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Upgrading Radeon HD 4850

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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April 19, 2010 9:09:01 PM

As part of a system rebuild, I'm trying to figure out if it's worthwhile getting a second Sapphire Radeon HD 4850 1GB, or if I should just wait and get a single card a bit later on. Would need to get a new PSU for Crossfire.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: 1 - 6 months

BUDGET RANGE: $200 - $250

USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, e.g., MW2, Dragon Age: Origins, Assassin's Creed II

CURRENT GPU AND POWER SUPPLY: Sapphire Radeon HD 4850 1 GB and OCZ ModStream OCZ52012U 520W

OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS: TBD. Either i5 750 or Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA

PARTS PREFERENCES: None

OVERCLOCKING: No SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1280x1024

Thanks in advance for any help!

More about : upgrading radeon 4850

a c 169 U Graphics card
April 20, 2010 6:53:32 AM

For your resolution a single 4850 suffices,if i were you i would keep it for now and get a monitor with a higher resolution and then i would go for a faster VGA(or CrossFiring your 4850)because for 1280x1024 although you will see some boost in gaming with getting another 4850 but CrossFire really shines at higher resolutions like 1920x1200 or so
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April 20, 2010 9:52:34 AM

rolli59 said:
For your Monitor resolution a single HD4850 is plenty. With $200 to spend on a card limits you to HD5770 which is not a drastic upgrade from 4850. That leaves you with another 4850 for crossfire (5870 territory) and a new good quality PSU (that would come under you budget.
PSU http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GPU http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


My current GPU is http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168.... Does it matter that it has a core clock of 625 MHz and an effective memory clock of 1986 MHz while the one you recommend has 700 MHz for the core clock and 1920 MHz for the effective memory clock?
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April 20, 2010 1:53:51 PM

Quote:
Does it matter that it has a core clock of 625 MHz and an effective memory clock of 1986 MHz while the one you recommend has 700 MHz for the core clock and 1920 MHz for the effective memory clock?


Yes, they will need to run at the same speed. That doesn't mean you can't use that card, it just means one will either have to OC or the other will be down-clocked.

The link you had above was dead -- but you could use either this:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... (This is the 1 GB version @ $112)

or this:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... (This is the 512MB version @ $99)


Quote:
For your resolution a single 4850 suffices,if i were you i would keep it for now and get a monitor with a higher resolution and then i would go for a faster VGA(or CrossFiring your 4850)because for 1280x1024 although you will see some boost in gaming with getting another 4850 but CrossFire really shines at higher resolutions like 1920x1200 or so


Thats all good and fine, but I am really getting tired of this argument. Just because someone games at 1280x1024 does not mean they will not benefit from a more powerful/newer gen video card. If you CrossFire the 4850s you WILL see not only a raw performance increase in FPS but you will also be able to turn up graphics Quality (AA, AAF, etc.). Sure, you now have a more powerful setup which will perform wonderful on even higher resolutions, but that doesn't mean there is no benefit or worth to using it with your current res. This goes for replacing the 4850 with a new card too, e.g. 5850.

I can tell you that I went from a 4870 to a 5870 and play at the same res. Am I using my card to its full potential? Hell no. Did I get a performance and quality increase? Hell yes. Do I care that I'm not using my card to its full potential and not playing at 1920x1080 or 2560x1900? No, I am not bothered by this at all.

For ~$100 bucks you'd have a great setup that'll last a while yet. Do some benchmarks with the 1 card, then do them again after you put the 2nd one in.
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a b U Graphics card
April 20, 2010 2:15:03 PM

I would personally suggest that you hold on buying a second card and spend the extra on other components. Then after a year or two you can upgrade for less as the price will likely have fallen, or upgrade to the next generation.
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a c 147 U Graphics card
April 20, 2010 3:45:31 PM

As mentioned at single 4850 is plenty for a 1280x1024 monitor. I would honestly spend the 200-$250 on a nice 1920x1080 LCD. Then worry about a video upgrade later. Granted the 4850 won't run a larger resolution as well, but still you have a BIGGER display with is always nice to look at and game on. I could never game on a smaller monitor than what I have now, which is 22". It is a perfect size. 22-24" seems to be a good size for gaming.
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April 20, 2010 8:35:46 PM

I do have some occasional choppiness in my games, so one part of me is certainly tempted to upgrade now (or at least when I do my system rebuild in a month or two). But, I did note that Tom's GPU hierarchy listed dual 4850s as only 2 levels above a single 4850.

So, I guess the question is whether upgrading would keep me going for the next couple of years, or should I wait a year and upgrade to a better generation?
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April 21, 2010 6:25:10 PM

Best answer selected by src1425.
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