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Upgrading HD 6870 Crossfire; $600 Budget

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December 29, 2011 7:43:31 PM

Hi,
My system specs are below and I want to step up my graphics in the next month. I have two Radeon HD 6870s in crossfire and an I7 920 OCd to 3.8Ghz.
Gameplay on BF3 is ok, but I want to get closer to ultra. I just upgraded to an H100 with load temps at about 50c so I may try to get to 4Ghz.

Questions:
1. Will I get more performance from GPU upgrade rather than a new board and chip?
2. If GPU is the way to go, what do you reccomend at $600 budget
3. If I upgade GPU, will I need to step up my PSU? Currently Thermaltake Toughpower 700W.

Thanks in advance!!!

CPU: Intel I7 920 OC'd to 3.8Ghz
M/B: MSI X58 Pro-E Motherboard
RAM: 6 GB Patriot DDR 3 PC3-12800 1600mhz
FAN: Corsair H100 Liquid Cooler
HDD: Crucial 120 GB SSD and 2 Segate SATAII 500 gig hd
VGA: 2 HD 6870 1Gig Video Crossfire
Sound: SB xfi
SU : Thermaltake Toughpower 700W W0106RU
Case : Cooler Master HAF 922 Full Tower Tower
DVD-RW : Lite On LH020A1l SATA Sony DRU 720A
Monitor : Del 2407WFP 24"Widescreen
OS: Win 7 32
a c 106 U Graphics card
December 29, 2011 8:34:27 PM

1) Yes. An i7 @ 3.8 isn't going to be preventing you from playing games on high settings.

2) You could add a 3rd 6870, but I say wait for the Radeon 7950 as well as nVidias new cards. If you need something now BF3 then I guess you would be looking at two 6950s or two 560 Tis, but either option is not that much of an upgrade from your 6870s. Even if the new cards are not as affordable (as evident by the 7970) prices of Radeon 6970s and GTX 570s should drop and allow you to get two.

3) I'd say your fine for two cards.

Related resources
a b U Graphics card
December 29, 2011 8:41:44 PM

rolli59 said:
HD7970 maybe http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/AMD/HD_7970/28.html should equal or better two HD6870 without all crossfire issues and your PSU will drive it.

+1; there are alot of people, even members of this forum that have had issues with the 6870 in xfire microstutter and waiting a couple weeks for a single card that can outpower the xfire setup would be the best imo.
a b U Graphics card
December 29, 2011 8:51:43 PM

Your CPU is fine just get it closer to 4ghz...your PSU is not fine if you get 2x 6970s or even 6950s and then overclock and all that stuff...So that leaves you with the best choice to get a 7970...overclock that by 20% which is easy judging by the reviews and you will be able to run BF3 at 60fps 1080P on ultra...or atleast 55fps.

Even more you will be future proof because a 2nd 7970 can be added after a year or two...getting 2 6900series cards might be a good short term decision but what not for the long term...If you ever need more GPU power then 3rd and 4th cards only give you 40% benefit at best and most games don't even benefit..not to mention micro stutter and all. Further since 7000 series is so close..At the very least get 2x7870s for $600..still better than 6900 series.. They are cooler...consume less power...and overclock like mad due to 28nm.
a b U Graphics card
December 29, 2011 9:37:55 PM

dharmenparikh said:
Your CPU is fine just get it closer to 4ghz...your PSU is not fine if you get 2x 6970s or even 6950s and then overclock and all that stuff...So that leaves you with the best choice to get a 7970...overclock that by 20% which is easy judging by the reviews and you will be able to run BF3 at 60fps 1080P on ultra...or atleast 55fps.

Even more you will be future proof because a 2nd 7970 can be added after a year or two...getting 2 6900series cards might be a good short term decision but what not for the long term...If you ever need more GPU power then 3rd and 4th cards only give you 40% benefit at best and most games don't even benefit..not to mention micro stutter and all. Further since 7000 series is so close..At the very least get 2x7870s for $600..still better than 6900 series.. They are cooler...consume less power...and overclock like mad due to 28nm.

there is no such thing as future proof, but in the spirit of looking ahead, yes the 7970 would be his best option.
December 29, 2011 9:56:13 PM

wait for 7xxx series. even if ure not buying those, prices of 6xxx series is likely to drop too
a b U Graphics card
December 29, 2011 10:00:46 PM

79XX cards will be out in a couple weeks, 78XX should be out in February, I would wait 2-3 months and see what happens with prices before replacing a 6870 crossfire set up right now.
a c 92 U Graphics card
December 29, 2011 10:01:39 PM

wait and get a 7970 :D 
a b U Graphics card
December 29, 2011 10:03:41 PM

FlintIronStagg said:
+1; there are alot of people, even members of this forum that have had issues with the 6870 in xfire microstutter and waiting a couple weeks for a single card that can outpower the xfire setup would be the best imo.

