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4890 doesnt seem much better than 4850?

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August 16, 2011 5:59:57 PM

Hi all

I have built a couple of my own rigs but it must be said that I only have a pretty basic knowledge.

I've owned a Radeon 4850 for a few years now. I've played MW2 on-line at 1360 x 768 on a 40" LCD TV with no problems. I've also played Crysis at medium specs with no issues.

Im not one to buy new cards at high prices, I dont crave to have the best cards new, preferring to pick them up a little cheaper a couple of years later. So I saw an XFX 4890 recently on ebay and bought it. However when I installed the card I ran MW2 and Crysis but I have to say I didnt notice much difference graphically. When I choose the 'optimal settings' for each game it was no better than the 4850.

I also ran 3D benchmark but the 4890 didnt do much better. I have to say I am disappointed.

Am I expecting too much? I did some research before I bought the 4890 and read that it is a decent upgrade. Have I been misled?

Can anyone advise?
Can anyone tell me how to carry out a more robust test testing card against card?

By the way I have a AMD dual core 64 5600+, 4GB of ram and a Gygabyte mobo with a newly bought corsair TX650. I realise these GPU's are older and may not be of much interest to people now but I would appreciate some advice from you more experienced PC modders. At the minute it seems like I have wasted my money upgrading.

Many thanks!

More about : 4890 doesnt 4850

August 16, 2011 6:04:48 PM

CPU bottleneck is my guess. What game are you running, what settings, what results at what resolutions?

August 16, 2011 6:10:03 PM

I am not surprised; you expected too much.
If you look on tom's graphics card heirarchy chart, they show up on adjacent tiers.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-performance-...

Not much difference.
If you upgrade a graphics card, you need to make a jump of several tiers, or you will not notice much difference.

In this case, something like a 5870 or 6950 would have been more noticeable.
Related resources
August 16, 2011 6:25:47 PM

benski said:
CPU bottleneck is my guess. What game are you running, what settings, what results at what resolutions?



Hey

Im running Modern Warfare 2 at 1360 x 768 which pretty much basic settings. I also bought all the crysis games recently which I intended to play through but in playing the original Crysis I didnt find the graphic to be any better. When I choose optimal settings on Crysis with the 4890 it picks the same settings it did with the 4850.
August 16, 2011 6:35:45 PM

geofelt said:
I am not surprised; you expected too much.
If you look on tom's graphics card heirarchy chart, they show up on adjacent tiers.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-performance-...

Not much difference.
If you upgrade a graphics card, you need to make a jump of several tiers, or you will not notice much difference.

In this case, something like a 5870 or 6950 would have been more noticeable.



Hey Buddy

I appreciate the reply. So you think I needed to buy higher end model. I looked at the cards you mentioned on ebay, they were around £150 so I guess I could sell the 4890 (i paid 75) and the 4850 (which would go for around 40 as I sold one the other week) which would take me close.

Would it be worth looking at 2 Nvida cards similar to the 4890 to run in SLI? My mobo doesnt support Crossfire which I found out the hard way.

Cheer
August 16, 2011 6:46:35 PM

The reason your not seeing and increase of performance is because your cpu is too slow to keep up, especially at such a low resolution, which strains the cpu more.

I doubt you were even seeing the full potential of the 4850. So SLI/Xfire anything or even a single faster card is out of the quesiton without a major cpu upgrade.

You may want to look into some serious cpu overclocking.


August 16, 2011 7:11:11 PM

geekapproved said:
The reason your not seeing and increase of performance is because your cpu is too slow to keep up, especially at such a low resolution, which strains the cpu more.

I doubt you were even seeing the full potential of the 4850. So SLI/Xfire anything or even a single faster card is out of the quesiton without a major cpu upgrade.

You may want to look into some serious cpu overclocking.


Can I just remove the dual core AMD processor and replace it with a quad core? Is it that easy? When you upgrade processor is it not always advisable to upgrade mobo too? Here is the mobo I own:

Gigabyte M750Sli-DS4

Is it a waste of time putting a quad core in there? Actually I just looked at the official specs on AMD website and it does say that it accepts AMD Phenom quad core processors
August 16, 2011 7:29:48 PM

For the most part, a fast dual core can play most games well. The phenoms will do better than the athlons.
I don't know if a change will be worth it to you.

To help clarify your options, run these two tests:

a) Run your games, but lower your resolution and eye candy.
If your FPS increases, it indicates that your cpu is strong enough to drive a better graphics configuration.

b) Limit your cpu, either by reducing the OC, or, in windows power management, limit the maximum cpu% to something like 70%.
If your FPS drops significantly, it is an indicator that your cpu is the limiting factor, and a cpu upgrade is in order.

