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Did i make a good choice on my upgrade?

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  • Graphics Cards
  • Graphics
Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 14, 2011 4:37:00 PM

I recently took a step to upgrade my Graphics card. I went from a XFX 5850 Black Edition to a XFX 6950 2GB card. I'm not too tech savvy, but i know how to compare spec numbers as well as do some basic comparison searches. If you are wondering what my full system spec's were before the upgrade i will tell you. Keep in mind the only thing i changed out is JUST the graphics card. Here it goes.


Intel Core i7-920 Bloomfield 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor
ASRock X58 Extreme Motherboard LGA 1366
CORSAIR XMS3 6GB 1600 RAM
XFX Radeon HD 5850 (Cypress Pro) 1GB Black Edition
Western Digital Caviar Black 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s
Sunbeam PSU-ECO750-US-BL 750W ATX12V 2.3 80 PLUS Certified
LG 24" 1080p Monitor

let me know what you think please, as well as maybe some other recommended changes.

More about : make good choice upgrade

a b U Graphics card
January 14, 2011 5:00:49 PM

The change from the 5850 to the 6950 isn't a very big jump to be honest. Depending on game title, it looks like there's a 10-15FPS difference. In one game the 5850 was actually faster. Although that could easily be an issue of needing optimized drivers.

http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/2010/12/16/ati-radeon-...

Here's another review:
http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-r...





The biggest difference between the 6900 and 5800 cards is better Tessellation.
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a b U Graphics card
January 14, 2011 5:22:55 PM

There isn't going to be a huge difference, but the 6950 is significantly faster on average. Additionally:

a) you can flash the BIOS on your 6950 to a 6970 and get an additional performance gain

b) 69xx cards scale VERY well in crossfire. If you decide you want more performance anytime soon you're on a great upgrade path.

c) Your xfx has a transferable warranty so you should be able to sell it for a little extra to offset your new card. Let us know how the performance works out in the games that you play!
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January 14, 2011 5:57:32 PM

beltzy said:
There isn't going to be a huge difference, but the 6950 is significantly faster on average. Additionally:

a) you can flash the BIOS on your 6950 to a 6970 and get an additional performance gain

b) 69xx cards scale VERY well in crossfire. If you decide you want more performance anytime soon you're on a great upgrade path.

c) Your xfx has a transferable warranty so you should be able to sell it for a little extra to offset your new card. Let us know how the performance works out in the games that you play!



Really? Where could i sell my 5850? Cause if thats the case i want to put it up for sale today
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January 14, 2011 6:21:23 PM

Fearsyn said:
Really? Where could i sell my 5850? Cause if thats the case i want to put it up for sale today


there is a cool auction site that you can sell your old things on. ebay.com
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a b U Graphics card
January 14, 2011 6:28:23 PM

chedderslam1976 said:
there is a cool auction site that you can sell your old things on. ebay.com

dont get raped by sellers fees use amazon or craigslist so ebay doesn't rip you off.... its worth it to buy things but when you sell them on ebay, the final sale fee kills you
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a b U Graphics card
January 14, 2011 6:30:48 PM

Fearsyn said:
I recently took a step to upgrade my Graphics card. I went from a XFX 5850 Black Edition to a XFX 6950 2GB card. I'm not too tech savvy, but i know how to compare spec numbers as well as do some basic comparison searches. If you are wondering what my full system spec's were before the upgrade i will tell you. Keep in mind the only thing i changed out is JUST the graphics card. Here it goes.


