Upgrading 2x ATI HD Radeon 4850s

Here's what I'm currently running:

2x ATI HD Radeon 4850 (512mb) in Crossfire
AMD Phenom II x4 @ 3.00GHz
6GB RAM
750W PSU
Windows Vista 64 bit
Usually running 1920x1080 resolution

The card seems to run fine for most games. Mostly playing WoW, Battlefield, CoD, Assassin's Creed, etc. For some games I get a little flickering which can be kind of annoying and sometimes on WoW if i try to record something my FPS drops to 30-35, even on "good" settings.

I'm ultimately trying to gear up for Battlefield 3 and hope to be able to run that comfortably on pretty high settings. I also wouldn't mind being able to run WoW on Ultra with a decent FPS and getting rid of some of the flickering on some of the other games, but I'm not sure if that's a problem with the card or not.

Anyone got any advice on whether I should upgrade or not, and if so, which card would be best? (hopefully nothing too expensive but I have a decent budget) Any advice would be appreciated. Let me know if I need to post anything else about my setup. Thanks.
6 answers Last reply
More about upgrading radeon 4850s
  1. I would get a single 6950 2gb and then have the option to CF down the road.
  2. To be an upgrade you would need to get a 6950 2gb. A 6870 1GB would do better than your two 4850s in games where they are limited by memory, but otherwise it would be a match or a little under, so a single 6950 would be the min for an upgrade for you :D.
  3. You might also want to consider overclocking your CPU a bit :D
  4. Thanks for the responses.

    How much of an upgrade would the 6950 2gb be? Is it worth the 250ish bucks to do it or should I just wait it out a little longer? Any possibility that it would be bottlenecked by my cpu or psu or anything like that, or does it look like it would work well with my setup? Any specific model suggestions (sapphire, XFX, HIS, VisionTek, etc...I don't really know the differences here)?

    Also, I'd like to OC my cpu a little bit but i'm not sure how to go about it, what the consequences are, etc. I guess a little googling will do the trick there.

    Thanks again!
  5. It would be best to compare two 4850s 512MBs to a single 5870. It's generally a little under, but the difference can be significant in games that need more vram and/or you turn up the aa/af. Take a look at these charts

    http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/2010-gaming-graphics-charts-high-quality/Battlefield-Bad-Company-2,2465.html

    Of course that really only applies when crossfire works. A 6950 is generally a little faster than a single 5870 and with it's 2GB of vram it will breeze by situations where your 4850s with their 512MB of RAM start to choke.

    If you can wait I say you stick it out till AMD releases their new cards this fall. If the slight stutter or frame rate drops are driving you nuts now though then you should get a 6950 now rather than continue suffering ^_^.
  6. As far as specific models I like the Gigabyte Ultra Durable models with the twin fan coolers. If you're looking at the cheaper reference style cards though they are all the same except for the sticker. The nice thing about XFX cards is their double life time warranty so if you sell the card, that guy also gets a life time warranty on it. If you're not interested in selling that card anytime soon and want to keep it for a while (how much is an 8800GT worth now?) then it's not much of a selling point :p.

    Also yes I think your CPU will be a bottleneck. For some games my 955BE at stock speeds was a limit for my 5870, but then I'm gaming at 1680x1050 :p. I overkilled by getting a second card because Gothic 4 was pissing me off (crappy optimized for nvidia and had a GTX 295 as recommended). If you follow an overclocking guide and stay within safe temps and voltages there is little risk to damaging your CPU, but still a risk (a small one). The biggest consequence is the increased heat and power usage along with increased performance.
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