Hello, recently I have been thinking about upgrading my system, and as I use it primarily for gaming, upgrading my graphics set-up seemed the obvious choice (this may be naive of me). I currently have a HD 5770 and was thinking of buying another one and Crossfiring them. This was my first thought as I want to keep costs fairly mid-range but I don't mind spending a bit extra if I have to.
I have heard mixed feelings on crossfire so would this be worth it? Would it be better to just to replace it with a faster card? If so would it be better two wait for the next series of cards or do the 6*** or NVIDIA's 570's and 580's worth buying now?
Also, my current CPU is an AMD AthlonII x4 2.6GHz - would it be more cost efficient to upgrade this instead to increase gaming performance?
AMD AthlonII x4 2.6GHz
HIS HD 5770
550W PSU <-- I know I may have to upgrade this for CrossfireX
ASUS M4A785TD-V EVO mobo
Going crossfire you would probably need a bigger PSU, so you would have to figure that into your cost. Going with a faster single card (6850, 6950)would probably let you keep your current PSU as these newer cards require less power.
As for the CPU upgrade, most games are GPU dependent.
IF your MB and PSU can support 2 cards, I think getting a 2nd one could give you an "inexpensive" upgrade. Some games might not perform as well with XFire as others, but that is part of the trade-off for lower price. In the end, you need to factor-in the difference in price.
Thank you for your reply, I would be planning on spending around £75 on a new 650W PSU (which as far as I know will handle two 5770s) which would bring my cost for crossfire up to £180+ .
Would the performance increase be worth it?
Crossfire. DO it. You don't really need to crossfire for Oblivion though . I recommend uninstalling, and then reinstalling your drivers when you add that second card. You may also want to overclock your CPU a bit to help you get the most out of them.
Fallout New Vegas, Dirt 2, Civ 5, Crysis and Oblivion (still). I play them at 1920 x 1080.
1) You have a reasonably well balanced system. A significant upgrade will likely involve many components.
2) Normally a gpu upgrade gives you the best gaming improvement. I have had some experience with civ V, and it can ve very cpu bound, even with a i7-920, so that might not be the case here.
Are you having a problem with performance now? Do you know where the problem area is?
Try two tests:
a) Run your games, but reduce the resolution and the eye candy. See how much your FPS improves. If the improvement is significant, it indicates that your cpu is capable of driving a stronger graphics card or configuration. A graphics upgrade is in order.
b) In windows power management, reduce the maxomum cpu % from 100% to something like 70%. (or, reduce any overclock) Again, run your games. If your FPS drops significantly, it indicates that your cpu is not capable of fully driving your current graphics card to it's potential. A better cpu will then be in order.
I suspect that you might find both cases to be true, and a new rebuild will be in order.