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Buying Radeon HD 4870 X2 in 2012

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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July 20, 2012 7:17:33 AM

Hi guys, I'm new to this website and I made an account simply to find an answer to a question that I can't find anywhere else on the web. So, I'm simply asking would it be worth it to purchase a couple of these cards, and crossfire them? I currently have a XFX Radeon HD 6870 Black Edition. I wanted to crossfire that card, but seeing as the Black Edition cards are no longer being made and I cannot find any on the web, I started looking for an alternative solution. The 4870 X2's are a steal. they are $150 CAD a piece, :)  and using gpureview.com to compare them to newer cards, they hold up quite well and seem to be unrivalled when crossfired and overclocked. :D  Not having DX 11 is not a big deal for me, I can handle DX 10.1 just fine, ;)  I have all of the right system specs, (supported mobo, psu, big enough case etc...) Also, as I have looked at some benchmarks and game recordings, it looks like the card runs Battlefield 3 on ultra, CoD MW 3 on ultra, and Dirt 3 on high. Doubling the cards I can only think would increase even more. I have a single monitor, (1920x1080) That is full HD now adays anyway, so I think i'll be good to go.
Thanks!! :kaola: 
Tanner
July 20, 2012 7:32:19 AM

Well first off unless they have changed things recently you don't need a second exact same card to crossfire. You just need the same family of card so for instance a 4850 would crossfire with a 4870. Basically as long as the first 2 numbers are the same it should work.

Like so http://game.amd.com/us-en/content/images/crossfirex/CF_...

Secondly I would not get a X2 that is that old, a card 3 generations old is not going to get the best support driver wise.

Mactronix :) 
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July 20, 2012 7:43:16 AM

It must be the same chip, different manufacturer yes but it must be the same chip in order to crossfire 'em....You can only crossfire cards where their families are the same like a 5870 and a 5850 or a 4890 and a 4850.....
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July 20, 2012 8:18:40 AM

Thanks! So, having one 6870 Black Edition crossfired with one that isn't won't have any issues? And, I still don't know about the 4870x2's... The benchmarks are crazy. I heard the catalyst driver 10.2 is the most stable. Is is worth it for the money?
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July 20, 2012 8:24:54 AM

Just get a 6870 with a good cooling solution. If you want, you can overclock it to match your black edition 6870 - the only difference with the black edition is it's overclocked out of the box.

It would be cheaper than buying two 4870s, and provide better performance.
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July 20, 2012 8:31:39 AM

Okay, I'll do that. I have a NZXT Tempest "airflow king" Can I just keep stock coolers on the cards, and not have to worry about cooling issues? I've never had the Black Edition go over 80 degrees, and it's always been stable.
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July 20, 2012 8:36:39 AM

Sakkura said:
Just get a 6870 with a good cooling solution. If you want, you can overclock it to match your black edition 6870 - the only difference with the black edition is it's overclocked out of the box.

It would be cheaper than buying two 4870s, and provide better performance.


They are 4870x2's though. The Dual GPU cards :kaola: 
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July 20, 2012 8:40:45 AM

You should be fine with cooling. Your temps will go up a little as obviously 2 cards in close proximity will mean more heat and less airflow for the cards. Just keep an eye on things for a while. You would do well to put the card with the better cooling (if there is one) at the top as the top card will receive the rising hotter air from the lower card. I don't know the case myself but with the temps you say (80c) it must be pretty good at cooling.