Intel Core i7-920 Bloomfield 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor
ASRock X58 Extreme Motherboard LGA 1366
CORSAIR XMS3 6GB 1600 RAM
XFX Radeon HD 5850 (Cypress Pro) 1GB Black Edition
Western Digital Caviar Black 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s
Sunbeam PSU-ECO750-US-BL 750W ATX12V 2.3 80 PLUS Certified
LG 24" 1080p Monitor

let me know what you think please, as well as maybe some other recommended changes.


probably not worth the upgrade, however if you can unlock to a 6970 it seems more worthwhile, otherwise you should've held onto your 5850 and waited a generation unless going for a larger res than 1080p (that is where the 6900s shine) imho
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January 14, 2011 6:38:14 PM

chedderslam1976 said:
there is a cool auction site that you can sell your old things on. ebay.com


No thanks, i lose like 10% to ebay, then another 5% or so to paypal. I don't use ebay unless im buying.
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January 14, 2011 6:41:12 PM

jjb8675309 said:
probably not worth the upgrade, however if you can unlock to a 6970 it seems more worthwhile, otherwise you should've held onto your 5850 and waited a generation unless going for a larger res than 1080p (that is where the 6900s shine) imho



Well i will be upgrading in a couple of weeks to a month to a 27" LED monitor. So i don't know if that will make a difference. Plus I would think that the 6950 would be better because it works very well in Crossfire, which i plan on doing next month..... Maybe. I am planning on playing Guild Wars 2 and Rift: Planes of Telara, so i wanted a better card than the 5850.... even though i love that card i just might hold on to it and maybe build another system around it.
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a b U Graphics card
January 14, 2011 7:54:00 PM

Fearsyn said:
Well i will be upgrading in a couple of weeks to a month to a 27" LED monitor. So i don't know if that will make a difference. Plus I would think that the 6950 would be better because it works very well in Crossfire, which i plan on doing next month..... Maybe. I am planning on playing Guild Wars 2 and Rift: Planes of Telara, so i wanted a better card than the 5850.... even though i love that card i just might hold on to it and maybe build another system around it.


the 27" led is not more than 1080p so it will not make a difference, overall the 6950 is not a huge upgrade but the 5850 is pretty darn powerful to begin with so what do you really expect unless you want to spend 500 dollars on a gpu, the 27" led will make little difference in your overall needs though, a 6950 is probably the most logical upgrade if you cannot wait to buy a new gpu :)  the game you mentioned is likely more cpu limited rather than gpu so... no logic there but either way you should have slightly better performance....

I would def buy a aftermarket cpu cooler and oc your i7 920 for more performance (more fps in cpu demanding games) if you want to and you are capable of doing so.
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January 14, 2011 8:34:33 PM

jjb8675309 said:
the 27" led is not more than 1080p so it will not make a difference, overall the 6950 is not a huge upgrade but the 5850 is pretty darn powerful to begin with so what do you really expect unless you want to spend 500 dollars on a gpu, the 27" led will make little difference in your overall needs though, a 6950 is probably the most logical upgrade if you cannot wait to buy a new gpu :)  the game you mentioned is likely more cpu limited rather than gpu so... no logic there but either way you should have slightly better performance....

I would def buy a aftermarket cpu cooler and oc your i7 920 for more performance (more fps in cpu demanding games) if you want to and you are capable of doing so.



Yea i'm sorry i forgot to add that my CPU has a Cooler Master V8 on it. As far as overclocking, i would need help to do it and if i were to OC it, i wouldn't go too far past 3.0Ghz cause i would feel like i would fry it. But if someone could maybe guide me with the Overclock, i would love to bump it up to 3.0Ghz.
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a b U Graphics card
January 14, 2011 8:42:47 PM

Fearsyn said:
Yea i'm sorry i forgot to add that my CPU has a Cooler Master V8 on it. As far as overclocking, i would need help to do it and if i were to OC it, i wouldn't go too far past 3.0Ghz cause i would feel like i would fry it. But if someone could maybe guide me with the Overclock, i would love to bump it up to 3.0Ghz.


yeah you need to look up some oc guides, or post in the cpu overclocking forum for help. but if you monitor temps at a full load in prime 95 for like 6hrs and if they are within the temp envelope then you will absolutely fine, most people buy the 920 to save money, and oc it like some of the other i7s