It is possible that both tests are positive, indicating that you have a well balanced system, and both cpu and gpu need to be upgraded to get better gaming FPS.

If cpu is the issue for YOUR games, then consider a change to sandy bridge,. Read this article on sub $200 gaming cpu's:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-gaming-cpu-cor...
August 16, 2011 7:36:51 PM

geofelt said:
For the most part, a fast dual core can play most games well. The phenoms will do better than the athlons.
I don't know if a change will be worth it to you.

To help clarify your options, run these two tests:

a) Run your games, but lower your resolution and eye candy.
If your FPS increases, it indicates that your cpu is strong enough to drive a better graphics configuration.

b) Limit your cpu, either by reducing the OC, or, in windows power management, limit the maximum cpu% to something like 70%.
If your FPS drops significantly, it is an indicator that your cpu is the limiting factor, and a cpu upgrade is in order.

It is possible that both tests are positive, indicating that you have a well balanced system, and both cpu and gpu need to be upgraded to get better gaming FPS.

If cpu is the issue for YOUR games, then consider a change to sandy bridge,. Read this article on sub $200 gaming cpu's:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-gaming-cpu-cor...


Thanks for your detailed reply. I will of course take your advice and run the tests. Could you please tell me how i check the fps during gameplay? For example can i check the fps in Crysis?

Many thanks
August 16, 2011 7:39:15 PM

2 reasons, CPU bottleneck, especially for those games, also if your running that CPU, you'll have slower system memory, etc.
and you were expecting to much,, from a 4800 series card, you'll have to bump up to a 5800 series card to see a big difference,, anything less will seem somewhat trivial.
August 16, 2011 7:40:56 PM

Download FRAPS (from fraps.com)

actually you don't need fraps for crysis, use the benchmarking tool at crysis\bin32\benchmark_gpu
August 16, 2011 8:07:34 PM

^^still, going from a 4850 to a 4890,, might be like 5-10 fps difference,, might not be really noticeable.
August 16, 2011 10:32:35 PM

like has already been said:

firstly the difference from 4850 to 4890 is not a huge one, but mostly you def have a cpu bottleneck from that lowly cpu
August 16, 2011 10:52:30 PM

gazmatron said:
Thanks for your detailed reply. I will of course take your advice and run the tests. Could you please tell me how i check the fps during gameplay? For example can i check the fps in Crysis?

Many thanks

FRAPS.
August 16, 2011 10:53:24 PM

Just to concur with what everyone else is saying here, my rule of thumb, you need to jump 2 tiers when you buy a GPU or you will feel like you didn't make much improvement, that is if you have the hardware to drive your old and new GPU. You certainly would have been better off spending money on a platform upgrade over buying a 4890.
August 17, 2011 12:24:54 AM

gazmatron said:
Can I just remove the dual core AMD processor and replace it with a quad core? Is it that easy? When you upgrade processor is it not always advisable to upgrade mobo too? Here is the mobo I own:

Quote:
Gigabyte M750Sli-DS4

Is it a waste of time putting a quad core in there? Actually I just looked at the official specs on AMD website and it does say that it accepts AMD Phenom quad core processors


I have the same mobo. It will support all AM3 Quad and six core cpu's with a bios update. use @bios
http://www.gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx?pid=...
August 17, 2011 3:09:22 PM

Thanks for all the replies.

Im looking through all thats been said and trying to figure out the best course of action based on the advice provided. Am I correct in saying that if I buy a GPU like the 5890 or a 6970 and also upgrade my CPU to a quad core like this:

AMD Phenom II X4 Quad Core 850 "95W Edition" 3.30GHz (Socket AM3)

that I should see some good results?

Would I be held back by the fact that my mobo uses DDR2?

Cheers
August 17, 2011 3:38:08 PM

DDR2 is a bigger holdup than you would think,, but you would be fine with that upgrade for now and do up the MB later
August 17, 2011 3:48:05 PM

1) You must try to identify your problem first. If you do not, you are just guessing, and may well buy an inappropriate solution. If you have an open ended budget, just upgrade everything. Otherwise, upgrade the most restrictive component first. cpu/graphics, or possibly amount of ram.

2) Nothing wrong with DDR2 ram. Just so long as you have enough. 4gb should be a minimum. If you have less, it will impact your performance. 8gb will be helpful:
http://blog.corsair.com/?p=65
DDR3 ram is cheap these days, but unfortunately DDR2 ram is more expensive. Go figure.

3) What is a 5890? 6850/6970 or the Nvidia comparable GTX560ti/GTX570 is about as good as you need to be for a 1080P monitor.

