Sign-in / Sign-up
Your question

4850 x 2 or 4890 (both oc) ?

Tags:
  • Radeon
  • Graphics
Last response: in Graphics Cards
July 14, 2009 4:21:47 PM

I'm trying to decide between buying a 2nd 4850 and crossfiring and buying a 4890.

my mobo is x8 x8, and my resolution is 1369 x 900 (aprox)

Which would give me better performance overall?


games i play regularly: Need for speed undercover, fear 2 , far cry 2, crysis warhead, burnout paradise, mirrors edge.


Thanks in advance

(No nvidia cards please....)

More about : 4850 4890

July 14, 2009 4:41:53 PM

Shame about your naked, aggressive, unfounded and fanboyish hatred of the beloved and wonderful Nvidia, because Mirrors edge and Crysis both like their hardware, still can't be helped;)

I am not sure that you really need Crossfire at such a low resolution, even a HD4850 is surely showing signs of being CPU limited? To check, download FRAPS and leave it running while you play, as long as the games show 60 FPS or more you really do not need to upgrade.
July 14, 2009 4:46:01 PM

coozie7 said:
Shame about your naked, aggressive, unfounded and fanboyish hatred of the beloved and wonderful Nvidia, because Mirrors edge and Crysis both like their hardware, still can't be helped;)

I am not sure that you really need Crossfire at such a low resolution, even a HD4850 is surely showing signs of being CPU limited? To check, download FRAPS and leave it running while you play, as long as the games show 60 FPS or more you really do not need to upgrade.



It's not so much the brand as it is that my mobo is build for amd /ati combo. (which i love)

and that nvidia is expensive as hell.
Related resources
July 14, 2009 4:51:01 PM

^PHEW, I thought you might take that seriously!

I still think you should check the framerates on the games you play before making a decision.
If your MB is PCI-E 2.0 I would get the HD4890 if you need to upgrade, one card is always going to be easier to manage than two.
If your MB is PCI-E 1.X at X8 then get a second HD4850, the slower link will impact on a HD4890 to the point where the upgrade will be too small to warrant the cost.
July 14, 2009 4:58:38 PM

The only advantage a 4890 has over a 4850+4850 is single core optimizations and (generally) more RAM. You don't need the extra ram all that bad at that resolution. The second 4850 would be a better deal. That being said.. you shoudl have plenty of GPU poer to play at that resolution with only one 4850.

Is there a specific reason you feel you need to upgrade?

Coozie is spot on, I agree that it may not be time to upgrade for you just yet.

As for x8, Evena 4890 overclocked to the wall wouldnt really be hamepred on that. Don't worry about it. Tom's had an article a while back with a 9800gx2 on sevral pcie slots. Only really hurt it when it was running at x4. The 9800gx2 is roughly equivalent to a 4890 or 4850x2.
July 14, 2009 5:01:50 PM

coozie7 said:
^PHEW, I thought you might take that seriously!

I still think you should check the framerates on the games you play before making a decision.
If your MB is PCI-E 2.0 I would get the HD4890 if you need to upgrade, one card is always going to be easier to manage than two.
If your MB is PCI-E 1.X at X8 then get a second HD4850, the slower link will impact on a HD4890 to the point where the upgrade will be too small to warrant the cost.



lol you have no idea how many times i've posted a thread and had nvidia fanboys come in and start telling me i needed to sell my whole rig.

my mobo is pci 16
(it's x8 if i run crossfire)

During most games i can keep 60+ but in need for speed for example i was getting 45 average, dropped to 30 (numerous times)
July 14, 2009 5:19:05 PM

@ Thiisonecrazy: Take a look here, you might find it interesting, the HD4850X2 is just a tad faster than the HD4850 in CF, and only look at the lower resoloutions, they use a 2Gb X2 card, which will give better results at higher resolutions.

http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/video/display/radeon-h...

Edit, found another article proving me wrong and Daedalus685 to be correct, disreguard the quoted link below.
July 14, 2009 6:01:45 PM

coozie7 said:
@ Thiisonecrazy: Take a look here, you might find it interesting, the HD4850X2 is just a tad faster than the HD4850 in CF, and only look at the lower resoloutions, they use a 2Gb X2 card, which will give better results at higher resolutions.

http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/video/display/radeon-h...

@ Daedalus685: I found this at Toms, it seems to contradict your comments on PCI-E scaling:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/pci-express-scaling...



4850x2 is pretty pricey, so when it comes down to it. which will perform better overall in the games i play?


