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Upgrade from HD 3870?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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February 5, 2010 12:55:14 AM

Hi all,
So my situation is this:
I'd like to upgrade my graphics card. My current one is a Sapphire HD 3870. I have a 500W PSU with a (1) 6-pin PCI-E power cable. (More on that later.)
As far as gaming goes, I'd be looking to be able to play Crysis and Crysis Warhead on Very High @ 1920x1080, No AA or anything else...Right now my card can get a whopping average frame rate of 14 fps in very high, so the score to beat is quite low (I'd like to see something around 25+ fps). I'm looking at the 5770 and the 5850 (the 5870 is too rich for my blood). I'm also checking into the 5830, though no one knows when that's coming! (Luckily I'm in no hurry.)

Now, the thing is, I'm having trouble figuring out which of the 3 would be best for me.
I would not object to upgrading the PSU: I have my eye on a 750W Corsair at Newegg, but that's another $100, which doesn't exactly fit into my budget too well...I could find room, but it'd delay me a little bit. Again, I'm not in a huge hurry, though.
While would not need a new PSU for a 5770, the 5850 would prevent me from having to upgrade another few months down the road (I just built this computer in July....I didn't go all-out on the build because it would have cost too much. I built the current system for ~$500, and had the intent of upgrading down the road.)

Bottom Line:
I'm really not sure if the jump from 5770 to 5850 warrants an extra $135, so I'd love some input there.
I'd also like to hear opinions on whether the 5830 could be worth waiting for in my situation.
And what about possibilities of price drops on the 5850? When do you guys think we could see some? (Maybe ATI might try something around the time of nVidia's release of Fermi cards?) Price drops on the 5850s would make my decision loads easier.

Thanks in advance!

More about : upgrade 3870

a b U Graphics card
February 5, 2010 1:30:55 AM

What CPU are you using? Do you plan on overclocking?

http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/radeon-hd-5770,review-317...

The 5770 gets 34.8 FPS 1920x1200 on high settings, so it should get your goal of 25 FPS on very high 1920x1080.

The 5850 would be worth it in my oppinion, if you are willing to spend that much on a card, much better price/performance over the 5870.

Also the 5830 would be a good card, around 4890 performance and $200-220 price range, if or when ever it dose come out it will be worth looking at.
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February 6, 2010 1:27:50 AM

I guess I should have mentioned I have an Intel C2D E7400 @ 3.6 GHz (stock 2.8 GHz).
Thanks for that input. It will certainly help with my decision.
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a c 130 U Graphics card
February 6, 2010 2:17:03 AM

Editing your message so I don't have to scroll the page.

kornfan71 said:
Hi all,
So my situation is this:
I'd like to upgrade my graphics card. My current one is a Sapphire HD 3870. I have a 500W PSU with a (1) 6-pin PCI-E power cable. (More on that later.)
As far as gaming goes, I'd be looking to be able to play Crysis and Crysis Warhead on Very High @ 1920x1080, No AA or anything else
Not an easy-easy request, you know?
...Right now my card can get a whopping average frame rate of 14 fps in very high, so the score to beat is quite low (I'd like to see something around 25+ fps). I'm looking at the 5770 and the 5850 (the 5870 is too rich for my blood). I'm also checking into the 5830, though no one knows when that's coming! (Luckily I'm in no hurry.)
A miracle...
Now, the thing is, I'm having trouble figuring out which of the 3 would be best for me.
I would not object to upgrading the PSU: I have my eye on a 750W Corsair at Newegg, but that's another $100, which doesn't exactly fit into my budget too well...I could find room, but it'd delay me a little bit. Again, I'm not in a huge hurry, though.
Look at it this way. There's a few options.

A: Buy a card without the PSU. Not buying a new PSU automatically limits you to certain cards, specifically ones with 1x6pin. These cards will most likely not satisfy your needs, and if they do (HD5770), they might not last you as long as you'd hope. Also, you run into the issue of having to buy a PSU sometime down the road when the HD6k comes out, and you're looking to upgrade.

B: Buy a card and a PSU. If you did this soon, then you'd have to buy an HD5750 and the PSU you had your eyes on. It might meet your minimum requirements, but again, unsatisfactory in the long run.

