The stats for my computer are below. I was just wondering if I will see a worthwhile performance increase in gaming if I upgrade my video card to something like the Radeon HD 5850 or something in that range. I know my mobo doesn't have PCI e 2.0, but it is a 16x slot. I'm planning on doing a completely new build in the future but would like to put that off longer. I just want to know if spending 200 bucks or so on a video card would be worth it (then possibly use that card and buy another for crossfire in the new computer).
AMD Phenom X4 9950 OC to ~2.8
1TB Western Digital Black HD
Asus M2nE mobo
Radeon HD 4850
Exceptional 1680x1050 performance in most games, 1920x1200 in most games with lowered detail
What this means to you is that the 4850 is essentially usually on par w/ the g92 core in terms of overall performance. So the reccommendation comes down to will the 5850 be bottlenecked by your cpu, whcih honestly I'm not sure. Do some reasearch as to what would bottleneck your system then choose accordingly.
My advice unless you money is tight, go for it, upgrades are always fun and will give you a longer useful lifespan when it comes to gaming.
If money is tight then I'd say consider if the extra headroom is worth throwing down a couple bills for.
5850 will be bottlenecked by your CPU.. if you can find some cheap 5870 for a good price i say, go for it , but if you're going for CF then you should go for 6xxx series, they scale much better in CF than 5xxx and 6870s are in that price range and on that res it probably will max out everything next 1-2 years or if you can spend a bit more you could go for a HD6950
lol hell no the OPs cpu will bottleneck a bit most of the cards everyone is mentioning, unfortunately the first gen phenoms are not very good for gaming for many reasons. Imo any upgrade beyond a 5850 would start to see some huge degradation, personally I would build a new rig bc battlefield requires a healthy quad core and at least a 5850 at your res. a gpu upgrade by itself it likely not going to bring very much performance, the first gen phenoms just lack the raw processing power of the PII or even a core2duo.
Crossfire is absolutely absurd given the OPs lowly cpu, the cpu can barley handle one mildly powerful card, let alone have enough overhead to properly manage 2? I don't think so, the cpu will severely bottleneck any crossfire setup. In the end if the OP really wants to play BFBC2 he should build a rig based on a P2 x4 or better and as far as a gpu something along the lines of a 5850/ gtx 460 or better for 16X10
if your are dead set on the gpu upgrade although the performance benefits may be minimal, you should pick up a GPU such as a 5850/70 (actually about the same price now) to hopefully to bring over to a new build in the future but I think you will find that the cpu upgrade is more necessary then you or anyone else may think
if you look at this hierarchy chart you can see how far down the line the P x4 falls down the line, its basically on the same level as an e7200 although its not a completely terrible cpu, BFBC2 requires a healthy quad and the x4 9950 is enough to power a 5770 level gpu imo..
I had a athlon II x2 240 Oc'ed to 3.6 and it seemed to handle a single 5770 quite nicely although I had a nice oc on it and I know there was still likely some.... power held back by the cpu even with the oc. You will find that the 240 is on the same level as the OPs cpu by comparison to give everyone an idea, so simply put the idea of a multi card configuration is absolutely ludicrous, and personally I would not go much higher than a 5850/70 (bearing in mind that the performance will be held back a bit even at that level of gpu with your current cpu) but that way at least the OP is investing in something that they could potentially bring over to a future build, overall I'd say the 4850 is pretty well matched with the CPU but I'm sure the OP will likely find their BFBC2 to be subpar if they stay with their current config.
Thanks for the input. I wasn't interested in doing Crossfire with the current setup at all. It was just a thought when building a new system. Yeah BFBC2 is a bit disappointing with my current setup. So I guess I was looking for something to help hold me over before building a completely new system (but taking a newer video card with and doing crossfire).
In my personal experience I was very unhappy with crossfire, to simply put it does not work as advertised, the averages were high but minimums even lower than a single card overall making for a worse experience ...
I would suggest doing more research before considering a dual card configuration, unfortunately even in this current generation (5 and 6 series AMD) crossfire is still commonly associated with several problems and issues such as drivers, micro stutter, flickering and low minimum fps, and to be honest with you they exist more often then not imo. Personally if you want amd id go for a single card configuration which means buying a more powerful gpu to begin with...
Basically I just want someone who is considering it to get the whole picture before purchasing...
that is my .02 after having to learn the hard way in my own experiences also I'd like to point out that the above problems were consistent through several drivers and once 11.2 had not fixed any of the annoying bugs in many popular games that I played I was done with my 6870 crossfire and you can see what gpu im using now below: I am much happier with the single card, I don't care if I have to upgrade in a year or two... if tessellation does not make huge strides then current game demands will not change a whole lot in the next year or so imo, I wonder how demanding BF3 and FrostBite 2.0 will be?
Thanks for all the replies, I think I'm just gonna overclock my current hd4850 and build a system in the coming months. I'm going to look into crossfire some more but probably just buy a mobo with crossfire but just buy one card to start off and buy another further down the road.