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Looking for verification before I upgrade for BF3

Last response: in Video Games
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November 14, 2011 11:25:35 PM

I built this system about a year and a half ago by following one of the $1k gaming machine builds here at the time. To date, it has done everything i've asked and more. Now I'm ready for BF3 and I want to make sure that I can simply upgrade components individually without running in to significant bottlenecks anywhere.

My current system is configured as follows:
Processor
2.90 gigahertz AMD Athlon II X3 435

MOBOARD
Gigabyte Technology Co., Ltd. GA-MA790GPT-UD3H

GPU
ATI Radeon HD 4800 Series X2 in Crossfire (4850)

PSU
PSU: Antec 650W Max : Earthwatts EA-650 LINK

My plan is to drop the current Crossfire config in favor of the GeForce GTX 570 . It is my hope that this is all I will need to do to run the game at near ultra settings. My fear is that I will also need to upgrade the CPU. If thats the case, I am pretty sure I will need to upgrade the MoBoard along with it. All of a sudden I'd be building an entirely new system.

Can anyone tell me if:
A. Will I run in to power issues upgrading to the new GPU?
B. Is the CPU strong enough to handle next gen games at solid settings?
C. If not, will I be able to replace the GPU without replacing the MoBoard as well?
November 15, 2011 12:58:21 AM

Your PSU is fine for a GTX 570. You don't need a new motherboard for a new graphics card. Be advised that one 570 is only slightly faster than 2 4850s, though you do get DX11 support and fewer issues that are inherent with multi GPU setups. Be advised that your board does not support SLI so you don't have the option of adding another card down the road if you want more performance if you go for an nvidia card.

Your CPU is okay, unless you are playing at a really low resolution you aren't likely to see any huge CPU bottleneck. You could try your luck at unlocking your CPU's fourth core if you want to try to get a little more performance, or upgrade to a Phenom II X4 if you need more CPU power. You probably won't need to do that right now unless you plan on running a high end dual GPU setup. Your current CPU won't bottleneck any single card out there right now, not unless you are playing one of the handful of very CPU intensive games, like Skyrim on ultra, or large Starcraft 2 games on ultra settings. Some of the larger BF3 multiplayer games may also stress your CPU, but there is no way to consistently benchmark that.
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November 15, 2011 1:11:14 AM

well, I'm a bit iffy towards the triple cores. I mean Ghz wise, it'll probably run BF3, with 3 cores I doubt you'll run into a bottleneck

PSU, if it can handle dual 4850s it should be fine for a single 570. Anandtech had theirs peak at ~450W during severe load. for your rig that leaves 200W to spare for everything else. so unless your CPU starts eating 150W alone you should be fine.
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November 15, 2011 12:17:17 PM

CPU is on the weak side for BF3. I can confirm a single 570 can handle Ultra [at least with a 2600k...].
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November 15, 2011 1:05:39 PM

Thanks for all of the replies.

I was not aware that this board does not support SLI. I will have to look into a comparable Radeon card. How should I look in to upgrading a cpu that will be compatible with this board? I've always thought of the two as a pair.
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Best solution

November 15, 2011 6:44:57 PM

quaziau said:
Thanks for all of the replies.

I was not aware that this board does not support SLI. I will have to look into a comparable Radeon card. How should I look in to upgrading a cpu that will be compatible with this board? I've always thought of the two as a pair.


As said above it is an AM3 board all current AMD CPUs aside from the Bulldozer FX series is compatibile, with the Phenom II X4 955 BE being the best value. The X6 CPUs won't help you in gaming as no games are programmed to use more than 4 cores. The AMD equivalent to the GTX 570 is the Radeon HD 6970, their best single GPU card. Like the 570 that will net you a slight upgrade over your 2 4850s. The Radeon HD 6950 is about equal to your current Crossfire setup. If you are looking for a really big upgrade now the best value would probably be to get 2 6950s in Crossfire. This may necessitate a PSU upgrade though. If you are okay with a slight upgrade now with the potential for a second card later on, the 6970 would be the better choice.

Do keep in mind that the next generation of graphics cards is coming out soon, and once that happens the supplies of the older cards start to dry up, so don't wait too long on getting a second card if you want one.
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November 25, 2011 1:44:06 PM

Best answer selected by quaziau.
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