I currently have an ATI Radeon HD 3870x2 and I was wondering how much longer I would be able to use this card. I've actually been doing some 3d modeling with it, which has been painful, but I got a workstation for that now. Only games I really play on the PC is Starcraft 2, just bought Shogun 2, and I'm looking forward to DOTA 2 and maybe Guild Wars 2. I was wondering how much longer I could make use of this card on medium to high settings before I would need to upgrade. It runs SC2 on high-ultra at the moment. My processor is Intel Core2 6700 (2.66GHz), how does this compare to current processors, would I have to upgrade this too to take advantage of a new card?
Which card would be a good upgrade when this one becomes outdated?
APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: When I need to replace my 6870x2
BUDGET RANGE: Up to $350, maaybe $400 if its a large improvement After Rebates
USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, Adobe CS (PS/Illustrator/InDesign), Light 3D Modeling/Rendering
CURRENT GPU AND POWER SUPPLY: ATI Radeon HD 3870x2, not sure what my PSU is but I can upgrade that if needed
OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS: Mentioned above
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Have always purchased from Amazon/Newegg, but no preference
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: US
PARTS PREFERENCES: No preference
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: If it's fairly straight forward, I can figure it out
MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080+
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I don't upgrade my desktop often (even though I built it myself), so I would hope to get a card that would last for a while.
Sorry for the double post, but regarding how your CPU stacks against others today; if it's the Quad then overclocked it should still stand up fairly okay, but look into a platform upgrade within the next 12 months (Ivy Bridge). If it's the Duo, then I'd advise doing a platform upgrade right away to a sandy bridge set up.
A single HD6870 or GTX560Ti would be a worthwhile upgrade (each is three tiers higher) over your HD3870X2. The PSU you have now could handle that with ease. That shouldn't cost any more than $240, so there's no need to blow your whole budget.
Thanks, I'll probably stay with intel. How big is the difference between the 560Ti and 570? Does SLI support mean I can buy a second one in the future and link them together? Does that make it twice as fast and is that usually smarter than upgrading to a new card?