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Old March 17, 2009, 06:59 AM
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Question HD 4870 1GB vs HD 4850 x2 2GB

Hi everyone,

This may seems obvious, but let me explain myself.

I'm currently gaming on a HD 4850 512MB, E8400, 4GB DDR2, EP45-DS3L, 24" 1920x1200. The 4850 is just not powerful enough for my needs (I do play a lot of GTA IV these days). So I'm thinking about upgrading :)

Should I;

1. get a 4870 1GB and later, let's say in a year or two, get a x58 mobo with a core i7. The actual cost would be around $150 considering the resale value of my 4850.

2. get a 4850 x2 2GB so it's enough for now and probably for some years. The cost would be around $300, including a TX750w.

I haven't considered CFed my 4850 because the cost of a new x48 mobo would be expensier than the 4850 x2 for no more performance.

Thanks guys for you inputs.
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Old March 17, 2009, 07:01 AM
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4870 1gb is not quite enough for GTA4 @ 1920x1200. So very close though...
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Old March 17, 2009, 08:28 AM
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Several factors you should consider.

1. New cards are supposedly being launched in a month or so.
2. Acoustic levels
3. Enough room in the case
4. Driver support
5. Price cuts


1) I know it is supposedly just a higher clocked 4870, but still an option right?
2) I now own a 4870x2, and this thing can be utilized as a leaf blower
GPU @ 65C Idle is running with fan speeds of 30%.
Single most loudest component in my rig.
The 4850x2 is suppose to sound worse (louder and sometimes high pitched noises)
3) 4850x2 is also longer than a 4870x2. It is approximately 28cm or 11in long.
4) Driver support for dual gpu single pcb cards aren't that good (in both nvidia and ATi camps)
Nonetheless, drivers seem to be updated well enough for more popular games/apps.
5) Another waiting factor you should consider. Price cuts were suppose to be affected
some time ago, but ATi's AIB partners aren't budging on the 4870 prices.
Most likely when the 4890 hits, there should be somewhat of a price decline.
Heck, Nvidia's price cuts which was announced weeks after ATi's announcment was
inacted last week; so ATi and its partners should follow (hopefully )


When all is said and done, personally, if you can afford it, I would go with
the 4850x2, just for the "I have a crazy arse graphics card" factor
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Watercooled by:
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Old March 17, 2009, 03:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AERo View Post
Several factors you should consider.

1. New cards are supposedly being launched in a month or so.
2. Acoustic levels
3. Enough room in the case
4. Driver support
5. Price cuts


1) I know it is supposedly just a higher clocked 4870, but still an option right?
2) I now own a 4870x2, and this thing can be utilized as a leaf blower
GPU @ 65C Idle is running with fan speeds of 30%.
Single most loudest component in my rig.
The 4850x2 is suppose to sound worse (louder and sometimes high pitched noises)
3) 4850x2 is also longer than a 4870x2. It is approximately 28cm or 11in long.
4) Driver support for dual gpu single pcb cards aren't that good (in both nvidia and ATi camps)
Nonetheless, drivers seem to be updated well enough for more popular games/apps.
5) Another waiting factor you should consider. Price cuts were suppose to be affected
some time ago, but ATi's AIB partners aren't budging on the 4870 prices.
Most likely when the 4890 hits, there should be somewhat of a price decline.
Heck, Nvidia's price cuts which was announced weeks after ATi's announcment was
inacted last week; so ATi and its partners should follow (hopefully )


When all is said and done, personally, if you can afford it, I would go with
the 4850x2, just for the "I have a crazy arse graphics card" factor
Aero I owe you one, thanks for posting that the 4850 x2 is actually 11inches long cause... it won't fit my antec 300 case... The 4870x2 will fit very tight.

The 4850x2 option is out.

What's left?

1. 4870 1gb (but it isn't powerful enough to be "mid-term proof")

2. 4890, wich is basically an OCed 4870

3. 4850 CF way to much expensive for the perf (cause of change of mobo)

4. 4870x2 $50 more than the 4850 CF and more powerful

Damn, i think I'll go for the almighty 4870x2
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Old March 17, 2009, 10:45 PM
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Good choice, but I've been hearing lots about the way GTA IV is CPU intensive. Many claim it's almost always the CPU that's the bottleneck in that game. Not sure if that's an accurate statement or not...

