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Alternative to the 4890

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Last response: in Graphics Cards
November 16, 2009 5:12:02 PM

My 3870X2 is potentially on it's way out (trying to return it) so I'm thinking of what to get to replace it. I don't want to get anything less powerful and looking at the price guide on this site my best bet is a Radeon 4870 which I can get for £150 off overclockers (the sapphire version with the vapor-x heatsink).

However I had two 3850s in Crossfire before my 3870X2 which had fans that were determined to burn out the GPUs (they didn't scale), so they went back. To replace them I got the 3870X2 which had only been released that week and as this may be already done after just under 2 years I'm somewhat hesitant to go for another ATI!! I've also heard bad things from quite a number of people regarding ATI's drivers (I myself have had no issues until recently when I can't play a game without a CTD or BSOD!!).

So is there an nvidia card of similar price and power to the 4890? I've not paid much attention to graphics cards since buying my current one so don't fully understand all the new ranges!!

Thanks

Rich

More about : alternative 4890

a b U Graphics card
November 16, 2009 5:20:50 PM

Who is the one running around telling people ATi's drivers have problems? Regardless, what is your price range... what are you planning to play at what resolution?
November 16, 2009 5:24:29 PM

I've read on a couple of places that ATi aren't as good with their drivers as nvidia, it's not that they are really bad, just apparently not as good as nvidia...they could have been wrong!

I want to spend about £150-200 (£150 seems to be able to get a card to beat the 3870X2 and I'll go up to £200 if it's going to be worth it). I usually play at 1680x1050 and I was playing, before the CTD and BSOD errors, Borderlands, CoD6, Fallout 3 and Dragon Age (primarily new games, either fps or rpgs). Sorry, should probably have stated that first!
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a b U Graphics card
November 16, 2009 5:37:51 PM

haydox said:
I've read on a couple of places that ATi aren't as good with their drivers as nvidia, it's not that they are really bad, just apparently not as good as nvidia...they could have been wrong!

I want to spend about £150-200 (£150 seems to be able to get a card to beat the 3870X2 and I'll go up to £200 if it's going to be worth it). I usually play at 1680x1050 and I was playing, before the CTD and BSOD errors, Borderlands, CoD6, Fallout 3 and Dragon Age (primarily new games, either fps or rpgs). Sorry, should probably have stated that first!


I'd recommend an HD 5770. The HD 4870 is also a good choice and it will perform a bit faster, but it lacks DirectX 11 compliance. It's up to you. Here's a list of released/upcoming DX 11 games and engines (which are used to create games). Some notable mentions are CryEngine 3/Crysis 2, DiRT 2, S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat, Race Driver: GRID 2, Battlefield: Bad Company 2. Of course DirectX 11 has only been out for a little, so there'll be more.

The only NVidia card I can recommend around that price point is the GTX 260. It's comparable to the HD 4870/4890 depending on the game. It only supports DirectX 10, as opposed to the HD 4870/4890s DirectX 10.1 which provides some performance/graphical optimizations but nothing that will be particularly noticable. Regardless, it's a good choice as well.
a c 330 U Graphics card
November 16, 2009 5:50:55 PM

@ Haydox:If you shop around the GTX275 can be found for under your maximum 200 pounds and it is equal to the HD4890.
A few places to start looking: Scan, CCL, Misco, Pixmania, Dabs, Ebuyer, Overclockers and Microdirect.
As for the HD5770, Google a few reviews;) But start at Toms (natch) Xbitlabs, Techpowerup and Guru3D.
November 16, 2009 5:53:19 PM

Excellent, thanks. Looks like it's going to be another ati for value! I'll check out prices of that 5 series ati, direct x 11 sounds like a good investment! There's a chance my card may get replaced however as sod all places still stock it its unlikely!
November 16, 2009 5:56:52 PM

Thanks coozie, ill check out that geforce, would be a nice change having an nvidia again! I'll compare the 3 on the tables here on this site.
a b U Graphics card
November 16, 2009 5:58:03 PM

haydox said:
Thanks cookie, ill check out that geforce, would be a nice change having an nvidia again! I'll compare the 3 on the tables here on this site.


