I am in the market for a new graphics card at first, and a new mobo+processor in the long run. My current specs are:
CPU: Intel Core i7 Quad Processor i7-920 (Noctua NH-D14 CPU cooler)
Motherboard: ASUS P6T SE, X58, Socket-1366
Memory: Corsair Dominator DHX DDR3 1600MHz 24GB (6 x 4GB XMS3 DHX, CL9-9-9-24 ) Storage: Intel® X25-M SSD 80GB 2,5" + Seagate Barracuda® 7200.12 1TB + WD Blue 1TB
Video Card: 2 x Radeon HD 5850
PSU: Corsair TX 750WPSU
I am basically waiting for the high-end maxwells, but I am tired of the loud 5850s. I had originally planned to buy into the 780 generation, and investing into a second 780 + new MoBo+Processor in the summer, but decided to wait for another year (and it's cheaper too .
Do you think one 750ti will have a performance in the ballpark of my two 5850s or maybe even be a bit above? In that case I might buy one now, and replace graphics card + MoBo + Processor next spring or something.
I am using this to play games and photoshop work (which is slow, but at least I have the memory). I have a 1080p monitor. Graphics are not extremely important to me, but I like a quiet setup. If you think I should improve someplace else first, feel free to give advice.
I have a small budget for an intermediate update (frankly, I would like to use as little as possible now, as this would be for a year maximum), but will be splashing out ~1000$ next time I do a "real" update.
I think the 5850 CF solution is actually faster than the 750ti, when you're playing something with proper CF support that is. Though the 750ti won't use anything near the power consumption, heat and noise as the 5850's.
Coming from an outside opinion I'd say if you're waiting to do a bigger update, just live with what you have for now and save even more money and buy what you want sooner unless you really can't wait. If you can't wait I'd say that a 750ti is above a 5850 crossfire. (in gaming at least) A 760 is the gaming equivalent of a reference 7970 but in compute the 7970 annihilates it (transferring to better OpenGL performance in PS and other applications requiring raw compute performance). So if I were you I'd really just wait.
I think the only real downside to your motherboard and CPU is that I believe it is only SATA 3gbs which does limit the SSD. If I was in your situation, I would stick with your board and CPU and go to a 770 or 780 graphics card, then you can probably swing another two years out of your CPU and MB and then upgrade that later.
IIRC your 5850 is about as powerful as a 6950 which is about as powerful as a current gen 7850 and a minor amount better than a 650ti boost. This is taking a single 750ti and comparing it against a single 5850.