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Yet another "help me" thread

My current set-up:

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL5D-4GBPQ
XFX HD-487A-ZHFC Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16
AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor HDZ965FBGMBOX

Recently I've been underwhelmed with my gaming performance and I've decided to upgrade my graphics card. With my current set-up, what would I benefit most from? Looking for single-card performance with the option to CF/SLI in the future, my current mobo is not setup for CF/SLI. Looking to spend no more than $300, would prefer to spend ~$200. Anyone have a suggestion? :bounce:
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  1. Best answer
    I recently upgraded form a Sapphire 4890 to an XFX 5850 and the difference is very noticeable. For example, with the 4890 and playing StarCraft2, had all settings to "Ultimate" but had to keep the resolution to 1680x1050 or below (or else the game would freeze) but with the 5850 can run the same Ultimate settings but at 1920x1200 with a hiccup. Also with CoD:MW2, was getting great fps with the 4890 but had to cut back on the eye candy or else there was noticeable tearing or stutter when the action got busy but again, with the 5850 no such issues. The XFX 5850 overclocks well (from 725/1000 to 765/1125) and also runs much cooler than the 4xxx series.

    You can pick up the same XFX 5850 for $209.00 plus cash back if you do the rebate.

    Hope this helps, good luck!
  2. Very helpful post, thanks a lot. Someone else had pointed towards a 5850 and your post has confirmed his thoughts. I was a bit skeptical as the numerical value of "5850" isn't much higher than my "4870", but just goes to show that my knowledge of the current video card market is limited. I've heard that the 5xxx series uses less energy than the 4xxxs, can anyone confirm this? With a 700w PSU I have plenty of room to upgrade my GPU, correct?

    edit: Another question: how hot does the 5850 run and can you recommend some sort of GPU cooling?
  3. What screen resolution do you use or want to target for in future use?
    What games do you wish to target?

    Have you read the THG recommendations for cards by budget level:,2782.html

    They provide a graphics card hierarchy chart at the end and recommend not upgrading unless you are moving up 3 tiers. The 4890 to 5850 upgrade is just two tiers. Off course if you are setting it up for later CF that is another consideration.
  4. I play at 1920x1080
  5. For 1920x1080 gameplay:
    GTX 470, ATI 6870, ATI 5850.

    Those are your best options for price/performance at that resolution in my opinion.

    For the ATI cards, you shouldn't have to worry about cooling much. They don't run super hot. Now, with a reference designed GTX 470, those do get fairly warm.
  6. Best answer selected by treefinger.
  7. Thanks, appreciate the help.
  8. This topic has been closed by Maziar
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