Ok. I recently picked up the Asus 4870 1GB Dark Knight. I had an electrical crackling sound emitting from my system during 3d loads which was annoying and very worrysome. I replaced the 850watt psu and still had the issue. So, I have RMA'd the 4870 but this particular model is sold out on the egg. I am getting a refund but want to purchase an alternative replacement so I can get my system up and running quickly.
Most of the games I play are at 1024x768, 1280x960 or 1280x1024 resolution depending on what each game supports. My lcd is a samsung 19" which has a max native resolution of 1440x900. The games I play are the following:
BFME II: ROTWK
Far Cry 2
S.T.A.L.K.E.R : Clear Sky
The performance of BFME II is about the same as my x1950 pro. I did notice it doesn't handle alot of activity on the screen any better than the x1950 does. WTF is up with that? I'm assuming this is partially because that game is dx9 only and doesn't utilize the dx10 capablities of the card.
Far Cry 2 looks superb but I have not tested it with a big fire fight on the screen yet.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R Clear Sky isn't compatible with Windows 7 x64 at the moment, so although the game opens up, you cannot start a new game or load an existing save game.
I have not tried Crysis Warhead, Fallout 3 or GTA IV since the upgrade.
I have tried both 9.7 and 9.8 of the catalyst driver but get the same results.
Should I order the HIS 4890 1GB from the egg for $190 shipped, or pickup another 4870 1GB model for $150ish? I don't want the crackling sound problem (emitting from the case) and I want performance noticeably BETTER than my x1950, lol.
But I suspect the problem is that such games are very, very demanding of the CPU, which tends to be the limiting factor in framerates rather than the graphics card.
Well, I haven't tried playing it online with the new gpu, as the gaming I've done with the new card has been local only. Besides, I've got 28Mb/15Mb verizoin fios service with an average ping of around 10ms, so I'm sure I'll be alright once I play it online. I suppose that also depends on the routing to any particular server.
I've been considering how much of an impact my cpu is having on the older games, such as BFMEII which is from 2006. I want a quad core, but have not made up my mind about that yet. I thought I'd do the gpu upgrade first and see how much of a difference it made before jumping at a cpu upgrade. My system far exceeds the recommended system requirements for BFME II which is why I'm so surprised at the lag during a large battle, lol.
My next test will be starting a large fire with a flame thrower in Far Cry 2 during a large fire fight and truck chase, lol. That should tax the hell out of the system. :-)
I went ahead and ordered the Sapphire 4870 1GB Vapor-X Card for $149.99 shipped from newegg as a replacement for the Asus 4870 1GB Dark Knight that I am returning (which is sold out currently). I hope all of this hassle is over with once I receive the new one. *sighs*