Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

4870 @ 1GB vs 2x 4870 @ 512MB

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
Share
June 20, 2009 6:26:29 PM

Hey everyone!

I'm looking to setup a new system around the ASUS P6T SE board with a nehalem cpu and 6GB of Kingston DDR3 @ 1333MHz or 1600MHz and eventually Windows 7 64-bit.

The important question for this system is what do I do for my video card?!

I'm debating between getting a single Radeon HD 4870 w/ 1GB or two Radeon HD 4870 w/ 512MB (the P6T has 3 x16 slots and 2 of them are electrically x16 as well). I can't find any performance reviews comparing this kinda setup and was wondering if anyone would be able to tell me why I'd go with one setup over another (other then the 1GB option being cheaper).

Will I notice any worthwhile performance improvements going with 2 512MB cards in crossfire over the 1GB card? I'll mainly be playing Crysis and Far Cry 2 and then any other kickass FPS that come out.

Thanks for any feedback guys!!

More about : 4870 1gb 4870 512mb

June 21, 2009 6:01:57 AM

Hello and welcome to the forums mate :) 
Well 1GB vs 512 isn't very important and you wont see a noticeable difference between them so 2 HD 4870 512 beat 1 HD 4870 1GB
June 21, 2009 8:59:02 AM

2 HD 4870 nearly equals a HD 4870X2
Related resources
June 21, 2009 9:14:33 AM

There's very little price difference between the 4870 512 and the 1gb. If you use 2 cards in crossfire or SLI you only have half the total memory available to both GPU's so 2 4870 512's would only be able to use 512. My suggestion would be to go with 2 4870 1gb, especially if your monitor resolution is 1920x1200 or higher.
June 21, 2009 3:40:30 PM

I wouldn't buy a card with only 512 of video memory anymore. And if you have enough money to get 2 512 cards then I would suggest getting a 4890.
June 21, 2009 3:58:15 PM

Some extra points to consider:
Power, do you have enough? Heat, does your case have enough airflow? Coolers: More than a few cards have coolers that dump some or all of their heat into the case and we see a LOT of problems caused by this.

Do not get a 512Mb card for a new build, the savings are too small to justify the potential performance losses.
As for dual cards, even at higher resoloutions a single card will give good performance with eye candy enabled so I would suggest getting one for the build and adding another when, or if, you feel the need.
June 21, 2009 4:09:39 PM

^^^I meant coolers exactly like this!
June 21, 2009 4:15:11 PM

coozie7 said:
^^^I meant coolers exactly like this!


I agree with your concerns about the aftermarket cooler on some cards but it really depends on the case and how effective it's cooling is. I still wouldn't suggest a card like that though simply due to cost. You can find the 4890 ~$160, I don't see the benefit of spending almost $80 more for a cooler and overclocking which you can do.

Take this
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Add this
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
With this
http://www.tcmagazine.com/comments.php?id=27347&catid=2
=$227.96+ the cost of the mosfet sink which will likely be about $10.
You end up in the same price range but with much better cooling
June 21, 2009 7:42:11 PM

If you increase the fan speed in the ATI control panel you don't need to spend $50 on an after market cooling solution.
June 21, 2009 9:35:30 PM

if you increase fan speed it gonna sound like a jet taking off! it is not an option for me :) 
June 22, 2009 7:35:08 PM

Thanks for all the feedback guys, very helpful!

Power isn't really an issue since it will be a new build and I can buy the powersupply to suit my components.

My monitor is a single 24" 1920*1200 display and that's what I'll be sticking with for a few years. I don't have to play games at that res (but it would be nice), I just love it for working in Windows!

The reason I was thinking of going with 2 cards was for the extra performance offered by crossfire. Reading these replies it sounds like I won't get any boost from 2x 512MB vs 1x 1GB so I think I'll do like coozie7 suggested and go with 1 card for now and buy another one a year or two down the read to do crossfire if needed. Maybe I'll go with the 4890 if I can find it for less then a 4870 x2 (I'm in Canada).

ausch30 said:
There's very little price difference between the 4870 512 and the 1gb. If you use 2 cards in crossfire or SLI you only have half the total memory available to both GPU's so 2 4870 512's would only be able to use 512. My suggestion would be to go with 2 4870 1gb, especially if your monitor resolution is 1920x1200 or higher.


I'm not really sure what you mean by this. I'd only have half the memory available if I use 2x 512MB vs 1x GB??

Thanks again guys, this really helped my decision making!
June 22, 2009 7:43:38 PM

mattdl said:

I'm not really sure what you mean by this. I'd only have half the memory available if I use 2x 512MB vs 1x GB??

Thanks again guys, this really helped my decision making!

Yes, if your using 2x 512 cards in SLI or Crossfire you only have 512 of usable memory, you don't add them together. If you were to use 2x 1gb cards you would have 1gb available which would help performance, especially at higher resolutions like your 1920x1200.
June 22, 2009 7:48:14 PM

ausch30 said:
Yes, if your using 2x 512 cards in SLI or Crossfire you only have 512 of usable memory, you don't add them together. If you were to use 2x 1gb cards you would have 1gb available which would help performance, especially at higher resolutions like your 1920x1200.


So then cross fire is like a mirror raid? It doesn't increase your storage (or available memory in this case)?
June 22, 2009 9:39:56 PM

No, neither crossfire nor SLI add the memory together.
!