C: Buy a PSU, wait, buy a card. If you have time, this is the best option. The HD5770 is comparable to the HD4870. While neither are bad cards, they're certainly not the best, nor will they suffice in the coming years. It's also better to have a PSU that you KNOW will handle the cards.
.
While would not need a new PSU for a 5770, the 5850 would prevent me from having to upgrade another few months down the road (I just built this computer in July....I didn't go all-out on the build because it would have cost too much. I built the current system for ~$500, and had the intent of upgrading down the road.)

Bottom Line:
I'm really not sure if the jump from 5770 to 5850 warrants an extra $135, so I'd love some input there.
It's like jumping from an HD4870 to an HD4850x2. There's quite a noticeable difference.
I'd also like to hear opinions on whether the 5830 could be worth waiting for in my situation.IIRC, the HD4830 was worse than the HD4770. HD5830, if our precedent is anything to go by, will be worse than the HD5770.
And what about possibilities of price drops on the 5850?
It exists. The card started at $280, and I think it was raised to $330. It won't go much higher. When do you guys think we could see some? (Maybe ATI might try something around the time of nVidia's release of Fermi cards?)
nVidia...doesn't look like they have anything out anytime soon. You know how they love to gloat on what they've done; they'd CERTAINLY gloat about the new cards coming in sometime soon.
Price drops on the 5850s would make my decision loads easier.
We all hold the same hopes, good sir.
Thanks in advance!

Also, this PSU (link below) would work.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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February 9, 2010 1:07:47 AM

Wow, thanks for the thorough answer!
I was actually looking at this PSU.
Most anything would beat my current PSU.
Unfortunately, the one you suggested would not work for me: I need more (at least 8) 4-pin 'Molex' connectors. (Thanks for the input on that, though.)
Your answer was extremely helpful, and will definitely help me in the decision-making process! Thanks! :D 
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February 10, 2010 12:47:02 AM

I hadn't really thought about a 650W. I was too focused on buying "big" so that I might not have to upgrade for awhile (i.e. when I do another build, I'll just reuse parts of this one). I'll definitely take the 650W into consideration.
As far as the graphics card goes, I was actually looking at that one already. I saw it go for $269.99 (after promos and stuff) about a week ago, which is still quite high, IMO.
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a c 130 U Graphics card
February 10, 2010 1:41:50 AM

sabot00 said:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
This is cheaper, and 650W is plenty.


That's an extra $30 on the PSU there, lol..

@OP; just buy 4 splitters. Though I do not know why you need 8 molex pins, as PATA is out, DVD drives are now SATA, so might I inquire?

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February 10, 2010 2:35:22 AM

Well:
My Antec 900 case has 4 fans, all of which are molex. You can 'piggyback' them, but due to the way I have my wires, I still need at least 2 for those. I have 1 IDE hard drive (living in the stone age...the other 2 are SATA, though), and 2 IDE CD/DVD RW drives. So there's 5 connectors. Ideally, I'd get 2 new CD/DVD RW drives that were SATA. That would solve the PSU problem and my wire management problem! If I couldn't get new drives, then I suppose splitters would be a viable option, though I generally avoid them.
The only (potential) problem would be if I wanted to Crossfire (say, for instance, 2 5850s). I wouldn't have enough PCI-e connectors. But I don't see myself doing that in the near future...I'd need a whole new mobo for that.
Maybe I will go for the OCZ. Thanks for the input [again], shadow! :D 
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February 17, 2010 1:56:31 AM

OK, update. I'm looking around right now and I found an XFX Radeon HD 4890 for $199.99. Is the performance increase (especially in Crysis) going to be noticeable from a 4890 to a 5850 (keeping in mind the 5850 is $100+ more)? What about a 5770?
Bottom line, would buying a 4890 be a wise move at this point in time?
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a b U Graphics card
February 17, 2010 5:13:13 PM

For $199 its not worth it.
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February 17, 2010 7:06:35 PM

The $200 4890 has some possible future faults; if DX11 games take off you'll be stuck with 10.1.
The 5770 has 128bit bottleneck, but it can be found for $160 on Newegg. I jumped from 3850 to 5770 and have been VERY pleased with results. I'm using the same 450w PSU that I used with my 3850 (only requires one 6 pin connector). If you want to hold off a bit, the 5830 should fill in the 256bit performance gap between 5770 and 5850.
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February 18, 2010 1:03:03 AM

Mkay. I'm thinking 5830. Hopefully ATI doesn't disappoint on that front. Some sites are suggesting that it may be out Feb. 25...*crosses fingers* (even though I can't afford ~$250 right this second... :(  )
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a b U Graphics card
February 18, 2010 1:58:07 AM

I would just get the 5770, works well with everything you got.
With the benchmarks it can play Crysis/WARS/Warhead at Very High at 1920x1200 which is higher than 1920x1080.

