HD4870x2 or CPU h2O loop???

HD4870x2 or Custom CPU h2O + Case Mods

  • HD4870x2 (and maybe CPU h2O)

    Votes: 9 64.3%
  • CPU h2O + Case Mods

    Votes: 5 35.7%

  • Total voters
    14

cornelious0_0

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Apr 6, 2003
Messages
12,783
Well...once again I'm faced with a bit of a predicament. The system that I have up and running is more then what I need for gaming, but anyone who knows me around here knows that I never stop there and that I'm a true benchmark whore at heart. :D

Before I get into reasoning and pro's and con's as far as I see them let me just say that these two options are being considered for the sake of overclocking and benchmarking so I thought this was a more fitting forum then General Hardware or somewhere else.

Obviously my two options are:

1 - ATI Radeon HD4870x2
or
2 - Custom 120.2 watercooling loop for the CPU and keep my GTX260

Currently my CPU is perfectly stable 24/7 at 4.2GHz (on air) and can run through loops of any 3D benchmark at 4.4GHz on a whim. The point here is to beef up the system beyond reasonable levels and boost benchmark scores as much as possible...so please try not to suggest things from a gamers point of view.

Option 1
Since cash is tight the only way I can afford the HD4870x2 is to sell my GTX260 as well as my HD4870 once it's RMA'd, and still pitch in some cash on the side. I'm not worried about selling my card as I've got a friends 8800GTS 512MB to hold me over, still more then I need for my gaming (WoW) habbits. Obviously the HD4870x2 will boost benchmark scores MUCH more then an extra 200-300MHz added to my CPU so there is that right off the start.

The only reason I don't already have my mind made up is because I'm also becoming an avid case modder and if I go with the HD4870x2 I may not be able to cut up my case and get it painted as I want anytime soon. In order to get my case mods done I have to sell the HD4870 when it's back from RMA, so I can't immediately have both.

Option 2
The watercooling definitely has more aesthetic value then anything else, but I would still be benefiting from it. I have no doubt in my mind that I'd be able to add a couple hundred MHz to my 24/7 and benchmark CPU clocks with h2O...and I would also be able to get my case mods done within the next few months...so the system will be a hell of a lot prettier. The problem is that most recent 3D benchmarks are already showing diminishing returns from my CPU overclock alone. At 4.2GHz I gain a measely 100points from a 100MHz cpu boost in 3DMark06, but I gain a couple THOUSAND points from the OC on my GTX260 alone. In the end the watercooling and the gauranteed ability to get my case mods done is more for aesthetic purposes, but being able to benchmark at 4.5GHz and above would also be a bonus.

Sorry to bore you guys with all that, there's just a lot going on upstairs right now and I'm trying to make sense of it all. :rolleyes:

I guess in the end I should probably just go with the HD4870x2 and be happy, if I do the h2O and case mods first I'm not going be able to upgrade my video card for a LONG time as cash is kinda tight. On the flip side, getting the HD4870x2 first leaves my options open to still pinch pennies and get my h2O done before spring...the best of both worlds!!!

I'd have to wait to cut up the case and paint it but I'm pretty sure I'd be happy enough with the HD4870x2 and (maybe) watercooling for awhile...there's always the LAN about 10 or 11 months from now for the paint job I guess. :p

The reason I'm stressing getting things done in a few months is because of a local 100 person LAN party that I attend ever 6 months, scheduled for April 24th. I'll admit that I do like showing off my rig, not many people take a very serious enthusiast attitude at the LAN so it's always funny to see people's reactions to a REAL case mod or heavily OC'd system.

I'll probably end up going with the HD4870x2 but outside input is still nice...just remember not to talk to this benchmark whore like a gamer, I know it's overkill for my gaming habbits...anybody who knows me should know by now that gaming is more of a side hobby of mine compared to overclocking and benchmarking. :D
 

cornelious0_0

[H]F Junkie
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Messages
12,783
Seems the 4870x2 is pulling in more votes...but I'm also looking at things more long term now as well. DFI is putting out a mATX Lanparty board similar to mine, but based on the X58 chipset for Corei7 CPU's sometime in the not to distant future.

