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CrossFire 4850 beats 4890, GTX 260, 280, 275 and 285...decision time..

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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April 13, 2009 8:41:57 AM

Hello everyone,

I was hoping you can help make my mind up for me.

For the price of ONE ATI 4890, I can get TWO 4850 which I can use in CrossFire. Looking at the benchmarks, two 4850's in CrossFire destroy an ATI 4890 (even when overclocked to 1GHz), nVidia GTX 260, 280, 275 and 285.

I have a 512MB 4870 at this moment in time and see no point in upgraded to a 4890 for a 10% performance increase when Crossfire 4850 can give me about 40% performance increase, at the SAME price as a single ATI 4890.

My problem is that I have heard so many nightmare stories about CrossFire regarding installation and in game problems. With this in mind, I want to stay with a single card solution. Would buying a 4870X2 bypass ALL CrossFire software? Is it seen as a single card in Windows and so eliminate ALL CrossFire related issues?

Ideally, I liked the Crossfire 4850 as Idle and Load power consumption is reasonable, whereas Crossfire 4870 and 4870X2 consume a bit too much power for me. Hence, why I am NOT going 4870 Crossife.

Any help is appreciated as I am looking to order asap.

Thanks.
April 13, 2009 8:50:45 AM

With the 4870x2 you still have to worry about crossfire drivers.Best thing to do in my opinion is to get the fastest single card you can afford. There is always te option to go dual card in the future, but not needed. The 4850x2 is limited by its driver support from sapphire where the 4870x2 is supported by ati, but for both cards, if the game/application does not support xfire you are limited to one gpu. The 4850x2 on games that support crossfire should be on level with a gtx 285 and a 4890 oced.
April 13, 2009 9:01:54 AM

Thanks for the quick reply, Chef.

The problem with the 4850X2 is indeed drivers but also noise. The cooler is one of the loudest out there. For these reasons, I have discounted it. Makes me wish I had an SLI board at this moment in time.

The 4850X2 should destroy an Oc 4890 btw :) 

I guess it is better to buy something supported by ATI rather than Sapphire, hence the 4870X2.

If only the Nvidia 295 wasn't so damn expensive!
Related resources
a b U Graphics card
April 13, 2009 9:23:17 AM

Well going with either 2 4850 in crossfire is a very good option now...but say in few months time, there will be newer games, which will be more demanding and if you want to upgrade, then you would have to replace 2 cards, which is a waste...
But where as going with a single powerful card make more sense as later you can crossfire them...and would be suffice for future games too...
And the 4870X2 is somewhat better...
But if you want to spend less money and get maximum performance, the 4830 crossfire is a better option than the 4850 crossfire...As these are very cheap, around $80 and 2 of them is around $160 and they can also beat nearly all the single-chip cards out there...
April 13, 2009 9:24:43 AM

295 runs into same problems that a 4870x2 does. Only works correctly on sli supported games/software. The 4850x2 is about on par with an oced 4890 and gtx 285 at stock.You should be able to get a 4890 to oc to the performance of a gtx 285 and that is pretty much where the 4850x2 is at, might be a tad but etter on a few games. I still think you should stick with a 4890 or a gtx 285or 275. At stock it should trade blows with the 275 and oced it should be close or trade blows with the gtx 285. If you have a crossfire board i would recommend going with the 4890.
April 13, 2009 9:44:25 AM

killtacular said:
destroy


Please stop inflating the word destroy.
April 13, 2009 9:45:51 AM

you say you have a 4870 why not get another one and crossfire them
April 13, 2009 9:47:26 AM

destroy destroy destroy destroy destroy destroy destroy destroy destroy destroy
April 13, 2009 9:49:00 AM

killtacular said:
destroy destroy destroy destroy destroy destroy destroy destroy destroy destroy


I'm sure that would be very funny in 5th grade.
April 13, 2009 9:49:08 AM

rangers said:
you say you have a 4870 why not get another one and crossfire them


Hello Rangers,

The reason why I do not want to purchase another 4870 is because looking at the idle/load power consumption, it is far too high for my liking. Especially idle where it sits at 285W. Not good when you use bit torrent so often.....
April 13, 2009 9:49:44 AM

lejay said:
I'm sure that would be very funny in 5th grade.


I thought you may like it....:) 
April 13, 2009 10:00:04 AM

Looking at these benchmarks:

http://techreport.com/articles.x/16681/12

It shows the overclocked GTX 275 and ATI 4890 in Far Cry 2. The performance is very much close to CrossFire 4850.