The HD 4890 can also be found at well under 200 pounds. Was there a particular reason you didn't want to use one? :p 
a b U Graphics card
November 16, 2009 6:12:31 PM

Proper driver installaiton procedure eliminates any driver issues, that are truly just driver issues. The largest issue with ATI drivers comes from those who switch to ATI from Nvidia without properly removing the Nvidia drivers.

In my experience, this "ATI has bad drivers" issue is born out of this one way problem. I have never witnessed the same level of issues in going from ATI to Nvidia, and have never had a driver problem when using driversweeper to clean things up prior to installing new drivers.
November 16, 2009 6:28:43 PM

I got the Sapphire 4890 for under 200 bucks. Overclocks like a beast (1000/1130), and runs all latest games (NFS Shift, COD4:MW2, Fuel) at everything turned all the way up at 1920x1200. I have nothing to complain about it at all.
November 16, 2009 6:44:55 PM

brockh said:
The HD 4890 can also be found at well under 200 pounds. Was there a particular reason you didn't want to use one? :p 

I found the Vapor-X Sapphire for £150 from OcUK. It isn't really that I don't want to use one, it's just that my last two ATi cards have had faults (suicidal 3850s and an infuriating X2 which loves CTDs and BSODs the day after Modern Warfare 2 comes out)!

JofaMang said:
Proper driver installaiton procedure eliminates any driver issues, that are truly just driver issues. The largest issue with ATI drivers comes from those who switch to ATI from Nvidia without properly removing the Nvidia drivers.

In my experience, this "ATI has bad drivers" issue is born out of this one way problem. I have never witnessed the same level of issues in going from ATI to Nvidia, and have never had a driver problem when using driversweeper to clean things up prior to installing new drivers.

I'll try driversweeper to clear every trace of drivers. Will there still be remnants even after a hard drive format? Every once in a while I generally re-image my PC with a 'clean' image to refresh things and I think Acronis formats the drive before rebuilding.

xbonez said:
I got the Sapphire 4890 for under 200 bucks. Overclocks like a beast (1000/1130), and runs all latest games (NFS Shift, COD4:MW2, Fuel) at everything turned all the way up at 1920x1200. I have nothing to complain about it at all.

If I get the Sapphire I'll be tempted to OC it, the Vapor-X system apparently makes it quite a lot cooler.

Thanks for your replies people, I'll have to compare the 4890, 5770 and GTX275 to see which seems the best for the price. I must say, I'm quite tempted by DX11 ready cards!
a b U Graphics card
November 16, 2009 6:46:31 PM

If you are formatting your HDD for a fresh windows install, you won't need driver sweeper, that program is meant for cleaning out drivers that have been installed on a current OS installation. But since you are using an image restoration, you may need to use driver sweeper if the image you are using was created AFTER you installed the display drivers for your old card.
November 16, 2009 6:53:40 PM

Just compared the 4890 and GTX275 and the 275 is higher in almost every test TH did! Which I don't understand as it has less memory which is only GDDR3 compared to the 1Gb GDDR5 of the radeon, the core of the 275 is also 200mhz slower and about £20 cheaper.

The 5770 isn't on the chart on this site, however it seems slightly cheaper than the 275. Will it be slower than both these cards? Need to work out if the performance dip is worth DX11.

Thanks JofaMang, if OcUK don't replace my card I'll give that a go before doing a complete reinstall! Really want to get this problem sorted out somehow, sick of having a computer built for games but not able to play any!
a b U Graphics card
November 16, 2009 7:11:00 PM

Direct clock and memory speed comparisons between Nvidia/ATI cards is not accurate, they go about their business in different ways, and in game performance are the only way to truly compare the products.

The 5770 will be slower than both cards, but having DX11 may be a bonus in the long term, should DX11 titles may become desirable to you.
November 16, 2009 8:56:33 PM

haydox said:

If I get the Sapphire I'll be tempted to OC it, the Vapor-X system apparently makes it quite a lot cooler.


