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Fastest graphics card I can pair with my Athlon X2 6000+

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
February 18, 2010 1:39:01 AM

Hi all,

I'm considering one final video card upgrade for my aging 2-1/2 year old Rig. Here are my current system specs:

CPU: Athlon 64X2 6000+
GPU: Visiontek HD4870 512MB
RAM: 4GB Corsair DDR2 667, (2X2GB)
MB: NForce 4 MX420 (I think, this and the hard drive are all that's left of a PC I bought from Best Buy in 2007 and starting swapping parts out of within a couple of months).
PSU: Corsair TX650
OS: Vista service pack 2

I have reasons for not just buying a new machine. (My wife never seems to complain about my buying one or two upgrade parts a year, but I can only get a new box in the house every 3 to 4 years).

My question is this. Do you think my CPU will bottleneck and HD5850, or 5890? I would consider one of the new nVidia cards as well when they hit the market.

My degree of technical knowledge is pretty high, but I'm just not sure on this one. If my videocard had 1a Gig of video RAM I'd probably just stay put, but I'm tempted at by even a 20% performance increase at 1920 X 1080 and I know the lack of RAM on the 4870 is a drawback.

I'm "maxed out" with the 6000+ as I have a socket AM2 motherboard and an OEM copy of Vista. Otherwise, I'd just do a motherboard/CPU?GPU swap and call it a day.

Any help would be most greatly appreciated. Thanks!

a c 173 U Graphics card
February 18, 2010 2:28:19 AM

A 5850 will go far but you will be bottle necked however you can upgrade later with rest of the system.
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February 18, 2010 8:57:29 AM

shadow187 said:
Step1: Motherboard swap to AM2/AM2+/AM3 MOBO (Many out there, I believe) [ ]
Step2: CPU Upgrade to Amd Phenom II 550
Step3: Buy CPU Cooler
Step4: OC CPU to 4ghz; Unlock 2 Cores; buy HD5850.
Step5: Enjoy.

Thanks Shadow. Won't Vista freak out if I swap the motherboard? I have no disk with which to do a clean re-install as I'm running an OEM version. If not then this is the way to go.
a c 376 U Graphics card
February 18, 2010 9:06:40 AM

Yeah, you will need to reinstall windows to use a new motherboard. Your current card is about the best I would reasonably recommend for that cpu.
February 18, 2010 11:38:55 AM

Hate to burst your bubble but the 4870 is being bottlnecked by that processor.

Even OEM versions of windows come with a disk.

Thanks ZipZoom.

You didn't burst my bubble at all, this is the answer I was looking for! I think Shadow was making the same point by recomending I replace the CPU and motherboard and keep the card. I have to confess I didn't realize the 4870 was powerful enough to be bottlenecked by my CPU, (though I figured the 5000 series cards might be which is why I posted). The 6000+ is at least still a little better than the 4400+ that came in the machine.

As for my copy of Vista, it came preinstalled with no disk, though I did make back up disks when I bought the machine. I have never been brave enough to swap the motherboard and reload the OS. I thopught that a preinstalled version of Windows was tied to the motherboard and that it would not work if I swapped. I guess I could just get a Windows 7 disc from newegg.

Maybe I should start a new thread in the motherbards section...