Looks like either GTX 275 or ATI 4890 for me then....
April 13, 2009 10:49:08 AM

Yeah. The 4890 / GTX 275 are good choices. Due to no issues regarding Crossfire/SLI.

But back to the 4850, there are 4850 variants that use non stock heatsinks, and they work a lot better than the stock fans, like the Palit Radeon 4850 Sonic.
April 13, 2009 12:15:51 PM

Sorry, but it is the 4850X2 that is noisey which only Sapphire produce. I was refering to that card, not a 4850.

:) 
a b U Graphics card
April 13, 2009 12:20:45 PM

After the GX2, I will never recommend a X2 based card unless its a clear value, and the 4850X2 is not a value. Too much driver instability over time, and X2 cards tend to get phased out relativly quickly...
April 13, 2009 12:51:55 PM

Well, I just found the XFX 4890 for £197 delivered. I'll go with that.

Thanks everyone.
April 13, 2009 8:48:53 PM

chef7734 said:
The 4850x2 is limited by its driver support from sapphire where the 4870x2 is supported by ati, but for both cards, if the game/application does not support xfire you are limited to one gpu. The 4850x2 on games that support crossfire should be on level with a gtx 285 and a 4890 oced.



Not true.

I am not sure where you get these kind of ideas/ facts from?..... I can bet on my life that you've never owned a HD4850x2 card in your life... and thus rendering your advise useless... I really love when people just come up with facts like this...

It has been stated in previous forum postings, HD4850x2 and HD4870x2 have been officially supported by ATI from Cat 9.1, you can also check ATI's official driver documentation.

In future people that give "advises" pls double check your so called "advice" before stating it as general truth.

Concerning your question. 4890 it's still a great card, has lower power requirements than two hd4850s or HD4850x2, and when overclocked in some games it outperforms the hd4850x2. Also, you can always get another hd4890 in the future and crossfire it as need arises.
As of right now you'll do well in all of the games with just a single 4890. So go for it purchase a 4890.

Here is a nice benchmark by xBitlabs: http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/video/display/radeon-hd4890.html

Cheers and have fun gaming!
a b U Graphics card
April 13, 2009 9:25:32 PM

Don't get a 4850x2, just get two 4850s.

If you plan to upgrade i the future for DX11 or beyond, get two 4850s.

If you probably won't upgrade for DX11, get the 4890 and upgrade to 2x4890 Xfire in the future.
April 13, 2009 9:26:47 PM

Single 4890 or just keep what you have. Dont waste your time with crossfire, or even SLI for that matter, espically if you dont really need it. I promise you wont see the difference, I personally dropped a 4870 for 4850 crossfire and regretted it every single day until I got rid of it.
April 13, 2009 9:53:33 PM

spathotan said:
Single 4890 or just keep what you have. Dont waste your time with crossfire, or even SLI for that matter, espically if you dont really need it. I promise you wont see the difference, I personally dropped a 4870 for 4850 crossfire and regretted it every single day until I got rid of it.


I don't understand how 4850 CrossFire was worse than your 4870? The only conclusion I can think of is that you must have had games that were not CrossFire compatible...?
a b U Graphics card
April 13, 2009 9:55:42 PM

^ Either that or he got the 4850x2, which suks ballz...or so I've heard.
April 13, 2009 10:01:28 PM

HD4850x2 works great. What "suks ballz" is your ignorance and meaningful statements
April 13, 2009 10:27:27 PM

Where the 4850X2 does "suks ballz" is the noise from the fans! LOL!
a b U Graphics card
April 13, 2009 10:36:13 PM

Euphoria_MK said:
HD4850x2 works great. What "suks ballz" is your ignorance and meaningful statements


suck ballz as in the drivers aren't from ATI itself, so the software support for the 4850x2 is piss poor
April 13, 2009 10:40:02 PM

killtacular said:
Where the 4850X2 does "suks ballz" is the noise from the fans! LOL!



Yeah I wont argue there :) 
Although their newer cards come with updated BIOS that keeps the fan at low rpms when working in 2d/Desktop, when gaming it's a different story... The fans do make a lot of noise.. I wish they redisigned their cooling, and went with some kind of aftermarket solution like Artic-Cooling has for the 4870x2. The small fans and high rpms it's a a big NO, NO for quiet cooling.
April 13, 2009 10:43:33 PM

Bluescreendeath said:
suck ballz as in the drivers aren't from ATI itself, so the software support for the 4850x2 is piss poor


Read my first posting again. ATI offers official support for HD4850x2 since Cat 9.1.
I will not repeat myself anymore... For some reason people dont read the posts anymore..
April 14, 2009 12:04:07 AM

If the OP wants to waste his money on a flatline marginal, questional "upgrade" then by all means. No need to try to persuade him otherwise, he will be back here in a few weeks dissapointed.

