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Can't decide on what to get

By xarchsagex · 29 replies
May 1, 2009
  1. Hey everyone... I recently started a thread asking some questions about the HD 4830... but right now after getting my paycheck... I just can't make up my mind... So here's the thing... I'm upgrading my motherboard to a Gigabyte P43... and also upgrading my CPU to Core 2 Duo E7500 (plan to OC it) and those are definite upgrades for me. My computer would have 4GB DDR2 and Vista 64-bit... but here's where the problem arises... the case for my comp is an iMicro ATX Mid-Tower Case... and so... with this comp... I plan to want to play games like Warhead and future releases at least at high/maximum settings... and the monitor I have is a 20" one, so which graphics card do you think is best in my scenario?

    I'm thinking of getting the GTX 260:

    Or the HD 4870 TOXIC 1GB:

    or... I could just settle with the HD 4850... because it would save ALOT of money, but I'm scared of the heat produced and it's capability to play Warhead/future releases... :

    EDIT: OR I could simply get the Geforce 9800 GTX+ located here:

    So basically, what temperatures would the HD 4850 get to, and especially with that casual case because the one I can purchase doesn't have a dual-slot cooler like the TOXIC, and the GTX 260 from what I've seen stays relatively cool...

    So... on a 20" monitor, what would be the best playable resolution at gamer settings/enthusiast settings for each graphics card?
    If I see that the HD 4850 preforms relatively well, I might just go for it... but still terrified of the temperatures :( 85C under load? That's kinda hot :( Then... I'd always think to get the GTX 260... because of PhysX and CUDA, don't they make gaming better or something?

    I really hate choosing VGA's... sigh... ANY help would be GREATLY appreciated...
  2. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +36

    The HD 48xx cards have problems with heat only because the default fan speed is set very low. There is a tweak available here that allows you to set the fan speed to your desired level.

    If your monitor has a native resolution of 1680x1050 or less, the HD 4850 is perfect for you.

    And PhysX is a moot point IMO, since the game needs to support hardware-accelerated physics via PhysX, and there are only a handful of games out there that have such support.

    As for CUDA, it is useful primarily for developers. Having a CUDA-supported GPU does not guarantee better gaming performance at all.
  3. xarchsagex

    xarchsagex TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 31

    Well after researching a bit more and taking what you said about adjusting the fan speed manually... I might just go for the HD4870 1GB TOXIC...

    A few things that DO manage to make me hesitate to buy it... is the fact that a friend I know who has an HD4870... complains that it has slow texture loading in games like Warhead, where the textures don't fully load, but instead slowly load whilst you run, etc... and I'm sure the GTX 260 wouldn't have that problem... That slow texture loading could possibly turn the tide as to whether I'm getting the HD 4870 or not... because it would just look... plain old ugly... I don't wanna run and see slow ugly loading textures... I know textures load whilst you run, etc... but my friend said the texture loading was really close, as in he'd have to be close to the object for it to load the textures fully, and I don't like that :(

    If anyone could confirm that for me I'd greatly appreciate it... :(

    Oh and the resolution for my monitor is 1650x1080 if anyone was wondering...

    Also, my PSU is gunna be a Cooler Master RS-600-PCAR-E3 eXtreme 600W PSU, and I was wondering if it would be good enough for the HD4870 or the GTX 260, as i'll be getting either one depending on the problem above... Here are the specs for the PSU:

    Mfr Part Number: RS-600-PCAR-E3
    Compliance with the newest Intel standard ATX 12V V2.01
    nVidia SLI certified
    Super silent operation with intelligent fan speed control (< 20dBA)
    Support dual +12V and +12V outputs for higher power usage
    Green power design to meet energy star and blue angel requirements
    More than 70% efficiency at typical load operation
    Total Power: 600 W
    Type: ATX from factor 12V V2.01
    Input Voltage: 90~132V / 180~260V (Selectable)
    Input Current: 6.3A @ 230Vac / 10A @ 115Vac
    Input Frequency Range: 47 ~ 63Hz
    Fan: 120mm Sleeve bearing fan
    Power Good Signal: 100 ~ 500ms
    Hold Up Time: > 17ms
    MTBF: > 100,000 Hours
    Protection: OVP/ OPP/ Short Circuit Protection
    Safety: Nemko/ TUV/ cUL/ CE/ BSMI/ FCC/ CCC
    Connectors: 1x 20+4 pin Motherboard Connector; 1x 4pin 12V CPU Connector; 2x 6pin PCI Express Connectors; 3x SATA Connectors; 6x 4pin Peripheral Connectors; 2x 4pin Floppy Connectors
    Dimension: 150 x 140 x 86 mm (Standard ATX PS2)

    Once again, I know I've been a bother, but I just really want an awesome pc that can handle future releases at max/high settings :(
  4. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +36

    I think that issue is unconnected to your friend's video card. It is possible if the game is running at a very high resolution such as 1920x1200 with AA and AF on a 512MB version of the 4870, but if that is not the case, then the issue lies elsewhere. The 4870 1GB will not have this problem, and certainly not at 1680x1050.

