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  #141 (permalink)  
Old September 26, 2008, 07:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian View Post
Is the 1GB 4870 much the same as the GTX 280 in terms of performance?

If it is, I'll scrap the 2x 4850s and go for the single 1GB 4870.
I don't think so.

Have a look through some of Tom's Hardware vid card charts, you can compare specific cards using specific game benchmarks.

The larger frame buffer helps some things, but it is still a 4870 vs a GTX280, no contest.

I am far from a vid card expert, so maybe someone can confirm this with the 1GB version of the 4870. Most cards I see that have double the memory of it's regular brethren, usually uses DDR ram one step back from the latest. In other words, does the 4870 1GB verson use DDR4 or DDR3 ram? Or is it still DDR5?

One more thing to consider. Even the fastest vid cards in the fastest machines will struggle with Crysis at high settings and very high resolutions. It brings them to their knees! As soon as you tone down the res, AA and AF, things start to smooth out. With a larger LCD, you won't need so much AA to get a great image, the staircase jaggy effect is minimalized by higher resolutions.

The display is the most used part of the system, you stare at it 100x more than any other part of your computer. It's not something I like to skimp on. Even though I only have a regular 19" 1280x1024, it was pretty nice when I first got it and have had it for a long time. I have a 21" CRT that does 1600x1200 at 85hz refresh, and do I use it for gaming? No, it's too damn big for my desk after living with a nice LCD that takes up no space and isn't a furnace in the summer. I use the CRT for benchmarks only.

I'd like to replace my 19" with a 24" wide screen, but lol, that'll be after two new cases and a quad core cpu. I am sure there was other stuff too.

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  #142 (permalink)  
Old September 26, 2008, 08:10 AM
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I'd agree with that which is why I'm slightly hesitant to recommend 4870cf outright. If Brian can get that 2nd card with price drops before christmas all the better. As for the 1gb 4870 vs 512 its not worth it, you'll only see gains in a 30inch monitor with a few games.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lithotech View Post
I remember a fairly wise statement: if you start with one card, and plan to add a second, you should do so within 6 months of buying the first one. Otherwise, swapping the old card out with a newer single card will net more performance than the two older ones, and usually costs less.
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So really its 4870 512 vs GTX280-- the $120 difference or so could be injected into another 4870 down the road. If your really ready to drop a large amount then the 4870X2 is the best overall card but its a lot to spend in one go.

I have a feeling Brian wants that GTX280 though, go with a heavily oc'd EVGA one with the step up program and you'll be very happy.
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  #143 (permalink)  
Old September 26, 2008, 08:18 AM
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Sorry magic, still no point, he will end up spending another $80 moer to get a more heavily oced one, rather stay with a 4870 CF which really blows at the moment, it also beats a 4870x2 if you agree, making it one of the most powerful setup right now. Off course a GTX 280 SLI would be a good one, but you need an SLI capable board, and I would never ver suggest anybody to go towards them, rather dump that idea, and it will also cost you an arm and a leg. Same with a 4870x2 Crosfire X, cost you an arm and a leg, and to fully utilize that you'll need something larger than a 30" monitor.

So the best setup right now would be a 22" or 24" monitor with a one 4870 512mb card, and 1 or 2 months down the road get another one.
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  #144 (permalink)  
Old September 26, 2008, 09:05 AM
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NCIX has a 621mhz for sale 419 with $40 rebate, by the time you pay the extra tax on that and shipping its does seem a little expensive. If it can OC well which is not guaranteed then that would make it a better choice. The FTW 280 is crazy money.

Overall I agree with Miggs, just go with a 4870 and get another later, but its good to carefully look at the options when your spending this kind of money.

Quote:
Originally Posted by miggs78 View Post
Sorry magic, still no point, he will end up spending another $80 moer to get a more heavily oced one, rather stay with a 4870 CF which really blows at the moment, it also beats a 4870x2 if you agree, making it one of the most powerful setup right now. Off course a GTX 280 SLI would be a good one, but you need an SLI capable board, and I would never ver suggest anybody to go towards them, rather dump that idea, and it will also cost you an arm and a leg. Same with a 4870x2 Crosfire X, cost you an arm and a leg, and to fully utilize that you'll need something larger than a 30" monitor.

So the best setup right now would be a 22" or 24" monitor with a one 4870 512mb card, and 1 or 2 months down the road get another one.
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  #145 (permalink)  
Old September 26, 2008, 09:15 AM
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Alright so back to my original need/want for the card.
On a 24" monitor will a single 512MB 4870 card be able to run the new games (FarCry 2, Call of Duty: World at War (Built on the same engine as CoD4) and games of such nature) at full settings, full res, with a good frame rate, without any lag or anything that would cause the game to run anything but flawlessly?
Don't take into account Crysis because the game doesn't appeal to me at all and I have no real desire to play it. I'm a WWII buff that despises modern warfare, so that's mostly what I'll be playing. I've been hard into all the Call of Duty games since the original in 2001, but still refuse to purchase or play Call of Duty 4 because it's a modern warfare game.

The only reason I keep putting up a fight is because I don't want lag or low frame rates and I'm tired of running at low res and not being able to use high settings so that's the reason I'm looking for a card that can do it, without any problems whatsoever.

