I have been reading about GPU's over the last few days in these forums, and also checked some GPU charts.
I need some advice on choosing between ATI cards (just a personal preference).
My price point is around $200--$300 for the card. Options are HD 6870, HD6950 or even HD5870 etc.
I recently bought a 5670 and want to avoid buying something underpowered again. (My CPU is not great, but don't believe it is right option to upgrade that now)
1) I will need to get a new PSU of around 600W I assume, currently only 420W.
2) please recommend me a card that will be good for games such as NFS Shift 2. I am somewhat unsure of the differences between say the 68XX and 69XX series.
3) Would I need to consider extra cooling options?
4) Any personal experiences with a similar situation would be welcome too.
If you're willing to spend $200-$300 on just the GPU alone then I would recommend the 6950, it's a pretty big step up from the 6870. However you could run into a CPU bottleneck but I'm not too sure about that.
What would a CPU bottleneck mean for this card? It would still be a good investment, and run fast yes?
Would a slow CPU just not enable the card to reach its full potential? I can live with that...as long as it does not mean stutters or other issues.
You're system is definitely going to bottleneck that card, you may actually see a decrease in overall performance. I would suggest that rather than spend the money on a new card, save up for a full upgrade.
What motherboard do you have? My old E7500 system was bottlenecking a GTX 460 so I can't imagine trying to run a top of the line card on it.
6870 is very similar performance-wise to a 5850. I'm sure it would be "fine" like you said, but you may have numerous problems with drivers (XP isn't exactly supported like it used to be). Its up to you in the end, but I would honestly try a copy of windows 7 and see if your performance benefits any from updated drivers and dx10/11 support with your current setup. An OEM copy usually runs about $100 for 64 bit home premium.
I see the usual scaremongering and over exaggeration is still rife.
1. An E7500 wont come close to "Bottlenecking" a 460
2. If you go to the AMD website you will see that the latest drivers do indeed include a set specifically for XP
What resolution are you looking to play at ? There may be a restriction on MAX FPS with certain games as some prefer more cores these days but you will still see a nice improvement over the 5670 even without going as far as a 6870
We really need to know your resolution before we can properly recommend anything. Im just a little worried you may be going too far the other way after being under impressed with the 5670 which isn't really a gaming card any way (entry level at best).
It could be that a 5770/550Ti or there abouts is all you need.
No your better off at the higher resolution when running a CPU that is weaker than ideal.
As i said there may be a restriction on max FPS in some games that like more cores and you will usually see improvements for over clocking regardless of the CPU. Its going to be dependent on the game but i don't see it being anywhere near a deal breaker.
The idea of upgrading to W7 is a good one and is worth it. Personally i was all for XP but MS basically gave the Beta OS of W7 out as a RC free to try and from then on i was hooked. its as easy to use and will add some performance, nowhere near as much as upgrading the GPU though.
So, Yes get a better PSU then get a GPU around the 6850/6870 performance mark, depending on price. and if possible get a copy of W7, 64 bit obviously.
Something like that yes, Corsair do a good line of 650 PSU's. Im running one now as it happens. Check a few out on line and make sure the cables cover your needs, you know like 2X 6 pin PCIE cables and enough connections for your HDD's.
Just make sure its a decent brand and is 80 Plus certified. Don't cheap out on it as it could cause all sorts of issues if its not supplying good clean power.
This is what im using at present http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
If you need to squeeze the budget a bit there are a couple of Antec units at around $64 on Newegg as well but i would urge you not to if at all possible.
Ok i have had a look and you really get screwed over price wise once the Quality is there i can tell you. The Vantec has been recommended to me by a friend on a different Forum as the better selection of all the what he calls unbranded supplies. Thats to say its not a top PSU but its not rubbish its kinda middling.
I would get this one though as its boxed and comes with teh mounting screws and a new power cable http://www.mwave.com.au/sku-34040438-Vantec_ION2_620W_U...(VAN_620C)