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Upgrading GPU

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 4, 2011 9:54:56 PM

Hi,

Getting ready to updgrade GPU. Currently I have a 3870x2 which is still ok, but I am starting to see some performance loss in newer games. Who wants to play ugly games??

Current Setup
Phenom II 955
MSI K9A2 Platinum
4GB DDR2
Vista 64 ( I haven't had many issues, luckily)
3870x2
CM Stacker 830 W/ 1K PSU
23.6 " Samsung monitor playing at 1080p

I know there a couple of options for this setup;
GTX580, GTX570, GTX 460 (can't SLi as of now though), (not really sold on the 470 or 480) for green team
6970, 6950, 6870 or x2, 6850 or x2, 5870 or x2, and others for team red

Budget isn't a huge issue, still want best bang for buck. Leaning toward team red again due to the motherboard, although, that will be ugraded once BD comes out and can see if that is worth going for or a SB.

Also, has anyone seen scaling for 3 of the 6 series??

Thanks,

More about : upgrading gpu

a c 376 U Graphics card
January 4, 2011 10:14:17 PM

I would just get an HD6950 and unlock it into an HD6970. It is the best deal for the money on the high end right now.
http://www.techpowerup.com/articles/overclocking/vidcar...
It should be roughly 2.5 times as powerful as your current card and that is assuming the game scales well in crossfire which will no longer be an issue with a single card.
a c 1309 U Graphics card
January 4, 2011 11:46:18 PM

^+1
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January 5, 2011 1:37:13 AM

That's kinda what I'm thinking. Although, the only thing I'm worried about is the 6970 comes with the 6/8 pin connections and the 6950 comes with the 6/6 connections. I've read the extra 2 pins are for "stability" and really wouldn't pose an issue. But, I think the real concern is the memory, 6970 has higher speced memory than the 6950. And the higher frequency with the unlock might stress out the 6950 too much in the long term. I haven't read of anyone having any issues so far, but the things are still new.

I do agree, either would be much better than what i currently have. I am looking at either an XFX or Visiontek this go around...any experiences with either?
a c 376 U Graphics card
January 5, 2011 2:03:28 AM

From what I have read there isn't any effective difference between a 6 pin and an 8 pin connector.
XFX is the better brand of those two. All the cards are pretty much identical at this point though so it really comes down to price and warranty/customer service.
a b U Graphics card
January 5, 2011 3:06:28 PM

XFX/EVGA GREAT warrarty and GREAT service :) . All the the brands are making the same card. Refrence design, refrence heatsink/fan, same everything so you should focus on cost and warranty. Some of the companies are doing OC versions but I think they are a waste of money since you can OC at home which means less cost, more power, and not voiding you warranty. Would get a ATI 6950 and unlock or do a GTX 570. ATI seems to be behind in the race for power...


My two cents :) 
a b U Graphics card
January 5, 2011 3:56:28 PM

Duplicate - sorry
a b U Graphics card
January 5, 2011 4:06:29 PM

You say you want "best bang for the buck". What does that mean to you?
What games do you play and at what settings? Are you willing to pay a lot more for top settings? I should think you could get an excellent card to play most games with good settings for a lot less than what a 6950 or 6970 costs. Seems to me you really need to look at reviews and decide if additional performance is worth the price to you. Playing at 1080p you should get excellent game play in most games with the GTX 460 or 470.

An easy way to process through reviews to find your sweet spot is to start with the THG guide "Best Graphics Cards For The Money: December 2010"

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-car...

It has convenient links to their reviews. Maybe start with the GTX 460 and check its reviews and then just move up. The article lists approximate prices so you can quickly decide if the additional power is worth the price to you. Keep in mind that 40 FPS is good play and anything over 50 or 60 FPS won't even be noticed - and certainly does not qualify as "best bang for the buck". Of course you will also need to decide what headroom you want for future proofing. Related to that you might also consider going SLI or CF down the road when you need more power.

Speaking of power, have you already confirmed your PSU will support your anticipated upgrade?
January 5, 2011 9:38:55 PM

My PSU is a 1000w Real Power Pro that came bundled with the CM Stacker 830. It has plenty of connections, the only concern is that it is now coming up on 3 years old. But, if i need to get another, then I'll get one.

Yeah, I've been reading reviews for awhile. Was going to go with a 5850, then the 68's came out. Then I was like, well...might wanna wait until the 69's come out and see what happens.

I do like the 460's, but might as well wait untile the 560 comes out to see what happens. If I wait longer, I might be able to get a GTX8xx or Radeon 9xxx series.

Thanks all,
a b U Graphics card
January 6, 2011 1:28:18 PM

The Real Power Pro is not a highly recommended brand but at 1000w it will be more than ample in power for the cards you are considering.
!