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  #1  
Old 01-01-09, 02:33 AM
fiveSE7EN fiveSE7EN is offline
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PowerColor HD4870 and Bottlenecks =O

Hi all, I've been coming to this site for some time, finding great advice on technical difficulties and reading excellent reviews about hardware, etc. Now I'd appreciate it if you would kindly help me out with a couple questions

I currently have a software-overclocked nVidia 7600GT 256mb (old, I know) BUT yesterday I ordered the godly PowerColor HD4870 512mb online. I have since found out that I must also update my PSU, as the 4870 requires 2 PCI-E 6-pin connectors =O and my crappy Coolermaster 500w doesn't even have the amps on the 12v rail to run it with adapters. From another thread here I grabbed a link to a Corsair 550w, single 41A 12v rail:

newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139004

which I will be ordering directly unless the tech masters here at overclock3d say otherwise

Anyway, the root of the question - I have an Athlon x2 64 4200+ on XP and 2gb of pc3200 in dual channel. Whether it makes a difference I have a budget Audigy sound card as well, and some cheap non-overclockable hp mobo Will the rest of my system hold the 4870 back? I want to play (you guessed it) Crysis on Very High, but I just don't know if the rest of my system is up to the task. I have heard the card is quite large, but I have two empty slots for it to take up.

Thanks for your input Quite a lengthy first post!

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  #2  
Old 01-01-09, 09:40 AM
monkey7 monkey7 is offline
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Crysis on very high? Yep, the 4870 will be held back. I do not know at which resolution you want to play, but a friend of mine has an E8400 @ stock (3gHz * 2) with a stock overclocked 4870 and his '70 stays at 50%, cpu at 100% while playing at high on a 22".

In my opinion it's still a good idea to buy a 4870. It will certainly increase your performance and you can start working on your next bottleneck (cpu/mobo combo). Once you have the money for let's say a P5Q+E8500 you will have quite a gaming rig.

And about the PSU: I'd take a major upgrade at once. A CM500 to Corsair 550 isn't exactly a great difference, although the corsair 550's are known to have some serious endurance when it comes to heavy load.

Personally I'd go for something like the CM Real Power m700, Corsair 750 (don't know the exact number) or one of the BeSilent dark power pro series, somewhere around the 600 mark. This will gain you some serious overkill at the moment but will prevent you from having to buy another one at the next serious upgrade.
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  #3  
Old 01-01-09, 11:11 AM
tonpal tonpal is offline
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I am surprised that your Coolermaster 500W will not run a HD4870. I would expect a good 500W PSU would not have any problems with a single 4870. A 750W PSU is overkill unless you plan to run crossfire.

You may find this site useful for PSU load calcs.

http://web.aanet.com.au/SnooP/psucalc.php

I agree with Monkey7 that your processor will hold back the framerate on Crysis.
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  #4  
Old 01-01-09, 11:19 AM
monkey7 monkey7 is offline
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As he said, the 500w psu doesn't have the connectors for the '70, as it needs two sixpins.

A PSU calculator really is a good help, but it doesn't count on buffer. If you want your psu to run as efficiently as possible you should keep the load around 70% during full system load.

And as I said: yes I know ~700 is overkill, but it will prevent you from having to buy another psu the next upgrade. Most of the time the jump from 500 to 700 isn't all that expensive.
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  #5  
Old 01-01-09, 06:36 PM
tonpal tonpal is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by name='fiveSE7EN'
I have since found out that I must also update my PSU, as the 4870 requires 2 PCI-E 6-pin connectors =O and my crappy Coolermaster 500w doesn't even have the amps on the 12v rail to run it with adapters. for it to take up.
Might be worth posting the specs of your Coolermaster PSU to get a second opinion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by name='monkey7'
A PSU calculator really is a good help, but it doesn't count on buffer. If you want your psu to run as efficiently as possible you should keep the load around 70% during full system load.
I fully agree with you. A PSU calculator is a tool to give an indication of the sort of load to expect. I had kinda assumed that a 20% to 30% margin would be allowed on top when deciding on a PSU rating.

