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Overall Performance: Second AMD 6950, Intel 320 SSD or Phenom X4 955?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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June 17, 2011 11:53:26 AM

Hi all,

Right now I am running a Phenom X4 B50 (3.6 Ghz oc), a 7200 RPM HDD and an xfx 6950 video card (shaders unlocked in bios to 6970). I run a triple monitor Eyefinity setup at 1920 x 1080 x 3. I would like to improve overall desktop snappiness while improving framerates in games. I can run Crysis 3 currently at about 30 FPS at Very High, but the limitation there is the Eyefinity as I can run it at about 50 FPS on a single monitor.

So, overall improvement in experience (i.e., speed), what is the better choice? I do mostly just MS Office, web browsing and gaming.

1) Crossfire 6950 ($200)
2) Intel 320 SSD ($180)
3) Phenom X4 955 @ 4.2 Ghz oc ($120)

Thanks :) 

P.S. If not just one choice, what would be the best combination of choices to get most bang for buck?
a b U Graphics card
June 17, 2011 1:01:32 PM

second 6950 without a doubt if you want more FPS. if you want a more responsive PC then get the SSD.

dont bother getting the phenom 955, you already have a phenom II x4 @ 3.6ghz so no use to waste money on that.
June 18, 2011 3:35:22 AM

Thanks for the feedback. Yeah the second 6950 would beat all games into submission for sure. Right now, just the one 6950 pretty much slays everything maxxed except maybe Crysis 2, but even that can crank 5760 x 1080 on Very High and 35 - 40 FPS. If I am willing to go down a step to 4800 x 900 I can get 50 to 60 FPS (and honestly don't really notice the lower resolution).

People have been telling me that a fast SSD makes all the difference in the world in just normal desktop computing. Might try that. I did try a Phenom II X4 965 at 4.2 Ghz for a while and seriously didn't notice that it was mush faster than my cheapo B50 at 3.6.
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a b U Graphics card
June 18, 2011 3:55:06 AM

Yes the ssd would probably the best price for performance. It is a noticeable difference moving to a ssd from a regular hard drive.
a b U Graphics card
June 18, 2011 4:17:05 AM

If you want performance go for a second gpu, a ssd will not improve your fps, just loading times. And you don't need a new cpu, a gpu upgrade is better bang for the buck.
June 18, 2011 4:31:18 PM

Would an additional 6950 speed up my desktop experience at all? I wouldn't think so.
a b U Graphics card
June 18, 2011 5:04:46 PM

mitchellvii said:
Would an additional 6950 speed up my desktop experience at all? I wouldn't think so.


No not at all the ssd would speed up the load time of everything. This is includes load times, desktop loads would become quick, and almost every program will load a lot faster. Sure you might get amazing fps for one game ,but does it matter for just one game?? Why pay a lot just to get an extra 40% on one game you might only play a few hours?

June 18, 2011 5:12:24 PM

Yep. I'm looking into SSD as well, and I also have a HD6950 ( I just updated my system specs in my profile). Unless you go for multi-monitor setup at full-tilt, another gpu sounds like overkill now, while the SSD will be a big improvement, speed-wise.
a c 355 U Graphics card
June 18, 2011 5:44:09 PM

CPU upgrade - Overall better performance in general when it comes to process intensive tasks, but loading and saving times are not improved. Possible small improvement in games if video card is bottlenecked by the current CPU.

SSD upgrade - Better load and save times. Helps with overall performance since Windows, games and other apps will load faster. Less waiting time in general.

Video Card upgrade - Best improvement for gaming performance, but doesn't affect anything else.


If you want increased performance in games, then the obvious choice is another video card.
a b U Graphics card
June 18, 2011 6:51:14 PM

as jaguarskx listed these are the following improvements, it all depends what you want, do you want more fps, or better loading times? (GPU or SSD)
a b U Graphics card
June 18, 2011 6:52:18 PM

but you could get an SSD, and OC your GPU, so that you both get better loading times, more fps, and no risk of cpu bottleneck.
!