OK, so, if you have multi-gpu 3870, 4870 will seem like...I dunno...DIFFERENT. It's as fast as 3870x2, and then some, depending on app, and a single card will result in a much smoother graphical appearance for your 3d games. I was shocked, to be honest, that the card was so good in comparison...I even mentioned this in one of the Palit 4780 threads.
When it comes to 1680x1050, even 2900XT is enough for most games. 3870 is a bit hamstrung due to it's mem bus in comparison. The Palit 4870 I had went into a rig w/ 22-inch monitor(1860x1050), and I spoke just in the past few days to the gentleman that bought the rig, and he was quite happy with it, even with the noise the card produced(which I couldn't handle myself).
You say your brian hurts, but even so, it seems to be working fine by your post.. Itihnk you got the story straight already. I'd recommend the 1GB as well, myself though, and the 4870x2 for some future-proofing(even 2900XT has some features unused yet).
My 3870X2 and 3870 in CFX gets the same frame rates as the GTX 260 core 216 with the same settings in Crysis Warhead in my system. I played the same level tonight on my buddies rig and it gets about 10fps more then mine with the GTX 260 core 216 and he has an OC'd Intel Q6600 at 3.2GHz. But like I said the GTX 260 seems a lot smoother then the 3870's in my rig, so if the 4870 1Gb is better and only taking up one slot instead of two, and allow me to buy a quad instead of a 4870X2, then I'm all for it.
BTW, I have buyers on my local forum interested in both cards so it looks like I'm almost good to go!
Ok. Here's my list of benchmark runs from my first 3870 onward. All 3DMark scores listed were done with the same setup I have in my sig.
3870 = 06 - 9496, Vantage - 4510
2 x 3870's = 06 - 12500, Vantage - 7025
3870 + 3870X2 = 06 - 12588, Vantage - 7754
4870 = 06 - 11777, Vantage - 7216
Gaming with the 4870 is better then the 3870+3870X2 setup, hands down! I don't have any "official" numbers to prove that but in general, fps in Warhead are roughly the same or more and it's by far a smoother frame rate. The frame rates produced by the 4870 are also more consistent through out the game then the three 3870 gpus can crank out. From the little bit I've tried so far, I can play with a res of 1680x1050 all enthusiast settings no problem. On extreme occasions in the first level on the beach the frames dropped to 15ish but it was bareable for the little time is was because of the smoother nature of a single gpu. Normally the fps didn't drop below 25 and averaged around 32 or so.
I'm running the card with an overclock of 840Mhz on the core. I had the ram oc'd but it didn't seem to make a difference, and anything over 1000Mhz wasn't really stable and artifact free. So I'm leaving the ram at the stock speed of 900Mhz (3600Mhz effective).
glad everything worked out for ya :). Ya I reached the max core overclock in CCC with that card but on crysis I could not do a max overclock of the mem but in some other games I could. Well looks like you can play Crysis Warhead at very good settings!
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