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[Graphics Cards] Upgrading crossfired 4890s

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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November 3, 2011 6:59:07 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Most likely within the next month or two.

USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming. Currenly BF3, WoW, MW, SW:TOR in coming months; Intertubular Exploration

CURRENT GPU AND POWER SUPPLY: I currenly have a pair of Radeon HD 4890 crossfired powered by a 850W PSU.

GPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
PSU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS: Running an i7 920 off of an ASUS P6T Deluxe mobo with 6gb of RAM. I am currenly considering upgrading to more RAM as well. I have an Antex 1200 case, with plenty of airflow. Cards seldom go above 60C, so I'm not terrible concerned about it.

MOBO: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
RAM: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg.com

PARTS PREFERENCES: I'd prefer to stick with Radeon chipset, and have had good luck with SapphireTech equipment.

OVERCLOCKING: No

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Not initially, but want to keep options for future expansion open.

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1200

ADDITIONAL: Also, while I have my preferences with ATI cards, I'm not necessarily opposed to nVidia. I have a friend who swears by them, but they've been nothing but bad luck for me. What would be some good suggestions as alternatives to a 6970?


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My biggest question is whether or not my current setup will support a newer card, such as a 6970. I'm not concerned about cooling or power, but whether or not I'd need to start looking at a new mobo that would accomodate.

Thanks in advance.
a c 125 U Graphics card
November 3, 2011 7:06:35 PM

A HD6970 would be roughly the same performance as your current setup (in games that support crossfire well)

nVidia's GTX570 has very similar performance to that of a HD6970

What is your maximum budget?
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a c 214 U Graphics card
November 3, 2011 7:11:37 PM

Your mobo is fine.It has PCI-E 2.0 slots which is really all you need for a 6970 or above.As an alternative to the 6970 would be a GTX580.It's much more powerful but it also carries a much higher price.

Been awhile since I looked at 6970's and I can't believe how cheap they are now.They used to be in the $370 area.Here's the Toxic version for $320 after MIR.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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November 3, 2011 7:16:12 PM

The 6950's seem to be the sweet spot right now. Personally, I'm running 6870 Crossfire right now. I had good performance with a single card in the BF3 beta, and get stunning performance in Crossfire now. :)  I have a few clanmates that have 6950's as well. One even was able to do the BIOS update to make it a 6970. Either way, I agree that your current rig can handle pretty much anything yet.
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a c 214 U Graphics card
November 3, 2011 7:24:49 PM

Sinister, what settings are you using in BF3 and what type of frames are you getting?Also what CPU are you using?I currently own a 6870 and I'm planning on getting another for crossfire but i'm a little worried about the micro stuttering I've been hearing a lot about.
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November 3, 2011 7:34:39 PM

This is good news.

@omgitzfatal: Maximum budget depends on the extent of what I need to upgrade. If I can get away with just upgrading the GPU itself, I'd be willing to spend no more than $600, otherwise if a new system is warranted (and I wouldn't be heartbroken to hear the news), I'd be sitting on a budget of around $1500.

@purple: That's precisely the GPU I have on my Newegg wishlist.
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Best solution

a c 214 U Graphics card
November 3, 2011 7:37:02 PM

Is your i7 920 at stock clocks?

For $600 you could do a 6970 crossfire but as Sinister said in the above post the 6950 crossfire is the sweet spot.Perfect cost to performance ratio.But since you have the cash I would suggest going for a GTX580.
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November 3, 2011 8:21:23 PM

@purple: I didn't overclock the 920. Didn't want to risk blowing anything up. Initially, I was looking at 2x 2gb 9650 in crossfire, and unlocking them, but didn't particularly want to go that route.

As my previous experience with nVidia was limited to an EVGA card and it ended tragically, any suggestions in regards to brand or card particulars?
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November 3, 2011 8:55:58 PM

@purple: It is tempting. Not sure how far off that would be. Monitors are pretty inexpensive nowadays, though.
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a c 214 U Graphics card
November 3, 2011 9:00:10 PM

Yah you can easily find a quality 1080p monitor for around $120.

I was only asking because if you were intending to use a multi monitor setup like that you would want as much VRAM as possible.The GTX580 also comes in a 3GB version but it's stretches your budget.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Cool fact about that card,the fans turn to white when they are heated.Anything past 45c and the fans turn white.Really cool,imo.
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November 3, 2011 9:34:55 PM

Hrm. Despite my initial hesitation with an nVidia card, looks like that might be the way to go.
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November 3, 2011 9:41:34 PM

Best answer selected by TravisW.
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a b U Graphics card
November 3, 2011 9:46:08 PM

Gtx 570
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a c 214 U Graphics card
November 3, 2011 10:08:45 PM

Just note that although BF3 doesn't notice different clock speeds,as long as it's a quad core, other games might so it would be a good idea to give a minor O.C. on your 920.
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