4) Do not assume that a quad will do better than a duo. Few games use more than two cores, and a quad will usually come with a lower clock rate for each of the 4 cores. For example, in the <$200 link I posted, a i3-2120 duo plays F1 2010 as well as a Phenom ii X4 970. The difference is due in part to the duo's higher clock, and in part to the more efficient architecture of the i3. How well you do will be determined by the particular game. Check out the benchmarks for the specific game, if you play one exclusively.

August 17, 2011 5:41:09 PM

monkeysweat said:
DDR2 is a bigger holdup than you would think,, but you would be fine with that upgrade for now and do up the MB later

Not unless he thinks it's less than 2%...
August 17, 2011 5:44:18 PM

well DDR2 RAM runs at like 667 Mhz on average - could be slower or slightly faster on older systems,,, but DDR3 runs at 1333 on average,, over 2x the speed - you can't tell me it won't make a significant difference.
August 17, 2011 6:03:14 PM

monkeysweat said:
well DDR2 RAM runs at like 667 Mhz on average - could be slower or slightly faster on older systems,,, but DDR3 runs at 1333 on average,, over 2x the speed - you can't tell me it won't make a significant difference.


Google "ram speed scaling"

You will find that speed or timings make little difference in real app performance or FPS. It takes synthetic benchmarks to show any big difference.
Here is one example for a amd cpu. Intel makes even less difference.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/phenom-ii-ddr3,2319...
August 17, 2011 6:27:48 PM

geofelt said:
Google "ram speed scaling"

You will find that speed or timings make little difference in real app performance or FPS. It takes synthetic benchmarks to show any big difference.
Here is one example for a amd cpu. Intel makes even less difference.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/phenom-ii-ddr3,2319...

you are quoting me a two year old somewhat flawed article.

it is comparing DDR3 speeds to DDR3 speeds, not DDR2 vs DDR3 - I will agree going from 1066 MHZ to 1600 MHZ on DDR3 may not give you a substantial gaming increase

HOWEVER the fact DDR2 runs on a 4 bit prefetch, most common speed is 800 MHZ and DDR3 runs a 8 bit prefetch and most common speed is 25% faster = about 4-8 times faster than DDR2,, not a trivial number and if you read the old article you linked, there was about 7% difference from DDR3 800 to DDR3 1600 on a game,, can you imagine if it was DDR2? maybe even 28-50% difference in overall (although i doubt 50%)

that being said, upgrade the PC to what you like for now and upgrade your MB/RAM later,, maybe even after bulldozer comes out so you can get something nice and still use the stuff you buy now.
August 18, 2011 3:09:33 PM

I think Ive decided what Im gonna do. First of Im gonna buy the following processor

AMD II X4 970

I replace my existing CPU and see how that runs with the 4890. Regardless of how that does Im gonna sell on the 4890 and 4850 a buy a card such as the 5870 or 6950. Whichever I can get a better deal on.

In the meantime I have a laptop to sell and when I move that I'll buy a new DDR3 mobo and some DDR3 ram.

I decided to go this route as its 3 years since I upgraded. Im by no means a hardcore gamer but I do like to have a decent PC.

Any thoughts concerns on this approach.

Any ideas on how to improve my plan?

Also without breaking the bank any suggestions for a good mobo. Im looking at this one

GA-880GM-UD2H retailing at £50

with at least 6GB of something like this:

Kingston HyperX Genesis 6GB (3x2GB) DDR3 PC3-12800C9 1600MHz Triple Channel

which is retailing at £50

Cheers
August 18, 2011 3:15:39 PM

step down to a 955 or 965, will be similar performance/same performance after overclocking and be quite a few dollars cheaper, leaps and bounds more powerful than what you got, but it does sound like a plan
go for a dual channel RAM kit (2x4GB) not a triple channel, that is aimed at intel i7 1366 sockets - i would say save some money and just get 4 GB,, but it really isn't much more to go with 8
August 18, 2011 5:54:56 PM

Buying a new motherboard and new ram is a complete waste unless you need it to support a CPU upgrade.
August 18, 2011 6:08:15 PM

^+1 agreed
August 18, 2011 7:11:31 PM

Well if i see great results from a new cpu and graphics card then i'll b happy to leave it at that.

However my current mobo supports ddr2. I have 4 1gb sticks of ram in there, id like to upgrage to 8gb overall but that would mean buying all new ram. Looking at the prices being bandied about for ddr2 id almost buy a new ddr3 mobo and 8gb of ddr3 ram for the price. So benksi and jjb do you have any suggestions?
August 18, 2011 7:20:53 PM

If you are adding ram then it's probably just as cheap to replace the motherboard and go with DDR3 since DDR2 has gotten so much more expensive, but in my experience there is no advantage to having more than 4gb of ram for gaming anyways. If your heart is set on 8gb then make the switch, but I don't think you will notice any difference.