4850 crossfired at x8 x8

or a 4890 at x16


(either setup would be overclocked if needed)
July 14, 2009 6:10:17 PM

if you want something crazy, maybe look at going for the 4850x2, its only $20 more than a 4890 and then you will have 3 gpus.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


I believe 2 4850s will come out on top of a 4890. And 3 4850s will definitely win.


edit: just realized what resolution you were playing at. Don't get a 4850x2 if you keep that monitor. I would highly suggest getting a new monitor instead of getting a new card.
July 14, 2009 6:25:35 PM

@ Thiisonecrazy: You misunderstood the meaning of my post, the article shows the HD4890 and HD4850X2 (effectively the 4850 in Crossfire).
I was trying to show how they would compare head-to-head in order to give you some idea how either of your upgrade options might work out.
July 14, 2009 6:37:38 PM

coozie7 said:

@ Daedalus685: I found this at Toms, it seems to contradict your comments on PCI-E scaling:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/pci-express-scaling...


I can't view that, not sure why. Is it the same as this one: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/pci-express-2.0,191... ?

At any rate, the one I was refering to shows only very minimal loss at x8 (or x16 1.1). I wont argue that it isn't there, but it is very insignificant. It onyl matters in games with extremely large texture files (such as flight sim X). The point is though, that the loss is constant across the 3850 and the 9800gx2. The loss is from extremely large texture files being choked out.

Thus, regardless of how you go they will be proportionately hampered in the same way, the faster card will still be x% faster with or without x16.

Obviously, it would be a good idea to go x16 if you can, but if one is stuck with x8 the card will not be hard bottlenecked. A faster card will still be faster (until we get even faster cards). For the same reasons as the memory is not added to get a lump sum for sli/crossfire, running crossfire on x8x8 gives you the same penalty as runnign a single powerful card on x8 as far as loading textures. In fact, if you are stuck at x8x8 it might be a better idea to go with a single card if you play games like flight simX, it really doesnt make a huge difference in most other games.

I should have said that the 4890 scaling over the 4850 wont be hampered by the x8. They will both be slower in the same way, and thus the 4890 will still be proportionately faster. We are a ways off having GPU's that can actually send out the FPS faster than it recieves intructions through the bus which would result in hard cutoff bottlenecking from the x8. Perhaps next gen we will see performance on x8 that is the same for all the high end cards becuse of the bandwidth bottleneck.
July 14, 2009 7:17:52 PM

bluzman32 said:
if you want something crazy, maybe look at going for the 4850x2, its only $20 more than a 4890 and then you will have 3 gpus.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


I believe 2 4850s will come out on top of a 4890. And 3 4850s will definitely win.


edit: just realized what resolution you were playing at. Don't get a 4850x2 if you keep that monitor. I would highly suggest getting a new monitor instead of getting a new card.





that doesnt make any sense at all, just aobut every benchmark i've ever seen shows that you get lower frames per second when using high resolutions...
July 14, 2009 7:20:10 PM

coozie7 said:
@ Thiisonecrazy: You misunderstood the meaning of my post, the article shows the HD4890 and HD4850X2 (effectively the 4850 in Crossfire).
I was trying to show how they would compare head-to-head in order to give you some idea how either of your upgrade options might work out.



yeah i think so when i read that i thought you were trying to reccomend the 4850x2 my bad :kaola: 
July 14, 2009 7:22:04 PM

thiisonecrazy said:
that doesnt make any sense at all, just aobut every benchmark i've ever seen shows that you get lower frames per second when using high resolutions...


I believe he means to say that your single 4850 is sufficient for that resolution.

While i woudl tend to agree that is up to you. As for gettign a new display, I always prefer upgrading my resolution if I can, then getting a graphics card to match it if I need to later. But many peolpe are fine with a smaller display.
July 14, 2009 7:23:24 PM

@ Daedalus685: Are PCs' not the most wonderful of things? That link works fine on my rig, so here it is again:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/pci-express-scaling...

The Nvidia cards seem to totally contradict both what you said earlier, and the article you linked to (the one I said as proving me wrong and could n't link to).
Either way, your point on scaling is well made and I suspect Thiisonecrazy may have a 2.0 MB, which would kill to problem stone dead anyway.
July 14, 2009 7:27:39 PM

thiisonecrazy said:
that doesnt make any sense at all, just aobut every benchmark i've ever seen shows that you get lower frames per second when using high resolutions...


Yeah, obviously increasing resolution will lower fps.

What I was trying to say was that since your gaming at 13xx*9xx, there would be no reason to pick up a new graphics card. That is a relatively low resolution when comparing to what these cards are able to put out. I would think that 1 4850 would be more than enough to run at that low resolution. Crossfire 4850s would be overkill, not to mention my poor recommendation of three 4850s at that resolution.

So what I suggested was that you pick up a new monitor with a higher resolution, use your current 4850 to its fullest extent, then see if down the line in a few months when newer cards are coming out and the 4850 prices drop even lower, pick up another 4850 (or 4850x2).

I am sorry if my post was confusing.
July 14, 2009 7:34:28 PM

Two 4850s, or a 4850X2, would generally prove faster. That's really alot of power for the resolution you will be playing at. I recommend only getting one 4850 1GB for now as that should prove to be more than enough. By the time you need the power of a second one you will be able to get it a little cheaper.
July 14, 2009 7:36:41 PM

coozie7 said:
@ Daedalus685: Are PCs' not the most wonderful of things? That link works fine on my rig, so here it is again:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/pci-express-scaling...