Mactronix :) 
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July 20, 2012 8:57:13 AM

armadaskier4123 said:
They are 4870x2's though. The Dual GPU cards :kaola: 

Ah, thought you were talking about crossfiring them. The 6870 will cost a little more then, but still better performance.
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July 20, 2012 9:18:04 AM

wouldn't waste my money on a 4870x2. cross firing them wouldn't do much to help and may even hinder performance.

you have a 6870 ?........... better card and different card. one similar to yours might show up. been to xfx's site lately ?

don't be swayed by benchmarks. there's no way the x2 can compete with the 6870. people post fps numbers as if it's gospel without taking in consideration other aspects of performance.
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July 20, 2012 1:31:30 PM

hey why dont you try searching for any hd 6870
itll work in cfx with your card...
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July 20, 2012 5:33:25 PM

Thanks a lot guys, I really appreciate it. I'll just go for another 6870.
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July 20, 2012 5:37:53 PM

mactronix said:
You should be fine with cooling. Your temps will go up a little as obviously 2 cards in close proximity will mean more heat and less airflow for the cards. Just keep an eye on things for a while. You would do well to put the card with the better cooling (if there is one) at the top as the top card will receive the rising hotter air from the lower card. I don't know the case myself but with the temps you say (80c) it must be pretty good at cooling.

Mactronix :) 


It's an enthusiast mid-tower, so a cross between mid and full tower, but it still supports E-ATX. It's got 2 front 140mm fans, two top 140mm fans, one side 120mm fan, and one back 120mm fan.
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July 20, 2012 6:38:12 PM

2 6870's in Crossfire will beat a 4870X2, hands down. And you'll have directX 11 support.
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July 20, 2012 6:56:40 PM

stant1rm said:
2 6870's in Crossfire will beat a 4870X2, hands down. And you'll have directX 11 support.

+1 ^

That's an excellent point to make. The 2 4870X2's in crossfire would definitely be a beast but the 6870s will give you better performance, less heat, and PLUS DX11 for the newer and upcoming games.
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July 20, 2012 7:17:58 PM

I'm going to go ahead and second all that has already been said. I had a 4870X2 coupled with a 4870 for a few months. Let me tell, you A) 4870X2 generates a MASSIVE amount of heat, and consequently is rather loud while trying to cool itself, B) DX11 IS important and you will notice its absence in some games. DX11 often offers improved performance as well. I'd stick with your 6870, otherwise you'll be kicking yourself after not too long when you encounter the frustration that is the 1GB frame buffer and two radial fans spinning at over 5000 RPM. I'll admit, it's a really cool idea, but it's just that. Cool. Not practical. I mean, don't get me wrong, when I build a 'Guest' computer or another cruncher in the coming months, I am definitely going to try to find a way to reuse my 4870X2 and 2 4870s.

P.S. Oh, yeah, and another thing to consider is idle heat and power consumption, the 4870's don't spin down worth a damn, hovering @ 507Mhz and generating a significant amount of heat.
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July 21, 2012 1:14:46 AM

Thanks guys, I really appreciate the support and persuasion. Heat and power are not an issue for me because of my case, and Corsair TX850W power supply, but the noise would drive me insane. In the long run, DX 11 is going to be a must have for future coming games, i'm searching around for the best deals on 6870's. Again, thanks a lot. You guys have been loads of help. :) 
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October 6, 2012 6:13:01 AM

Sorry to post on an old thread but these people who are "advising" you are idiots. It's obvious not a single one of them knows anything about electronics or actual specs or they would have posted specifics to back up their claims. The HD 4870 X2 is an awesome card and holds up perfectly to the other cards, even their precious 6870. Check the specs on each card and tell me if you can see one bit of difference between the two? Oh wait it supports DX11.... and for 10 points does anyone out there know exactly what changed in DX11? Anybody? Armadaskier, I don't mean to be rude but I'm so sick and tired of these companies worldwide pushing out brand new products with a nice shiny label on it and people go nuts thinking it's the latest and the greatest without a clue why. I follow the electronics world very close and you know how much advancement has been made in terms of memory graphics (GDDR5) and core clocking? Not much. Few things but nothing to write home about. The only thing one guy said that I would agree with is heat dissapation. The newer models are a little better at heat because they can perform with lower wattage to their cores. Other than that, I'd be shocked if you actually saw any difference whatsoever with the 6870 and the 4870 X2.

Cheers.
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