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4850 512mb CF to 6870 upgrade time?

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November 10, 2010 8:40:48 PM

Hi all, I've been running HD 4850 512mb Crossfire for a while now and my, it has served me well for the past couple of years.
I've decided to skip the 5000 series due to the sheer power of the dual cards, but the 6870 looks very tempting for its price.

Here's my question:
Will there be noticeable gains from upgrading to the 6870 from my setup?
I scored somewhere around 13000~ in 3dMarkVantage Performance for GPU and I read somewhere that the 6870 scores something like 15-16k? Is that 2-3k boost a substantial boost?
My main gripe is I game on 1680x1050 and a lot of settings I can't max without taking fps hits nowdays like on SC2 or BFBC2. Even Mass Effect my GPUs are working 100% with all the eye candy on WITHOUT AA in some cases.

DX11 looks tasty, and I've been itching for a video card upgrade since I decided to skip the 5000 series. Not sure if I'm willing to shell out 300$+ for the 69XX once they come out since I could grab another 6870 down the line for CF.

CPU : PII 965 @ 3.4, planning to OC if I upgrade GPU.
RAM : 2x2GB for 4GB total.
RESOLUTION : 1680 x 1050.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.
November 11, 2010 11:20:00 AM

2 4850s perform pretty much like a HD 5850(or slightly faster) and since the difference between 6870 and 5850 isn't anything huge,you may not notice a big difference in performance.
2 4850s should handle all games fine at 1680x1050.
SC2 doesn't benefit from CF,but your cards should handle BC2 and ME2 fine on highest settings.Try OC'ng your CPU and update to the latest VGA drivers and see if it helps.
November 11, 2010 7:17:15 PM

Isn't the 512mb VRAM a bottleneck for 1680x1050 for max eye candy? I read somewhere that 1gb VRAM is recommended for smooth gameplay with all the eye candy on.

If I had 2 4850 1gb in CF, I don't think I would be having these problems. BC2 still runs solid enough, but in intense situations with AA at 2x+ it starts to slow to a crawl.

A buddy of mine has a 5870 and runs a lot of his games with 8x AA and it runs fine and he plays on 1920x1200! That's really the only justification I could scrounge up for my argument. :D 
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November 11, 2010 7:20:22 PM

Also, I'm running on latest drivers which brings me to another point: 4000 series has no support for MLAA, I believe.
November 11, 2010 7:28:04 PM

For your resolution,512MB vs 1GB won't make a huge difference.Did you try OC'ng your CPU?
About your friend's performance,well a 5870 is faster than 2 4850s;however,what CPU does he use ?
November 11, 2010 7:36:29 PM

He uses the same CPU as I do. I have not tried OC'ing my CPU yet, but I'm doubtful that it'll do anything. I can try it
to see if it would boost my fps with more details turned on, but something tells me that eye candy is more GPU intensive.

But of course, I am not 100% positive, that is why I'm asking here. :D 
November 11, 2010 8:05:21 PM

How much FPS do you approximately get in BC2?(With AA)
November 11, 2010 9:36:00 PM

I'd say wait and save for the 6950.

I think a single GTX 470 does just about as good as two 4850's in crossfire.
November 12, 2010 12:18:44 AM

Maziar said:
How much FPS do you approximately get in BC2?(With AA)


Not sure how to check frame rates without Fraps, but with Vsync on and 2x AA BC2 is definitely playable.
Anything higher, ie 4x or 8x, the game is unplayable.

@Cronik93
The 6950 will probably launch at 300$+(I think 299.99 still is a modest guess), and I can't spend that much on a video card at the moment.

Seems like you two agree that the 6870 will not improve performance much over my 4850 512mb's in CF.

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November 12, 2010 9:11:52 AM
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Could be a driver issue because your cards should play it fine with 8xAA
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-480,258... (Have a look at 5850's performance)
And no,a 6870 won't give you a huge boost in performance,if you want to upgrade.Then I don't recommend anything lower than 5870.But IMO,upgrade your monitor first because for either your current cards or anything you want to buy, a full HD display is needed in order to show the true potential of your cards.
November 12, 2010 7:19:13 PM

Well, thanks Maziar. I'll hold off on upgrading my GPU until the Caymans come out and even then, I'll just hold off until the prices of everything else fall a bit.

So I'm probably looking at an upgrade sometime Spring of next year.
November 12, 2010 7:19:41 PM

Best answer selected by chronophayze.
November 12, 2010 7:29:53 PM

This topic has been closed by Maziar
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