    As for the PSU, I advise another one from either the Corsair TX series, or the PC Power & Cooling Silencer series. The CM Extreme is a low-end borderline-rubbish PSU series that is known for its low efficiency and high ripple output. Not something I would recommend for a high-end gaming system at all. 70% efficiency is just plain bad; most of the new Corsair, Antec and PCP&C units manage at least 80% and above.
  5. xarchsagex

    xarchsagex TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 31

    Thanks for clearing that up for me :) I'm sticking to the 4870 1GB... and as for the PSU, I could get this one right? It's called Antec TruePower New TP-650 650W Power Supply and here are the specs:

    Mfr Part Number: TP-650
    NVIDIA SLI - ready certified
    80PLUS Bronze Certified saves energy and lowers your electric bill
    DC to DC voltage regulator modules for greater system stability
    120mm PWM fan runs up to 50% quieter than standard fans
    Advanced Hybrid Cable Management improves airflow and reduces clutter
    Double layer PCB optimizes cooling efficiency and allows for heavy duty components
    Universal Input and Active Power Factor Correction
    Supports dual GPUs and dual/quad core CPUs
    4 +12V output circuits provide stable power
    ATX12V v2.3 and EPS12V v2.91
    2x 6 pin and 2x 8 (6+2) pin PCI-E graphics card connectors
    Industrial grade protection
    Total Power: 650 W
    Input Voltage: 100~240VAC
    Current: 9A@115VAC, 4.5A@230VAC
    Input frequency Range: 47 ~ 63Hz
    Efficiency: Min 82% at full load
    Output: +5V@25A, +12V1@22A, +12V2@22A, +12V3@25A, +12V4@25A, +3.3V@25A, -12V@0.8A, +5Vsb@3A
    Safety approvals: UL, CUL, CE, CB, FCC Class B, TUV, CCC, C-tick, BSMI
    Dimensions (WxDxH): 5.9 x 5.9 x 3.4 inch / 150 x 150 x 86 mm
    Weight: 5 lbs / 2.3 kg
    RoHS Compliant

    I would hope this would be good enough lol... or there's this one called Antec TruePower Trio 650 650W Power Supply and the specs are:

    Mfr Part Number: 761345-23650-8
    ATX12V version 2.2
    Universal Input, automatically adjusts for 100~240V power grids
    Active Power Factor Correction (PFC) for environmentally friendlier power
    Three 12V output circuits provide added system stability
    Accurate power rating allows TruePower Trio to deliver its full rated power, 24 hours a day rated at 50°C
    Upto 85% efficiency
    120mm low noise cooling fan
    Fan Only power connectors allow TruePower Trio to control case fan speeds, reducing total system noise
    Dedicated outputs for stable output and less ripple noise
    Feedback loop circuits for tighter load regulation (+/-3%) to maintain accurate voltage to all components
    Heavy duty protection circuitry prevents damage resulting from short circuits (SCP), power overloads (OPP), over voltages (OVP), and under voltages (UVP)
    Power Factor value upto 99%
    Gold plated connectors for superior conductivity
    SLI Approved
    Input Voltage: 100~240VAC +/- 10%
    Input frequency Range: 47 ~ 63 Hz
    Efficiency: Upto 85%
    Total output: 650 W
    Connector: 1x 20/24pin Main Power; 1x 4/8pin +12V; 6x Peripheral; 2x PCI-Express; 4x SATA; 1x Floppy
    MTBF: 80,000 hours at 25°C
    Safety Approvals: UL, CUL, FCC, TUV, CE, C-tick, CCC, CB
    Dimension (WxDxH): 5.5 x 5.9 x 3.4 inch
    Weight: 4.6 lbs

    But... for that Trio one, when it says 2x PCI-e... does that mean 2x 6pin? The HD 4870 requires one 6-pin or what?