7970 will not smash 6870 CFX is a top end config plenty more powerful than a single GTX580.
a c 92 U Graphics card
December 29, 2011 10:08:42 PM

7970 will beat the 6879x2, the 6870 x2 performs about the same as a 5970 and a single 7970 will give better performance without the negatives of crossfire.
a b U Graphics card
December 29, 2011 10:09:05 PM

Camaro said:
Hi,
My system specs are below and I want to step up my graphics in the next month. I have two Radeon HD 6870s in crossfire and an I7 920 OCd to 3.8Ghz.
Gameplay on BF3 is ok, but I want to get closer to ultra. I just upgraded to an H100 with load temps at about 50c so I may try to get to 4Ghz.

Questions:
1. Will I get more performance from GPU upgrade rather than a new board and chip?
2. If GPU is the way to go, what do you reccomend at $600 budget
3. If I upgade GPU, will I need to step up my PSU? Currently Thermaltake Toughpower 700W.

Thanks in advance!!!

CPU: Intel I7 920 OC'd to 3.8Ghz
M/B: MSI X58 Pro-E Motherboard
RAM: 6 GB Patriot DDR 3 PC3-12800 1600mhz
FAN: Corsair H100 Liquid Cooler
HDD: Crucial 120 GB SSD and 2 Segate SATAII 500 gig hd
VGA: 2 HD 6870 1Gig Video Crossfire
Sound: SB xfi
SU : Thermaltake Toughpower 700W W0106RU
Case : Cooler Master HAF 922 Full Tower Tower
DVD-RW : Lite On LH020A1l SATA Sony DRU 720A
Monitor : Del 2407WFP 24"Widescreen
OS: Win 7 32

Nothing will really beat your 6870CFX setup if all you have is a $600 budget. What you have now is one of the top best most powerful graphics configs you can get right now and it crushes a GTX580. You would need SLI GTX580 to make a worth while tangible upgrade path however that will cost you double your budget I would just be happy with what you've got and or add another 6870 for tri Crossfire and a 20% performance increase in most games.
December 29, 2011 10:32:08 PM

Thanks for all of the help. . .worthwhile trying to OC the gpu's?
a b U Graphics card
December 29, 2011 10:35:25 PM

Camaro said:
Thanks for all of the help. . .worthwhile trying to OC the gpu's?

adding another card for trifire is your best bet.
a b U Graphics card
December 29, 2011 11:21:32 PM

Headspin_69 said:
7970 will not smash 6870 CFX is a top end config plenty more powerful than a single GTX580.

The 7970 beats the 580. I wouldnt recommend a crossfire config that has been known to microstutter over a single card that can perform similarly with the potential to xfire at a later datr. If anything op should look into a 6950 xfire and not the 6870.
a b U Graphics card
December 30, 2011 7:59:01 AM

FlintIronStagg said:
The 7970 beats the 580. I wouldnt recommend a crossfire config that has been known to microstutter over a single card that can perform similarly with the potential to xfire at a later datr. If anything op should look into a 6950 xfire and not the 6870.

We just came to the conclusion with proof that a 6950 is a waste of money because it performs like a 6870 that costs allot less I will say it again 6950 is no good and 6870cfx is faster than one 7970 plus is is far cheaper and Microsttuering is in a limited games and easily mitigated LOL try again all you spout is hearsay LOL.
December 30, 2011 8:27:21 AM

two 6970's. Spend that extra 50 bucks. Give your computer the sexual gratification it deserves. Or. A single 6970 and extra monitors for eyefinity?
a b U Graphics card
December 30, 2011 11:18:20 AM

Headspin_69 said:
We just came to the conclusion with proof that a 6950 is a waste of money because it performs like a 6870 that costs allot less I will say it again 6950 is no good and 6870cfx is faster than one 7970 plus is is far cheaper and Microsttuering is in a limited games and easily mitigated LOL try again all you spout is hearsay LOL.