Mine's actually not the Vapor-X model. Its the regular Sapphire reference 4890
a b U Graphics card
November 16, 2009 8:59:16 PM

xbonez said:
Mine's actually not the Vapor-X model. Its the regular Sapphire reference 4890


Yep; it's important to note the Vapor-X model is missing voltage regulators. It's pretty much impossible to overclock (with some sense of stability) without some serious modifications.
a b U Graphics card
November 16, 2009 9:39:01 PM

haydox said:
Just compared the 4890 and GTX275 and the 275 is higher in almost every test TH did! Which I don't understand as it has less memory which is only GDDR3 compared to the 1Gb GDDR5 of the radeon, the core of the 275 is also 200mhz slower and about £20 cheaper.

The 5770 isn't on the chart on this site, however it seems slightly cheaper than the 275. Will it be slower than both these cards? Need to work out if the performance dip is worth DX11.

Thanks JofaMang, if OcUK don't replace my card I'll give that a go before doing a complete reinstall! Really want to get this problem sorted out somehow, sick of having a computer built for games but not able to play any!


If you look at older benchmarks the 4890 loses a lot to the 275, but in the newer ones the 4890 is beating the 285 a lot. 'Drivers' - I dunno what the reasons are for it but I can guess. A lot of games are created using Nvidia hardware and it takes longer for ATI to make what is basically superior hardware run games that way.

Check out this link for an example of it. An Nvidia 'TWIMTBP' title starts out with Nvidia cards performing a lot better, then ATI's driver team get to work on it and the superior hardware begins to show.

http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1130/3/

Same can be said about the 4870x2 vs the gtx295, or the 4870 vs the gtx 260. The ATI's are now benching higher than the Nvidia's in a lot of games whereas before they were a little bit behind.
a b U Graphics card
November 16, 2009 9:44:40 PM

jennyh said:
If you look at older benchmarks the 4890 loses a lot to the 275, but in the newer ones the 4890 is beating the 285 a lot. 'Drivers' - I dunno what the reasons are for it but I can guess. A lot of games are created using Nvidia hardware and it takes longer for ATI to make what is basically superior hardware run games that way.

Check out this link for an example of it. An Nvidia 'TWIMTBP' title starts out with Nvidia cards performing a lot better, then ATI's driver team get to work on it and the superior hardware begins to show.

http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1130/3/

Same can be said about the 4870x2 vs the gtx295, or the 4870 vs the gtx 260. The ATI's are now benching higher than the Nvidia's in a lot of games whereas before they were a little bit behind.


Good find. I knew Quad GTX 295 would suck at scaling.
a b U Graphics card
November 16, 2009 9:48:16 PM

Well in that game it's 20% slower than crossfire 5870's, but I think the 5870's might be getting bottlenecked by the cpu so possibly even higher in the end.
November 17, 2009 6:55:30 AM

Thanks for the advice. One of the output plugs on the back of my card is now refusing to work! Computer still passes post check but no visuals. It's done this once before so i'll have to switch plugs again (i switched it back to the faulty one in case that effected the BSOD issue, apparently it's still faulty)! Sounds to me like i have a few choices for a new card; 4890, faster than the 275 with driver updates in general (normal or vapor edition depending on if i'll oc or not); GTX275, initially faster than the radeon when games come out (usually when i get them); or 5770, slower but with dx11. Will dx11 make up for the performance loss in the long run? I apologise if the layout of this reply is confusing, my phone is quite poor with forums!
a b U Graphics card
November 17, 2009 7:59:55 AM

The 5770 is performing slower than expected right now because of drivers. People are saying it's because of the 128-bit bus but it's not, its the drivers and I would expect to see a big improvement soon.

For that reason I'd go with the 5770. It wont beat the 4890 or gtx275 in most games but it will in some eventually. It's cheaper and has dx11 so that makes it the choice for me.
a b U Graphics card
November 17, 2009 9:14:11 AM

go gtx275 if it fits your budget .
November 17, 2009 10:40:11 AM

jennyh said:
The 5770 is performing slower than expected right now because of drivers. People are saying it's because of the 128-bit bus but it's not, its the drivers and I would expect to see a big improvement soon.

For that reason I'd go with the 5770. It wont beat the 4890 or gtx275 in most games but it will in some eventually. It's cheaper and has dx11 so that makes it the choice for me.

