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Upgrading a 4850 with a ~$200 budget.

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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November 1, 2010 2:52:03 AM

So I'm pretty sure my 4850 is dying right now and I want to upgrade it this Christmas.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Anytime between now and a few days before Christmas(so my parents will have time to buy it and get it shipped here for Christmas) BUDGET RANGE: USD $200-250 After Rebates

USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Playing the latest and greastest games at max settings ( I want to be able to max Crysis and Metro 2033 if possible), and playing 1080p movies(not sure if thats dependent on the graphics card or not)

CURRENT GPU AND POWER SUPPLY:
SAPPHIRE 100242L 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=N82E168...

OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS:
Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz LGA 775 Quad-Core Processor BX80562Q6600
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Antec BP550 Plus 550W Continuous Power ATX12V V2.2 Modular Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

DFI BloodIron P35-T2RL LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL6D-4GBMQ
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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

PARTS PREFERENCES:
I'd prefer an NVidia card so later on down the road I'll be able to slowly purchase stuff to game in 3D. However since a 3D monitor and 3D glasses cost a lot, I'm not sure if I'll ever actual buy those(even though I really want to), so if (and only if) ATI cards just COMPLETELY blow away all NVidia cards then I'll go with ATI. But if there is only a slight difference, I'd rather have an NVidia card so I have the option to play games in 3D later on.

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No

MONITOR RESOLUTION: (e.g.: 1024x768, 1280x1024, 1440x900, 1600x1200, 1680x1050, 1920x1080, 1920x1200)

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:
It must be a dual slotted card with one slot for the fan. I'm not sure if GPUs nowadays even come single slotted, but my current 4850 is single slotted and has overheating problems. Having a dual slotted card will make me feel better about myself and my GPUs temperatures.
November 1, 2010 3:10:36 AM

you see all these topics about 6870 vs gtx 460? read those. you want one or the other of those cards.
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a b U Graphics card
November 1, 2010 3:47:24 AM

I'd say GTX 470, ATI 5850, or ATI 6870 should all be within your budget range. The GTX 470 & ATI 5850 are dropping price wise, and the just released ATI 6870 performs in that ballpark as well.

Most GPUs are dual-slot now days, at least high level cards like these. The GTX 470's can run very hot if you get a stock version. Though there are some good ones with aftermarket coolers that aren't too bad.

The ATI cards however, tend to run a bit cooler than the nVidia cards. :) 
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a b U Graphics card
November 1, 2010 3:49:26 AM

On the cheap a 6850 will meet your needs after a slider overclock on the core. and alight bump on the mem
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November 1, 2010 5:51:13 AM

Go for an Asus 6850 DirectCu
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November 1, 2010 9:06:13 PM

jerreece said:
I'd say GTX 470, ATI 5850, or ATI 6870 should all be within your budget range. The GTX 470 & ATI 5850 are dropping price wise, and the just released ATI 6870 performs in that ballpark as well.

Most GPUs are dual-slot now days, at least high level cards like these. The GTX 470's can run very hot if you get a stock version. Though there are some good ones with aftermarket coolers that aren't too bad.

The ATI cards however, tend to run a bit cooler than the nVidia cards. :) 


ATI cards run cooler than NVidia cards now? I could have sworn it was the other way around 2 years ago when I bought my card. :??: 

So right now it seems like I'm deciding between the 6870 and GTX 470. How much better is the 6870 than the 470? If it's just marginally better, I think I might go with the 470 because being able to play 3D games later on in the future(with the NVidia 3D glasses) is something I'd like to have.

I've tried looking at benchmarks but I don't understand them.

One thing I noticed though is that for this 470:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

It says the required power is "Minimum of a 550 Watt power supply. (Minimum recommended power supply with +12 Volt current rating of 38 Amps.)"

