4890 doesnt seem much better than 4850?

gazmatron

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Hi all

I have built a couple of my own rigs but it must be said that I only have a pretty basic knowledge.

I've owned a Radeon 4850 for a few years now. I've played MW2 on-line at 1360 x 768 on a 40" LCD TV with no problems. I've also played Crysis at medium specs with no issues.

Im not one to buy new cards at high prices, I dont crave to have the best cards new, preferring to pick them up a little cheaper a couple of years later. So I saw an XFX 4890 recently on ebay and bought it. However when I installed the card I ran MW2 and Crysis but I have to say I didnt notice much difference graphically. When I choose the 'optimal settings' for each game it was no better than the 4850.

I also ran 3D benchmark but the 4890 didnt do much better. I have to say I am disappointed.

Am I expecting too much? I did some research before I bought the 4890 and read that it is a decent upgrade. Have I been misled?

Can anyone advise?
Can anyone tell me how to carry out a more robust test testing card against card?

By the way I have a AMD dual core 64 5600+, 4GB of ram and a Gygabyte mobo with a newly bought corsair TX650. I realise these GPU's are older and may not be of much interest to people now but I would appreciate some advice from you more experienced PC modders. At the minute it seems like I have wasted my money upgrading.

Many thanks!
 

gazmatron

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Hey

Im running Modern Warfare 2 at 1360 x 768 which pretty much basic settings. I also bought all the crysis games recently which I intended to play through but in playing the original Crysis I didnt find the graphic to be any better. When I choose optimal settings on Crysis with the 4890 it picks the same settings it did with the 4850.
 

gazmatron

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Hey Buddy

I appreciate the reply. So you think I needed to buy higher end model. I looked at the cards you mentioned on ebay, they were around £150 so I guess I could sell the 4890 (i paid 75) and the 4850 (which would go for around 40 as I sold one the other week) which would take me close.

Would it be worth looking at 2 Nvida cards similar to the 4890 to run in SLI? My mobo doesnt support Crossfire which I found out the hard way.

Cheer
 
The reason your not seeing and increase of performance is because your cpu is too slow to keep up, especially at such a low resolution, which strains the cpu more.

I doubt you were even seeing the full potential of the 4850. So SLI/Xfire anything or even a single faster card is out of the quesiton without a major cpu upgrade.

You may want to look into some serious cpu overclocking.


 

gazmatron

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Can I just remove the dual core AMD processor and replace it with a quad core? Is it that easy? When you upgrade processor is it not always advisable to upgrade mobo too? Here is the mobo I own:

Gigabyte M750Sli-DS4

Is it a waste of time putting a quad core in there? Actually I just looked at the official specs on AMD website and it does say that it accepts AMD Phenom quad core processors
 
For the most part, a fast dual core can play most games well. The phenoms will do better than the athlons.
I don't know if a change will be worth it to you.

To help clarify your options, run these two tests:

a) Run your games, but lower your resolution and eye candy.
If your FPS increases, it indicates that your cpu is strong enough to drive a better graphics configuration.

b) Limit your cpu, either by reducing the OC, or, in windows power management, limit the maximum cpu% to something like 70%.
If your FPS drops significantly, it is an indicator that your cpu is the limiting factor, and a cpu upgrade is in order.

It is possible that both tests are positive, indicating that you have a well balanced system, and both cpu and gpu need to be upgraded to get better gaming FPS.

If cpu is the issue for YOUR games, then consider a change to sandy bridge,. Read this article on sub $200 gaming cpu's:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-gaming-cpu-core-i3-2100-phenom-ii-x6-1075t,2859-6.html
 

gazmatron

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Thanks for your detailed reply. I will of course take your advice and run the tests. Could you please tell me how i check the fps during gameplay? For example can i check the fps in Crysis?

Many thanks
 

monkeysweat

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2 reasons, CPU bottleneck, especially for those games, also if your running that CPU, you'll have slower system memory, etc.
and you were expecting to much,, from a 4800 series card, you'll have to bump up to a 5800 series card to see a big difference,, anything less will seem somewhat trivial.
 

FRAPS.
 