So with improved drivers, even though the 5770 is a slightly slower card, will DX11 make enough of a difference to counter this over a 4890 or gtx275?

cyberkuberiah said:
go gtx275 if it fits your budget .

If I decide against a 5770 for DX11 I'll be tempted by a 275. Even though they are outperformed by the 4890 thats usually only after ATI have sorted out drivers, and as I play games when they are released I may benefit from having a card which games are based around. I Also am sceptical about ATIs as I've has 3 break on me as I mentioned earlier (oveheating 3850s and my 3870X2 loves BSODs and CTDs and, this morning, decided that one of it's DVI plugs doesn't want to work!).

The MSI Twin Frozr 275 from CCL (http://www.cclonline.com/product-info.asp?product_id=34...) looks tempting and should be kept cool.

Ok, looking on CCL I can get a 5850 for not much over £200 (Asus one is £202) so would prefer to stump up the extra for that than get a 5770 which is slower than the 4890 and GTX275. So now I'm down to a 4890, GTX275 or 5850...
a b U Graphics card
November 17, 2009 12:11:54 PM

none of the nvidia cards are dx11 . i checked the link , that gtx275 will give you handsome dx10 performance , and the price is good . the 5770 will give you dx11 features to be used in games , but it wont give you the fps performance of gtx275 , and i would prefer the former . considering you have used some powerful setups , go for the 3d horsepower of 275 . also , you can sell it one year later , and you'll have both nvidia's and ati's dx11 cards to look at , and then there would be a lot of games and benchmarks to give you a good idea of performance , and a big factor , reduced prices .

just getting the first dx11 chip may not be that worthy . i would wait for dx11 to mature in games , hardware prices , drivers , and lots of real world benchmarks .

every dx11 game would be playable on a dx10 card and still look fine .
a b U Graphics card
November 17, 2009 12:11:56 PM

If you can get the 5850 take it, it's a no-brainer. No nvidia card has dx11 yet, they are a bit behind ATI on that front.
a b U Graphics card
November 17, 2009 12:18:09 PM

he could do that , but all the cards come to around 240 pounds including vat , not to mention no stock now , on that uk retailers site .
a b U Graphics card
November 17, 2009 12:41:45 PM

Yep I just checked that.

It's a tough call tbh. I personally would wait on the 5850, in fact that is exactly what I am doing. I don't feel buying a dx10 card is prudent now, and I understand that the 5770 isn't as powerful as the dx10 cards. That's why I'm waiting for the 5850...although seriously considering crossfired 5770's.
November 17, 2009 12:53:15 PM

jennyh said:
Yep I just checked that.

It's a tough call tbh. I personally would wait on the 5850, in fact that is exactly what I am doing. I don't feel buying a dx10 card is prudent now, and I understand that the 5770 isn't as powerful as the dx10 cards. That's why I'm waiting for the 5850...although seriously considering crossfired 5770's.


I could get an Asus 5850 for £202 from CCL (http://www.cclonline.com/product-info.asp?product_id=37823&tid=gsearch) so I would be seriously tempted by that or the GTX 275 either from MSI with the Frozr cooling system and a slight OC (http://www.cclonline.com/product-info.asp?product_id=34606&category_id=996&manufacturer_id=0&tid=n275gtxtwinfrozroc) or the BFG with more of an OC (http://www.cclonline.com/product-info.asp?product_id=34740&category_id=996&manufacturer_id=0&tid=bfgegtx275896ocxe).

In spite of DX11 I'm still more tempted by the nvidia thanks to the problems I've had with ATIs recently, I'm getting quite annoyed of my PC breaking on me! Asus have a 3 year warranty, MSI also provide a 3 year warranty and BFG a lifetime/10 year warranty. So if anything went wrong with any of them I wouldn't have to have a massive argument with CCL like I am currently having with Overclockers to get it refunded (replacement is unlikely as the 3870X2 is sold by almost nowhere now!).