This is with 4XAA on a higher resolution, so turn AA down & at 1920x1080 you should 30-45FPS.
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February 18, 2010 2:31:34 AM

I'm looking to run everything on enthusiast (since enthusiast > gamer), but no AA, at 1920x1080. I've never found a benchmark for what I want.
I don't feel like the resolutions would make a huge difference, though. I'm not sure how AA affects the FPS versus turning the rest of the things up to enthusiast.

What would be amazing is if 5770 owners could use Fraps (or something similar) to get an average FPS in Crysis Warhead with everything on enthusiast and resolution about 1920x1080 and post results here.... :ange: 
Obviously this ignores a ton of other variables, but I'd love to see 'real world' numbers.

If even one person could post such a thing here, I'd be ecstatic. :D 

Thanks in advance.
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a b U Graphics card
February 18, 2010 2:39:02 AM

Shaders is the most intensive GPU variable, as textures/objects just load into RAM, physic & effects are mostly CPU.
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February 18, 2010 10:28:47 PM

BTW, I would say that this may contradict your frame rate estimate for the 5770....


After all, this is on gamer, not even enthusiast.


And one other:


This one shows that for a resolution lower than mine, they are getting less than 30 fps....


I'm not so sure that a 5770 would do it for me. Like I was saying above, I'm trying to avoid going through an upgrade for a while.

(I'm not trying to come off as a jerk, I'm just saying that the 5770, while the price is appealing, may not be what I'm after...)
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a b U Graphics card
February 18, 2010 11:08:18 PM

I have no idea what websites you're pulling that from but I trust Anand way more than the first one (I think Legit Reviews).
Tom's also reinforces Anand's findings

Crysis runs worse than Warhead & has 4xAA.

However if you want something more powerful than the 5770 I would go for a 5850.
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February 19, 2010 1:42:11 AM

AnandTech:
Quote:
But we don’t have that luxury with the Radeon HD 5700 series. The value of the 5770 in particular is clearly not going to be in its performance. Compared to AMD’s 4870, it loses well more than it wins, and if we throw out Far Cry 2, it’s around 10% slower overall. It also spends most of its time losing to NVIDIA’s GTX 260, which unfortunately the 4870 didn’t have so much trouble with. AMD clearly has put themselves in to a hole with memory bandwidth, and the 5770 doesn’t have enough of it to reach the performance it needs to be at.


Tom's Hardware:
Quote:
First, there are the value-oriented enthusiasts who try to keep their systems updated once a year or so. They’d love the fastest technology, but know that flagships always carry the largest pricing premiums. These are the folks who kept an eye on our Best Graphics Cards for the Money column, and when Radeon HD 4870s hit $140 bucks, they bought (and got a killer deal, even by today’s standards). If you belong to that group and are looking at “Radeon HD 5700-series,” expecting a big step up in performance, even the 5770 is a disappointment. After all, if you own a 4870 or 4890 already, that card is faster in today’s games.


Performance is really all I care about at this point. There's no way I'll ever use Eyefinity (I don't have room for more than 1 screen), and DX11 games are still few and far between. I'm not saying I'm going to upgrade to a 4870 or something of the like, but I think I'm just going to wait and see what AMD is going to do with the 5830 (and if 5850 prices drop sometime), and what nVidia will do with the Fermi cards. Having said that, nVidia is always more expensive than ATI, so I don't see them giving me a viable card any time soon.

Luckily, upgrading my graphics card isn't anything too high on my to-do list; I have nothing but time (which will allow me to save up and maybe get a better [5850] card).

Thanks for your input, though, sabot. It'll come in handy when (if?) ATI releases the 5830. :D 

Cheers!
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