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Time to upgrade from a 4870?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 14, 2011 12:06:03 PM

Hi everyone,
Just wondering whether now would be a good time to retire my 4870 and spring for a new one. The most demanding game I'm playing right now is Battlefield Bad Company 2, which I'm still getting decent frame rates in (~45). I'm just curious whether I'll see that much impact with a new GPU, or I'd be better off waiting till the games are more demanding, or till I'm closer to upgrading my monitor


Some particulars about my situation:

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: No rush, willing to wait for the next gen if I won't see much impact. Budget is ~$300

USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Primarily gaming, and just viewing HD movies/media.
CURRENT GPU AND POWER SUPPLY: Currently I have a 4870 512mb and an Antec 650W PSU

OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS: CPU is a Phenom II 965BE, OCed to 3.8 Ghz (on stock volts) I'm willing to push it a bit more if it'll prevent bottlenecking a new GPU

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.ca or canadacomputers.com for pricing

PARTS PREFERENCES: No real preference, ati preferred only if crossfire is an option as my board supports it (not sure if my PSU will too, which will depend on the GPU selection)

OVERCLOCKING: No SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Crossfire maybe

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1680 x 1050, but would like the capablility of maxing out details at 1080p, in case I want to play any games on my TV or I upgrade my monitor.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Cool and quiet is preferable but not mandatory

Thanks in advance for your help

More about : time upgrade 4870

a b U Graphics card
January 14, 2011 12:18:10 PM

if your budget is 300, get a 6950, or honestly a 6870 will get the job done, I have one (6870) and a 955 @ 4.0 and game at 1080p with no problems (even crysis). Since you said you might want to crossfire, those are your best amd offerings... if you were to go with nvidia, I would go with something like a gtx 470 or 570.... but for 300 you cant beat a 6950-----> unlocked to a 6970 (or not) a good deal imo

oh btw 3.8 should be a good oc on that chip you will not see a bottleneck from your cpu
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January 14, 2011 1:26:06 PM

What's the power consumption like on a 6950? If I did decide to crossfire (someday) would a 650W PSU be enough?

How substantial is the differenece between a 4870 and 6950 at my resolution?
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a b U Graphics card
January 14, 2011 2:12:36 PM

B0L0 said:
What's the power consumption like on a 6950? If I did decide to crossfire (someday) would a 650W PSU be enough?

How substantial is the differenece between a 4870 and 6950 at my resolution?

650w would be cutting it real close on crossfire if you had one with 100% efficiency you may be able to do that but to be safe i would go a little higher, however a quality 650 w shoudl be enough for two 6850s or 6870s,, I would say the 6870 is roughly the power of 2 4870s (in dx10) at 1080p, the 6950 is honestly not more than a few frames in most cases higher at 1080p..


here is what i would do personally...If you want to crossfire grab two 6850s, for roughly $360 you will have massive gpu performance... otherwise I would go with a single 6950 and unlock it to a 6970, or grab a gtx 570... in most situations (unless the game does not utilize crossfire well) the 6850s will most def beat a 6970 and a gtx 580 too, however if you wanted to go with a single card I would go with at least a 6870 (from an upgrade standpoint of where you are coming from with the 4870 which is a decent card)

to answer your question the difference at your res between a 6950 and a 4870 is pretty substantial imo take a look at toms graphics cards hierarchy chart, I would say the 6950 is like a 5870 and then some.... which you know will at least be more powerful then 4870 crossfire...

Toms hierarchy chart:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-car...

Toms best graphic cards for the money Jan 2010:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-car...

hope that helps let me know if there is anything else I can explain.... btw what is the make and model of your psu?
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a b U Graphics card
January 14, 2011 2:30:10 PM

as far as seeing an impact only you can truly decide but i would say yes, why not hunt around for a second 4870, if you can find one cheap then go for it you will have killer dx10 performance and by the time new cards are released dx11 should be in full swing and the upgrade will be more worthwhile, this is another option to consider and you might be able to find a 4870 on ebay or craigslist for like 50 bucks, save your money and buy a monster gpu when the amd 7 series arrives, or who knows by that time you might want to go for nvidia depending on what the offerings are but that is just my thought, drop a small amount now to increase your performance to excellent quality at 1080p and then in a year or two drop the $300-400 on a new gpu... there might be some killer offerings on a 32nm chip or smaller at that point
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January 14, 2011 2:33:38 PM

Good advice, thanks!

I have a 650W Antec Trio

I think I'll go with either trying to land a second 4870, or, going for a 6950.

Thanks!
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January 14, 2011 2:34:02 PM

Best answer selected by B0L0.
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a b U Graphics card
January 14, 2011 3:02:03 PM

about your psu; not sure about the 3 12v rails and the fact that its not 80 plus certified (even though it listed up to 85%) so I would probly shy away from crossfire bc the specs look okay to do it but there is really no telling without an efficiency rating, even though it is an antec. In theory it should work but there is a chance it will not, if you can x fire without a psu upgrade go for it, but if not its probly not worth the 100 dollars on a new psu so just go for the single gpu (6950)
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