    Thanks again Rage_3K_Moiz, you've been alot of help so far... I actually thought that the CM PSU was good lol... but idk which of those Antec's is the best...
  6. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    Yes the 4870 needs on six pin the psu has two, I wouldn't get that particular Antec powersupply though, I would use a Corsair 450w, the 4870 isn't going to need a blazing 600w power supply, especially with a high quality corsair.
    Might you be the same person who I suggested the E7500 and other stuff?

    I would get a normal $150 - $160 4870 1gb instead of the toxic, waste of money I think.
  7. xarchsagex

    xarchsagex TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 31

    Yeah and I am... and I'm getting the E7500... and the P43 MB... thing is I can't buy online... Don't have a credit card :( I just passed by the store yesterday and wrote down what I saw that I could possibly buy... and all they had was the HD 4870 Toxic 1GB... and the only had crappy PSU's below 600W, like the Cooler Master... or the CoolMax which fail...
    I'm gunna probably pass by tomorrow and ask if they could ship a normal HD 4870 for me... but doesn't the TOXIC one have better cooling?
  8. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    Yes it does, actually the 3870 toxics had much better systems, a kind of selfcontained water cycling cooler, very cool :haha:.

    But there is no real point to keep it at subzero temperatures or anything, and the regular 4870 will not over heat if you boost the fan speed a tad. Even when overclocking, a 4890 will yeild higher clock speeds than a toxic 4870 will.
  9. xarchsagex

    xarchsagex TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 31

    I guess I'll stick with a normal HD 4870 1GB then... I'll do what ya said and boost the fan speeds... hopefully it won't be too noisy XD A read a review on the Toxic though which stated it was loud XD
  10. xarchsagex

    xarchsagex TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 31

    Gah! I'm so indecisive! I just checked out some more reviews... and the results are SOO inconsistent!! In one review, the GTX 260 Core 216 performs way better... in another the HD 4870 1GB preforms way better... and I just don't know... I don't really need 1GB of VRAM... I'm only going to be playing at like 1650x1080 ... and then the fact that PhysX would probably get way more support in the future... makes me want to get the GTX 260 Core 216...

    I SERIOUSLY need help between these two graphic cards... I'm all up for the Sapphire Radeon HD 4870 1GB because I could settle the temp issues... and I'm also all up for the eVGA nVidia Geforce GTX 260 core 216.... ughhh why must choosing be so difficulttttt!!! :(
  11. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    Flip a coin :). The performance is about the same, the GTX's and hd 4000's are structured differently. NVidia accolates a higher percentage of processing power for texture filling, while ATI emphasizes calculation. It depends on the game.
    the 4870 does need the 1gb frame buffer, and it is not that expensive, but you can go down to a 512mb too.
  12. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +36

    The ATI cards consistently perform better with AA turned on. Definitely not a bad thing IMO.
  13. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,223   +163

    they also perform better as the resolution goes up.
  14. xarchsagex

    xarchsagex TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 31

    Well thanks everyone =) I'm sticking with the HD 4870 1GB... who knows might upgrade my monitor later... I also took into consideration... the fact that my PSU only has 2 PCI-e pins... and the GTX 260 uses both of them... and the HD 4870 uses one... which means I could later do Crossfire right? On a side note... would it be possible to do Crossfire between like say... the HD 4870 and say a 4850?

    I realized I was being picky over 1-3 fps difference... I'm gunna OC the HD 4870 regardless... that should give a good boost =) Hopefully my case would be enough lol... 70% fan speed is good for OCing it right?

    It's basically settled...finally... I'm gettin the 4870... just need some questions cleared up :) Once again thanks everyone!
  15. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +36

    Crossfiring an HD 4870 with an HD 4850 is possible, but will essentially limit the HD 4870 to performing like an HD 4850. So if you want to go down that route, better get two HD 4850s instead.

    Which PSU will you be buying though?
  16. xarchsagex

    xarchsagex TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 31

    The Antec TruePower New TP-650W... as that's like the only good one the store has... That would be enough for two 4870's right? I'll probably upgrade the MB a bit later to a P45... as from what I saw the P43 doesn't have 2 PCI-e x16 slots... just has one... =/
    Just re-checked some reviews and the HD 4870 is better than the GTX 260.. dunno why I was being picky XD
    Also, I heard games like Warhead aren't fully optimized with crossfire? It'd be a waste for me to buy another HD 4870... considering the main game I play is Warhead lol...

    Anyway, thanks again for helping me out everyone! Can't wait to play Warhead at Very High settings on 1024x768 AT LEAST lol!
  17. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +36

    Yep, that is a superb PSU and will be more than sufficient for two HD 4870s.

