GPU Upgrade Justified?

By Ritwik7 ยท 13 replies
Aug 18, 2009
  1. Hi guys!

    I was wondering if upgrading my GPU right now is a good decision or whether I should wait a while.

    My current Specs:

    AMD Phenom II X3 720 BE
    ASUS M4A78T-E
    1X2GB Transcend DDR3 1333 Mhz
    XFX 9800GT

    The only upgrades I would be able to afford would be the Radeon HD4870 or the nVidia GTX260.

    Will waiting some time (long time, infact) to buy the GTX 275 / HD 4890 be a better idea?

    Also, is the GTX 275 a much better performer compared to the HD4870 / HD 4890?

  2. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 3,486   +45

    The 275 performs a tad better than the 4870 but nothing extremely noticeable. What resolution are you running at? That would probably dictate your best options, but just about any resolution available for a 24" monitor or smaller would work just fine with a 4870 or gtx260. We should see new cards in november/december if you want to wait and get a price drop, but that depends on how impatient you are.
  3. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 1,672   +9

    I forgot to mention that. I am currently playing at 1280 x 1024. I have a meager 17" CRT monitor. But I'll be more than happy to play at the current resolution after cranking all other settings to max. Also I'm still on XP 32 Bit, so have not experienced gaming in DX10. Will my current 9800GT do OK with current games under DX10? Crysis runs fairly smoothly with all settings to High at the above-mentioned resolution. Will DX10 significantly reduce the performance of my card?

    If for the next few months and games my 9800GT holds out, I'll wait. Else maybe the 4870.

    More suggestions.

  4. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +38

    Don't bother with either card. Get an HD 4850 or a 4770, since the difference between them and the 4870 will not be noticeable. All of them will be able to give you 60+ FPS at that resolution with all the IQ options maxed out.

    Also, at that resolution, the CPU will start to bottleneck a very powerful GPU; another reason not to go for the 4870.
  5. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 1,672   +9

    Hi Rage!

    Will the 4850 be a justifiable upgrade to the 9800GT? That big a difference?

    Also, you say that the X3 720 would bottleneck the HD 4870?
  6. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,224   +164

    hey Rit,
    the 9800gt performs on a par with the 4830, the 4850 would give you about a 12-15% bump in FPS. if you get a larger res monitor the the 720 will hold down a 4870 or a more powerful card easily :)
  7. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 1,672   +9

    Thanks Red. But keeping my current monitor for now and at the given res, does the X3 720 bottleneck the 4870? Even if I do upgrade my monitor, I won't go beyond a 19" screen. Would you still suggest I don't go beyond the HD 4850?

    Aside from the main topic, what processors match up to cards like the HD4870 / GTX260 and above. I thought the X3 720 would be a pretty powerful processor! :)

    Thanks a lot.
  8. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,224   +164

    it is Rit, its the resolution you are gaming at. the 4870 is for higher resolutions , I have my x3 720 running 3x4850's and have had it running my 4870 X2 ...NO problem! :) so in other words , the 4870 with a 17" monitor is just overkill
  9. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 1,672   +9

    Ok Red. I get it. But currently like I said I'm playing on Windows XP (32 Bit). I do intend to switch to DX10 sometime soon, so won't the HD4850 take a performance hit then? I have found that although the 9800GT gives a decent performance at 1280 x 1024 with all settings to high in Crysis, it does have an occasional ( very rare infact) stutter.
    Also you have 3x HD4850 which I think would be way more powerful than any single card.

    For these reasons I was thinking of the HD4870 and above. However, if you all say that the HD4850 would be a noticeable improvement over the 9800GT and a good performer in all recent games (including Wolfenstein), I'll settle for that.

    Thanks a lot.
  10. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,224   +164

    well consider the cost as well, and maybe a future upgrade. the 4870 can be had now for $140 for the 1GB flavor a 1GB 4850 is running around $125, so it might be worth the extra 25$? for future considerations? and yes DX 10 is more demanding, in my benchmarks, it seems to be about a %5-7 more resource intense...i said seems to be....kind of hard to nail down game to game, so take that with a grain of salt.:)
  11. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 1,672   +9

    That's the thing I was considering. The 4870 can be had for approximately $30 more than the HD 4850. Does it not become a better choice then?

    Thanks a lot for all the suggestions guys.
  12. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +38

    It does, provided you will move to a bigger monitor.

    As for the bottleneck, do not give it too much thought. Most of it can be rid of by upping the IQ settings.
  13. klepto12

    klepto12 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,115   +9

    meh get the 4870 hell you can get 22" monitors for cheap now adays and well it will be a little more future proof and better performance overall.
  14. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 1,672   +9

    Thanks Rage, klepto.

    I have decided on the HD4870. But will have to hold out till I can get a buyer for the 9800GT I'm currently using. I'll also consider moving to a larger monitor as per your suggestions. :)

    @ Rage: Sorry to sound like such a novice, but what exactly is IQ settings? :)
Topic Status:
Not open for further replies.

Similar Topics

Add your comment to this article

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...