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Old June 7, 2009, 11:50 PM
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Default 4870 X2 or 4890 or 5870 X2

I am looking into building a new rig and can't seem to tell witch vid cards to buy.
I was thinking of this board MSI 790FX-GD70 with a AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition.
The system will be in crossfire.

But here is my problem:
The 4870 X2 has 2GB of ram and 2 cores but slower
Core and Memory Clock timings then the 4890
The 4890 has faster timings but only 1GB of ram and 1 core
The 5870 X2 should have 2GB and a Core of some were from 800MHz to 950MHz (kind of like the best of the fist two cards mushed together)

Here is a site with a little detail of the new cards


So here is my question:
What is best for the most powerful crossfire setup ?
One or two cpus of the vid-card?
More ram (2GBs) is always better on the card right ?

I know the 5K and 49xx series cards are not out yet, but I can wait for them.
Does any one have more detail on them ?

And just to let you know, money is not an issue, so don't start to tell me about a better deal, all I want is power
And I am a going with AMD and ATI so don't tell me about how intel is so much better and so on.

Hope I came across as some what understandable
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Old June 8, 2009, 12:12 AM
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Man, honestly it's hard to speculate about future tech because no one is ever sure exactly what the specs are 'till they are released. To answer your questions:

- 5870X2 in CF will rape. Absolute R-A-P-E, if the 4870X2 is anything to go by, which it is. Especially if money isn't a concern, 5870X2 CF. Hands motherf***ing down. Fo for that if what you're after is power. Why not buy yourself a 30" or greater?

- I think you mean GPU. =D. Two GPU's is always, Always, ALWAYS better than one, although the more you add the less the gain in performance/extra gpu is. But meh. If you got 2 GPU's on 1 PCB, and 4 on 2 cards, that just screams R-A-P-E, if the 4870X2 is anything to go by, which it is.

- More RAM is generally better but only on higher-end cards (much like what you're going to buy). More RAM means more math that the video card can store for processing nanoseconds later. This means higher FPS at higher-resolutions and higher-AA settings. Hell, AF too. If you got 2 5870X2's in CF, you got 4GB right there, that's lots of AA and stuff. That just screams R-A-P-E, if the 4870X2 is anything to go by, which it is.
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Old June 8, 2009, 01:44 AM
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That artical was posted in Febuary.. ati cards wont be out untill q4

just get 4890 CF
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Old June 8, 2009, 03:57 AM
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Referring the the OP. Keep in mind that each 1GB of ram is dedicated for each of two cores. Just like regular CF. If I add another 1 GB HD 4890 to the one I already have I will have two GB's of GDDR ram. However it is effectively only 1 GB of ram.

It's just the way it works. If you want 2GB's of ram you will need to have 2GB's feeding each core. In the X2's case that would mean 4GB's of ram.
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Old June 8, 2009, 04:40 AM
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I don't buy that link. It said Dx 10.1 instead of 11, wouldn't make sense for Ati to release 10.1 cards after nvidia releases dx11 cards in q3(supposedly)
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Old June 8, 2009, 05:56 AM
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Ram isn't really an issue as the ATI cards up to full native 30' resolution don't need more than 1GB of video ram in general. Even 1GB is overkill on some cards. What you have to look at is the speed and type of the ram on your video card. Obviously GDDR5 at 950MHz (3.9Gbps) like the RV790 (i.e. 4890) is extremely fast. Alongside the 256-bit memory interface you really don't need more than 1GB of video ram; just like the new AMD AM3 processors that don't need more than 4GB for all needs, other than video editing, CAD etc. The added throughput and higher clock speed of DDR3 over DDR2 allows you to use less ram. Even 2GB of DDR3 will play almost all games no prob. Ram on video cards work the same way.

If you can I'd wait a bit before buying a new card.

If not buy two 4890s, although the 4890X2 will be the way to go (http://www.tomshardware.com/news/amd...hics,7531.html) and it's supposed to launch soon so...

Generally two 1GB 4870s in CrossfireX are on par with a 4870X2. In fact they run cooler than the single X2 keeping your ambient case temperatures around. The 4890 is built on 55nm architecture (that's the RV790 specs); the 4770 is based on the 40nm RV740 chip. In percentage terms you will have more overclock headroom on the 4770 than the 4890s and 4870s. As the 4770 was just launched, the next range of ATI cards will probably also utilise 40nm architecture. In fact two Crossfired 4770s (512MB) outperform a single 4890 (1GB) (http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/...fire,2288.html) proving the 40nm architecture is the way to go.