My PSU ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ) says it has 550W and:
+3.3V@28A, +5V@26A, +12V1@22A, +12V2@22A, +12V3@25A, -12V@0.5A, +5VSB@2.5A

So the minimum recommended PSU for the 470 is +12 Volt and 38 Amps, but it seems like the highest I have on my PSU is +12 Volts and 25 Amps. Is my PSU not able to power a 470, or am I (hopefully) reading this wrong?

If my PSU can't power the 470, could it power a 6870? I tried googling the power requirements for the 6870 but it seems like people are just posting their PSU and asking if it can power it, and seeing as how I never have the same PSU as them I don't want to just trust it without any hard proof.

I kind of want to lean more towards the 470 because it has support for NVidia 3D Vision, Cuda, PhysX, and the one I linked to has a life time warranty whereas it seems like all of the 6870s you either get an HDMI 1.4 port or a lifetime warranty and thats it.
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a b U Graphics card
November 2, 2010 12:51:58 AM

You have three +12V rails on your power supply. Two @ 22amps each and one at 25amps. So you're talking a total of 69amps. You should be perfectly fine, so long as it is a quality made power supply. Can you give us a Brand or model on the PSU?

Performance wise, the ATI 6870 and GTX 470 are pretty darn close. Which one is faster can depend on what game you're actually playing. Here is the Tomshardware Review on the new ATI 6850 and 6870.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-6870-rade...

nVidia 3D Vision: This of course only helps if you get all the other 3D hardware. Quite frankly, it's not yet a big deal (i.e. not close to mainstream).

Cuda: This helps if you're using specific software that can take advantage of it. Mostly video and photo editing software that allows you to offload CPU work onto the GPU. This does however help a TON if you're Folding @ Home.

PhysX: This is pretty cool, however not necessarily mainstream. Only game titles that are made in cooperative with nVidia get PhysX support. The problem is, developers must make a game with extra graphic features that only half the gaming population can use. In other words, only nVidia card owners can use it. So anyone with the game and an ATI card can't use it.

Ultimately, if you're a hardcore gamer, 3D Vision will be something to look forward to in the future. CUDA probably won't help you much, but PhysX can add some cool features to games. Though honestly, PhysX is best used with 2 video cards. Either an SLI setup, or with a GTX 470 & a dedicated lesser PhysX card (which is what Mafia 2 suggests).

If you can find it with an Instant Rebate, this is a good one to get for cooling:

MSI GTX 470 Twin Frozr $299
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Otherwise, the EVGA card you linked to would be a good option for $30 less money right now. Then again, all the ATI 6870 cards appear to be about $240 standard price right now (granted none are aftermarket coolers). But they'd run cooler.
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a b U Graphics card
November 2, 2010 12:58:03 AM

Ok, first off you still have a pretty decent card. Second, the ATI 69xx *should* be released before Christmas. You may be able to save a bit more and get the 69xx or get the current cards for a lower price.
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November 2, 2010 1:23:14 AM

im thinking that psu is delivering a lot less than 69amps, it saying max load 12v 384 watts? the actual 12v amps are more like half of 69 i believe. hope you dont blow it up.
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a c 271 U Graphics card
November 2, 2010 1:30:18 AM

jerreece said:
You have three +12V rails on your power supply. Two @ 22amps each and one at 25amps. So you're talking a total of 69amps. You should be perfectly fine, so long as it is a quality made power supply. Can you give us a Brand or model on the PSU?


According to the link it's an Antec and even if it can hold a constant 550w output that's still only going to be 45.8amps not 69.
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November 2, 2010 2:22:15 AM

So I'm still confused. Is my power supply able to handle a 470? I wouldn't think so since I'd imagine that each +12V rail does is own thing, but based on the way you guys are talking it seems like they all can work together, so I'm not really sure.

