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Upgrade for Crossfired HD3870s, monitor too

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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October 23, 2009 1:03:40 PM

I am looking to upgrade my graphics card setup. Currently I have 2 crossfired HD3870 512mb cards. I mostly play Crysis and Need for Speed. I am using a 19" monitor at 1280x1024.

Some of the things that I have considered would be to crossfired a pair of 4850's or 4770's. But I am a little teased by DX11 for some future proofing. Would a single 5850 be good for now, and allow me to crossfire it later if needed? I am looking to spend around $200 towards whatever. My current MB and CPU are working fine for me, but it would be nice to bring my new card(s) to a new system later, which also is why I am considering a 5000 series card.

I am also looking to upgrade my monitor at the same time. I would like some more real estate, but am not looking for anything crazy. I have been looking at some 23" and 24" models that max at 1680x1050 (around $200 would be nice). Should I bump it up and go 1080P?

Anybody particularly happy with what they have? Is this a mute point with my current MB and CPU and I should wait until my next major upgrade?
Thanks.
a c 126 U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
October 23, 2009 1:14:26 PM

Hey myriad, I have a 5850 and also a E8400 like yourself. Im very happy with my 5850, its an excellent card

My E8400 is OC'd to 4ghz, but i still feel its holding back my 5850, So I think if you are going to go crossfire with 5850's it would be best to upgrade to maybe a core i5/i7.

I really think if your going for a high end card (or 2) you should also get a quality monitor (1920x1080 or above). Just to get the best out of those cards.

Its slightly pointless getting a 5850 for 1280x1024 its overkill.

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October 23, 2009 1:18:42 PM

Thanks for the quick response. I may just get a single 5850 for now with my current CPU and GPU, but if I upgrade to an i5/i7 system later, the card would still be relevant and I could add a second one.
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a c 126 U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
October 23, 2009 1:23:25 PM

Yep.
Sounds good. I plan to do the same. Hopefully the prices of the 5850's will come down once nVidia have released their G300 series cards.

(I like price wars) =]

You won't regreat a 5850, its a monster and certainly a big improvement from 2x3870s in CF.
Enjoy.
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a b U Graphics card
October 23, 2009 1:25:31 PM

You will see better bang for the buck and crossfire scaling efficiency if you were to go with 5770. DX11, will outperform your current set up handily, cheaper than a 5850, and when you add a second one to a new rig, it will double your graphical performance, due to its extremely efficient xfire.

Mmmm, slapchop....
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October 23, 2009 1:25:50 PM

What board do you have the 8400 oc'd on? What'd you have to set to keep 4ghz stable?
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October 23, 2009 1:30:07 PM

JofaMang: the big difference I see is 128bit vs 256bit, as well as 2 6-pin power connectors on the 5850. Also, for a single card to replace my current, would you go with 1gb?
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a b U Graphics card
October 23, 2009 1:57:52 PM

myriad46 said:
JofaMang: the big difference I see is 128bit vs 256bit, as well as 2 6-pin power connectors on the 5850. Also, for a single card to replace my current, would you go with 1gb?


The 128bit bus is one of the reasons that it scales so efficiently. The card has been designed around that narrower (and cheaper) bus and utilizes what it has available very efficiently, and two of these cards running together do not saturate the PCI lanes, thus, 5770 x2 is almost 200% actual performance of one card. We are not seeing these efficiencies (yet) on crossfired 5850s/70s. It makes me wonder about the triple xfire scaling efficiencies of the 5770, heh.

Video Ram needs are mostly dependent on your Monitor. If you have a 1920x1080 or larger resolution monitor, it would be best to go with 1gb models. Anything less can get by on 512mb of video memory.
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October 23, 2009 2:01:26 PM

Thanks, a lot. Good information.
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a c 126 U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
October 23, 2009 2:37:27 PM

Hey myriad, im using the ASUS P5Q-E P45 Mobo.

I was very lucky and got a very good E8400 it does 4ghz with stock voltage 1.208V

cooling it with a Thermalright ultra 120 extreme 8 hrs Orthos stable max temp 50C

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