Meh, I have a Phenom II 940BE and a 4870x2 and I get 65 average with cranked settings, so I'm satisfied. There's never any choppiness in the game, although the frames do dip a bit during certain scenes.
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Old March 18, 2009, 08:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bomberman07 View Post
Aero I owe you one, thanks for posting that the 4850 x2 is actually 11inches long cause... it won't fit my antec 300 case... The 4870x2 will fit very tight.

The 4850x2 option is out.

What's left?

1. 4870 1gb (but it isn't powerful enough to be "mid-term proof")

2. 4890, wich is basically an OCed 4870

3. 4850 CF way to much expensive for the perf (cause of change of mobo)

4. 4870x2 $50 more than the 4850 CF and more powerful

Damn, i think I'll go for the almighty 4870x2

I should have been even more specific / thorough.

The 4870x2 is only half inch or so shorter than the 4850x2.
4870x2 Length: 26.7cm or ~10.5 in
4850x2 Length: 28.5cm or ~11.3 in

You need a clearance of 27cm in length, in the area in
which the card will be put in. (if not 27cm, it'll be hard not
to scartch the PCB while grinding it against the case innerds
trying to fit it into the PCI-Express slot)
For the 4850x2, you'll need almost 29cm in length of space.


You might want to dremmel / cut the mid section of the 3.5
drive cage that expands the entire height of the Antec 300 case.

That way, you will be able to have room for longer cards, and
you can dedicate the area behind the card with a 120mm intake
fan for soley helping to cool the graphics card.


I personally would:
  • Measure the dimensions of the case and the components in question "thoroughly" and note it down / analyze compatibility.
  • Read briefly on case modding (so if you decide to mod, at least you are basically educated)
  • Find out if friends, relatives or neighbours can lend you necessary tools/dremmel tool (personally, I don't own a dremmel, I just leech of my friend who's a contractor or my neighbour )

And while contemplate the above options, check in with retailers/etailers for
price drops, new products, etc.
Hopefully, by the time you are done deciding what to do and taking the necessary
steps, the 4890 would be released and the price cuts in full effect.
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Samsung 240T, 226BW
Logitech G15, Microsoft X8

Watercooled by:
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Old March 18, 2009, 11:32 AM
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Your cpu is a bit weak for GTA4. GTA4 loves triple/quad cores up near 4Ghz. I went from 30 to 45 fps by upgrading my CPU only (mind you I was very bottlenecked before)
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Old March 18, 2009, 11:49 AM
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4850x2 is worth it IMHO. It's an extremely rare product and will likely not get as much driver support from ATI as needed. Go with what others have said.
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Old March 18, 2009, 03:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AERo View Post
I should have been even more specific / thorough.
You've been specific enough. When you said that the 4850x2 was 11" long, I did double check it. Then I checked the lenght of my 4850 and the availlable space into my case to find that the maximum lenght card I can put is 10.5". I'm also willing to mod my case. (If not for the card, it's gonna be for future WC)

Quote:
Originally Posted by vinister View Post
Your cpu is a bit weak for GTA4. GTA4 loves triple/quad cores up near 4Ghz. I went from 30 to 45 fps by upgrading my CPU only (mind you I was very bottlenecked before)
Yeah I know my cpu is bottleneck for this game, but right now, my 4850 is even more bottlenecking the game, it has only 512mb and GTA wants more, always more :P My E8400 is running at 4.15ghz right now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bojangles View Post
4850x2 is worth it IMHO. It's an extremely rare product and will likely not get as much driver support from ATI as needed. Go with what others have said.
Good point, never thinked about that, driver & support.
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Old March 22, 2009, 10:14 PM
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IMHO I'd wait till the reviews for the 4890 are in.

I mean ATi has recently been launching some good stuff and not like Nvidia which is essentially just re-badging stuff.
That way I could see all the cards from Ati before making a decision.
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