I'm thinking if my power supply can handle a 470, then I'm going to go with that. I'm worried that it won't though, and I don't really want to spend $60-100 on a new power supply :( 
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a c 271 U Graphics card
November 2, 2010 2:26:20 AM

All the 12v rails are taken from a single point, they're not really separate at all.
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November 2, 2010 3:32:22 AM

Ah ok. So does that mean I would be able to power a 470 with my current PSU? The only thing else in my computer is my processor, 2 internal harddrives, and I'm thinking about getting a USB 3.0 card soon. I'd imagine all of that uses the other rails in the PSU leaving all the 12v ones to the graphics card? (I tried looking at the specs of all of those but none of them said what they use).

But it says the 470 requires a minimum of 550W which is what my PSU has total. Would that not be enough since I'd imagine some of that wattage goes to other things like the CPU and harddrives and what not?
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a c 271 U Graphics card
November 2, 2010 3:43:09 AM

If the label on the side is like this then I wouldn't advise it as according to that it's only capable of 384w on the 12v outputs.
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a b U Graphics card
November 2, 2010 3:58:38 AM

Shadow703793 said:
Ok, first off you still have a pretty decent card. Second, the ATI 69xx *should* be released before Christmas. You may be able to save a bit more and get the 69xx or get the current cards for a lower price.


I concur, most of these comments are involving cards currently released. But with the 69xx on the Horizon i expect a wait, to see at least what price the 6950 will be. If all goes according to the ol' 5850 it should be 300$, and somewhat in your budget. Which you'd see a larger performance increase over the 470 at LEAST. Cayman is expected to have 20% performance increase over 480, but those are AMD slides, we'll see. Anyways I agree with Shadow on this.
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a b U Graphics card
November 2, 2010 4:35:01 AM

^+1. Wait for a while, the 69xx will be released this month.
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a b U Graphics card
November 2, 2010 4:38:51 AM

mosox, you are now my new buddy. Haha since you backed me up on this Teehee!
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November 2, 2010 8:58:02 PM

Mousemonkey said:
If the label on the side is like this then I wouldn't advise it as according to that it's only capable of 384w on the 12v outputs.
http://c1.neweggimages.com/NeweggImage/productimage/17-371-016-07.jpg


Ah ok, now I get it. So basically I only have about 380W I can use towards my graphics card, and it seems like most of the newer cards require 500+. So it seems like in order to get a new graphics card I'll need a new power supply as well. I don't have the money to get both, so I guess I'll have to wait until later to upgrade it :( 
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a b U Graphics card
November 2, 2010 9:05:48 PM

Mousemonkey said:
According to the link it's an Antec and even if it can hold a constant 550w output that's still only going to be 45.8amps not 69.


True. I didn't take the time to do the math. :)  Though I kind of suspected as much considering 550w isn't that high an output to begin with.

Apparently, I missed the link to the PSU because I looked for it and just didn't see it. Re-Reading my reply I can see I obviously missed the link. LOL I asked him for the brand and model even after he'd given a link up above. Guess that's what I get for reading things late at night.

Mousemonkey said:
If the label on the side is like this then I wouldn't advise it as according to that it's only capable of 384w on the 12v outputs.
http://c1.neweggimages.com/NeweggImage/productimage/17-371-016-07.jpg


^ This is correct.

zamp07 said:
Ah ok, now I get it. So basically I only have about 380W I can use towards my graphics card, and it seems like most of the newer cards require 500+. So it seems like in order to get a new graphics card I'll need a new power supply as well. I don't have the money to get both, so I guess I'll have to wait until later to upgrade it :( 


The 380w is your max load for all 12v devices, not just the video card. So realistically, you want a PSU that provides an ample supply on the 12v so you're not running at or very close to the max capacity of the PSU. This should keep the PSU cooler, and provide for a longer life.
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a c 271 U Graphics card
November 2, 2010 9:25:43 PM

jerreece said:
Guess that's what I get for reading things late at night.

No worries mate, I was (and still am) suffering from a lack of beer which is kind of the polar opposite of your night I guess. :lol: 
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