Help to upgrade HD 4870 please.

I'm looking to upgrade my HD 4870 graphics card, not really sure what to buy, more importantly what my PSU can handle.

I'm running a PC with an ASUS M4A78 PRO so I don't think I can Crossfire another 4870 which would be the cheapest option. Only 1 PCIe slot as far as I can tell.

I have a Phenom II X4 955 cpu, will that affect the power req for a graphics upgrade?

my PSU I don't understand at all really. It says that it is 550W total power output but I'm not sure whether that is a) enough power for a HD 6870 for instance. Ebuyer has some at £126 or £145 that look ok. Or b) whether the CPU will suffer if i whack in a power hungry gpu.

Advice greatfully received.
22 answers Last reply
More about help upgrade 4870 please
  1. Hello & Welcome ?
    What PSU do you have ? could u link it ?
    If it's a quality branded PSU you'll be fine with up to HD 6950 and a little OC to your CPU.
  2. If you're already powering a 4870 then your PSU can also handle a 6870 which is nearly twice as fast. If you want to go nVidia you could go with a GTX 460 or 560 but the latter especially uses a little more power so it depends on the quality of your PSU.
  3. a 4870 puts out about the same workload as a 6770, seeing as it's the same card just rebadged.

    Your list of AMD cards from weakest to strongest to upgrade, in the newest series (6000) would be:
    6790 - $130 ($110 with rebate)
    6850 - $145 ($130 w/r)
    6870 - $160 ($140 w/r)
    6950(1gb) - $240 (-$10 cyber week, -$30 rebate = $200)
    6950(2gb) - $255 ($240 w/r)
    6970 - $350 ($320 w/r)
    6990(dual-gpu) - ($700 - Not recommended)

    Those are the AMD cards.
  4. @ MasterMace

    Umm... no. The 6770 is a rebadged 5770 which uses a little over half the power of a 4870 and has a smaller more efficient design though it does preform a little worse than a 4870 in DX10 games. The only thing that's the same between the 4870 and 6770 is the number of shaders and texture units though the 5770/6770 are a bit different since they are capable of DX11 and loose a little efficiency in DX10.
  5. ilysaml said:
    Hello & Welcome ?
    What PSU do you have ? could u link it ?
    If it's a quality branded PSU you'll be fine with up to HD 6950 and a little OC to your CPU.



    Hi, Thanks for the replies. I am new to the forum and new to upgrading so I apologise if I haven't given enough Info.

    The PSU is called HEC-550VP-2DE appears to be made by HEC.
  6. Does you PSU have 2 x 6 pin PCIE connectors ?
  7. Not sure what they look like to be honest. Is that the power supply cable for the graphics card?
  8. Exactly. Do you have 2 of it ?
  9. It looks like the 4870 has two six pin connectors going in to the back of it.
  10. So, what's your budget ? what's your gaming resolution ?
  11. the resolution was going to be my next question.
    I have a 22" Samsung syncmaster T220 the resolution is 1680 x 1050. I would like to upgrade the Graphics card as I have swopped over to PC for gaming as I think it is beter than the console experience for me.
    The framerate is bad on Skyrim and others that I have tried and I would like to see if there is an improvement with a better card. Plus I would like to try some of the mods, textures and things which my card does not seem to like.
  12. Sorry my budjet is approx £150
  13. I can't spell, or edit my posts. I think I need more help than even Tom's hardware can provide.

    I don't want to get a bigger monitor. The resolution is not an issue for me, the franerate and DX11 would be nice I think.
  14. T0N1C said:
    I can't spell, or edit my posts.


    Use the 'Quick Edit' function.
  15. Sorry I sound like an idiot,
    I tried that it opens an edit window with the post in it. I edit. It goes to a white screen and teels me that I am not allowed to edit this post and tells me to refresh.
  16. An HD 4870 should be able to run Skyrim at 1680x1050 very nicely. My GTX 275 can almost max the game at 1900x1200, which is a very similar performing card to the HD 4870.
  17. Warmacblu said:
    An HD 4870 should be able to run Skyrim at 1680x1050 very nicely. My GTX 275 can almost max the game at 1900x1200, which is a very similar performing card to the HD 4870.



    Hmmnn, I thought this might be the case. I wonder what is making the framerate drop. There is nothing running in the background that I can find. Is a new monitor really necessary if I get a new Graphics card. If it is I will keep the one I have and wait until I have enough money for both.
  18. No nonsense answer is a 6870. It's in your price range. It is a good upgrade and you will be able to power it with your current powersupply.
  19. T0N1C said:
    Hmmnn, I thought this might be the case. I wonder what is making the framerate drop. There is nothing running in the background that I can find. Is a new monitor really necessary if I get a new Graphics card. If it is I will keep the one I have and wait until I have enough money for both.


    You don't need a new monitor for a new graphics cards. In fact, your monitor is a perfect match for an HD 4870. Your low framerate issue is another story, make sure all of your drivers are up to date, run a defrag and clean up your registry with CCleaner. Also, please list your entire system specs, maybe another component is the issue.
  20. @ Tonic
    £160 can get you a HD 6950 which will max out most of the current games, also a HD 6870 is great at your monitor resolution but i prefer the HD 6950 for the best gaming performance.

    Skyrim is a CPU demanding game, it depends mostly on CPU, to get a constant 60 FPS you need to push your CPU a little bit harder (3.8-3.9 GHz) then you're good to go.

    Regarding the PSU, it should handle the GPU and CPU just fine but i would suggest you to get a quality branded 600W PSU.
  21. Thanks very much for the advice I am very tempted to upgrade to a 6870, even though it is not top of the pile at the moment it would give my machine a longer life span for me. My motherboard was not a great choice for upgrading but next time....

    PC spec

    OS MS Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit SP1

    CPU AMD Phenom II X4 955

    RAM Samsung 8.0GB Dual-Channel DDR2 @ 401MHz (6-6-6-18)

    Motherboard ASUSTeK Computer INC. M4A78 PRO (AM2)

    Graphics Samsung SyncMaster Monitor (1680x1050@60Hz)
    ATI Radeon HD 4870 Series (ATI AIB)

    Hard Drive 977GB SAMSUNG HD103SJ ATA Device (SATA)

    I use the CCleaner to get rid of uneeded files etc, but am wary of the registry cleaner. I have probably got the settings and mods from Skyrim up too high so the framerate slows down sometimes. I also might be looking for an excuse to upgrade my card to see if I can do it.
    I will tell you how I get on.

    Many thanks from the uninitiated.
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