Question about a HD4870x2 system build

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Question about a HD4870x2 system build

Postby Unknown_K » 2019-1-11 @ 02:25

I have an ATI HD4870x2 card running on a Gigabyte GA-970A-D3 AM3+ board with 4x 1GB DDR3-1333 sticks of RAM (3GB available).

The OS is Win7 32bit since I figured the card was too new for an XP setup (what do you guys think for the OS)?

Anyway I have available an Opteron 1389 (2.9ghz 4 core) or a Phenom II x2 B59 (3.4ghz 2 core). Would this system be better off with a fast dual core or a slower quad core AMD for gaming of the era? I could get a FX chip down the road but I already have a FX-8350 setup (unless I go for a 4 core).

I did unlock the B59 to Quad core but it was unstable doing benchmarks (159W seems kind of excessive for that system anyway). Heatsink is a EVO 212 Hyper. I did try upping the FSB in dual core mode to 225 giving me 3.8+ghz and that seemed stable (overclocking the quite RAM a bit, no heat spreaders).

Basically I am just trying to setup the 4870x2 card to run optimally on an AMD CPU.
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Re: Question about a HD4870x2 system build

Postby xjas » 2019-1-11 @ 02:42

If you're running AM3+ & Win7, there's absolutely no reason not to go for the 64-bit OS. AFAIK for the kind of games you'd want to run on a 4870, the higher-clocked dual-core is a good choice, especially if you want to play around with overclocking. OTOH the quad core will give you more breathing room for things like web browsing.
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Re: Question about a HD4870x2 system build

Postby Unknown_K » 2019-1-11 @ 02:51

Would I really need more then 3GB of RAM for those games that would run well on the 4870x2? Not worried about web browsing.
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Re: Question about a HD4870x2 system build

Postby candle_86 » 2019-1-11 @ 06:11

Unknown_K wrote:Would I really need more then 3GB of RAM for those games that would run well on the 4870x2? Not worried about web browsing.


When it was highend, standard was 4gb except on intel which was 6gb, with super users using 8/12gb
Ryzen 5 1600 - Gigabyte B350 Gaming - 16gb DDR4 3200 - 240GB M.2 - Windows 10 Pro
Core i3 3470 - Dell B75 Mobo - 4gb DDR3 1333 - 500gb HDD - Windows XP
Opteron 180 - Epox EP-9NPA+SL - 2gb DDR500 - 320GB HDD - Windows XP
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Re: Question about a HD4870x2 system build

Postby mothergoose729 » 2019-1-11 @ 06:21

Games didn't start being optimized for quad cores until long after the 4870 and phenom quad cores. I don't think there are many cases where 700mhz of extra clock speed is going to really make that much of a difference, but if the only thing you do is play older games, than 4gb of memory and a dual core will be fine.

Some old school benchmarks comparing dual and quad core, circa 2012.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4PDoy-mi0A

EDIT: The 4870x2 will work find in XP. It was a contender to the 9000 series gerforce cards, which were rebadged g92s. I personally owned a few 4000 series AMD cards at the time, and everyone was using XP back then because Vista was the alternative. Windows 7 release shortly there after.
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Re: Question about a HD4870x2 system build

Postby xjas » 2019-1-11 @ 06:55

Unknown_K wrote:Would I really need more then 3GB of RAM for those games that would run well on the 4870x2? Not worried about web browsing.


I actually saw a speed improvement when going from 32- to 64-bit Windows XP on my AM2 build. It was slight, but consistent. I also bumped the RAM up from 4GB to 6GB at the same time. Of course I lost some compatibility in the process, but only on a few titles from before ~2002 (e.g. 3DMark 99 Max).

Titles like Need for Speed 2010 & Prince of Persia 2008 definitely benefited.
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Re: Question about a HD4870x2 system build

Postby The Serpent Rider » 2019-1-11 @ 12:40

From my personal experience - avoid 3870x2/4870x2 like a plague. They're not meant for gaming, that's marketing bull. They're meant for pretty FPS counters in benchmarks with horrible frame pacing.
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Re: Question about a HD4870x2 system build

Postby cyclone3d » 2019-1-11 @ 15:57

The Serpent Rider wrote:From my personal experience - avoid 3870x2/4870x2 like a plague. They're not meant for gaming, that's marketing bull. They're meant for pretty FPS counters in benchmarks with horrible frame pacing.


Wasn't frame pacing fixed though? I had a 4870x2 for a short while and it seemed fine to me. If I remember correctly, the earlier drivers were not very good but they got considerably better later on.

