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Upgrading 4890, flexible budget

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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July 2, 2011 3:08:07 PM

I haven't upgraded this PC at all since I purchased it in May 2009.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Whenever the best time to buy is before holiday 2011 games hit

BUDGET RANGE: $450 before rebates

USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: I'll be playing everything from Source engine games to attempting to max out BF3 and Skyrim if possible.

CURRENT GPU AND POWER SUPPLY: Factory OC'd Sapphire ATI Radeon HD 4890 and Corsair 650TX 650W PSU

OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS:

Intel i7 920 yet to be OC'd
Asus P6T
6 gigs OCZ Ram
Antec 900 w/ Cooler Master V8 cooling

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg/Amazon

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: U.S

PARTS PREFERENCES: Prefer, yet not limited to, ATI Sapphire cards

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1200

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I'm running a single display and would like to at least come close to maxing out newer games. I'm not sure what my other limiting factors are other than that I obviously need to spend more time overclocking my CPU, but I can never seem to get it stable enough. Other upgrade options or advice would be helpful!


Currently looking at the 6970, but I'm not sure whether that or a lower card like the 6950 in crossfire would be better. I'm not interested in something that would be high maintenance so a single GPU may be better for me. I may also hold out for a 7000 series card if that is expected to release this year.
a b U Graphics card
July 2, 2011 3:14:37 PM

If you're not bothered too much about Crossfire, then get a HD 6970.
Though you can always get another one in crossfire if you change your mind down the line.
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a c 128 U Graphics card
July 2, 2011 3:41:31 PM

If you live near a microcenter, an i7-960 is running around $180. Just something to consider.

I'd recommend a GTX 570. I wouldn't recommend gearing up for a crossfire build due to consistent driver issues with crossfire setups. I can tell you SLI does not have these issues. I've had both crossfire and SLI setups within the last few months.
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a c 130 U Graphics card
July 2, 2011 4:09:54 PM

There is no proof that AMD drivers are any worse than Nvidia drivers so please don't bother with such comments. In fact i could show you a graph that was around back when Vista was the new thing, actually why not http://arstechnica.com/hardware/news/2008/03/vista-capa...

Anyway, I would say that if you need to upgrade before seeing what the 7 series brings then a 6970 would be the way to go. Games have not been getting that much more taxing of late but having seen some tech demo's it could just turn out that the 2GB of memory on the 6970 stands you in good stead over the single GB on the 570.
As it stands its not an issue, i just like to have 1 eye on the future, we used to say 512 was fine for everything at one point ;) 

Mactronix :) 
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a c 128 U Graphics card
July 2, 2011 7:04:27 PM

I hear ya Mactronix. Just sharing my own personal experience.
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July 3, 2011 1:07:27 AM

When do most expect the 7 series to release? Other than the GPU and the obvious need to overclock my CPU, would you recommend any other upgrades?

I'm not really looking to purchase a whole new CPU at the moment.
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a b U Graphics card
July 3, 2011 6:55:51 AM

They say that the next gen GPUs from AMD will be releasing this year. Lat time i checked, the 11.7 drivers had the code names for those parts.
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July 3, 2011 8:05:46 AM

I might just wait it out for them. If I don't end up buying one I'm sure it will cause the 6970 to drop in price.
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