Reading more into the GTX 275 it has full GPU support for Photoshop CS4, which I use a lot! One question will it still work in my Asus P5E mobo. I know that the P5E is only crossfire capable, not SLI. I don't think that will matter as it's unlikely I'll ever SLI it and it's only single core...I'm also pretty sure my Hiper 680W SLI ready PSU will support it.
a b U Graphics card
November 17, 2009 1:04:05 PM

I personally would never buy a product with a "replace with exact product only" warranty. Normally, if a product is off the market, yet still has a warranty, they will replace it with a newer product of similar value and performance.
November 17, 2009 1:14:55 PM

JofaMang said:
I personally would never buy a product with a "replace with exact product only" warranty. Normally, if a product is off the market, yet still has a warranty, they will replace it with a newer product of similar value and performance.

Technically the warranty has run out as it was only 1 year. However an EU directive was brought in in 2002 which extends the warranty of any item bought to 2 years providing the fault is reported within 2 months and it isn't due to consumer error. So that covers me. However a retailer is allowed instead to use the Sales of Goods Act which states that a warranty of up to 6 years must be provided based on the durability of the product.

Overclockers are using the Sales of Goods Act and claiming that 1 year is sufficient, so basically 1 year is the expected lifespan of a £300 graphics card...

I've told them that I'm prepared to take it through the county courts (free for me!) as 1 year is no way the expected life and so they will hopefully have to replace it (unlikely as its 'rare' now) or give a full/partial refund. Chances are they will go for the partial refund but it should still be enough to cover some of the cost of a new GTX275 or 5850.
a b U Graphics card
November 17, 2009 1:21:11 PM

Ah ok, I have heard about the Eu's labrynthine warranty laws, but to be completely honest, know about this much
haydox said:
Technically the warranty has run out as it was only 1 year. However an EU directive was brought in in 2002 which extends the warranty of any item bought to 2 years providing the fault is reported within 2 months and it isn't due to consumer error. So that covers me. However a retailer is allowed instead to use the Sales of Goods Act which states that a warranty of up to 6 years must be provided based on the durability of the product.

Overclockers are using the Sales of Goods Act and claiming that 1 year is sufficient, so basically 1 year is the expected lifespan of a £300 graphics card...

I've told them that I'm prepared to take it through the county courts (free for me!) as 1 year is no way the expected life and so they will hopefully have to replace it (unlikely as its 'rare' now) or give a full/partial refund. Chances are they will go for the partial refund but it should still be enough to cover some of the cost of a new GTX275 or 5850.

more than I knew before today!
November 17, 2009 1:28:07 PM

JofaMang said:
Ah ok, I have heard about the Eu's labrynthine warranty laws, but to be completely honest, know about this much

more than I knew before today!

Haha, I knew a little about the law from my dad but didn't know that they could legally use Sales of Goods instead, so i read up on both and discovered that they either had a choice of accepting the EU and giving me 2 years or arguing that a reasonable time (i.e. lifespan) of the card is less than 2 years.

In my opinion a card costing £300, which hasn't been overclocked, has had a Tier 2 PSU and has never got so hot as to use the safety cutout (hell, my case has a 30cm fan on the side!), should last a hell of a lot more than 22 months! They can also get away with offering me £150, instead of the full £300, so they would either still be in profit or making only a slight loss!
a b U Graphics card
November 17, 2009 1:31:37 PM

All dual-card GPUs tend to burn out fast.

The Nvidia 9800GX2 and GTX295 both have a much higher failure rate than their counterparts in SLi. Same with the 3870x2, 4850x2, etc

Both ATI and Nvidia are good companies...just don't get another x2 or dual-card GPU cuz they burn out fast...
a b U Graphics card
November 17, 2009 1:37:41 PM

Bluescreendeath said:
All dual-card GPUs tend to burn out fast.

The Nvidia 9800GX2 and GTX295 both have a much higher failure rate than their counterparts in SLi. Same with the 3870x2, 4850x2, etc

Both ATI and Nvidia are good companies...just don't get another x2 or dual-card GPU cuz they burn out fast...


Amen, I went through 2 4870x2s this summer, in a well ventilated case (3x120mm + direct pipe intake to 92mmCPU fan) in an airconditioned steady 18c room, never OC'd. Sitting on the second burned out one until my January build (XFX) to see if they give me another brand new 4870x2 (which I would sell without opening) or a 5850/70 as fair value replacement.
November 17, 2009 1:38:12 PM

Bluescreendeath said:
All dual-card GPUs tend to burn out fast.