The reason I'm almost considering dropping the 4870x2 completely is because I don't really NEED it, the water would be more of an accomplishment, and if I move to an X58 setup in the next year or two I can pickup a second GTX260 for some pretty decent SLI performance.
 

sirmonkey1985

[H]ard|DCer of the Month - July 2010
Joined
Sep 13, 2008
Messages
22,230
since x58 supports crossfireX why not do 2x4870 1GB's and water cooling.. it will be cheaper then a 4870x2 and get the exact same performance.. and still have money left over for the WC setup
 

cornelious0_0

[H]F Junkie
Joined
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I really do not want to have a pair of HD4870's in my system, the added heat output from the second card and noise from the second fan really turns me off. In general I'm not really a fan of most multi-card setups, the GTX260 SLI thing was just a though. Considering that the HD4870 and GTX260 are relatively close performance wise, I'd rather keep the GTX260 for it's lower power consumption, lower noise levels, lower heat output, and nicer asthetics.

In the end I think I need to look at things more realistically then what's going to get me the best benchmark score, I know I'll be much happier and more proud of the system with the CPU h2O and 100% completed case mods then I will be with a faster video card (that I don't REALLY need) and the chance at having the watercooling.
 

sirmonkey1985

[H]ard|DCer of the Month - July 2010
Joined
Sep 13, 2008
Messages
22,230
I really do not want to have a pair of HD4870's in my system, the added heat output from the second card and noise from the second fan really turns me off. In general I'm not really a fan of most multi-card setups, the GTX260 SLI thing was just a though. Considering that the HD4870 and GTX260 are relatively close performance wise, I'd rather keep the GTX260 for it's lower power consumption, lower noise levels, lower heat output, and nicer asthetics.

In the end I think I need to look at things more realistically then what's going to get me the best benchmark score, I know I'll be much happier and more proud of the system with the CPU h2O and 100% completed case mods then I will be with a faster video card (that I don't REALLY need) and the chance at having the watercooling.


since amd fixed that issue with the power usage i believe the 4870 uses less power then the 260 at idle and full load.. the original problem was driver related and was fixed with the CCC update that came a few weeks after its release.. but yeah.. i agree with the fan noise.. was just throwing up and idea since you were polling on the 4870x2...but sounds like your already decided on what you want which makes me wonder why you even created the poll.. :p
 

eeekman

n00b
Joined
Nov 9, 2008
Messages
7
If benchmark scores matter the most, go for the 4870X2. I know for me, the extra few hundred MHz I got from my CPU didn't do much for my 3DMark scores but it sure woke up my Sandra memory bandwidth tests.
Good luck! ;)
 

cornelious0_0

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It know it seems like my mind might already be made up...but I still like throwing the options out in the open...sometimes some people have a different perspective on things and I might reconsider based on somebody's comment.

As of now I'll probably sell the HD4870 to pay for the case mods and paint job and then gradually build/piece together the 120.2 CPU loop over the next few months so I can look for some things second hand to save some cash.
 

chuckd007

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Dec 8, 2007
Messages
1,218
HD4870x2 is the best choice. Better performance, less hassle and better resale value
 

tokey

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jan 8, 2008
Messages
6,633
it all depends on the individual.....

If you like the looks of water cooling and a pretty system go for it.... if you want raw power and performance get a 4870x2....

Me i am thinking about getting a part time job on the side to pay for a loop and possible upgrades in early feb.

thn again i already have a 4870x2 lol
 

cornelious0_0

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12,783
Yeah, I know I'd appreciate the case mod and h2O more then the 4870x2 and cash is tight so it's gonna be a tough call.
 
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