Replacement/Upgrade to 4850 with questions.

kedoch

Junior Member
Aug 10, 2008
7
0
0
Hello again!

Thanks to all of you kind folks I've got a feeling for the various ATI partners now, and it comes down to either buying the card or looking for something else.

My current system has an 800w OCZ GamerXStream powering an AMD +3800 64 X2 (slot 939) in an ASUS A8N32-SLI Deluxe mother board with 1gig XMS Corsair TWINX Ram which I forget the exact clockings to.

Currently nothing is OC'd, and all using stock cooling in a CM Stacker (the original version).

I've been looking at the 4850's as an upgrade/replacement for a dead X1900 XT and have a couple concerns.

1: The dreaded CPU Bottleneck. I'm wondering how much the 3800 X2 is going to slow the performance of a 4850. Would it be wiser to spend half as much on a 3850/3870 and upgrade the mobo/cpu/ram? If so could you make a recommendation? Budget is a major concern, 300 is pretty much the upper limit and I'm not certain when the mobo/cpu/ram will be upgraded otherwise (could be 1-2 years). All of the parts were originally purchased with OC ability in mind, and I may be willing to buy a new heatsink/fan to cool the cpu to OC.

2: Heat! I'm a bit paranoid about heat, as I've had issues with it in the past during hot summers. The 4850 runs hot, and doesn't exhaust out the back of the case, even with faster fans and better heat sinks, the heat is still there, just in the case instead of on the card.

I'm seeing a lot of the ATI partners introducing different heat sink designs however one comment caught my eye elsewhere. It seems that at least in the pictures some of these new heatsinks aren't covering the ram/power thingies on the cards, which are major heat magnets themselves and which can cause issues when they get too hot from my understanding.

How much should I worry about any potentially missing heat sinks on the memory/power units on the 4850? Would it be safe to set up an extra fan or two to blow air on the card directly or even on those areas without messing up the fan/heat sink attached to it?

Thanks ahead of time for any input!
 

Sylvanas

Diamond Member
Jan 20, 2004
3,752
0
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1: The dreaded CPU Bottleneck. I'm wondering how much the 3800 X2 is going to slow the performance of a 4850. Would it be wiser to spend half as much on a 3850/3870 and upgrade the mobo/cpu/ram? If so could you make a recommendation? Budget is a major concern, 300 is pretty much the upper limit and I'm not certain when the mobo/cpu/ram will be upgraded otherwise (could be 1-2 years). All of the parts were originally purchased with OC ability in mind, and I may be willing to buy a new heatsink/fan to cool the cpu to OC.
What res do you play at? Yes, at a res of anything under 1680x1050 the 4850 will be CPU bottlenecked but you are still going to get framerates many times in excess of what you currently get. See, if you went with a slower card and faster CPU/mobo you would still wind up getting lower fps than a slower CPU with a 4850.

If I were to make a recommendation, however- it would be this:
X2 BE-2400 $50
Biostar 790GX $100
4850 $149 AR

Total after rebate on the 4850 comes in at your $300 budget.

2: Heat! I'm a bit paranoid about heat, as I've had issues with it in the past during hot summers. The 4850 runs hot, and doesn't exhaust out the back of the case, even with faster fans and better heat sinks, the heat is still there, just in the case instead of on the card.

I'm seeing a lot of the ATI partners introducing different heat sink designs however one comment caught my eye elsewhere. It seems that at least in the pictures some of these new heatsinks aren't covering the ram/power thingies on the cards, which are major heat magnets themselves and which can cause issues when they get too hot from my understanding.

How much should I worry about any potentially missing heat sinks on the memory/power units on the 4850? Would it be safe to set up an extra fan or two to blow air on the card directly or even on those areas without messing up the fan/heat sink attached to it?
Modern CPUs/GPUs are designed to operate at temperatures as high as 100c- you won't see a problem unless the heatsink is not assembled properly at the factory (extremely rare). The Mosfets are designed to operate at 125c and the reference design covers them. The same goes for memory ICs they don't need muck cooling. There is no harm in setting up an extra few fans blowing on the 4850 if you so desire.
 

JPB

Diamond Member
Jul 4, 2005
4,043
84
91
I agree with you Sylvanas. But if he goes that route, he also needs new memory.

If you keep your current setup, and purchase the 4850, that would allow you to run maximum AA and AF. Which in turn would slow down the card so the CPU could keep up a bit better.

You could also keep your current setup, buy another gig of memory, and get the 3870.

What resolution are you playing at currently ?
 

kedoch

Junior Member
Aug 10, 2008
7
0
0
Ya, I completely blanked on my resolution there.

Have a 20 inch LCD with native 1680x1050 if I recall the numbers correctly, so everything I can I run at 1680x1050. Sometimes I'll run in windowed mode at a smaller resolution to have access to the web or other applications.

Should add real quick, any recommendation on fans? I can't imagine they're all too different but I think I've been lucky that my cheapo's from years ago are still even working.

And ya, all the reference cards have heat sinks on the various bits, I was looking at non-reference cooling that quite a few manufacturers are adding.

Last Edit: Typo'd my ram, have 2 gigs, 2x1gig sticks.
 

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