Is it worth it to CF a 4850?

Joseph F

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Jul 12, 2010
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I currently have a 512-MB 4850, and I'm thinking of picking up another one for $35, but I was wondering if I'd be hitting a VRAM wall at 1440*900.

Would it be worth it, or would the performance difference be negligible?
 

bigsnyder

Golden Member
Nov 4, 2004
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For $35 go for it as long as you have a decent PSU. The 4850 and 4870 are some of the first cards that really benefited from crossfire. I have been using a 4850 crossfired setup for over 3 yrs now. Granted I do not play the latest and greatest titles, but it has served me well. As far as VRAM, the 512MB should be enough at 1440*900 as long as you don't go crazy with the AA. I game at 1920x1200 with 2xAA or 4xAA.
 

Joseph F

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Jul 12, 2010
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I've got a Corsair TX650 PSU, and this is what I run with it:

Core i5 2500k 4GHz, 1.2V
MSI P67A-G43
Three 7200 RPM hard drives
SATA DVD+-RW Drive

Will my PSU be adequate for a second stock-clocked 4850?
 

skipsneeky2

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May 21, 2011
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I remember my 9800gtx 512mb was capable of playing 1440x900 on low in the BF3 beta and with a decent overclock,it aced low with fluid gameplay matched with a 2500k,just couldn't enable any aa of any kind.

Thought it was impressive for such a old card,BF3 is one of the more demanding titles to push such a card,so crossfire 4850 would be sweet if you keep the settings down.

Know a buddy rocking a pair of 9800gt 512mb cards and plays plenty of stuff,if i remember right the 4850 outperformed the 9800gt...
 

Joseph F

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Jul 12, 2010
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I remember my 9800gtx 512mb was capable of playing 1440x900 on low in the BF3 beta and with a decent overclock,it aced low with fluid gameplay matched with a 2500k,just couldn't enable any aa of any kind.

Thought it was impressive for such a old card,BF3 is one of the more demanding titles to push such a card,so crossfire 4850 would be sweet if you keep the settings down.

Know a buddy rocking a pair of 9800gt 512mb cards and plays plenty of stuff,if i remember right the 4850 outperformed the 9800gt...

I think that the 4850 is around 10-15% faster than the 8/9800GT, IIRC.
So, that's good news. :thumbsup:
 

GotNoRice

Senior member
Aug 14, 2000
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I'm still running 2x 4850 in my secondary rig along with a Q6600 @ 3.6 and the setup is quite adequate at 1920x1200. It performs at about the level of a single 5850 or 6850 unless you hit the 512mb VRam limit. I run the setup on an Antec Earthwatts 650 (the older version). The Q6600 @ 3.6 is a huge powerhog compared to any sandy bridge, so 650w should be fine.
 
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BallaTheFeared

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Nov 15, 2010
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I think that the 4850 is around 10-15% faster than the 8/9800GT, IIRC.
So, that's good news. :thumbsup:

vram is affected by a few things mostly, texture sizes, AA, res, and AO can bump it up a bit too.

There are probably more, but those are the main things I've noticed with 1.28GB of vram on a 5900x1080 setup.

The extra processing power from adding a second card will help with things that don't affect vram if you're close to maxing it out already. Things like more explosions, better dynamic lighting, DoF, HDR...

If you're gpu limited adding another card will help, if you're vram limited or want to raise settings that would increase vram and are already close to max it's not going to do much for you.
 

Joseph F

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Jul 12, 2010
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vram is affected by a few things mostly, texture sizes, AA, res, and AO can bump it up a bit too.

There are probably more, but those are the main things I've noticed with 1.28GB of vram on a 5900x1080 setup.

The extra processing power from adding a second card will help with things that don't affect vram if you're close to maxing it out already. Things like more explosions, better dynamic lighting, DoF, HDR...

If you're gpu limited adding another card will help, if you're vram limited or want to raise settings that would increase vram and are already close to max it's not going to do much for you.

How do I measure the amount of VRAM being used?
 

deadken

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Aug 8, 2004
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I run the MSI Afterburner utility with my 8800GTS and it shows the amount of Vram being used (as well as FPS, Temps, Clock Speeds, etc...).
 

aaksheytalwar

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Feb 17, 2012
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In modern games a 4850 CF will give you about 60-90% of the FPS of a single 5850 or 6850 at the very most, depending on the game.

