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1GB HD 3870 vs 512MB HD 4870 vs 2GB HD 4870

Discussion in 'AMD / ATI' started by Suni, Oct 8, 2008.

  1. Suni New Member

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    Here's the situation...my new desktop got shipped back to the factory due to mega problems. Tech support called and said they need to downgrade my computer in one aspect but will upgrade my video cards to compensate for the downgrade. The problem is i'm not sure if the supposed upgrade is actually an upgrade. Here is a list of the video cards in question.

    These are my orginial cards.....

    DUAL 1GB ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2-Quad GPU Technology

    These are the cards they say are an upgrade....

    DUAL 512MB GDDR5 ATI Radeon HD 4870 with Crossfire Technology

    These are the cards i think would be an actual upgrade...

    DUAL 2GB GDDR5 ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2 with Crossfire and Quad GPU Technology

    I'm not that tech savvy, but need to know the facts before making a decision on what to do. Any feedback is appreciated and thanks.
     
  2. wolf2009 Guest

    wth , what are they downgrading ?

    2 x 4870 should be an upgrade

    but if they downgrade the processor, then it wont be very good
     
  3. MatTheCat New Member

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    DUAL 512MB HD 4870 is MEGA-UPGRADE over your existing gfx cards.
     
  4. niko084

    niko084

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    4870 > 3870x2.... So ya its an upgrade, while saving you a good amount of power.
     
  5. Suni New Member

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    They are downclocking my cpu from 4.0 to 3.6
     
  6. wolf2009 Guest

    that won't matter, you can always overclock your CPU back to 4 ghz .

    and 3.6 Ghz is very fast, as fast as you need not to bottleneck those cards .

    what company PC is it ? and what processor is it ?
     
  7. Suni New Member

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    The problem i have is i'm losing 1GB of memory by accepting the 512mb 4870 as opposed to the 1GB 3870 and since i'm a graphic intense 3d gamer isn't it better to have more memory?
     
  8. ghost101

    ghost101 New Member

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    I'd accept. Its a brilliant deal.
     
  9. wolf2009 Guest

    its better to have a better card, than having 1 gb memory, 1 gb memory is just e-peen

    what graphic intense games you play ?
     
  10. ghost101

    ghost101 New Member

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    Also the hd 3870x2 cards only actually have 512mb of memory for use. The 1GB name is a misnomer. Its actually 2 x 512mb with the need for both sets of 512mb to be mirrored.
     
  11. HolyCow02

    HolyCow02 New Member

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    The dual 4870x2's is the best upgrade, except for the fact it will suck up a load more power than the dual 4870's.

    And yes, 2GB of memory is going to be better than 1 GB but unless you have a 30" monitor you will be more than fine with the two 4870's

    What are the rest of the specs for the computer. This will help us make a decision
     
  12. Suni New Member

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    The company is Alienware and the computer is an Area-51 alx, the processor is intel core 2extreme qx 9650 3.0 ghz. I've had problems since day one with the computer but it couldnt even run everquest 2 on the lowest setting graphics and since its been at the factory they tell me the cooling system stopped working and burned out some hardware and that the 4.0 was making the system too unstable and thats why they are downclocking it. They've since stopped advertising 4.0 overclocking.
     
  13. ghost101

    ghost101 New Member

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    Yep 4ghz on a qx9650 is a bold claim. But don't worry 3.6ghz is fine.

    You'd have thought a company as big as alienware would do proper system design testing.
     
  14. wolf2009 Guest

    unless you play crysis or Clear Sky, you wont need 2 HD4870x2's
     
  15. JrRacinFan

    JrRacinFan Served 5k and counting ...

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    What's the max resolution of your monitor? Either way, 2x4870's in crossfire overthrows the 1GB vs 512MB issue.
     
  16. Suni New Member

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    Some of the games/3d worlds i play or have played or intend to play are Vanguard, EQ2, Second Life, The Sims 2, The Sims 3, Spore, LOTR, WoW, EQ1, Kaneva and etc. I like to turn up the graphic settings on highest possible, which is one of the best things i like in gaming is realistic graphics and animation that doesn't slow the game down, such as you'd get in a 3d environment like SL. Also in buying this computer i had the future of gaming in mind, basically i wanted a computer that will run the newest games that come out on the market in the next few years. My old pc is a dell xps and that pc was the best ever, it held its own for 5 years and is still going.
     
  17. Suni New Member

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    The max resolution on this monitor is 1600 by 1200 but this isnt the one i'll be using for the alx, the monitor i'll be using for the alx is a 32 inch vizio tv.
     
  18. ghost101

    ghost101 New Member

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    Which will probably have 1366x768 resolution.
     
  19. Suni New Member

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    when i asked tech support about upgrading the cards to the 2GB 4870 cards they said my current processor couldn't handle those cards, what do you think?
     
  20. JrRacinFan

    JrRacinFan Served 5k and counting ...

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    Exactly! In which case a single 4870 would play perfect. Max about 95% of the games currently released.

    My .02: Still 2x4870's would be overkill.
     
  21. wolf2009 Guest

    dude for the games you play even 1 9600GT is enough.

    now you are getting 2 x HD4870 which is a 10 times overkill .

    DON'T argue with tech support and take what they are giving you, before they change their mind and give you some lower card .

    the 4870's will play more games into the future than 3870x2
     
  22. johnnyfiive

    johnnyfiive

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    Word. :rockout:
     
  23. Suni New Member

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    Hey all, thanks for the feedback, ya'll have been a great help and eased my pain alot lol. :rockout:
     
  24. Suni New Member

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    I have another question regarding these video cards.

    What do all these technical terms mean, such as on the HD 3870 X2 Quad GPU Technology, what does X2 mean and what does Quad GPU mean?

    Also on the HD 4870 what does Crossfire X mean?
     
  25. wolf2009 Guest

    3870x2 has 2 HD3870 GPU die's on 1 PCB , its like putting 2 CPU's on one PCB and works the same way as you would connect 2 different cards together ( which is called crossfire for ATI and SLI for Nvidia ), only this one does the same thing on one PCB and uses only one slot.

    Quad GPU means that you can connect 2 of 3870X2's ( CrossfireX , which is when more than 2 cards are connected or 2 different cards are connected ) and have 4 GPU's working for you.
     

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