4870 2gb vs 4890 1gb @ 1920x1200 -- HELP!


Jul 29, 2009
Hey guys and gals, brand new to Tom's (always been a fan of the charts though!) forums and looking for some help/opinions!

I'm currently in the market to upgrade my ASUS EAH4850 that I purchased when they first dropped (yes, the model with the asian chica on it; these have since been discontinued). Although most of my games looked pretty great (exception Crysis.. lol that game's ridiculous), I think the card itself had some 1st Gen issues such as overheating and poor software.

Brings us to the current problem: I'm in the market to replace it with something more powerful. I've found a series of cards I like, the Sapphire Vapor-X cooled ATI 4800 line. My dilemma though is whether I should go for the card with more memory or higher clock speed. I know performance wise, the clock speed's where it's at, however, I have a 24" monitor at 1920x1200 and am a little unsure about where the money should go, memory or clock speed?

I've considered two solutions to cover this problem, one being to simply pop the extra $40 or so bucks and get the 4890 with 2gb, or to overclock a 4870. The difference between the 4870 and 4890 is 100mhz. I'm a complete overclock noob, CPU or GPU, and as far as I understand I pretty much could never match that 100mhz difference safely, right?

Also, what's better for BluRay: video memory or clock speed?

Application of video card: mainly games such as CoD, Crysis, GTA IV, WoW; HD content -- BluRay etc.

I've also recently discovered all this hype about the CF 4770s setup? Someone please confirm for me that the games I play at my resolution would not benefit from 4770s in CF over a 4870/4890...

Thanks for all considerations/opinions/help/hate/etc!

My system:

ASUS P5Q Deluxe P45
E8400 3.0ghz
ASUS EAH4850 (1st Gen) 512mb
OCZ GameXStream 700W p.s.
G.Skill 4gb DDR2 1066
WD Raptor X 150gb
WD Caviar Blue 640gb
Acer P243 24" monitor
Vista 32-bit


Nov 12, 2007
The 4870 has pretty much the same issues as the 4850. Same architecture (I have a 4870). I don't get what you mean by poor software, because 4890/4870/4850 all use similar drivers/CCC. There is really no point to spend the extra cash unless you're getting the 4890, it runs slightly faster at lower temps but that's about it (not worth the money you spend changing from 4850).

You will see some gains in gaming performance, noticeable but not significant. Before you really think about buying a new card, I'd suggest you to start by updating your ATI drivers and use the Catalyst Control Center's Overdrive function to manually set fan speed. That should really solve the overheating problem (maybe it'll get a little bit noisy, but that's that).