I'm wanting to increase gaming performance on my machine:
Radeon HD 4890
AMD Athlon 64 X2 5600
4GB Patriot DDR2 RAM
Antec 650W PSU
I am purchasing an AMD Phenom II 970 X4 and a new mobo/DDR3 RAM setup. I was wondering how much of a difference upgrading to a newer ATI card, such as the HD 6870, would make. I was also considering picking up a cheap, used 4890 and crossfire-ing it. Do you think simply upgrading the processor or actually purchasing a new card will increase performance enough to run the games coming out by the end of the year with decent FPS?
Your proccesor is definately the weak link in your system. The 4890 is still a great card, you might not be able to max out every single game at 1080p and maintain 60fps, but there aren't going to be any games comming out for a long time that a 4890 cant handle at 1080p in at least medium settings. If you look at crysis 2 the trend seems to be for less demanding games. I would just get the 970 and stick with the 4890 for a while until some DX11 exclusive game that you have to play comes out. If you can find another one cheap CF 4890s are faster than any single card you will find under 300 bucks so that might be an option, it is going to have a limited lifespan as DX11 exclusive titles come out, but that could be years.