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Are two 8600GT cards quicker than an ATI 4870

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November 23, 2010 11:47:43 AM

Hi, I am currently running a single ATI 4870 on an ASUS M2N32-SLI DELUXE with an AMD 64x2 at 5200. As I can not run two ATI cards in Crossfire on this m/board because of the chipset I was wondering if 2 Nvidia 86700GT cards in SLI would be quicker? Any advice would be appreciated.
a b U Graphics card
November 23, 2010 11:51:50 AM

Nah they won't get close to a single 4870.
November 23, 2010 12:04:03 PM

Thanks for the info "eyefinity" much appreciated.

I am into MS FSX and Fallout 3 mainly and was also wondering if they supported either Crossfire or SLI?
Also I enjoy First Person Shooter games with good graphics and as my 4870 is getting on a bit now is there a partiucular card that you could suggest that would improve performance in these games.
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a b U Graphics card
November 23, 2010 12:04:39 PM

4870 > 8600gt sli by leaps and bounds. it'll cost alot mroe than the cost of two 8600's sli'd to match it.
November 23, 2010 12:09:49 PM

Thanks "g00fysmiley". Any thoughts on my other query regarding upgrading my card?
a b U Graphics card
November 23, 2010 12:11:32 PM

if you wanted to stay with ati your upgrade path would be 6850 then 6870 then 5850 then 5870 then 5970 , in that order, but the cpu you have miught bottleneck you beyond 5850.

Like i said the 4870 is a damn good card though should be running almso tnaythign you throw at it in high settings and good fps

on the nvidia front with sli being an option yu're looking at gtx 260, 270 or 280 sli'd, 460 786 mb , 285, 460 1gig , 465, 470, 295, 480 , or 580 in that order. on the nvidia front after the 460 1 gig you'd be cpu bottle necked

*added*

give us a budget and your psu info and we can make better suggestions, liek the 5970 or 480/580 woudl be great but only if you wanna spend 400-600 on a card
a b U Graphics card
November 23, 2010 12:16:38 PM

The 4870 you have is already being held back by your cpu tbh. And I wouldn't upgrade to a 6850 from a 4870, it's not enough of an upgrade especially with a weak cpu.

I'd upgrade the cpu first if that is possible, or save up for a new mobo and cpu combo. Fallout 3 should run pretty well on your current system already at least.
November 23, 2010 12:26:29 PM

As you may have gathered, I am not that up on computer hardware as things seem to have progressed rather rapidly over the last few years and I have lost touch :(  Such as going from a 6850 to a 5970 and increasing in power. I would have thought it the other way. Thats how out of touch I am.

I have just bought a 500U PSU ( currently running a 350U) in readiness for the graphics upgrade. I suppose I would be looking at £150 for the new card as I certainly cannot afford a lot more. By spending that amount would I notice the increase in frame rates that much to justify spending the money?

You are correct when you say that I do not have any trouble in either of the games I have named, they both play well with good frame rates in 1680 x 1050. It is just that I like to keep up with things if I can and it benefits the visual effects of my games.
November 23, 2010 12:32:49 PM

What would consider a reasonable CPU upgrade together with an ATI 5850.? This I amy be able to afford after checking the prices of the 5850 on eBay.
a b U Graphics card
November 23, 2010 12:34:07 PM

The next thing i would personally do is upgrade the system to cope with the GPU upgrade as the GPU you have isnt that all bad (the 4870)

Then the GPU will transfer over until such a time you can afford to upgrade the GPU to something suggested above. But if this isnt an option, personally i'd go with something like a GTx460.. at 1680x1050. The GTX460 will hold its own on pretty much anything you throw at it and last for a while yet aswell :) 
a b U Graphics card
November 23, 2010 12:41:32 PM

Hm your mobo is pretty decent still, I wasn't sure if you could run phenom 2's on it but you can.

http://usa.asus.com/Product.aspx?P_ID=0jMy2X8lKstYRvev Click on cpu support list

You could easily upgrade your cpu to one of the phenom 2's, or maybe that athlon 2 x4 640. You would probably need to update the bios first, which can be a hair raising experience if you've never done it before.

Is this an option? Adding a faster graphics card isn't going to make that much of a difference due to your current cpu. A faster cpu will give some new life to your entire setup, and then you could get a faster gpu in a few months.

You would probably get £50 or so for the 4870, and maybe £20 for your current cpu on ebay.

http://www.scan.co.uk/products/amd-athlon-ii-x4-640-pro...

£75 for that cpu and you are close to being able to afford a gtx 460 or 6850 with what you have left after ebuying your cpu and current 4870. That's what I'd do.
a b U Graphics card
November 23, 2010 12:44:41 PM

yea your money would probably be better spent on upgrading cpu/mobo while 4870 isn't bottlenecked by your cpu its pretty close and really you can only go up one tier before it will be. £150 should probably get you a good upgrade in terms of a mobo and cpu, but it'd cost a bit mroe for ddr3 but well worth it for a good upgrade. if you can wait i'd say when sanybrige comes out soon and with bulldozer around the corner if you wait current cpu's will probably go down signifigantly and you might be able to snatch up a full mobo/cpu/ram upgrade in your budget
November 23, 2010 1:37:47 PM

I am checking prices of the AMD Phenom on eBay and this lookls as if it may be the way to go. Am I correct in assuming that my m/board will take either an AM2 or AM2+ Phenom CPU? I don't know what the difference is.

In the past I have upgraded the BIOS on this m/board and if my memory serves me correctly on the m/board drivers disk there is a utility that does this for you with virtually no hassle at all.