The 6950 performs like a 6870? Hrm ..... Ok
a b U Graphics card
December 30, 2011 11:29:31 AM

Headspin_69 said:
We just came to the conclusion with proof that a 6950 is a waste of money because it performs like a 6870 that costs allot less I will say it again 6950 is no good and 6870cfx is faster than one 7970 plus is is far cheaper and Microsttuering is in a limited games and easily mitigated LOL try again all you spout is hearsay LOL.


Jesus christ, you again.

The 7970 is VERY fast. It will push BF3 to the very limit.

And I dont think a 6870 Xfire setup @ 1920x1080 with full AA/AF will have the power to stand up to a 7970 at all.

Single card setups are in EVERY case better than an equally powered Dual Card setup, as they tend to have 0 issues.

What boggles the mind is why the 2 cards can't play it on ultra anyway - it is odd.

But yeah, the 7970 is a beautiful card and its worth every penny - if you get one I dont think you'll ever look back.

a b U Graphics card
December 30, 2011 11:37:18 AM

deadjon said:
Jesus christ, you again.

The 7970 is VERY fast. It will push BF3 to the very limit.

And I dont think a 6870 Xfire setup @ 1920x1080 with full AA/AF will have the power to stand up to a 7970 at all.

Single card setups are in EVERY case better than an equally powered Dual Card setup, as they tend to have 0 issues.

What boggles the mind is why the 2 cards can't play it on ultra anyway - it is odd.

But yeah, the 7970 is a beautiful card and its worth every penny - if you get one I dont think you'll ever look back.

Let me take this time to Lol.
Nicely put john +1
a b U Graphics card
December 30, 2011 12:45:45 PM

deadjon said:
Jesus christ, you again.

The 7970 is VERY fast. It will push BF3 to the very limit.

And I dont think a 6870 Xfire setup @ 1920x1080 with full AA/AF will have the power to stand up to a 7970 at all.

Single card setups are in EVERY case better than an equally powered Dual Card setup, as they tend to have 0 issues.

What boggles the mind is why the 2 cards can't play it on ultra anyway - it is odd.

But yeah, the 7970 is a beautiful card and its worth every penny - if you get one I dont think you'll ever look back.

7970 is a great card 7970 is tangibly faster on average than a GTX580 however if you already have a great setup like CFX 6870, SLI GTX 570/560 SLI Etc or the ability to easily upgrade to CFX 6870 if you already have one then there is no need to get a 7970 but great card to upgrade to if you have an older slower one. PS CFX 6870 trumps a single GTX580 and will come close to a 7970.
a b U Graphics card
December 30, 2011 12:58:54 PM

Headspin_69 said:
7970 is a great card 7970 is tangibly faster on average than a GTX580 however if you already have a great setup like CFX 6870, SLI GTX 570/560 SLI Etc or the ability to easily upgrade to CFX 6870 if you already have one then there is no need to get a 7970 but great card to upgrade to if you have an older slower one. PS CFX 6870 trumps a single GTX580 and will come close to a 7970.


6870 has 1gb VRAM - Remember Xfire doesnt add up the VRAM

1GB Memory Buffer + BF3@1920x1080 + Full AA/AF + Ultra = Bottleneck.

This is why they wont touch the 7970.
December 30, 2011 1:35:45 PM

Great info everyone, thanks.
I may have another issue since I'm using Win 7 32, I keep getting memory errors when I bump up the setting to high in BF3.
Isn't that terrible, I have the hardware but the operating system is a block. I know this isn't the place, but has anyone had similar issues?
Thanks again!!
a b U Graphics card
December 30, 2011 1:45:12 PM

Remember - using 32bit Windows your VRAM has to steal memory addresses from the 32bits you have otherwise It cannot function, so in reality you lose 1gb of RAM with your graphics card inserted (Leaving you with 2.5GB usable RAM on the entire system)

And oh god, upgrade to 64bit before you get a 7970, the 3gb VRAM will leech 3gb from your limited 32bit address leaving you with 512mb of RAM xD
a c 1308 U Graphics card
December 30, 2011 1:50:06 PM

Best upgrade you can do for your system is to go to 64bit OS!
a c 125 U Graphics card
December 30, 2011 2:01:22 PM

Whaaat? Dude, you have a 32 bit OS and 6 gigs of RAM... you can only use up to 4gb!!! And trust me, BF3 wants more RAM, it uses up to 5 or 6gb on it's own!

