Radeon 4850, best card for the price, really???

I bought my Radeon 4850 card back in November 2008 when it was recommended by Tom's Hardware as the best card for the price. I have been using this card since then. Today I am surfing the best card article June edition and to my surprise, 4850 is still on the list.

Is 4850 really that good? Because for more than a year and half I've been using it, I'm not really impressed. While this card is great for running most games in high details, I noticed that it is particularly lacking when it comes to higher resolution. For games that are really demanding on the video card, I can play them fine in 1280x1024 resolution and max setting. However, if I keep the same setting and change resolution to 1680x1050, the performance drops significantly to the point of becoming unplayable, and I have to lower game settings to keep playing at 1680x1050 resolution.

Another game that this card is causing me frustration is World of Warcraft, which is a joke when it comes to video card. However, this is the game that I spend most of my time playing and it runs just fine in 1680x1050 with max setting. But the problem arises when I try to open second World of Warcraft game window, then the frame rate drops so low that takes me 30 seconds to press Esc and click a button to exit the game. However, if I lower the resolution on my second WoW window down to 1024x768 and keep my first WoW window at 1680x1050 resolution, both of them run very smoothly.

So I'm not really here to bash the 4850 card, rather I want to fix my main concern, which is to run 2 WoW windows smoothly at 1680x1050 resolution with max setting. Anyone know what the problem is? Could it be CPU or the video card? Maybe memory on the video card isn't enough?

My CPU is AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 5200+ @ 2.71 Ghz

My video card is SAPPHIRE 100245L Radeon HD 4850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102770)
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  1. Nah its out dated now the 5770 is best for price card atm, i cant remember the 4850 being good the 4870 was great and the 4890 was best card for a while and ofc the 4870x2 , that era was when ATI came out on top :)

    Still i never seen Nvidia drop prices much :\

    And fermi to me is a failure i dunno what all that hype was its nothing like the ati shock.
  2. The reason why the 4850 is still considered the best bang for buck is simple, you can get one for as low as 99.99$ vs. the GTS 250 which is a bit more $$. Its considered best card for the price in the low-mid range bracket. Then comes the 5850 and so forth..

    As far as WoW goes, your issue lies more in the resolution you are playing at. The higher the resolution the more stress on the GPU, the lower the resolution the more stress on the CPU. If you want both screens running at speed simultaneously without any lag you will need a faster CPU. Your dual core at 2.7Ghz is not going to cut it since you are asking it do do more than it can actually handle. Have you thought about a CPU upgrade? Have you thought about overclocking your CPU?
  3. Yours is 512mb card. Higher resolutions demand higher video ram apart from other things. And yes, given only price-performance ratio, it's still the best card out there, beats even 5850 as the equivalent two crossfired 4850's would cost two-third its price.
  4. The 4850 is the best card you can possibly buy for the price range of $90-$100.

    Best-bang-for-buck performance goes to the 5770 1GB imo...
  5. Ok I'm seeing different opinions here, anyway, I like to know if I want to have 2 World of Warcraft windows running at 1680x1050 resolution and max setting, which of the following upgrades will benefit me the most?

    1. Upgrade the CPU (any suggestions? If 5770 is the mid-range video card, what are the mid-range CPUs for gaming?)

    2. Upgrade the video card to one with 1GB of memory, such as 5770 or maybe 5830.

    3. Do a crossfire of 4850 or 4870. (hsetir mentioned that crossfire 4850 is equivalent to a 5850, is that true? also, how's the performance of crossfire 4870 comparing to 58xx series?)

  6. I dont think the 4850 is your problem... while one of 4850's was under maintenance, a single 4850 quite easily pulls Left 4 Dead 2 at 60 fps 1920x1200 at Max (film grain off)... i also quit out of TF2 and realized that i had GTAIV running in the background the whole time, again no issue.
    I herd WOW tends to be slightly unfair on ATI ( am not sure of the cause) or it may be your CPU...
    Oh also, if you have WOW windows side by side (as in you can see them both at the same time), only one will utilize the GPU power and that's the one selected... i have sometimes Tf2 run idle on my second screen and when not selected it drops to 15 fps

    CPU: E6600 @ 3.0 Ghz

    Edit: oh and 4850=5750... i would call that pretty midrange
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