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Was my upgrade from a 9600GT to a HD4870 a good Idea?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 6, 2009 3:27:22 PM

Yesterday I bought a Secondhand XFX Radeon HD4870 512mb XXX Edition. The thing is, when playing games, I'm not noticing any performance Improvements. My old card was just an ASUS 9600GT 512mb. Is there some Tweaking I need to do or something? Anyway, In case you need my PC specs I'm listing them below.

Intel C2D E-8400 @ 3GHz
MSI P43 Neo Motherboard
2x 2GB Apacer DDR2 800 Memory
XFX Radeon HD4870 XXX 512mb DDR5
250GB Seagate Sata II Hard Drive
Gigabyte Odin 585wat Power Supply
2x LG 22x IDE DVD-Writers

(I know my PC is crap by today's standards)

I'm Running ATI Catalyst 9.6 Drivers.
(My PC Crashed when I tried to load 9.11)

Any Advice on the above would be much appreciated.

Thanks.
December 6, 2009 4:08:28 PM

4870 should be 2x faster than your old 9600GT,also you have a pretty decent rig :)  it may be old but its good for gaming.
But its strange you aren't noticing any differences,is Fraps reporting the same FPS like your 9600GT?
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December 6, 2009 11:32:09 PM

Well, I am noticing small Improvements here and there.

I play most of my games at low-res (1024x768) with max AA and max Detail

But when I test the card on 3DMark '06 @1280x1024/No AA, I get about 13200 points on the 4870 and my 9600GT got about 11900.

As far as FRAPS goes. I ran a 4-minute benchmark on NFS Undercover on Max Detail 1024x768 6xAA and these are the results.
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Frames: 18375 - Time: 240000ms - Avg: 76.563 - Min: 42 - Max: 1211
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The problem Is the game doesn't run smoothly no matter how high or low the detail is, with or without AA and between 640x480 up to 1600x1200.

If I turn on V-Sync, the Framerate is limited to a max of 60FPS so the game runs quite smoothly. The only Issue is that every now and again, the game jerks and drops to 45FPS and then it stabilizes back to 60FPS again.
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Ultimately, I just want to know... Is it possible that my Power supply isn't able to give the card Enough Juice?

I know it's a 585watt, but I bought it secondhand and I don't know what kind of pressure it was put under before I bought it.

That could also be the reason why my PC Reboots when I try to load Catalyst 9.11 Drivers.
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December 6, 2009 11:42:55 PM

At that resolution the 9600GT is quite capable so you aren't going to see much of a practical difference unless you get a new monitor or are playing a particularly graphic intensive game with AA maxed.
As for those benchmarks what do you mean exactly by the game isn't running "smoothly"? The minimum of 42 fps would still be considered "smooth" by most people. I doubt it's a PSU issue in any case
Your computer is still fine by today's standards FYI but that CPU can easily OC to 3.5 ghz even on stock cooling if you desire.
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December 6, 2009 11:43:12 PM

585w should be more than enough to power your system so it should not be a PSU issue unless the PSU is defective.

Did you uninstall the old drivers before removing the old card?
Where did you get the drivers for the new card?
What steps did you go through to install the new drivers?
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December 7, 2009 12:15:18 AM

At 1024x768 your 4870 isn't really taxed. If you just want to see some higher FPS you may want to overclock your CPU as I would assume that's the weak link. Otherwise, that 4870 will at least allow you to turn up your resolution without too much loss in performance.
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December 7, 2009 6:57:30 AM

As others said 1024x768 isn't a good resolution to compare 9600GT and HD 4870 because both cards will do well and HD 4870 won't show its full potential in that resolution in that resolution,so crank up the resolution to the max that your monitor supports and test with that and then check whether you get the same FPS or not
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December 7, 2009 7:12:53 AM

Check if there is a sticker on HeatSink on 4870.
I've seen 4870's which were damaged due overheating by users that were experimenting with cooling on it. Such cards were running fine not reporting any damage, but their performance was similar to 3870's
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December 7, 2009 7:38:56 AM

I had the same problem with NFS Carbon on Windows 7.
With 1024X768 high settings(Not max) I was getting 45FPS with 9800GT.
And still there were random jerks.
When I played with better settings on XP it was 100+ FPS.
So I would say OS might be a problem.

Do you get those jerks and lockups in all games?
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December 7, 2009 11:54:29 AM


I ran a short Benchmark with FRAPS on Brothers in Arms - Hell's Highway
Everything on Max @ 1024x768

Frames: 13556 - Time: 180000ms - Avg: 74.431 - Min: 67 - Max: 77

It seems to run perfectly smoothly and there were no massive deviations in framerates, so maybe it's just a problem with NFS UC.
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As for Overclocking. It's not my scene.
My entire PC was built from secondhand parts, and I resell them after 6 months when I upgrade. So I prefer to avoid overclocking to prolong the life of my parts.
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As for running my games @ 1024x768...

I'm not Interested in "Taxing the Card" I just want all of my games to run smoothly @ 1024x768 with full AA. That's why I bought it.

I'm using a 19" Flat Proline CRT Monitor on 85Hz Refresh Rate. I hardly
ever notice a difference whether I play games on 1024x768 or 1600x1200. So what's the point in running at higher res?
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In conclusion...

I just want to know if my crappy 470watt Odin is holding back the card as far as performance goes.

Thanks. & sorry for Initially claiming I had a 585watt.
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Best solution

December 7, 2009 1:10:09 PM

That 470W Odin is not a very good PSU.
It has 2 +12V rails each at 15A And 14A Rails.
But it should run your rig fine.

Since the problem is only with 1 game I would say you should not worry about this matter as long as you get playable performance in all your games.

Cuz at 1024X768(or any ther resolution) whether you get 75FPS or 120FPS won't make a difference.
(You'll feel the difference only when FPS drops below 30)
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December 7, 2009 1:39:59 PM

Its strange that you don't notice any difference,because when i play at my monitors resolution which is 1920x1200,i can't switch back to something like 1280x1024 because it becomes a little blurry
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December 7, 2009 2:26:24 PM

You just need to stop taking that drink before switching back.
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