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CPU for 6850 crossfire upgrade, what would you do?

Last response: in CPUs
May 27, 2011 3:45:26 PM

I'd like to add another 6850 to my setup but I'm not sure what to do about the CPU. I have an athlon II x3 445 with an unlocked 4th core, overclocked on the stock HSF to 3.33GHz. No L3 cache.

If I bought an aftermarket cooler and pushed this CPU to the max, would it even be enough for a 2x6850 setup?

If I bought a different AM3 CPU, which one would be enough to prevent a CPU bottleneck with this setup?

I'm trying to spend the least amount of money necessary to maintain a balanced system. What would you do?

Thanks in advance.

Current setup:
AMD Athlon II x3 445
ASRock Deluxe4 890FX
Asus HD6850 1GB
Mushkin Blackline 4GB
Crucial m4 128GB SSD
Samsung F3 1TB HDD
Corsair 650TX
Viewsonic vx2265wm 21.5 inch 1680x1050 @ 120Hz LCD
Windows 7 64-bit Professional
a b à CPUs
May 27, 2011 5:02:33 PM

I think, though I'm not sure, that it wouldn't cut it. A 955 at 3.8 might, but take this as an opinion instead of a fact.
a b à CPUs
May 27, 2011 5:14:37 PM

Try a 955. Its for $120.
I think there will be some sort of bottleneck with your Processor and the two of those cards

Also have a look at 955 BE.
Either way you can overclock your new Processor to around or above $.0 GHz which would be much, much better than your current X3

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May 27, 2011 7:46:56 PM

Is it the lack of L3 cache or current clock speed that would potentially cause the bottleneck? It would be much cheaper to pay ~$30 for an aftermarket cooler and push the x3 445 to higher clocks than to pay $150 for a new cpu w/ aftermarket cooler.

Will the lack of L3 cache on the x3 445 guarantee a bottleneck in a 6850 crossfire setup?
a c 101 à CPUs
May 27, 2011 8:21:00 PM

What resolution are you using?
a b à CPUs
May 27, 2011 8:50:17 PM

Two 6850s in CF tend to perform like a single 5970 so with that in mind a Phenom II X4 955/965 overclocked to around 4GHz would be ideal.

Are you gaming at above 1920x1080 by chance?
May 27, 2011 8:50:35 PM

1680x1050 now, but would like to step up to 1080p in the near future
a b à CPUs
May 27, 2011 9:16:07 PM

You could always buy a nice CPU cooler and try OCing your current CPU. If that fails to provide adequate results you can use the cooler on your new CPU.
a c 101 à CPUs
May 27, 2011 9:21:23 PM

At 1680 I think the CPU will be a small bottleneck even if you get a 955BE to 4GHz at 1920x1080 I think a 955BE @ 3.8-4GHz will be perfectly balanced.