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About to buy Sapphire HD4890 Vapor-X 2GB...with x4 PCIe slot. Need some confirmation

Associate
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28 Jul 2008
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52
Thanks for taking the time.

I'm about to buy a Sapphire ATI Radeon HD 4890 Vapor-X 2048MB GDDR5 PCI-Express Graphics Card

It'll run on a crossover board, the ASrock 4core dual SATA-2. I didn't want to dispose of my current AGP Sapphire X1950 pro at the time of purchase a year ago, even now it's still capable of running the latest games on high settings, or rather it was until it packed up recently.

Now I see my folly though, as checking the benchmark results for Pci-e 1.0 x4, x8, and x16 posted on another site, the overall conclusion seems to be x16 is always worth paying for, x8 isn't that far behind, but x4 really is much slower...

So the questions are, what sort of framerates do you think I can get with this awesome card being hobbled by x4 pci-e 1.0?

I want to play large battles of Empire Total War on the highest settings in smoothness, do you think I could do this with the support of an Intel core-2 2.3GHz, and 2x500mb of DDR1? I'll upgrade my motherboard when I can afford to upgrade the RAM as well, I'd just like some predictions of what speeds I could get before I do.

Thanks then.
 
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Caporegime
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Wait what?

You have a total 1GB DDR1?


That's what is going to cripple your gaming performance for a start.
 
Soldato
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Ug, don't bother. Save your cash and upgrade the whole lot. Regardless, a 2GB graphics card is a waste of space under 2560x1600 resolution.
 
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OP
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Yes 1GB DDR1. I forgot to mention above that the motherboard can only run a maximum of x4 pci-e.

Actually reflux, that was the other issue. As you say, the benchmarking results showed no more than a 1 framerate difference between the 1GB and 2GB versions below that resolution, and I'm happy with my 1680x1050 on a 22'' flat-screen, I just figured that the 2GB version of this card was only £30 more than and might offer some future-proofing. Can you foresee any other reason that the extra GB may come in handy in the future?

Also, even if my bandwidth is totally bottlenecked by this card, I don't see why I shouldn't get the card first and upgrade the rest later, so I can play games now, it should only be a couple of months down the line when I do, this card would probably still be my choice if I waited, it's f'ing flawless.
 
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Associate
OP
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Sorry alex, I'm very tired and that was a stupid response by me.

OK, I'll look into options for new motherbaords and ram, thx.
 
Soldato
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Yeah, the GPU will be well out of date before the extra memory would be useful.

I seriously wouldn't bother in your situation tbh mate, you'd be better off spending the £179 on a new motherboard and RAM before you splurge on a graphics card you won't see the benefit of.
 
Associate
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Well if your GPU has packed up and you need another one to get going, then go out and get a GPU first and then upgrade the rest of you system later. TBH i dont think you notice any differance with 1GB or 2GB card and it wont matter if you have X4, X8 or X16or slot. I think at the moment only the 295GTX and 4870x2 benifit from more than x8 and even that you'd probably not notice.
 
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OP
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As I'm sure you can tell, I'm someone that only ever learns about hardware when it's faulty or insufficient. I've only just got back into my gaming after a couple of years off, and honestly wasn't aware that 1GB DDR1 was so dated now.

OK, on the one hand, I can't play games until I get a new card, on the other, the card is wasted on this system, and more importantly, dates much quicker than other hardware. So it all comes down to how soon I could afford to upgrade the RAM and motherboard, I'll have a think about my finances.

Thanks then, I feel slightly less profoundly ignorant. :)
 
Soldato
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Not only would such a grfx card be a waste in that motherboard but I bet it wouldn't even work at all. Almost guaranteed to run into BIOS issues or similar as it's quite an old board now.

Also considering the low spec of your system I'm guessing your PSU isn't exactly upto the job either?
 
Associate
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start firing out thread posts and get the post count up the head over to memebers market and look for a upgrade bargin ...gl
 
Associate
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I would buy a cheap graphics card. Run that for a while and start using your spare cash for upgrades. You could get some good bargains nowdays if you know where to look.
 
Soldato
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That card costs around £180 and would be severely bottlenecked. Also you don't need 2gb Video memory unless you're playing on a 30" screen. You don't even need 1gb unless you are on a > 22"

1)Get a new motherboard - ~£50
2)Get 4GB DDR2 - ~£40
3) spend the remaining £90 on a 4850 1024mb or get a 4870 1024mb for £105.
 
Associate
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That card costs around £180 and would be severely bottlenecked. Also you don't need 2gb Video memory unless you're playing on a 30" screen. You don't even need 1gb unless you are on a > 22"

1)Get a new motherboard - ~£50
2)Get 4GB DDR2 - ~£40
3) spend the remaining £90 on a 4850 1024mb or get a 4870 1024mb for £105.

This - assuming your current CPU is a socket 775 job. If not then something like an e5200 can be found fairly cheap and overclocked well.
 
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OP
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28 Jul 2008
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It is a socket 775. OK, I've ruled out getting that card right now. I then considered getting a new i7 mobo, DDR3 RAM and that card, but I will need a second pc sooner or later for when I move out. I'd like to leave this pc here, that would be moderately powerful at gaming, and when I have the cash, buy or build a gaming monster for a primary pc to take away with me.

So upgrading this for competent performance on high-end games with value as the main concern seems to be the best option for now. This mobo may only have x4 PCI-e, but I'm guessing a pretty powerful Radeon, such as a 4850, as Zarf suggests, combined with some now shockingly cheap 2x2GB DDR2 and my current core-2 2.13GHz would offer a fantastic gaming performance/price ratio.

Thanks guys, there were several options, and you've helped me see this as the best one.
 
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