ATI 6870 1GB Crossfire still worth it?

I have an Powercolor ATI 6870 1GB DDR5 and while drivers and heating issues have been a pain in the past. I have managed and it works but newer games require me to run them on lower settings. Like Need For Speed Rivals I would like to run it on higher settings but can't because it lags horribly.

Will adding another 6870 help with games? I always disable AA and current resolution is 1440x900.

PSU: Corsair 750W
CPU: i5 2500k 3.3Ghz
MOBO: Asus z68 Gen-V3
Windows 7 SP1 64bit
8GB RAM 2x4GB Hyperx Kingston 1333Mhz

I was thinking of trying to bid on a used 6870 and try to get it for $50-$80. If I managed to do that would it be worth it?
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  1. I'll suggest you hold off and start saving for a decent upgrade, something more modern will/should be cooler, quieter and better able to handle current and future titles, Crossfiring two 1Gb cards is only going to become increasingly restrictive.
    And you actually have a nice system BTW, easily able to handle the most powerful (read 'frighteningly expensive') cards out there so there's no need to be concerned about potential hardware bottlenecks.
  2. I wouldnt bother, 1gb isnt enough these days. Changing it for a single 7950/R9 280 would be much better.


    Also you still have a decent CPU/mobo, I would look into getting a nice cpu cooler and overclocking - the 2500k is a beast at overclocking.
  3. 1GB is not enough. As you are probably aware, even if you add a new card it does not double the VRAM. Crossfire (and SLI) only use the VRAM of one of the cards. Having used Crossfire in the past (2 x HD5870) I found some games would not work with crossfire and had to disable one of the cards. I found the 1GB of VRAM meant I could not have high textures. I also encountered some games that had worse performance in crossfire then with just a single card. Save up and buy a new card with at least 3GB of VRAM. Then save up and get a nice monitor as well.
  4. Thanks for the replies! When I first bought my ATI 6870 in Dec 2011 that card was suppose to be the best bang for my buck. However by the end of 2012 it was already outdated severely. Is there anything I can do to squeeze more performance out of my graphics card? The ATi Catalyst lets me OC it but how can I know whats a good OC for it? Card runs very hot on stock speeds. I did OC it months ago by 50Mhz and did not notice any difference in games. Pushing it beyond that caused it to get too hot.

    I know replacing it with a newer card would be the best but money is tight right now and I wanted to enhance the performance with what I have already, I have seen some ATI 6870 cards go for $60 on ebay and some youtube videos of people playing some games I want to play using crossfire, seem to work for them. But who knows how tricking it was to set up everything to work well.


    Robcrezz, yes I know my cpu has potential to OC and I have Corsair H60 liquid cooling kit that I bought 3 months ago. Its been on my to do list to install and see if I can push my i5 to 4Ghz. I don't have any game or app that requires such speed though. So would overclocking my CPU mean it will always run that high and do unnecessary wear? Does yours always run at 4.7Ghz? Do you know if the Corsair H60 is good enough for overclocking the i5?


    Coozie only bottleneck I worry is that future PCI3.0 cards cant be fully utilized by my 2nd gen i5. But I guess I wont know until I can afford one. I was thinking of putting the R9 280x on my Black Friday list. If I can get it cheaper than $200 its what I'll upgrade to.

    Jak Sparra, how much longer is the R 290 compared to your older HD5870? Would you even recommend that R 290 card since its almost $500? The way I see it I probably wont be able to get that until they drop it to $150-$200 range. But by then would that card be obsolete?
  5. You could easy get 4.3ghz on that cooler. Won't shorten its life by any noticeable amount. I just over clock the turbo, so it still idles at 1.6ghz but boosts to 4.7 under load.

    PCI e 2 won't bottleneck modern cards so don't worry about that.
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