August 18, 2011 7:32:03 PM

Guys he said he was running at 1360x768. His real limitation is the monitor, I bet the refresh rate on that thing is like 15+ ms. I know my Nvidia cards absolutley do not like anything less than 1920x1200 on my Asus 26inch.
Frankly i wouldn't waste any money on getting stuff for that mboard. I would spend about 300 and go for 1155 with a dual core sandy bridge, 8 gigs ram, and new mboard first, Then I would upgrade the monitor and lasty the vid card.
August 18, 2011 8:03:04 PM

I have a new LG 22" Led monitor that ill be using going forward so dont let the 40" affect anything.

I know a larger screen would affect gpu performance, but by switching to the 22" led do you think that the card will work better. This question is more out of interest really
August 18, 2011 8:35:35 PM

No, it won't work better from an FPS standpoint, although you might notice less input lag if the TV does indeed have a poor refresh rate.
August 18, 2011 8:50:32 PM

zarrensanders said:
Guys he said he was running at 1360x768. His real limitation is the monitor, I bet the refresh rate on that thing is like 15+ ms. I know my Nvidia cards absolutley do not like anything less than 1920x1200 on my Asus 26inch.
Frankly i wouldn't waste any money on getting stuff for that mboard. I would spend about 300 and go for 1155 with a dual core sandy bridge, 8 gigs ram, and new mboard first, Then I would upgrade the monitor and lasty the vid card.


Agreed. Don't waste money on interim products.

A great video card is good whatever you do. Just be certain that your psu supports it.
If you have no Nvidia/AMD bias, look for the best price among comparable cards.
5870/6950/GTX560ti/GTX470 are comparable.
6970/GTX570/GTX480 are comparable, are a tier faster.
For the best value, see if you can find a used one on e-bay from a reputable seller.

Today, it makes little sense to not consider sandy bridge of some type if you will be changing out the motherboard.

August 18, 2011 9:25:24 PM

Is sandy bridge not just for intel?

I dont know much about it really. Is everything gonna go that way?
August 19, 2011 4:04:32 PM

gazmatron said:
Is sandy bridge not just for intel?

I dont know much about it really. Is everything gonna go that way?


Sandy bridge is the name of the current Intel 32nm cpu line. It represents the latest sophistication in cpu architecture for Intel.
The next generation of cpu's will be called "ivy bridge" and will have the same architecture, but will be built on a 22nm base that should be faster cooler, and cheaper. Intel has a "tick tock" strategy which introduses an improved architecture one year, then introduces an improved manufacturing process the next.

AMD will introduce 32nm "bulldozer" supposedly in September. It is a new generation multi core architecture which many hope will be able to compete with Intel.
September 8, 2011 11:35:25 AM

Having a major problem

I bought a quad core phenom 965 black edition as stated above. I needed to update the Bios on my Gigabyte 'M750Sli-DS4' to F8 from F4 so that it can support the new AM3 chip.

So before I installed the new processor I went to the gigabyte website and downloaded the F* bios to a flash pen. Reset the machine and booted into the bios, went to the update bios option, selected the file, successfully updated the Bios and then the system prompted for a restart. This is when all the problems started. The PC did not actually restart, the light came on but there were no system noises like fan or hard drive and nothing on the screen. I didnt see what else I could do but restart the machine by pressing the button at the front. The light comes on, no system fans, the hard disk starts to work but stops immediately, then this happens over and over with no picture on the screen. So i did some investigation and discovered that if I remove the CMOS battery for a minute is should reset the bios. I did this and the PC started so I thought I was out of the woods. I checked the BIOS and it had indeed upgraded to F8. I reset the machine a few times and tweaked the BIOS but all sorts of strange things are happening. Sometimes the PC starts and lets out a continuous screech. I then booted to the bios and choose 'default fail save options' and rebooted. PC reboots but when I make any changes to the bios settings its wont work. I messed around with it for a while and seemed to get it to a stage where it would reboot successfully over and over.

However the nest day when I came back and turned it on I have the same problem again, hard disk starts and stops repeatedly but goes nowhere. So the upshot is everyday I turn the PC I have to remove the CMOS battery to get it to work. Even when it does work its unstable and I cant seem to change BIOS settings without it failing.

I did managed to get it working two nights ago. I had reset it many times and finally thought it was stable. So I installed the new CPU and played games, cruised the net and used the computer for a few hours. Turned it on again yesterday and Im back to square one, hard disk starts and stops, no picture on the screen and no system noises.

Also I tried to install the F8 bios again with no joy.

Please help!
!