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Upgrading from 3870 X2 .. help!!

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
January 28, 2012 5:29:48 PM


I have a Dell XPS 420 w/ Intel Duo Core E8500 @ 3.16GHz + 8GB RAM + 3870 X2.

I'm looking to upgrade my graphics card, the 3870 X2, and have been looking at a 58xx/68xx/69xx .. in my research I've realised that there might be bottlenecks due to my CPU and PSU limits.. so..

- considering that the 3870 X2 operators from around 150-200 wattage, is upgrading to one of these cards going to be a problem?
- there are limits of performance due to my Duo Core - how much of a problem is this going to be? (I have a 24" monitor and running natively in 1080p for games/desktop/movies).
- can someone confirm that a PCI 2.1 card will be fine on my existing PCI 2.0?

I guess considering the above what about be 1) card which would be fine without having to worry about PSU issues and 2) a card which will give better performance (albeit maybe not as great if I had a better CPU) but considerable enough to make the upgrade worth while.

I've read similar articles on here like this one .. .. but wondering what applies to the more 6xxx cards of ATI? There is considerable price difference between 5870 to 5850.. but the 5850 is pretty much the price point I am aiming for if that's of help.

Any help is appreciated! :) 

Many thanks!

More about : upgrading 3870

January 28, 2012 6:03:31 PM

The 6870 should be a good balance for what you have. It uses less than the wattage you have listed and wouldnt bee too choked up by your cpu
January 30, 2012 11:36:52 AM

Unfortunately there isn't any definitive listing for the wattage of the X2.. some report 150-200 and other sites, at full performance, around 350~ ..

Would I be better off with a 5xxx card or 6xxx ? What about the CPU bottleneck?
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January 31, 2012 4:02:53 PM

Bump - any help is appreciated. There really is the issue of CPU vs. WATTAGE as the two bottlenecks, can someone shed some light? Many thanks!!
January 31, 2012 9:15:18 PM

What power supply do you have ?
this bottleneck i speak of is when.any 1 component in your system is keeping another from performing at its full.potential. A cpu bottleneck means the gpu isnt operating at full speed or capacity because the cpu cannot keep up. Overclocking the cpu or upgrading are.the ways to alleviate this.
If your gpu is being restrained because your cpu isnt.keeping up then you arent seeing the performance you paid for. Why i dont suggest anything faster than previously stated- it would be a waste.of money to not see the performance over a less powerful card. Also if you do plan on upgrading your cpu then buying a better card would make sense but if the card is the only thing you are upgrading then getting something more balanced to the rest of your system would make the most sense.
With all that said.the 5770 and 6770 are the same card and the 6870/6850 would be well but would be the fastest i would recommend for that cpu unless of course you were upgrading that in the near future.
Pcie is backwards compatible so you are ok in that department
February 3, 2012 11:25:33 AM

I ended up buying a 6870, installation was smooth - no need for additional power connectors as I had the 2x6 pin already. Only played a little, but so far so good! Me like.

Here's a snippet from another article on which may help anyone else..

"The question of whether the CPU or GPU is most important is easily answered. If you don't have a multi-core CPU, then upgrade it. If you have a dual-core CPU at around 3 GHz, then invest your money into a graphics card, as most games are GPU-limited. This is not something that will change with new DirectX 11 games."