Just to concur with what everyone else is saying here, my rule of thumb, you need to jump 2 tiers when you buy a GPU or you will feel like you didn't make much improvement, that is if you have the hardware to drive your old and new GPU. You certainly would have been better off spending money on a platform upgrade over buying a 4890.
 

tominsac

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I have the same mobo. It will support all AM3 Quad and six core cpu's with a bios update. use @bios
http://www.gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx?pid=2819#ov
 

gazmatron

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Thanks for all the replies.

Im looking through all thats been said and trying to figure out the best course of action based on the advice provided. Am I correct in saying that if I buy a GPU like the 5890 or a 6970 and also upgrade my CPU to a quad core like this:

AMD Phenom II X4 Quad Core 850 "95W Edition" 3.30GHz (Socket AM3)

that I should see some good results?

Would I be held back by the fact that my mobo uses DDR2?

Cheers
 
1) You must try to identify your problem first. If you do not, you are just guessing, and may well buy an inappropriate solution. If you have an open ended budget, just upgrade everything. Otherwise, upgrade the most restrictive component first. cpu/graphics, or possibly amount of ram.

2) Nothing wrong with DDR2 ram. Just so long as you have enough. 4gb should be a minimum. If you have less, it will impact your performance. 8gb will be helpful:
http://blog.corsair.com/?p=65
DDR3 ram is cheap these days, but unfortunately DDR2 ram is more expensive. Go figure.

3) What is a 5890? 6850/6970 or the Nvidia comparable GTX560ti/GTX570 is about as good as you need to be for a 1080P monitor.

4) Do not assume that a quad will do better than a duo. Few games use more than two cores, and a quad will usually come with a lower clock rate for each of the 4 cores. For example, in the <$200 link I posted, a i3-2120 duo plays F1 2010 as well as a Phenom ii X4 970. The difference is due in part to the duo's higher clock, and in part to the more efficient architecture of the i3. How well you do will be determined by the particular game. Check out the benchmarks for the specific game, if you play one exclusively.

 

benski

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Not unless he thinks it's less than 2%...
 

monkeysweat

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well DDR2 RAM runs at like 667 Mhz on average - could be slower or slightly faster on older systems,,, but DDR3 runs at 1333 on average,, over 2x the speed - you can't tell me it won't make a significant difference.
 


Google "ram speed scaling"

You will find that speed or timings make little difference in real app performance or FPS. It takes synthetic benchmarks to show any big difference.
Here is one example for a amd cpu. Intel makes even less difference.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/phenom-ii-ddr3,2319.html
 

monkeysweat

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you are quoting me a two year old somewhat flawed article.

it is comparing DDR3 speeds to DDR3 speeds, not DDR2 vs DDR3 - I will agree going from 1066 MHZ to 1600 MHZ on DDR3 may not give you a substantial gaming increase

HOWEVER the fact DDR2 runs on a 4 bit prefetch, most common speed is 800 MHZ and DDR3 runs a 8 bit prefetch and most common speed is 25% faster = about 4-8 times faster than DDR2,, not a trivial number and if you read the old article you linked, there was about 7% difference from DDR3 800 to DDR3 1600 on a game,, can you imagine if it was DDR2? maybe even 28-50% difference in overall (although i doubt 50%)

that being said, upgrade the PC to what you like for now and upgrade your MB/RAM later,, maybe even after bulldozer comes out so you can get something nice and still use the stuff you buy now.
 

gazmatron

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I think Ive decided what Im gonna do. First of Im gonna buy the following processor

AMD II X4 970

I replace my existing CPU and see how that runs with the 4890. Regardless of how that does Im gonna sell on the 4890 and 4850 a buy a card such as the 5870 or 6950. Whichever I can get a better deal on.

In the meantime I have a laptop to sell and when I move that I'll buy a new DDR3 mobo and some DDR3 ram.

I decided to go this route as its 3 years since I upgraded. Im by no means a hardcore gamer but I do like to have a decent PC.

Any thoughts concerns on this approach.

Any ideas on how to improve my plan?

Also without breaking the bank any suggestions for a good mobo. Im looking at this one

GA-880GM-UD2H retailing at £50

with at least 6GB of something like this:

Kingston HyperX Genesis 6GB (3x2GB) DDR3 PC3-12800C9 1600MHz Triple Channel

which is retailing at £50

Cheers