A single 5830 or 6850 will give a better experience overall. IMO CF anything less than 7870 makes no sense.
 

Termie

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Aug 17, 2005
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I run the MSI Afterburner utility with my 8800GTS and it shows the amount of Vram being used (as well as FPS, Temps, Clock Speeds, etc...).

That might not work for a 4850. AMD's VRAM reporting system is different. Try Process Explorer if Afterburner doesn't show the VRAM monitoring option: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896653.

In answer to your question, I think it really depends on what games you're interested in. If you're mostly playing older games and want to max them out, the $35 would be worth it. If you are talking about newer games like Skyrim/BF3, I doubt you'd get much of a benefit before hitting the VRAM wall.
 
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skipsneeky2

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May 21, 2011
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That might not work for a 4850. AMD's VRAM reporting system is different. Try Process Explorer if Afterburner doesn't show the VRAM monitoring option: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896653.

In answer to your question, I think it really depends on what games you're interested in. If you're mostly playing older games and want to max them out, the $35 would be worth it. If you are talking about newer games like Skyrim/BF3, I doubt you'd get much of a benefit before hitting the VRAM wall.

When i played the BF3 beta on my old 9800gtx 512mb,1440x900 low was all it could do,i felt there was plenty of performance for even medium or high settings with my moderate oc,but as you said,your gonna hit the vram wall and that's what i did.
 
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Joseph F

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GPU-Z works for me for recording VRAM usage.
I fired up Metro 2033 last night with the high preset, AAA and 16xAF, and it used up to 88MB of RAM. (448MB reserved)
It was only a small room in the game, though.
 

BallaTheFeared

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Nov 15, 2010
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GPU-Z works for me for recording VRAM usage.
I fired up Metro 2033 last night with the high preset, AAA and 16xAF, and it used up to 88MB of RAM. (448MB reserved)
It was only a small room in the game, though.

That doesn't sound right ;o

Are you sure the program is tracking it correctly?

I use MSI afterburner or any other RivaTuner based program to track it, but I don't know if they work on all AMD cards or not.

I have a video of the canned bench with DoF and PhysX on w/ AAA using 771MB in Metro 2033 @ 1080p.
 

GotNoRice

Senior member
Aug 14, 2000
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One thing about MSI Afterburner and monitoring VRam is that it will combine memory in a crossfire configuration. My 2x 4870x2 doesn't run out of VRam until the MSI Afterburner counter hits upwards of 4GB, even though that's obviously not how VRam actually works with crossfire. As long as you take that into account, the information it provides can still be useful.
 

aaksheytalwar

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Feb 17, 2012
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He should just sell his card and get a single 5850 or 6850, a far better experience and not much difference in cost in absolute terms
 

jacktesterson

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Sep 28, 2001
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$35 go for it.

Should put you in 5830/ 460 768MB Performance range, so even 1080p gaming is possible.

Your PSU is fine.
 

Stayfr0sty

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Mar 5, 2012
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You know that almost all DX11 games run just fine on DX10.1 hardware right? In most cases the only thing you miss is tessellation.

More then just tesselation my friend....

And in any case as far as the DX 11 games running fine on DX 10 hardware.
Umm Battlefield 3..... thats all im gonna say
 

GotNoRice

Senior member
Aug 14, 2000
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More then just tesselation my friend....

And in any case as far as the DX 11 games running fine on DX 10 hardware.
Umm Battlefield 3..... thats all im gonna say

BF3 runs great on both my setups. What problem are you implying exists?
 

d3fu5i0n

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Feb 15, 2011
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OP, personally, I'd recommend that you sell your card - even if you can't get much for it - and get a newer and more powerful single GPU [setup].
I have little doubt that you'll want an increase in performance within a short amount of time and a new card will most likely already have more power than you're looking for [unless you get a low-end card]; and even if you don't, if you hit the VRAM wall, you're stuck...

I've done CrossFire before [two 5770s], but I didn't like it one bit, so I got a 6950. I prefer single GPU setups - far less application/game issues with them. :)