I'am currently running a XFX Black Ed.6850 GPU on a Sabertooth X58 motherboard with a XFX 850 Black Ed. 80+silver PSU , CPU I7-960@ 3.8. My question is, can I use a R9 290x or a GTX 780i in this older rig and will I need to o.c. to stay away from bottlenecks from the cpu?
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yes you need to OC a sh*t ton to alleviate botlenecking
Yes you can use those cards. Try at 3.8 and too see how work.