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How much longer on my 3870x2 and what should I get afterwards?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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June 1, 2011 10:12:58 AM

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Which card would be a good upgrade when this one becomes outdated?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

OVERCLOCKING: No

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.


More about : longer 3870x2

a b U Graphics card
June 1, 2011 1:34:20 PM

Well looking at the hierarchy chart (http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/best-graphics-card-game-p...) and your budget, you're definitely looking at something like a 6950 or a 6970.

Considering the situation with your PSU, i would advise going for a 6950, which can be gotten for as low as $210 after rebate (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...) and getting a decent PSU to ensure you've got a reliable power delivery unit. This Corsair HX 850W unit is one of the best in the world and is $150 after rebates (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...). It will be powerful enough to support a crossfire config should you wish to do so.

Hope this helps.
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a b U Graphics card
June 1, 2011 1:37:46 PM

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.
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June 1, 2011 8:55:05 PM

I will look into those cards you linked. Do you think I can hold out for Ivy Bridge like Griffolion mentioned and maybe just upgrade everything at once? (motherboard, cpu, gpu)

My last RAM upgrade was DDR2. Do the new mbs use different RAM now?
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a c 199 U Graphics card
June 1, 2011 8:58:29 PM

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.
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June 1, 2011 9:04:18 PM

Best answer selected by everybest.
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June 1, 2011 9:11:51 PM

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?
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