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XFX ATI HD4850 - 512mb vs. 1gb.

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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July 31, 2009 9:38:48 PM

I'm planning on upgrading my 7600GT after a long 3 years of reliable service to a new ATI card. Seeing as the 9800GT was my other option, and those are merely rebranded 8800GT's, I figured the HD4850 would be a good buy.

But here's my question: should I get the 512mb variant, or the 1gb version?

My specs are:
Core 2 Duo @ 2.13GHz (6400)
1GB DDR3 RAM (will be 2GB soon)
450W PSU
rest doesn't really matter, but anyway, my monitor is a 19" Acer, standard LCD. I have no intentions of upgrading it anytime soon.

The games I play I like to keep at a 1280 x 1024 resolution, bit of AA and I guess AF, although it doesn't really strike me as necessary.

So, 512mb or 1gb?

Thanks!
July 31, 2009 9:50:38 PM

the 4850 is overkill for that resolution... are you planning to purchase a new monitor anytime soon with a higher res? also what games do you play?
July 31, 2009 9:54:34 PM

http://www.guru3d.com/article/gigabyte-radeon-hd-4850-1...

The difference is only a few frames. Crysis is somewhat of an exception as it eats up VRAM more than most games (forget the technical term/reason...).

"It's funny to see that Crysis is framebuffer limited, with 1 GB memory it performing better than the 4870 with 512MB until you hit GPU limitation in the highest resolutions."

If it's around the same price, it doesn't hurt but I doubt it will make much difference.
In that link I posted, the Crysis benchmark sees a difference of 4 frames between a 4850 512MB (47 avg FPS) vs 4850 1GB (51 avg FPS) @ 1280x1024. That's with 16x AF and no AA.

I can probably tell you that most people would recommend a 4870 1GB instead, if you ever intend to play at 1920x1200 or greater in the future.
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July 31, 2009 10:32:40 PM

I like the res I play at for now. I might bump it to a widescreen monitor at some point, I suppose.
I mean, the 4850 is only $120 CAD, so it's not overkill, it's a good deal. And I'll be clear from updates for a good two years.

@ambientmf,

thanks for the benchmark scores. I won't be playing too much Crysis, so that 1GB would be fairly useless.


EDIT: as long as I can play Crysis on high at 1280x1024 comfortably, I'm happy.
a c 106 U Graphics card
July 31, 2009 10:38:07 PM

If you're going to stay with the card for a while then you may want to get the 1GB version for more vram hungry games in the future. For now, the 512MB version would be fine for your resolution and should last you a while. You will need to update your CPU before your video card.
July 31, 2009 10:39:57 PM

I think my CPU would be just fine for now. It's not like a dual core is outdated by now.

As for the video card, I do updates every 2-3 years, and I do have a PS3 as my main gaming console. This rig is mainly for playing PC exclusives and whatnot.

Oh, the 1GB variant is only $15 more. So maybe it'll be worth the little extra, as long as it doesn't use any more power.
August 1, 2009 12:10:39 AM

djszkoda said:
I like the res I play at for now. I might bump it to a widescreen monitor at some point, I suppose.
I mean, the 4850 is only $120 CAD, so it's not overkill, it's a good deal. And I'll be clear from updates for a good two years.

@ambientmf,

thanks for the benchmark scores. I won't be playing too much Crysis, so that 1GB would be fairly useless.


EDIT: as long as I can play Crysis on high at 1280x1024 comfortably, I'm happy.

Your welcome. I always like to see a Crysis benchmark, just to see what a card can do at one end of the spectrum.
Gives me a good idea how the card will perform in other titles, as well giving some headroom for future titles...It's interesting that this game will be two years old in November too! :p 
I too will probably be picking up a 4850 within the next month for my budget gaming build and incidentally might be gaming @ 1280x1024 by the time I build my PC.