People on here have been saying all along and all over the net that it's tough to get full settings and a good frame rate out of this card without any lag. I hate to be blunt but if the 4870 can't run things on high then I don't want anything to do with it. The GTX 280 still outperforms the single 4870 and that has me concerned. (I don't really want to go with the GTX 280 much anymore after all this discussion about ATI cards lol.)

I don't want to sound greedy but I'm just tired of not being able to run games like I want to, so I'm splurging and spending over $2000 on a system. I don't want to video card to be subpar to the rest of the system. Now I don't care if I have to spend a little bit more or have to drop to a 22" monitor, I just want to play games at full.

Also it seems games these days are being more so optimized for nVIDIA hardware, which also makes me a bit hesitant on purchasing something else. I know I would have to upgrade the board later on, but if that's what would be better in the long run...well then I don't know.
Don't get me wrong, I don't have my heart set on either brand quite yet.

Thank you to everyone for your explanations it really lets me know what is the better deal for things, but I want to make sure the card I get is a card that can do high res full graphics.

Last edited by Brian; September 26, 2008 at 09:26 AM.
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  #146 (permalink)  
Old September 26, 2008, 10:42 AM
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Well Nvidia pays good money to those company's for putting that Nvidia start screen or to advertise plays best on Nvidia...but it's like Dell saying runs best on or we reccomend Vista business....its fluff dont worry ATI will play them just as well. Considering you have chosen a solid board that supports X-Fire I would stay the ATI path if your concern is not being able to play all your games at high and you want the expandability to add another card in the future get a 4870x2 there only $529 right now and there is no single card on the market that can handle high res and full eye candy like the X2. If it's a choice beetween the 280 which averages $450 - $500 the X2 is a small jump in price for a serious improvement in high res performance. And this would allow you to expand to another one in the future if there happens to be some crazy game that would require a second one for solid frame rate. Considering you are a war buff COD has great multi GPU support built in and it is becoming more and more common the X2 would do nicely with these. However with all that said the 4870 plain Jane is nothing to scoff at it has serious power infact all the cards over $250 these days offer serious power and will run the current gen of games very very well (excludeing CRYSIS which is just bad programming that holds it back anyway) My only thing is if you are looking to CF your 4870 cards in the near future get the X2 instead for cheaper or get the 4850 CF right off the bat. either way fear not the current gen cards all kick ass.
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  #147 (permalink)  
Old September 26, 2008, 10:48 AM
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Wow...looking at all the replies to your initial Post with your initial specs on your build, I'm sure your poor head must really be spinning..hahaha!
Anyhow, you're initial specs were fine (provided you go with a Single GTX 280).
As for the 780i NForce Chipset I've been running mine for well over 8 months and never have had an issue, they make OC'ing as simple as "ABC"!!!
As for a 24" monitor, running 1920 x 1200 native Res., that single 280 will be perfect! Think about it, Crysis is a very demanding game, and thier really are none like it...BUT, thats the Generation of games we'll see in the future, guarenteed. Wonder how Far Cry 2 will be suited for lower end Cards on high end Res...
Your initial build is great, go with it and enjoy it....
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  #148 (permalink)  
Old September 26, 2008, 02:19 PM
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The only game that likely slows one 4870 down is Crysis on very high or high with massive amounts of AA etc-no single card except the 4870X2 can take that. A few people here have run Crysis at 1920*200 on high with 1 4870 without any complaints. The slowdowns (min frames) seemed to be more driver based as the earlier drivers werent that well optimised for this game. The new drivers have improved its performance again and I've not heard of any issues, overclocked they yield even more gains. just be sure to run the cpu at around a min 3.2 or youll bottleneck the card in crysis. I'd like to see some bench results with Crysis warhead as this is likely a great indicator of how well the 512 cards or any cards will hold up in the future. Two of them are brutal. Anyway just flip a coin
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  #149 (permalink)  
Old September 26, 2008, 02:31 PM
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Yup as Magic said, you will only see lags on massively high resolutions, and that wouldn't be an issue for you since you'll need something larger than even a 24" monitor.

At the moment, Crysis is the only game I know that takes graphics card to the test really, you can use that game as a benchmark utility, a heavy benchmark utility.

Brian go buy that card, or I am coming to beat you up now :P
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  #150 (permalink)  
Old September 26, 2008, 02:52 PM
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I gotta say these have been some seriously long post on this thread....it takes a little more effort then usual to read through and respond....The trick is Brian no matter what you go with no matter who you choose to listen to you will end up with an awesome system that won't let you down....everybody has made solid recommendations as as you probably noticed the discussions end up in circles...that generally happens when a bunch of tech savy folks with there own experiences and opinions try to come up with a solution you kind of have to listen to it all and press it through a filter to get what you think is best in the end. I reccomend you pick a final build post it up and if it sucks we will say so but if it rocks...it rocks and many will reassure you of it....If anything the danger of this forum is that everyone tries so hard to convince you to get the best that you end up with a $3000 instead of the $1500 you budgeted.....it's crazy because it's the effectivness that electronics store only wish they had.....and were not on any commission......hmmm now that would be an idea....NVM
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