really appreciate it!