Just out of curiosity, what brand will you be picking up?
I'm probably going to grab a 1GB 4850 from XFX.
August 1, 2009 12:38:04 AM

I'm grabbing the XFX 512mb, it's on sale for $120 CAD at my local PC shop. The 1GB version is only a mere $20 more at $140, so I'm still debating.
August 1, 2009 5:26:08 AM

all you have to answer is: "am i going to be playing Crysis or GTA4"... if no... buy the 512 and send me the $20
November 4, 2013 1:20:14 PM

djszkoda said:
I think my CPU would be just fine for now. It's not like a dual core is outdated by now.

As for the video card, I do updates every 2-3 years, and I do have a PS3 as my main gaming console. This rig is mainly for playing PC exclusives and whatnot.

Oh, the 1GB variant is only $15 more. So maybe it'll be worth the little extra, as long as it doesn't use any more power.


I was wondering...do the 1 gb and 512 mb variants share the same driver? I have a blown up 512 mb model of this card, and found a 1 gb model for $55.00 on Ebay from a reliable seller...however, i think for the games i used it on, i would want some more ram, but i need to know if the two variants share the same driver in order for me to NOT blow up another friggin video card directly after i install it!
November 4, 2013 5:11:59 PM

MrNamegame said:
djszkoda said:
I think my CPU would be just fine for now. It's not like a dual core is outdated by now.

As for the video card, I do updates every 2-3 years, and I do have a PS3 as my main gaming console. This rig is mainly for playing PC exclusives and whatnot.

Oh, the 1GB variant is only $15 more. So maybe it'll be worth the little extra, as long as it doesn't use any more power.


I was wondering...do the 1 gb and 512 mb variants share the same driver? I have a blown up 512 mb model of this card, and found a 1 gb model for $55.00 on Ebay from a reliable seller...however, i think for the games i used it on, i would want some more ram, but i need to know if the two variants share the same driver in order for me to NOT blow up another friggin video card directly after i install it!


It's been a few years since I used that card (upgraded to a 6850 two years ago) but if I recall, they all shared the same driver software. I used both a 512MB and 1GB at one point and don't remember a specific driver for the different memory variants.

...You sure it was the drivers that caused your last card to fail and not a hardware problem? These cards are 4 years old now, it's quite possible you got a 1st revision or a badly made card (possibly one that had a stock fan or something).
November 5, 2013 8:07:40 AM

ambientmf said:
MrNamegame said:
djszkoda said:
I think my CPU would be just fine for now. It's not like a dual core is outdated by now.

As for the video card, I do updates every 2-3 years, and I do have a PS3 as my main gaming console. This rig is mainly for playing PC exclusives and whatnot.

Oh, the 1GB variant is only $15 more. So maybe it'll be worth the little extra, as long as it doesn't use any more power.


I was wondering...do the 1 gb and 512 mb variants share the same driver? I have a blown up 512 mb model of this card, and found a 1 gb model for $55.00 on Ebay from a reliable seller...however, i think for the games i used it on, i would want some more ram, but i need to know if the two variants share the same driver in order for me to NOT blow up another friggin video card directly after i install it!


It's been a few years since I used that card (upgraded to a 6850 two years ago) but if I recall, they all shared the same driver software. I used both a 512MB and 1GB at one point and don't remember a specific driver for the different memory variants.

...You sure it was the drivers that caused your last card to fail and not a hardware problem? These cards are 4 years old now, it's quite possible you got a 1st revision or a badly made card (possibly one that had a stock fan or something).


My card was overclock raped by the last guy who had it. I AM SURE IT WAS HARDWARE! Lawl

I actually gave the guy i bought it from advice on how not to nearly fry a video card like that 2 days after it blew up...i was not mad, i just decided that it was kind of like a test drive for me. But thanks for letting me know...i am possibly saving $15-20 dollars on a version of my card with 1 gb instead of 512 mb! $55 dollars is not too shabby for this card, actually...
!