In terms of the debate between, for instance, a single 4870X2 2GB vs two Crossfired 4870s 1GB they are on par in terms of everything really: power utilisation, performance etc. (ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2 Performance Preview and Pair of 4870s VS single 4870X2). As money is not an issue for you then the 4870X2 is the way to go. I have to mention though that the Sapphire HD4870X2 is really cheap at the moment so you can get two for about US$150 more than a single of the other brands. Two 4870X2s would be insane! Although I remember reading somewhere that 4 4870s Crossfired can keep up with 2 4870X2s at anything on or below 1680 x 1050 resolution so...2 4890 Crossfired have the same issue at higher resolutions as 2 4870s.

The 4870X2 however has some link between the two memory chips and I think processors that can be activated via software, i.e. Catalyst drivers. However ATI hasn't yet released these. Basically it will allow the two separate processors, memory interfaces to run as one. Effectively it means that instead of the single card having two separate memory interfaces at 1GB each they will run as one interface at 2GB. Should come out soon though.

DirectX11 is the only benefit so far of the ATI 5000 series cards but as with DX10.1 (try finding more than 5 games with DirectX10.1 support) there really is no point. In fact it is said that the change from DX10 to DX11 is about the same as DX9c to DX10: hardly any noticeable difference.

In conclusion:

1) If you can wait then get one or two of the 5000 series cards.
2) If you can't then wait a bit for the 4890X2
3) If you really can't then depeding on resolution either two 4890s or one 4870X2. I would get one 4890, wait for the 4890X2 or 5000 series and Crossfire the 4890 with the newer one you get. That info is based on the fact that the 4870X2 was designed for Crossfire with a single 4870 1GB. The 4890X2 will probably have both cores running as a single thanks to their linked interfaces as I was saying with the 4870X2.

Step 3 is what I would do.

MSI is a great board (http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/...-am3,2277.html) especially for multi-GPU CrossfireX configurations. The Phenom 955 is great but make sure you get a good air cooler or liquid cooler as the stock one is crap!

Get some phase change cooling is you want real power. The Phenom 955BE with phase change vs an i7 965 will cost less and will kick the pants off the i7 965 without a sweat; hey, you said money is no object. Let us know how it goes.

More info on 5000 series:

AMD Game Forums - HD 5000 series?
Gizmodo - AMD Promises DirectX 11 in 2009 - Graphics

No point in getting anything other than a 5000 series card as your main setup. You can always Crossfire the 4890 with the 5000 series card.

P.S. "One or two cpus of the vid-card?" - I think you mean GPUs dude...
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Old June 10, 2009, 02:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by niallm1dotcom View Post
The 4870X2 however has some link between the two memory chips and I think processors that can be activated via software, i.e. Catalyst drivers. However ATI hasn't yet released these. Basically it will allow the two separate processors, memory interfaces to run as one. Effectively it means that instead of the single card having two separate memory interfaces at 1GB each they will run as one interface at 2GB. Should come out soon though.
Thanks for the info! I was unaware of this! I wonder how this might play out in a tri-fire scenario? 3GB's of usable ram instead of 1GB?!?!

That would be a nice Christmas present!
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Old June 12, 2009, 11:42 PM
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Yes I did mean GPUs : P

I have been reading all your posts, and thank you, for all of it.

I have decided to wait and go for the 5870 X2.
But my only problem with that is I was going to water cool the vid cards.
Some thing like this which looks sweet in a system (not the same coolers but you get the idea)

I am not going to get in to the 5870 X2 water block availability, that is for a different thread ; )

Thanks for all your help so far.
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Old June 13, 2009, 02:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patlabor View Post
Yes I did mean GPUs : P

I have been reading all your posts, and thank you, for all of it.

I have decided to wait and go for the 5870 X2.
But my only problem with that is I was going to water cool the vid cards.
Some thing like this which looks sweet in a system (not the same coolers but you get the idea)

I am not going to get in to the 5870 X2 water block availability, that is for a different thread ; )

Thanks for all your help so far.
Wonder how much that badboy is going to be when it comes out. $650-$700 like the 4870x2? Plus water block ouch!
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Old June 13, 2009, 05:27 AM
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Meh, I always try to stay just behind the current tech. Too much money wasted.
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