Quote:
Originally Posted by name='monkey7'
And as I said: yes I know ~700 is overkill, but it will prevent you from having to buy another psu the next upgrade. Most of the time the jump from 500 to 700 isn't all that expensive.
My estimation was that fiveSE7EN's current system even with a 4870 would struggle to get much over 250W and even if it was upgraded to a Core 2 Quad would struggle to get much over 300W. The reason I suggested 700W was too high was that the current system would be running the PSU at under 50% which in my opinion is too low, although the point about the jump in cost is well made.
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  #6  
Old 01-01-09, 06:40 PM
Youngie1337 Youngie1337 is offline
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I can run Crysis @ VERY HIGH with around 30-80fps outside, inside I get around 160fps.

4870 512MB Q6600@stock.
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  #7  
Old 01-01-09, 09:08 PM
fiveSE7EN fiveSE7EN is offline
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Wow, great responses! Thanks!

Okay, here are the specs on my current PSU, and I will definitely look in the 700w range now:

Type - ATX12V V2.01:

+3.3V@20A,+5V@20A,+12V1@16A,+12V2@16A,

-12V@0.8A,+5VSB@2.0A

1 x Main connector (20+4Pin)

1 x 12V(P4)

6 x peripheral

3 x SATA

2 x Floppy

1 x PCI-E

Efficiency >70% typically

So I felt this was a terrible power supply to trust with that card. As far as the resolution, I have a 17" monitor, nothing fancy so I was hoping to run Crysis at my native res of 1280x1024, no AA. What do you guys think I would be able to run it at?

The reason I didn't just buy a whole new computer is because I'm leaving for basic training in 6 months, so I just wanted to freshen up my system a little bit until then. Thanks for the help in trying to get it to perform "well enough" without revamping the whole thing

P.S. Here is a 650w Corsair for LESS than the 550:

newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139005&Tpk=corsair 650w
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  #8  
Old 01-01-09, 09:34 PM
monkey7 monkey7 is offline
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A Corsair 650 will certainly do if it has the connectors You'd need to use molex->PCI-e if you want to crossfire though.

1280x1024 @ very high could be doable for that setup. No guarantuees though, since I can't really compare the CPU's (or rather: I'm too lazy atm to do it).
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  #9  
Old 01-01-09, 09:40 PM
fiveSE7EN fiveSE7EN is offline
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Haha, understood monkey7. Your help is invaluable. I don't *plan* on going crossfire, but if I did I would probly just use those adapters like you said (good thing that 650 has 8x4pins)

Well, I'm hoping for very high. It's understandable if I have to turn some settings to high - speaking of which, are all gfx settings created equal in terms of cpu usage? I would assume it's the same as GPU load, where smoke/shadows/filtering/shaders are your big ticket items, right?

Also, I just bought that Corsair 650 with 52A on the 12v. Thanks guys
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  #10  
Old 02-01-09, 08:54 AM
tonpal tonpal is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by name='fiveSE7EN'
Okay, here are the specs on my current PSU, and I will definitely look in the 700w range now:

Type - ATX12V V2.01:

+3.3V@20A,+5V@20A,+12V1@16A,+12V2@16A,

-12V@0.8A,+5VSB@2.0A

1 x Main connector (20+4Pin)

1 x 12V(P4)

6 x peripheral

3 x SATA

2 x Floppy

1 x PCI-E

Efficiency >70% typically
With 32A on your +12V rails you will have no problems running a single 4870 from your existing PSU.

Quote:
Originally Posted by name='fiveSE7EN'
Also, I just bought that Corsair 650 with 52A on the 12v.
You have chosen well, the Corsair is a good PSU and should be good enough to run any upgrade you throw at it, including a second graphics card. At the price Newegg was selling this PSU buying now was the right option. In the UK they are selling in pounds for what you paid in dollars (with the mail in rebate).
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