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What is currently the fastest single-core GPU that is available?

  1. Jun 3, 2009 #1
    I was thinking about upgrading my computer's graphics card for christmas. According to my research, the two fastest single-core graphics cards that are out today are the ATI Radeon 4890, and the NVidia Geforce GTX 285. But I don't know which one is the fastest. How much of a performance improvement will upgrading from my Radeon HD 4850 (single core) to either one of those cards?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 4, 2009 #2
  4. Jun 4, 2009 #3
    That depends on the application.


    I just got a 4890 last week, upgrading from a 7900 GT, and it is AMAZING!!! Runs anything with the greatest of ease. Between the 4890 and the 285, I would get the 4890 since its $100 cheaper for similar performance. You can often find them for $180 with free shipping.

    As for a performance increase, I refer you to the charts up above. There will be an increase but probably not a huge one. Your better off just buying a second 4850 and crossfiring it.
  5. Jun 5, 2009 #4
    It would be good to set yourself a budget. If you want flat-out the fastest single GPU available, I would go with a 285 GTX. The cost vs performance with the 4870 is definitely hard to beat though. What i'd recommend as as an option is the 275 GTX. It's typically priced only about $10 more the 4890 yet offers better performance. With ATI's cards, it's sometimes a hit and miss when it comes to gaming performance. Nvidia's cards will always perform very well, but i've noticed that while ATI's cards, while running many games exceptionally, there's sometimes a few where it falls sub par. As much as I don't like to play brand loyalty, Nvidia seems to be the more consistent.

    I've had the chance to play with many different video cards while building systems for customers, so for me the proof is in the pudding. Nvidia's cards flat-out rock when it comes number crunching vs comparable cards from ATI... Seti@home, climateprediction.net, LHC@home, ect.

    4890 vs. 275 GTX
  6. Jun 6, 2009 #5
    I am afraid that my Intel Core 2 Quad Q9400 (2.66 GHz) will bottleneck a single GTX 285 or HD 4890. It's probably already bottlenecking the HD 4850 it has in there right now. My relatively wealthy parents are extremely frugal, and I was lucky as heck to get the computer that I did. Knowing from experience, I probably will not be getting another one for many, many years. I am also terrified to overclock my processor because I have been told that overclocking can be extremely dangerous if you do not really know what you are doing. I'd like to overclock my C2Q Q9400 from 2.66 GHz to 3.00, which is a 340 MHz overclock. It is using it's stock cooler air cooler, which are not very good from what I have heard. Overclocking can cause your computer not to boot, constantly crash, become unstable, overheat, corrupt your system, etc.... It requires an expert knowledge of computer science and electronic engineering to do so safely and correctly. Besides, I don't believe that my PC came with any type of CPU overclocking software whatsoever. If I overclocked, it would the warranty would probably instantly be completely voided if I moved the slider left or right.

    My Radeon HD 4850 idles at about 90 degrees celcius, and operates at 100-120 under load with it's stock cooler. Can I run my C2Q from 2.66 GHz to just 3.00 with it's stock cooler? I mean, it's not like I'm clocking it to 4.0 GHz or anything.

    Oh, and I don't know if a GTX 285 will fit in my case. I believe it would be blocked by the extra hard disk bays that I will probably never use. I have never actually seen a GTX 285 so I wouldn't know how large it is. I have also never taken any measurements of the inside of my case and compared them to the dimensions of the upgrades I want to see if they would physically fit. I was thinking about getting a Fatal1ty X-Fi gaming sound card and the "Killer NIC M1" gaming network card but the PCIe x16 and either the PCIe x1 or the PCI slots are too close to each other and probably, from my guess, would not fit. With pre-built, budget gaming computers, companies usually throw in cheap motherboards, power supplies, etc to keep the price down.

    I would take a picture of the inside of my computer with my digital camera and post it here but my brother currently has it and I would have to get it back from him.
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2009
  7. Jun 6, 2009 #6
    I wouldn't say a Q9400 will bottleneck a 285 GTX. At least not a true bottleneck. If you were to put in a 295 GTX, do you think your framerates wouldn't go up at all because of the CPU? Definitely not the case. Your Q9400 is a very good processor and will be for quite some time.

    With overclocking it all comes down to your cpus operating temp. Overclocking your cpu can be very safe. Over the years i've overclocked every single cpu that i've owned and i've yet to have one fail on me. It's all in watching your temperature. The computer not booting, crashing and being unstable are effects you get while in the process of overclocking. When the computer fails to boot or you notice programs crash... you back off a few steps. Overclocking is in no way hard or requires any type of computer science degree. On the contrary, it's very, very simple. The key is setting a thermal limit, and then making small incremental steps.

    You can definitely take your Q9400 from 2.66 to 3GHz with a stock cooler. I've taken both a Q6600 and 920 i7 from 2.66 to 3.4GHz on the stock coolers.

    What motherboard do you have? Download CPU-Z and see what it says...
    http://www.cpuid.com/download/cpuz/cpuz_151_setup.exe [Broken]

    IMO, the Fatality XFI cards are a bit over rated. Do you currently have onboard audio?
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
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