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Help to upgrade HD 4870 please.

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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November 27, 2011 4:31:19 PM

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.

More about : upgrade 4870

a c 143 U Graphics card
November 27, 2011 4:53:53 PM

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.
a c 106 U Graphics card
November 27, 2011 5:07:00 PM

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.
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November 27, 2011 5:20:41 PM

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.
a c 106 U Graphics card
November 27, 2011 5:29:45 PM

@ 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.
November 27, 2011 6:23:47 PM

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.
a c 143 U Graphics card
November 27, 2011 6:49:48 PM

Does you PSU have 2 x 6 pin PCIE connectors ?
November 27, 2011 7:13:07 PM

Not sure what they look like to be honest. Is that the power supply cable for the graphics card?
a c 143 U Graphics card
November 27, 2011 7:14:16 PM

Exactly. Do you have 2 of it ?
November 27, 2011 7:14:42 PM

It looks like the 4870 has two six pin connectors going in to the back of it.
a c 143 U Graphics card
November 27, 2011 7:19:46 PM

So, what's your budget ? what's your gaming resolution ?
November 27, 2011 7:29:58 PM

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.
November 27, 2011 7:30:31 PM

Sorry my budjet is approx £150
November 27, 2011 7:34:42 PM

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.
a c 271 U Graphics card
November 27, 2011 7:40:19 PM

T0N1C said:
I can't spell, or edit my posts.


Use the 'Quick Edit' function.
November 27, 2011 7:43:07 PM

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.
November 27, 2011 7:43:50 PM

Doh
a b U Graphics card
November 27, 2011 7:44:38 PM

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.
November 27, 2011 7:49:44 PM

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.
a b U Graphics card
November 27, 2011 7:54:06 PM

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.
a b U Graphics card
November 27, 2011 7:59:41 PM

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.
a c 143 U Graphics card
November 27, 2011 8:34:49 PM

@ 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.
November 28, 2011 1:39:43 PM

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.
!