The Nvidia 9800GX2 and GTX295 both have a much higher failure rate than their counterparts in SLi. Same with the 3870x2, 4850x2, etc

Both ATI and Nvidia are good companies...just don't get another x2 or dual-card GPU cuz they burn out fast...

If I go for an nvidia I couldn't get a dual core one as my mobo is only CrossfireX ready, so I'm restricted to single core on that. Also, the new range of dual core cards cost a fair bit more than I want to spend! So I'll be getting a single core (they are still faster than my X2)! Just the decision of a 5850 or GTX 275!

Even if they do burn out fast I would still expect 2 years out of it, especially when I don't play games as often as many do. The BSOD and CTD issue I'm having is quite well documented as almost impossible to solve on the internet however the fact that one of the DVI plugs doesn't output is clearly hardware!

a b U Graphics card
November 17, 2009 1:39:10 PM

@jennyh

yeah another option indeed , the 5770 crossfire :-

1.price : roughly the same .
2.availability : 5770cf wins .
3.power : 5850(150w) wins over 2x108=216 w , but that just needs a better psu .depends on the OP's current config .
4.performance : depending on the game , sometimes 5850 wins sometimes 5770cf wins .
5.motherboard support : depends on the OP's system again .
a b U Graphics card
November 17, 2009 1:40:38 PM

I believe you can use a dual GPU single card on any Mobo with PCI-E x16, as the SLI/CF is built into the card itself, and the mobo chipset has nothing to do with the function in that situation, just the drivers. Hell, you could use a 295 + a 240 for PhysX on a CF motherboard.
November 17, 2009 1:43:23 PM

cyberkuberiah said:
@jennyh

yeah another option indeed , the 5770 crossfire :-

1.price : roughly the same .
2.availability : 5770cf wins .
3.power : 5850(150w) wins over 2x108=216 w , but that just needs a better psu .depends on the OP's current config .
4.performance : depending on the game , sometimes 5850 wins sometimes 5770cf wins .
5.motherboard support : depends on the OP's system again .


My PSU (tier 2 680W) and mobo (CrossfireX ready Asus P5) would support twin 5770s...that's made the list 5850, GTX275 or twin 5770s! All would cost me between £200-220 roughly. Given the problems I've had I must say I'm still tempted by the GTX275!

I've got until it's all sorted with OcUK to decide!

JofaMang said:
I believe you can use a dual GPU single card on any Mobo with PCI-E x16, as the SLI/CF is built into the card itself, and the mobo chipset has nothing to do with the function in that situation, just the drivers. Hell, you could use a 295 + a 240 for PhysX on a CF motherboard.

Oh, didn't know that! That takes motherboard and PSU requirements out of the question then. It's now just down to what card I want and how much I'm willing to spend!

Just got back from uni now, changed DVI plug and I have visuals again! That is definitely faulty!

Also just got an email back from Overclockers requesting the serial number of my card so they can contact HIS and find out if they can provide a replacement through them. Looking on the HIS site however they don't list the 3870X2 (along with every other electrical supplier on the internet who either don't have it or show it as out of stock) and only show the IceQ 3870, so if they can't get one I presume I'll get a (partial) refund. To be honest I'de prefer to get a refund (I'd possibly accept two IceQ 3870s and Crossfire them!), as even if it isn't the full amount I can use it as an excuse to upgrade to a newer card! They apparently don't want me to go through the courts (thank god!).
a c 330 U Graphics card
November 17, 2009 6:28:31 PM

@ Haydox: Keep with it! Overclockers have improved their service game over the years but can still be 'difficult' at times. I would give good money to see the look on the managers face when he heard of the possibility of County Court action:) 
Did not realise the 5850 was getting so 'cheap'
If I had n't got the 5770 recently (plan on CF for the new build next year-first time for a dual card rig!) one would already be on the way.
Because you use Photoshop a lot and I'm not sure what, if any, GPU accelleration the HD5850 has for it, I would say the GTX275 is going to be your best choice: It's hardly a slow card and is DX10 compliant, and it will be some time before DX10 or even DX9 dies out, so the card should last quite some time.
And did you know the Q6600 is a good overclocker? ;) 
November 17, 2009 7:35:39 PM

