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Should I Crossfire?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 12, 2011 7:35:10 PM

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?

Current System:
AMD AthlonII x4 2.6GHz
HIS HD 5770
4gb DDR3
550W PSU <-- I know I may have to upgrade this for CrossfireX
ASUS M4A785TD-V EVO mobo

Thanks

More about : crossfire

January 12, 2011 7:41:26 PM

My apologies, this is is my first post and I didn't realise I set it as a discussion not a question.
a b U Graphics card
January 12, 2011 7:58:05 PM

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. :bounce: 
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a b U Graphics card
January 12, 2011 8:04:13 PM

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.
January 12, 2011 8:07:47 PM

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?

thanks again
January 12, 2011 8:10:11 PM

Thanks for both your replies, problem solved!

I think I will get a better PSU and then Crossfire.
My current PSU is quite budget anyways.

thanks!
January 12, 2011 8:14:24 PM

I have 2 5770 in xfire and they work quite well.
a b U Graphics card
January 12, 2011 8:15:43 PM

What games do you play and at which resolution?
January 12, 2011 8:21:18 PM

Zenthar said:
What games do you play and at which resolution?


Fallout New Vegas, Dirt 2, Civ 5, Crysis and Oblivion (still). I play them at 1920 x 1080.
a c 106 U Graphics card
January 12, 2011 9:03:13 PM

Crossfire. DO it. You don't really need to crossfire for Oblivion though :p . 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.
January 12, 2011 9:14:53 PM

No, don't.

Get a Sapphire 5850 Toxic Edition with 2GB DDR5 RAM + Corsair 650HX. That's more than enough :) 
a c 263 U Graphics card
January 13, 2011 2:18:51 AM

ntklokkou1 said:
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.

Tell us how you do.
!