I know its no i7 but i have my phenom II x4 955 at 4.0 ghz at stock voltage with a coolermaster hyper 212+ and in games it never goes above 48C and at full load it never goes past 56C which is amazing for air cooling imo, these temps are both well under the 70C or so that people try to stay under when ocing there processor personally I wouldnt run it any higher than the low 60s at full load so its up to you, but itd probably blue screen before it fried... in the end as long as you follow procedure and test there is little to worry about
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January 14, 2011 8:54:36 PM

jjb8675309 said:
yeah you need to look up some oc guides, or post in the cpu overclocking forum for help. but if you monitor temps at a full load in prime 95 for like 6hrs and if they are within the temp envelope then you will absolutely fine, most people buy the 920 to save money, and oc it like some of the other i7s

I know its no i7 but i have my phenom II x4 955 at 4.0 ghz at stock voltage with a coolermaster hyper 212+ and in games it never goes above 48C and at full load it never goes past 56C which is amazing for air cooling imo, these temps are both well under the 70C or so that people try to stay under when ocing there processor personally I wouldnt run it any higher than the low 60s at full load so its up to you, but itd probably blue screen before it fried... in the end as long as you follow procedure and test there is little to worry about



Should i just use the built-in BIOS OC presets? Cause my motherboard has that built in. Its the ASRock X58 Extreme LGA 1366
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a b U Graphics card
January 14, 2011 9:00:48 PM

Fearsyn said:
Should i just use the built-in BIOS OC presets? Cause my motherboard has that built in. Its the ASRock X58 Extreme LGA 1366



yeah try it out but make sure you increase by a small amount then test in prime 95 for at least a few hours before going higher, im sure your chip is highly overclockable bc ive seen many people oc the 920
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a b U Graphics card
January 14, 2011 10:13:36 PM

I reference this guide any time I can- it is a great, fairly concise explanation of the process of how to overclock your cpu. I had a Dell for a long time so was locked out from the wonderful world of overclocking (other than a small increase from a Q6600 pin mod). When I built an i7-950 rig a few months ago I was so excited that I wanted to just skip to the part where you get all that free performance without going through the process- this guide was very enlightening as far as finding the limits of your bclock, memory, and totaly system performance. Follow these steps and enjoy the process- it will give you a better end result than just punching in figures from another user (each piece of silicon is different and yours may be better/worse than someone else's). Give it a read! There are some other factors besides bclock, multiplier, and vcore that are important for stability as well.

http://www.techreaction.net/2010/09/07/3-step-overclocking-guide-bloomfield-and-gulftown/
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a b U Graphics card
January 15, 2011 11:31:49 AM

^+1 to beltzy good points and there are many factors to consider when oc'ing, like beltzy said, so it is somewhat important to educate yourself on this matter... better than using that auto oc thing imo...
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January 15, 2011 1:33:37 PM

beltzy said:
I reference this guide any time I can- it is a great, fairly concise explanation of the process of how to overclock your cpu. I had a Dell for a long time so was locked out from the wonderful world of overclocking (other than a small increase from a Q6600 pin mod). When I built an i7-950 rig a few months ago I was so excited that I wanted to just skip to the part where you get all that free performance without going through the process- this guide was very enlightening as far as finding the limits of your bclock, memory, and totaly system performance. Follow these steps and enjoy the process- it will give you a better end result than just punching in figures from another user (each piece of silicon is different and yours may be better/worse than someone else's). Give it a read! There are some other factors besides bclock, multiplier, and vcore that are important for stability as well.

http://www.techreaction.net/2010/09/07/3-step-overclocking-guide-bloomfield-and-gulftown/


Thanks a lot, i will be looking into this and OC when i am fully understanding of the process.
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a b U Graphics card
January 15, 2011 3:01:51 PM

The Auto OC programs (let alone BIOS based ones) usually won't get you as good an OverClock anyhow. Plus they tend to automatically set the CPU voltage too high in many cases, causing excessive heat.

The Auto programs are probably "safer" in the sense that they won't push too hard most of the time. However, a manual OverClock can be pushed as far as you're willing to risk going. Just be careful and take your time.
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January 21, 2011 11:05:07 PM

Best answer selected by Fearsyn.
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a c 169 U Graphics card
January 22, 2011 6:11:36 AM

This topic has been closed by Maziar
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