coozie7 said:
@ Haydox: Keep with it! Overclockers have improved their service game over the years but can still be 'difficult' at times. I would give good money to see the look on the managers face when he heard of the possibility of County Court action:) 
Did not realise the 5850 was getting so 'cheap'
If I had n't got the 5770 recently (plan on CF for the new build next year-first time for a dual card rig!) one would already be on the way.
Because you use Photoshop a lot and I'm not sure what, if any, GPU accelleration the HD5850 has for it, I would say the GTX275 is going to be your best choice: It's hardly a slow card and is DX10 compliant, and it will be some time before DX10 or even DX9 dies out, so the card should last quite some time.
And did you know the Q6600 is a good overclocker? ;) 

Lol, yes I did! I also know from CPUz that my chip has some of the lowest voltages that the Q6600 can range in! However I don't have the time or experience to up the multiplier and play around with the voltages, running Prime to test when they become stable (apparently leaving them on Auto always runs it too hot). I was tempted to get a Zalman heat sink and try it but don't want to risk anything! As easy as it sounds to just bump up the multiplier and let the bios alter the voltages if that can cause it to get hotter than necessary, and with a stock fan on, I'd rather not burn out my cpu!

By the sounds of it OcUK are trying to get HIS to get me a replacement X2, however their site doesn't list it and nowhere on the net has them, so unless they have backstock it's unlikely they will have one. This means they will either offer me two 3870 IceQs, some other 'equivalent' card or OcUK will just give me a full/partial refund!

If I get a choice of the card I'm tempted by either a 5850 or the BFG or MSI GTX 275...will decide when I know the outcome of OcUKs dealings with HIS.
a c 330 U Graphics card
November 18, 2009 6:03:11 PM

^ Just mentioned it in case...;)
Take your pick of those two cards, neither will dissapoint.
Good luck with the claim!
November 20, 2009 5:22:07 PM

Well, just tried a reinstall. I got Windows 7 Professional for £30 as I'm a student and installed that (custom install). Deleted the windows.old folder, installed CCC 9.10 and drivers and dried playing Dragon Age (with nothing else except a virus scanner installed) and after a minute or two on the main menu it crashed! Didn't blue screen but the screen went black, sound still playing, and computer was totally unresponsive!

Would I be correct in assuming that this wasn't a driver install error as even on a clean install is still messes up (or will there still be old driver remnants even after a custom install)? Or could it be the 3870X2 update Windows 7 tried to install as soon as I installed the OS, but which failed? The only other thing I can think of is maybe a bios upgrade for my mobo, but as it was working fine for almost two years until recently I don't see how that could make any difference as nothing has changed!

I had hoped that a clean install would solve it, but this is really p*ssing me off now! Still no word from OcUK about a replacement from HIS so I don't know if that's good or bad! I'm starting to think more and more that this is a hardware issue.
November 26, 2009 9:04:19 AM

Just an update on the problem. I'm almost certain it's a hardware fault now!

Where before it only errored/blue screened when playing games, I just woke it up from sleep (now with Windows 7) and the screen went all weird with small squares of black all over it and flickering! It froze, then recovered saying that the display driver had stopped responding but had recovered! If it's started doing it (infrequently at least) during normal operation something is deteriorating!
November 30, 2009 5:24:35 PM

either its a driver problem, which a clean install of the OS should determine,

or its a problem of over-heating (faulty card) / insufficient power to card.

it seems to me the latter.
November 30, 2009 5:28:30 PM

That's what I'm thinking, I've already done a clean install and my PSU is Tier 2 rated and 680W and I've never had any issues before. I'm not sure it's overheating though as the temps seem fine, it appears to me that it's another fault. Especially as it's got worse over the past two weeks, it now crashes just during normal use!
November 30, 2009 5:55:21 PM

it could be a defective card that is not supplying ample voltage to the GPU, or while the GOU temperature might be fine, the RAM chips on the card might be overheating.

definitely a hardware issue. RMA if you can.
November 30, 2009 5:57:19 PM

Ah, could be. All I really know is that it's got worse over 2 weeks so something is up!