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Upgrade for 5850

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Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 30, 2011 5:38:16 PM

Hey guys,
I need some opinions on upgrading my GPU; I currently have a HD5850 and was wondering which route would be better?

1) Should I get a second 5850?
2) Go into the HD6000 series?
3) Look into the GTX500s?

* Also, I was wondering if getting a Nvidia card for PhysX is worth it?


Thanks in advance and any opinions are appreciated!

Specs:

PII X4 955 BE
OCZ ModxStream 600
Corsair 4GB XMS3
HIS HD 5850
24 in Samsung

More about : upgrade 5850

a c 124 U Graphics card
March 30, 2011 5:49:26 PM

Easiest and cheapest upgrade would be CF 5850s for now. I use CF 5850s and am maxing out (in the literal sense) every game at 1080p 4xAA (or 8x if available) and FPS is almost always 50+. The two games that hurt the most are Crysis and Metro 2033.

Crysis, Very High 2xAA runs great but at 4xAA there's sometimes lag when using binoculars. In Warhead 4xAA runs fine.

Metro 2033, for Very High and all the DX11 features enabled, I can't use 4xMSAA because 1gb isn't enough for that game. AAA runs at 50+ (except in the library).

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March 30, 2011 6:35:52 PM

The CF 5850 sounds nice, but I'm worried about heat issues because it gets pretty hot when I play Shogun 2 on High settings lol. I currently have a side fan helping pull heat out from the gpu area. Would CF lighten the load from one to two cards? Also, if the core clock is at 765, I would need to buy one that has the same core clock or the lower one will drag it down the higher core clock, is this correct?

Thanks
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a c 124 U Graphics card
March 30, 2011 6:52:47 PM

With CF the top card will be roughly the same temp or sometimes a tad hotter than it is now, if it's intake is blocked by the 2nd card or if the 2nd card is just throwing a lot of heat up. However the 2nd card should run cooler than your single card right now.

As for clocks, if they aren't the same you don't have to change them. In messing with my clocks I ran a bench at the same clocks, then OCed only the primary and scored a little better, then OCed the 2nd as well and showed yet more gains. So, I don't think different clocks will matter. Even then I'm sure you could get them both to the faster clocks, I had no problem getting my reference model Sapphires to 870 core on stock voltage.
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March 30, 2011 6:59:17 PM

Thanks for your quick reply!

So the core clocks will run independently? Say for example, my current one runs at 765 and I buy one that runs at 725 and I CF the two, won't the 765 have to one have to lower its clock rate to the 725 in order to run? Also, I was wondering if on top of a CF, would running a Nvidia card for PhysX be possibly/ worth it?

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a c 124 U Graphics card
March 30, 2011 7:50:34 PM

Well, I don't really know what the clocks will do. I see no reason why not try clocking the slower one up to 765 though.

I wouldn't really call a PhysX card worth it. I'm using one because it was $65 after rebait and I thought it would be awesome. Well, it is nice in Batman and Mafia 2 and Cryostasis... but still it's a bit of a waste of cash. There's only 20 games that can even take advantage of it.
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a b U Graphics card
March 30, 2011 8:14:19 PM

That PSU doesn't have enough connectors for CFX, so put that aside. Grab a HD6950 TFII and unlock and OC or a GTX 560 TFII.
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March 31, 2011 5:50:08 PM

@ wolfram23 - So any nvidia card will work? Because I saw a cheap nvidia gt210....would that work? Also, I read around that it would require "hacked" drivers for it to run at the same time with ATI cards, because Nvidia drivers block it or something.

@HostileDonut - Does unlocking and ocing on the TFII/III work, because I was reading the reviews and it seems only reference style cards can be unlocked and loaded with a 6970 bios?

Also, I was wondering since I will be using just a single monitor, 1gb of video memory should be enough or should I consider 2gb?

Thanks for your help!
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a b U Graphics card
March 31, 2011 6:51:12 PM

darkslash_323 said:
@ wolfram23 - So any nvidia card will work? Because I saw a cheap nvidia gt210....would that work? Also, I read around that it would require "hacked" drivers for it to run at the same time with ATI cards, because Nvidia drivers block it or something.

@HostileDonut - Does unlocking and ocing on the TFII/III work, because I was reading the reviews and it seems only reference style cards can be unlocked and loaded with a 6970 bios?

Also, I was wondering since I will be using just a single monitor, 1gb of video memory should be enough or should I consider 2gb?

Thanks for your help!

Yeah, the TFII cannot be unlocked, I realized that. You could still OC is though. It has a great cooler. If you want an unlock, get a sapphire or XFX.
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a c 124 U Graphics card
March 31, 2011 7:16:54 PM

A GT210 would work, but it might cause slowdown at times. The optimal PhysX card would have around 100 CUDA cores. More than that and you'll get no benefits, less than that and you might get a little slow down - but really only in few areas with significant PhysX effects.

And yes you need the GenL V1.04ff patch to run it. Google it and you'll find it right away.