The Nvidia cards seem to totally contradict both what you said earlier, and the article you linked to (the one I said as proving me wrong and could n't link to).
Either way, your point on scaling is well made and I suspect Thiisonecrazy may have a 2.0 MB, which would kill to problem stone dead anyway.

Ah, that link worked.

The article I linked is about pcie 2.0, so the x8 I was talking about is pcie 1.1 x16. In that respect modern cards are not limited much. But as for equivalent pcie 2.0 x4(1.1 x8), that would be a different storey. I used the article I was pointing to as a good example because the 9800gx2 they use as a test unit is really clsoe to the 4850x2 and 4890OC.

It seems the game really plays a big role here. I assume that all comes down to how large the textures are, and how often they need to be swapped in and out of memory. Must be something with the drivers on the x1900 and 8800 as to why they have such different behavior, or perhaps different architecture as far as memory management and the like are related, probably a strange balance running on an underpowered bus that some cards are better than otehrs at dealing with...
July 14, 2009 8:22:47 PM

i appreciate the help everyone but i really feel like this is getting off topic...
so lets make this short and sweet


I'm trying to boost my fps and be able to run almost/all of my games with High filtering aa, v sync and such enabled at about 60 fps.

Would buying another 4850 help me do that ? (it would be a 1gb 4850 and would run as my main card)

or would buying a 4890 help me do that?
July 14, 2009 8:34:46 PM

They would both provide the same performance. At your resolution you are probalby more limited by your CPU than the GPU.

It makes much more sense to get a second 4850, as given the resolution you play at there is no benefit to teh extra RAM on the 4890, and the cost would just be silly considering you already have a 4850.

That being said, I can't guarantee it will be 60fps all the time. You might be clsoe to the most tha CPU can dish out already.
July 14, 2009 8:40:38 PM

its kinda ridiculous that a x3 3.7 ghz processor wouldn't be sufficient..
July 14, 2009 8:45:46 PM

You are at a cpu limited (partially) resolution. I am not saying the CPU is insufficient. I am saying you may not get as much performance increase from upgrading your GPU. The performance at a reslution that low is more limited by the CPU is all, this reduces GPU scaling. For instance, you are limited well beyond 100% scalign at that resolution. The drops to 30 you see might become drops to 45 or so, depending on the game, but to expect to get 60fps in those situations is not something you will be able to achieve with a gpu upgrade alone.
July 14, 2009 8:54:45 PM

so your saying its a cpu limitation ?


you don't think it could be my ram? ddr2 800?
July 14, 2009 9:03:23 PM

Your ram is fine, and plays a very minor roll in gaming performacne anyway.

The gpu just draws the scene it is instructed to, this takes a certain amount of time. The instructions are given in a speed that is a function of a lot of things (MB, ram, storage, and even the GPU) but primarily the CPU. At a low resolution, with low graphics settings, the GPU can draw the scene far faster (there isn't as much to draw) than the CPU can instruct it to draw (things like physics, positions, AI, etc all come into play as far as "what to draw").

At exremely low resolutions this means that regardless of GPU power, the performance is exactly the same as it is entirely dictated by the CPU. At your mid range resolution the effect is not as prominent, and at a higher resolution it would not be noticeable at all. What it means is that for extreme resolutions doubling graphics power (for instance crossfire) might provide almost 100% scaling (20fps might become 40), for an extremely low resolution it might be 0 (100 fps stays 100), and for in between it would be some mif point (perhaps 50% scaling, 30fps mgith become 45).

That is an over simplification, obviusly, but outlines it alright.

Getting faster RAM would not make much of a difference, niether woudl increasing the amount of RAM over 4GB.

Increasing the GPU will provide more fps but it won't double it at that resolution, given you already have a pretty good graphics card.
July 14, 2009 9:38:13 PM

I'd personally go with the single 4890 and OC it and sell the 4850. They work pretty well.

My reasons:
1) You would not have to worry about upgrading your power supply to support 2 cards.
2) 1gb of gddr5 for larger textures since now you're at 1920*1080
3) Less heat than 2 4850s.
4) Leaves you open for an option to crossfire 4890s.


However, if money is tight and you have a good enough power supply, a 4850 would still be a good buy.
Or perhaps you may consider waiting for the release of DX11 cards and price drops and get your video card and monitor at the same time.
July 14, 2009 11:17:34 PM

The 1gb of ram is a factor for 1920*1200. Might want to consider the 4890 in that case.
July 14, 2009 11:33:15 PM

FYI, your resolution isn't "that" cpu limited, but it will affect scaling.

Remember it will depend on the game. Something like unreal 3 will give you very little, where as crysis would give you a lot of fps extra (relatively, when compared to what you get before.)
July 16, 2009 3:38:30 AM

Hey thiisonecrazy just stick with one 4850 and save some money Dude. How does that sound? :)