Computer Graphics Upgrade

So, I have been having a couple performance issues with my current GPU, a Sapphire 5870 2GB, Which is kind of on it's way out when it comes to newer games at high settings. It's still a great card, but it just isn't giving me the FPS I want. So where could possible upgrades be for me on the ATI side of things? I've heard the 6800 cards are a little lacking in performance in comparison to the 5800 series. And the 6990 is just to expensive right now. So that leaves the 6900's. I've heard pretty good things about the 6970's and that's what I really have my eye on. Just wanted to hear from other people how they really perform, I can look at benchmarks all day long but I'd like to hear how they perform in normal gaming sessions. Also, any other card recommendations are alright if their around the same price range.
My PC has the following-
AMD Athalon 2.8GHZ X4
12 GB of 1333 DD3
Windows 7 Home Premium

The actual motherboard eludes me at the moment but I do know that it doesn't have room for two 5870's or probably any other cards either, unless I'm just not understanding something important.

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  1. My guess is that it is your CPU that is holding back performance more than your card!
    What resolution are you playing at?
    HD6970 would not be enough upgrade to make any one happy
  2. 1440/900. Also didn't know the margins were so close on those cards, So I guess I should be looking into CPU's?
  3. That is the CPU then since games become CPU dependent at low resolution and your GPU probably never goes past 50% load. Better (higher resolution) monitor would help so would a CPU upgrade.
  4. Where can I go really as far as CPU's? I didn't really know many games were utilizing more than four cores right now. Though I do know 2.8 GHZ is a bit low.
  5. You'd probably see a huge performance gain by upgrading to something like a phenom II x4 955.
  6. It is the speed, If your board supports Phenom II X4 then 955 BE with a good aftermarket cooler overclocked will help. But as a first step why not overclock the current CPU!
  7. FYI, a 6870 is a downgrade compared to a 6970. AMD bumped up the model numbers by 100 for the 6K generation.
  8. Okay I'll definitely look in the Phenom and try overclocking this one. Thanks for the help.
  9. are you playing 2011 games?
  10. buzzytheblue said:
    Where can I go really as far as CPU's? I didn't really know many games were utilizing more than four cores right now. Though I do know 2.8 GHZ is a bit low.

    It's not about the number of cores, it's about the per core performance... a Phenom II x4 "Deneb" sometimes perform better than the "Thuban" and of course it exceeds "Propus".. your current Athlon II x4 core.
    When running your CPU at a high clock speed, the processor becomes faster in handling the data between the other components.
    That's why you wanna seek one of the Phenom II X4s

    For the GPU, if you're running under 1080P resolution, HD 6970 will be more than enough, if you're playing at 1080P, get the HD 6970 and CF it when the prices drop
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