I had bought 2 of them to run quadfire, but one ended up being DOA so I RMA'd them and was sent 2x 6870s as replacements.

A single 6870 is going to be slightly faster than a 4870x2 AND you don't have to worry about games working properly with crossfire.
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Re: Question about a HD4870x2 system build

Postby mothergoose729 » 2019-1-11 @ 17:33

cyclone3d wrote:
The Serpent Rider wrote:From my personal experience - avoid 3870x2/4870x2 like a plague. They're not meant for gaming, that's marketing bull. They're meant for pretty FPS counters in benchmarks with horrible frame pacing.


Wasn't frame pacing fixed though? I had a 4870x2 for a short while and it seemed fine to me. If I remember correctly, the earlier drivers were not very good but they got considerably better later on.

I had bought 2 of them to run quadfire, but one ended up being DOA so I RMA'd them and was sent 2x 6870s as replacements.

A single 6870 is going to be slightly faster than a 4870x2 AND you don't have to worry about games working properly with crossfire.


I messed around with crossfire HD 4850's in the day, and from what I remember games did feel a little bit jittery. More than that though, crossfire was a giant pain in the ass to set up and get working properly. Personally, I would rather have a single GTS 250 for playing games of the era, but if OP already has the card might as well use it.
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Re: Question about a HD4870x2 system build

Postby cyclone3d » 2019-1-11 @ 18:44

mothergoose729 wrote:I messed around with crossfire HD 4850's in the day, and from what I remember games did feel a little bit jittery. More than that though, crossfire was a giant pain in the ass to set up and get working properly. Personally, I would rather have a single GTS 250 for playing games of the era, but if OP already has the card might as well use it.


At one point I had a 4850 and a GTS250 in the same machine and set up a hybrid PhysX setup.

For PhysX games, I would use the 4850 for rendering and the GTS250 for hardware PhysX.

A really weird thing about that setup is that I could start up a game in windowed mode or switch to windowed mode and then drag to the other screen and the rendering load would switch to the other card.

That part just seemed strange to me as I would have thought that switching between ATI and nVidia cards mid-game would cause issues but it didn't.
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Re: Question about a HD4870x2 system build

Postby The Serpent Rider » 2019-1-11 @ 20:51

Wasn't frame pacing fixed though?

Frame pacing issues were never addressed before Radeon 7990. By that time even Radeon 6990 was moved to legacy.
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Re: Question about a HD4870x2 system build

Postby Unknown_K » 2019-1-11 @ 21:14

I guess I should have mentioned I have quite a few old games systems because I like to build old systems as much as use them.

While I have a few SLI setups (8800 gts 640MB, 9800 gtx+ , 8800 GS, etc) I don't have any crossfire. The board I am using supports crossfire and I initially set it up with 2 x 4850's that worked OK, but the cards must be getting old because they run hot as hell even after cleaning and new heatsink compound. So I decided to use my 4870x2 instead.

I do prefer single card options and have quite a few of them as well but SLI/CF is fun in the era where it was actually supported.
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Re: Question about a HD4870x2 system build

Postby Koltoroc » 2019-1-11 @ 22:40

The Serpent Rider wrote:
Wasn't frame pacing fixed though?

Frame pacing issues were never addressed before Radeon 7990. By that time even Radeon 6990 was moved to legacy.


oh, they were addressed before the 7990, most driver releases had a line somewhere about crossfire issues or "microstutters" It just took until the 7990 until they were minimized enough to not be a major concern anymore. However, they were never fixed. Heck there are still issues today with frame pacing and crossfire just not anywhere what they used to be and on par with similar issues with SLI.
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Re: Question about a HD4870x2 system build

Postby SPBHM » 2019-1-11 @ 23:15

The Serpent Rider wrote:
Wasn't frame pacing fixed though?

Frame pacing issues were never addressed before Radeon 7990. By that time even Radeon 6990 was moved to legacy.



actually no, they updated the frame pacing on as far as Radeon HD 5000 series which were still supported at the time (until late 2015, the whole frame pacing with SLI vs CF and AMD fixing it happened prior to that),
I haven't seen it tested properly, but that's what an AMD rep said.

but HD 4870 would was left out anyway.


as for system specs, when the 4870 was launched 2GB were still the norm for mid to high end gaming machines, also something like the E8400 (which your PII X2 is not all that different) were common for this application;
perhaps the person buying the X2 version would be likely to have something a little better, but not that it made much of a difference back then.
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