Crossfire and SLi performance is overexagerated, period.
a b U Graphics card
April 14, 2009 12:14:13 AM

Euphoria_MK said:
Read my first posting again. ATI offers official support for HD4850x2 since Cat 9.1.
I will not repeat myself anymore... For some reason people dont read the posts anymore..


Fine fine, I believe you.
April 14, 2009 12:38:30 AM

spathotan said:
If the OP wants to waste his money on a flatline marginal, questional "upgrade" then by all means. No need to try to persuade him otherwise, he will be back here in a few weeks dissapointed.

Crossfire and SLi performance is overexagerated, period.


I just ordered my 2nd HD4870 1GB VaporX for crossfire.
I used before the hd4850x2 and I did not see any problems with it.
I would leave that to personal preference. I think it works great, and so do some other people that have crossfire.

Only thing I got to say is dont try to do a crossfire if you dont have a PSU that will provide at least 650W.
It also matters whit kind of motherboard you own.

Most of the "noobs" complaining about crossfire are using weak or bad PSU or they've OCed their CPU by increasing the BUS SPeed and the PCI bandwidth, so much that it causes them problems... Flickers, blue screens, etc....

From personal experience all I can say is that I've seen great improvements. I can max everything in game and have CCC at 12xAA 16xAniso and everything looks perfect at 1080p.
Crysis is the only excetion where I can not have AA maxed out.

IMO Crysis needs to be re-coded., they've spent too much time on adding special effects that they have not optimized the code for the hardware. THey did a bit better job with Crysis Warhead but it's still not where it should be.

April 14, 2009 12:43:13 AM

Bluescreendeath said:
Fine fine, I believe you.



No, please do not believe me, nor anyone here on the board. But when you see someone posts something that would affect your decision on a purchase just go and double check the facts.
That's why is good to use official references when you state something like HD4850x2 doesn't work or their drivers "suks ballz".

By official refference I dont mean " My friend Joe said that they suck ballz, but anadtech reports this, or ATI official statement was that...., or HardOCP found that.... Anyway you get the point....

Most of the times all you get on these boards are opinions. For facts you'll have to do some research.
April 14, 2009 7:35:13 AM

spathotan said:
If the OP wants to waste his money on a flatline marginal, questional "upgrade" then by all means. No need to try to persuade him otherwise, he will be back here in a few weeks dissapointed.

Crossfire and SLi performance is overexagerated, period.


What "flatline marginal, questional" upgrade are you refering to? Can you please elaborate as to which card you are refering to and in your "humble" opinion, which card I should upgrade to? I game at 1920 x 1080 btw...

I have at the moment a 512MB 4870 card. I do not think the 4890 is worth the extra cost. i.e. £80 for 10-15% performance increase.

Crossfire on the other hand, or even the 4870X2 would give me 20-40% increase for the same price in the games I want to play, Far Cry 2, Fallout 3 etc with all eye candy maxed.

April 14, 2009 1:17:42 PM

killtacular said:
Looks like Toms agree with me:

http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/radeon-geforce-gtx,review...


Yes you are right. HD4870 still gives best price to performance ratio.
If you look at most of the people complaining about the ATI cards you'll find out that, they either have an unstable system or they haven't owned an ATI card for the last 4 -5 years, so they are talking out of their behind.
My first car was Voodoo 2 , 2nd ATi and then I jumped to Nvidia and that is since Geforce 256 DDR, and mostly due to better Linux driver support. I went back to ATi with the 9700pro, during the Nvidia FX fiasco years, when Nvidia altered their drivers to cheat on benchmarks, such as 3D Mark.
Then went back to Nvidia with 7800GT.
I also had a misconception that ATi drivers are still crap...
I just built a new system with a Crossfire Motherboard, and I gave ATI another try after so many years, and I can say that I am more than satisfied from their product. For the last four months I've had zero driver related problems. I mean why would I buy a 2nd HD4870 for crossfire if their drivers a such a crap?

So again, if you have a good PSU and stable system, it's as simple as plug and play.
July 21, 2009 11:35:13 PM

spathotan said:
Single 4890 or just keep what you have. Dont waste your time with crossfire, or even SLI for that matter, espically if you dont really need it. I promise you wont see the difference, I personally dropped a 4870 for 4850 crossfire and regretted it every single day until I got rid of it.


I see an incredibly large difference.

Maybe the applications your using don't support crossfire?
!