CF 6870s should easily play at Ultra. My 5850s do it, with the only exception being I set 2xMSAA instead of 4x (probably a VRAM issue, but basically at 4x one of my cards usage drops so the FPS is bad). I average just over 60 fps, dips are only to the 40s.

In fact I've been playing at 5760x1080 for the last few days and it runs great at medium/high settings, no AA.
a b U Graphics card
December 30, 2011 2:37:56 PM

deadjon said:
6870 has 1gb VRAM - Remember Xfire doesnt add up the VRAM

1GB Memory Buffer + BF3@1920x1080 + Full AA/AF + Ultra = Bottleneck.

This is why they wont touch the 7970.

VRAM does not add Frames Per Second like allot of people think Vram helps deals with textures pop in etc.
a c 106 U Graphics card
December 30, 2011 4:05:32 PM

Yup, upgrading your OS to use all your RAM would certainly help.
January 1, 2012 6:40:11 PM

I would note that only some 6870's have two notches for Xfire. Both of my 6870's have only one notch for the Xfire bridge, leaving me with no option for a third 6870.

As many have stated here, the 6870's are very powerful indeed, but the VRAM is starting to become somewhat of a limiting factor, especially with games like BF3 which can hog over 1 GB of VRAM in some situations.

As appealing as the 7970 sounds, dropped prices of 6970s (hopefully very soon after Jan. 9) may make purchasing two 6970's very tempting....

What to do for my 120hz monitor =/
May 4, 2012 8:23:16 PM

deadjon said:
6870 has 1gb VRAM - Remember Xfire doesnt add up the VRAM

1GB Memory Buffer + BF3@1920x1080 + Full AA/AF + Ultra = Bottleneck.

This is why they wont touch the 7970.



this is just not true!
I had dual 1Gb 5770's in xfire and it ran BF3, Skyrim and MW3 all at max.

I sold them and now have dual 1GB 6870's.

vram over 1GB ONLY comes into play above 1080p or if you are using eyefinity.
May 4, 2012 8:29:31 PM

^^ Did you really need to bump a 4 month old thread just to make a post that isn't even correct? :pfff: 
May 7, 2012 2:18:08 PM

BigMack70 said:
^^ Did you really need to bump a 4 month old thread just to make a post that isn't even correct? :pfff: 


Do you really need to use words like bump?
And it is very correct.
May 7, 2012 4:11:02 PM

You're clueless

Don't post BS. Examples like that are all over the place though that one should suffice.
April 8, 2013 4:25:10 PM

Camaro said:
Hi,
My system specs are below and I want to step up my graphics in the next month. I have two Radeon HD 6870s in crossfire and an I7 920 OCd to 3.8Ghz.
Gameplay on BF3 is ok, but I want to get closer to ultra. I just upgraded to an H100 with load temps at about 50c so I may try to get to 4Ghz.

Questions:
1. Will I get more performance from GPU upgrade rather than a new board and chip?
2. If GPU is the way to go, what do you reccomend at $600 budget
3. If I upgade GPU, will I need to step up my PSU? Currently Thermaltake Toughpower 700W.

Thanks in advance!!!

CPU: Intel I7 920 OC'd to 3.8Ghz
M/B: MSI X58 Pro-E Motherboard
RAM: 6 GB Patriot DDR 3 PC3-12800 1600mhz
FAN: Corsair H100 Liquid Cooler
HDD: Crucial 120 GB SSD and 2 Segate SATAII 500 gig hd
VGA: 2 HD 6870 1Gig Video Crossfire
Sound: SB xfi
SU : Thermaltake Toughpower 700W W0106RU
Case : Cooler Master HAF 922 Full Tower Tower
DVD-RW : Lite On LH020A1l SATA Sony DRU 720A
Monitor : Del 2407WFP 24"Widescreen
OS: Win 7 32


April 8, 2013 4:29:01 PM

If your gpu's and CPU is over clocked, you might be underpowered in your current setup. You might want to power up your PSU.
!