I do appreciate all the help you guys are giving me - Thanks a lot.
November 23, 2010 1:53:44 PM

Just checked the Athlon II x 4 x 640 and looks as if they are only for AM3 socket m/boards.
a b U Graphics card
November 23, 2010 1:54:50 PM

Do not buy phenom 1 class CPU. Better of. If you want to buy a new CPU buy a AM3 CPU meaning a phenom II class CPU. They work on am2+ motherboards, depending on your motherboard. Someone posted above that it does so buy a triple core or quad phenom II. Those are good cpu's.

As for the video card keep the one you have for now. It still is a good card. I play at 1920x1080 with my 5770 witch is about the same as the 4870 and with max details in fallout new vegas and call of duty Black ops.

You said you both a new PSu already? What brand, or can you give us a link to where you bought it from?

Your next video card upgrade should be next year in the summer or winter holidays, at list that i would do. By then the new cards will have more mature drivers and the prices will stabilize.

Amd phenom II triple core: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... -checked the list to see if it is compatible with your mobo and it is.
Or quad something like this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
November 23, 2010 2:06:25 PM

Hi, Yes I am looking to get a Phenom II Quad core. After checking all the available CPUs it makes my Athlon 64 x 2 at 5200 look rather old!

The PSU is nothing special just a standard 500 watt unit purchased from my local supplier.
a b U Graphics card
November 23, 2010 2:10:18 PM

what brand and model psu? often vendors will claim a psu has a higher voltage than they really do... usually if its 80 plus rated it went through an inspeciton to show it cna handle said load at good efficiency but even then some vendors will just lie and put an 80 plus sticker on a non80plus psu
November 23, 2010 2:25:22 PM

Looks as if it is a CiC or Cit - Gold in colour and Ver 2.03 compliant for all m/boards.

Output Qouted on the box as :-

28A @ +3.3v 30A @ +5.0v 14A @ +12.0v1 13A @ +12.0v2 0.3A @ -12.0v and 2.5A @ +5.0vSB

With a total Max Output of 500 Watt.
a b U Graphics card
November 23, 2010 5:59:07 PM

Ah you should not have done that.
a b U Graphics card
November 23, 2010 6:33:17 PM

hmm after a bit o research on cit... i wouldn't put one in my machine not much if any ripple suppression, low efficiwency and often won't go up to the rated load...

that said it shoudl probably run your single card setup fine.. i just might throw that on the next upgrade list. could get a good psu around 500-650 watts by a good brand like corsair for much cheaper than a graphics card and it'd help the longevity of your system by leaps and bounds

*add* its a psu built by HEC ... they make cheap generic psu's they are by no meant the worst out there but still use cheap parts to make thier psu's cheap. research shows mostly cheap caps that will explode under heavy load and tend to take out at leas tyour mobo when they do blow >_<
November 23, 2010 7:13:14 PM

Right, point taken and understood although I havn't a clue what ripple supression is - this one will be going back tomorrow and a better one of known make purchased.

I have already started my upgrade path by buying a Saphire 5850 Toxic 1gb card.

Within the next few days I also hope to be purchasing an AMD Phenom II Quad towards the top end such as the 9850 or 9950. Hopefully this will see me through another 18 months before I have to think of doing it again.

I know I have spent more than I stated I wanted to but isn't that always the case :lol: 

Anyway guys, many thanks for all the sound advice and I hope I am now on the right path.
a b U Graphics card
November 23, 2010 9:17:40 PM

Be careful you buy a phenom II, not a phenom I like the 9850 or 9950.

You should be able to pick up a phenom II below £100 now, and give it a little overclock.
November 24, 2010 7:58:43 AM

Hi again, Thanks for the warning. I was looking at the wrong Phenoms on the list at ASUS. The Phenom II seems to be on the list before the Phenom which threw me.

Phenom IIX4 945 (HDX945WFK4DGM),3.0GHz,2048KB,95W,rev.C3,SocketAM3,Quad-Core

I assume that the critical number to be looking for on any CPU listed is the number I have underlined above? Although this is an AM3 socket CPU you did say that my m/board would accept it, correct?

This is one eBay item 320620433051 I am looking at and hope it is the correct CPU?

There are CPUs listed as Phenom IIs with the 9850 and 9950 references quoted and this has confused me. I get confused very easily nowadays :??: 

See eBay item - 200546095548 to see what I mean.

Is there anything wrong with the Phenom I or is it just not cost effective to buy them now?

Am I glad you guys are looking after me. I could be in very deep doo doo now otherwise!
a b U Graphics card
November 24, 2010 8:18:58 AM

They aren't so bad really, they just suffered from low clock speeds, poor overclocking and high power draw. I'd take an Athlon 2 before a Phenom I.

And yes, AM3 cpu's are backwards compatible with AM2+ mobos. You'll be fine, especially since it mentions your cpu on the compatibility list. Just remember you will probably need to do a bios flash, which is scary at the best of times.

Ps the easy way to see the difference between phenoms and phenom 2's is the numbers, anything with 3 numbers is a phenom 2 (ie the 945) and anything with 4 numbers is a phenom I (the 9950).
November 24, 2010 10:39:54 AM

Just got back from my local supplier, wallet is a lot lighter. :( 

Purchased new Phenom II 955 and Corsair VX550 along with a Coolermaster Elite 330 case. This with my Saphire 5850 Toxic 1Gb should now see me through for the next 18 months - I hope!

Thanks again to all - Especially "eyefinity".
a b U Graphics card
November 24, 2010 11:13:45 AM

looks like a good system. nice backbone via good mobo, decent cpu , grat psu, you'll have a good system that whould last you quite a while :D 
November 24, 2010 1:24:24 PM

Thanks for all your help and suggestions - Much appreciated
!