And also, for 1080p, if you don't plan on going multimonitor 1gb VRAM is fine. More than enough usually, the only time I've ever had an issue is in Metro 2033 trying to use DoF (DX11) and 4xMSAA it just ran out of frame buffer and FPS dropped to like 5. But turn either effect off and it was fine.
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a b U Graphics card
March 31, 2011 7:20:36 PM

wolfram23 said:
A GT210 would work, but it might cause slowdown at times. The optimal PhysX card would have around 100 CUDA cores. More than that and you'll get no benefits, less than that and you might get a little slow down - but really only in few areas with significant PhysX effects.

And yes you need the GenL V1.04ff patch to run it. Google it and you'll find it right away.

And also, for 1080p, if you don't plan on going multimonitor 1gb VRAM is fine. More than enough usually, the only time I've ever had an issue is in Metro 2033 trying to use DoF (DX11) and 4xMSAA it just ran out of frame buffer and FPS dropped to like 5. But turn either effect off and it was fine.

I think he should take a gt 240 or GTS 250. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $35 and you shouldn't have any slow-downs.
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a c 124 U Graphics card
March 31, 2011 7:27:46 PM

That's an awesome deal! I can vouche for the GT240 being adequet. $35 after rebait, awesome. I bought an EVGA for $100 with $35 mail in rebait =P (although it was last summer)
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April 1, 2011 6:05:05 PM

K, I think I'll go for a GT240/250 after I figure out which GPU to upgrade to first. I know this has been asked often in the forums, but as hostiledonut suggested either a 6950 or GTX560.....I'm still not sure which one to go for with my specs. It seems that 6950 (stock) is somewhat > 560 stock but when OC'd the 560 is > 6950? Also, hope this upgrade would be somewhat futureproof.

Thanks for your help guys!
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a b U Graphics card
April 1, 2011 7:56:48 PM

darkslash_323 said:
K, I think I'll go for a GT240/250 after I figure out which GPU to upgrade to first. I know this has been asked often in the forums, but as hostiledonut suggested either a 6950 or GTX560.....I'm still not sure which one to go for with my specs. It seems that 6950 (stock) is somewhat > 560 stock but when OC'd the 560 is > 6950? Also, hope this upgrade would be somewhat futureproof.

Thanks for your help guys!

HD6950 is everything you want then. 2gb RAM for later games and more displays, can unlock, and is just stronger! Why not pick it?
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April 4, 2011 12:14:13 AM

Hey, simple question.....is the upgrade from a 5850 to a 6950 really worth it? After reading around on the internet, it seems like there isn't really a huge performance gain and not worth it. I have the budget, but I just don't want to upgrade on an impulse if the 5850 can run for a few more years.

@Wolfram23 - Is your physx card in a PCIe x1 or a PCIe x16?

Thanks!
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a b U Graphics card
April 4, 2011 12:17:38 AM

darkslash_323 said:
Hey, simple question.....is the upgrade from a 5850 to a 6950 really worth it? After reading around on the internet, it seems like there isn't really a huge performance gain and not worth it. I have the budget, but I just don't want to upgrade on an impulse if the 5850 can run for a few more years.

@Wolfram23 - Is your physx card in a PCIe x1 or a PCIe x16?

Thanks!

Yes, the upgrade should be worth it. 2gb RAM for later games, about the performance of a hd5870, can unlock it, tessellation, better DX11 performance, etc.
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a c 177 U Graphics card
April 4, 2011 2:50:28 AM

i wouldnt bother with running a separate card for physx, better off spending the money on a better single card. I think you should get a second 5850, much better value and performance than getting a 6950
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a b U Graphics card
April 4, 2011 3:00:39 AM

iam2thecrowe said:
i wouldnt bother with running a separate card for physx, better off spending the money on a better single card. I think you should get a second 5850, much better value and performance than getting a 6950

His power supply doesn't have 4 6-pin PCI-E connectors. He can't.
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a c 124 U Graphics card
April 4, 2011 3:37:30 AM

Well there's always molex to 6 pin adapters...

And, my GT 240 requires a 16x PCIe lane, but it runs at 4x.
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April 5, 2011 5:29:37 PM

I was thinking about the CF, but with OCZ....I'm not sure if that molex to 6pin would be that reliable. As for the card, I think I'll stick with a single card solution for now. So I decided on the MSI R6950 and probably overclock it a bit lol. Hopefully it will work out and as for the physx card, I might just wait for a sale to get one haha.

@wolfram23 - Where do you see how many CUDA cores a card has because I can't find it in the details on newegg.com.

Thanks a lot for your help guys!
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April 5, 2011 7:02:31 PM

Oh, so its the stream processors...got it lol. I was looking at that....but its seems like it got really bad reviews.
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a c 124 U Graphics card
April 5, 2011 7:24:39 PM

On its own it's not a great card, it's passable at low res (plugged it in to my gf's HP so she could play Sims 2 on her 1280x1024 monitor at high settings... lol). But as a PhysX card it's really all you need, at most a GT 250 or equivalent. I mean, you might see some gains going higher but the returns are extremely diminishing. You have to keep in mind that there's literally 20 games with physx acceleration, and you're only likely to play maybe... 5 of them.
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April 6, 2011 11:22:11 PM

That is true lol.....I think purchase that one in a bit. I do want to see the difference it makes in Batman and Mafia II lol.

Thanks for your help!
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April 12, 2011 6:21:21 AM

Best answer selected by darkslash_323.
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