    As for Warhead and Crossfire optimization, that is total BS. You are thinking of three-way\four-way Crossfire methinks, and those do have issues with the game. But there are no issues with a vanilla Crossfire configuration.

    Check these reviews out for proof:
  18. xarchsagex

    xarchsagex TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 31

    Whoa! Well wtf... I should never listen to friends that much anymore... I basically got into high-end gaming because of them, but when I recently asked them wether I should get another HD 4870 1GB in the future and put both in Crossfire, a friend said to not waste money because it isn't optimized for Crossfire, but rather more optimized for SLI... And I took his word for it I guess... Didn't feel the need to google it... But after seeing those benchmarks... I'm definitely getting another HD 4870 1GB in the future... probably upgrade my monitor to a 30" ... Damn... this is gunna be fun! I basically saved a ton of money by posting on this forum asking questions...

    Aghhh can't wait to get the HD 4870 and that PSU! Already have the E7500 here... gunna install it later... any recommendations as to guides on how to install CPU's?

    Oh btw, that iMicro ATX case shouldn't be a problem right? If I raise the fan speed of the 4870 and OC it... and also OC the CPU to at least 3.5GHz or even more? Was wondering because it's sorta like a normal case... just one exhaust fan on the rear lol... other persons said it was good enough...

    That's the last of my questions! THANK YOU EVERYONE! :)
  19. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    Maybe high, just pay attention to temps, keep them under 80 if possible, with the lowest and quietest fan speed, nothing wrong with going to 100 though.

    Were not friends? :p

    As far as i know, the intel heatsinks do have thermal paste on them, and require a firm push to get them on, it can be traumatizing to break your motherboard, don't let that happen.
    3.5 is fine, but I would personally just jump to 4ghz and run a couple hours of prime95, but you should just be able to keep everything at stock voltages.
  20. xarchsagex

    xarchsagex TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 31

    Hahaha lol =P We're friends alright... but lemme rephrase that then... I should have never listened to that guy XD

    Thanks for the help though :) Gunna get em and do what you said :) 4GHz would ROCK! Damn that's gunna be fasttt! First thing I'm gunna do after OCing the GPU a little bit and the CPU to 4GHz... is gunna be to launch Warhead, put it at Very High settings... AA and whatnot, 1650x1080 resolution... and see how it goes XD I could always lower the resolution if it aint playable... but damnnn I'm imagining it at Enthusiast settings right now.... mmmmm... lol...

    Anyway! Thanks ALOT for the help... I mean ALOT lol... If I didn't post here, I would have gotten a shitty-*** PSU... a thermaltake case that I wouldn't need... a not-so-good MB... and overpaid for a CPU...

    Thanks a lot! :)
  21. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    I would leave AA off, but you can go ahead and try the resolution.

    Your welcome :).
  22. xarchsagex

    xarchsagex TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 31

    Yeah I heard there's not much difference between AA on and AA off... but I wanna see how far I could push my rig when it's all spanking beastly... lol...
  23. klepto12

    klepto12 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,115   +9

    i wouldnt overclock the cpu to 4ghz without good cooling and you will need a bump in voltage to get it there mine had a problem getting past 3.6 without voltage bump and it has alot to do with your motherboard to. The 4870 is not a better card than the gtx260 216 edition they perform around the same and the 260 actually performs better in alot of games especially at the resolution you play at.
  24. xarchsagex

    xarchsagex TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 31

    So for a P43 MB what do you think I could bump it up to? I know about that much with the GTX 260 core 216... but I heard AA kills it... I still saw some reviews... in which the 4870 beat the GTX 260 core 216 in most games, and in Warhead... but in Warhead... the 4870 beat it by as much as like 2-3fps... and since that's basically the game I'm gunna be playing the most besides WoW and Fallout 3... It'll save me money to go for the 4870 instead... plus I could later upgrade my MB and buy another one and use Crossfire... but the GTX 260 uses TWO PCI-e pins and my PSU only has TWO pins..... so I took SLI/Crossfire into context as well... The whole PhysX thing I'm not worried about... googled a bit and gave up info like how nVidia is giving a modder access to their PhysX stuff so they can port it to ATI...

    I think I'm gunna stick with the HD 4870 though... the 4870 is WAY cheaper at the store and basically offers on-par performance imho.

    But anyway... off of that... So what do you think is the highest I could OC the E7500 to? 3.5GHz without cooling?
  25. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    Yes with a good motherboard and processor, you could get to 4, but im sure 3.5 will be fine, It is all quite dependent on your own system. Try some stuff out, but keep the temps under 60, and voltage under 1.35 or so.
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