3850 --> 4870 Bottleneck?

By aznn3rd ยท 6 replies
Nov 29, 2009
  1. Recently I got MW2 and the fact that I was forced to play at 1024x768 and still get some lag made me realize that I needed an upgrade. Considering the 4870 only costs around $150 or so these days for the 1GB version, I figured I might as well take a leap and get a solid card that will last me another 2 years. However, the problem is that the rest of my computer is three years old and would probably bottleneck the card (see system specs). Unfortunately, I currently do not have enough money to invest in a completely new computer.

    Would the bottleneck be so severe as to reduce the potential of the 4870 to 4650 status, thus warranting a cheaper card, or should I go for it?

    Another main concern is heating issues, as my computer has always had serious issues dealing with overheating. I heard that the 4870 is a very hot card, idling at around 70. Would there be any better alternatives?

    Thanks for your help!
  2. EXCellR8

    EXCellR8 The Conservative Posts: 1,835

    what is your target play resolution? the HD4870 is designed for bigger resolutions so if you are only around 1440x900 or so it's going to be a waste, especially with cards that feature 1GB. i'm not trying to discourage you from getting one by any means, i actually own 2 myself, but they are better for HD gaming. of course the extra gfx power isn't a bad thing and you can even enable heavy AA is most titles. the 4870 will NOT overheat if you use a program like RivaTuner to adjust the fan speed. the cards stock speed is 25% which is way low. the 40-60% range will keep the card plenty cool.
  3. aznn3rd

    aznn3rd TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 112

    I have a 22'' monitor, so I'm looking at 1680 x 1050. Do you think that is too much? I would get a 4770, except the 4870 is only around $25 more, with much higher performance potential.
  4. nickc

    nickc TechSpot Paladin Posts: 923   +11

    go for the 4870, u will be getting a better in the future and that card should just ware out over nght if u can not push it. the question I have would be if u're power supply is good enough.
  5. EXCellR8

    EXCellR8 The Conservative Posts: 1,835

    While I would recommend gaming at 1080p when using an HD4870, your resolution would be fine with the card as well. You should be able to max the settings in most games with at least 2-4x AA as a bonus. I would definitely go with the 4870, or 4890 for that matter which is just a slightly faster 4870. These cards are not likely to be outdated for at least another year so you are getting your money's worth. There are better cards out there yes but as far as i'm concerned your already ahead of the game with the HD48xx series if you want DX9 or 10.

    And yes, the PSU is important because the 4870 needs two 6-pin PCIe connectors. I forget the exact power requirements but i would recommend at least a 600-700w power supply with a powerful single rail.
  6. aznn3rd

    aznn3rd TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 112

    right now, I have a 430W Antec, which would be pushing it. But do you think it will be sufficient for my current parts(the next time I upgrade, I will probably take the 4870 and build the rest of it from scratch)? Also, would having pci x16 cause any downgrade compared to a pci 2.0?
  7. EXCellR8

    EXCellR8 The Conservative Posts: 1,835

    pci-e 2.0 allows two cards to run at full speed, so if you are only using one card the performance will remain at x16. in other words pci-e 2.0 just allows two separate adapters to run at x16 instead of x8. i think your psu is fine with your current setup but getting a 4870 would def yield an upgrade.
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