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Replacing 5850

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February 1, 2012 12:01:07 PM

I plan to upgrade my video card that is the bottleneck now.

My current PC configuration is:

Videocard: Sapphire Radeon HD 5850 1 GB 256-bit DDR5
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Power supply: CORSAIR Enthusiast Series CMPSU-650TX 650W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (4 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU: AMD Phenom(tm) II X4 965 Processor BE
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-790FXTA-UD5
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Cooler/heatsink: XIGMATEK LOKI SD963
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Windows: Microsoft Windows 7 (6.1) Home Premium Edition Service Pack 1

The price range is $500 - 550. I plan to make the final decision by beginning of March.
The possible Video card I consider now:

7970
7950 OC
2x 6950 2Gb Crossfire.

I will not plan to replace CPU or motherboard.
I am thinking to OC my CPU to have better fps for Skyrim

I cannot spend more than $550-560.

This is gaming computer. My favorites games are Skyrim, Assassin's creed, Metro 2033, S.T.A.L.K.E.R, etc.

Can somebody advise me please what is the better solution in my case?
Thank you.

More about : replacing 5850

February 1, 2012 12:01:57 PM

Oops. Sorry for misspelling :( 

*Replacing
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a c 88 U Graphics card
February 1, 2012 12:06:17 PM

Go for 7970, great performance and its a single card, will play anything you throw at it!
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February 1, 2012 12:11:15 PM

monsta said:
Go for 7970, great performance and its a single card, will play anything you throw at it!

2x 6950 2Gb are much faster than 7970, but my power supply is only 650W :( 
That is why I am not sure.
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a c 84 U Graphics card
February 1, 2012 12:19:14 PM

Mishania said:
2x 6950 2Gb are much faster than 7970, but my power supply is only 650W :( 
That is why I am not sure.


hd 6950x2 will be more better but why you wanna buy 2x cards if single card can do all the things that you want.
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February 1, 2012 12:24:11 PM

sunnk said:
hd 6950x2 will be more better but why you wanna buy 2x cards if single card can do all the things that you want.


Because for the same price I'll get the more powerful decision, that can let me play the new games in the future on max setting.

My fear is that 650W is not enough for 2x 6950 and 7000 series more superior over 6000 series.
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a b U Graphics card
February 1, 2012 12:30:38 PM

A second 5850 would be the best value upgrade if you can find one cheap on ebay or something and AMD even recommend only a 600W PSU.
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February 1, 2012 12:35:43 PM

simon12 said:
A second 5850 would be the best value upgrade if you can find one cheap on ebay or something and AMD even recommend only a 600W PSU.


Maybe I will agree with you, but are you sure that 2x5850 can support Skyrim max setting for 1920x1080?


Also, I just checked ebay. There are only couple 5850 there - all used and the price tag is around $150 . I think I will better sell mine :)  and buy 7950 for $450
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a c 84 U Graphics card
February 1, 2012 12:40:02 PM

Mishania said:
Maybe I will agree with you, but are you sure that 2x5850 can support Skyrim max setting for 1920x1080?


yes it can handle skyrim on high settings easily no problem.:) 
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February 1, 2012 12:45:24 PM

sunnk said:
yes it can handle skyrim on high settings easily no problem.:) 



Also, I just checked ebay. There are only couple 5850 there - all used and the price tag is around $150 . I think I will better sell mine :)  and buy 7950 for $450
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a c 84 U Graphics card
February 1, 2012 12:48:40 PM

Mishania said:
Also, I just checked ebay. There are only couple 5850 there - all used and the price tag is around $150 . I think I will better sell mine :)  and buy 7950 for $450


that will be also an good idea.
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a b U Graphics card
February 1, 2012 12:50:33 PM

I think 2 x 5850s should perform as well as a single 7950.
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a c 84 U Graphics card
February 1, 2012 12:52:47 PM

simon12 said:
I think 2 x 5850s should perform as well as a single 7950.


but the hd 7950 is of new tech and performance in newer games will slightly better and it can support higher resolution then hd 5850.:) 
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February 1, 2012 12:59:45 PM

My understanding that now I should consider 2x 5850s vs 7950 OC :)  ?
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a c 88 U Graphics card
February 1, 2012 1:07:29 PM

5850 is old tech now and you will be limited having two of them in xfire, if you got a 7950 or 7970 you can always add another one later if you want more performance and also it will be more futureproof especially having the 3GB of vram, whereas the 5850 only has 1GB and games like BF3 and Metro use more than 1GB of vram at 1920x1200
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February 1, 2012 1:09:14 PM

I guess I will go with 7950 OC
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a b U Graphics card
February 1, 2012 1:13:09 PM

If you really want to spend that much the 7000 series are better but with dual 5850s you save enough to get an ivy bridge i5 in march when there out or a SSD.
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February 1, 2012 1:17:17 PM

simon12 said:
If you really want to spend that much the 7000 series are better but with dual 5850s you save enough to get an ivy bridge i5 in march when there out or a SSD.



As I wrote I will not plan to replace motherboard/processor - it's too costly. If I can buy 7950 for $450 I can spend $100-120 and buy 128 Gb SSD just a little bit later.
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a c 107 U Graphics card
February 1, 2012 1:22:15 PM

depending on the game - a single 7950 would be the best bet. 2 6950's will beat it -some- of the time...... by a large margin.... depending on game. for the amount of money you have to spend..... 7970 ? - 580 with extra ram ( 3gigs ) ?? Crysis high def and skyrim texture packs will lay waste to small frame buffers.

crossfiring 2 5850's will not help in skyrim. you're limited by the cards architecture and 1gig frame buffer. 2 cards does NOT mean 2gigs of vram.



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a c 107 U Graphics card
February 1, 2012 1:26:07 PM

having said the above.......... you're processor will strangle whatever you get.
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February 1, 2012 1:27:00 PM

swifty_morgan said:
depending on the game - a single 7950 would be the best bet. 2 6950's will beat it -some- of the time...... by a large margin.... depending on game. for the amount of money you have to spend..... 7970 ? - 580 with extra ram ( 3gigs ) ?? Crysis high def and skyrim texture packs will lay waste to small frame buffers.

crossfiring 2 5850's will not help in skyrim. you're limited by the cards architecture and 1gig frame buffer. 2 cards does NOT mean 2gigs of vram.



Crysis high def and skyrim texture packs will lay waste to small frame buffers. ?? - - I am not very tech savvy, can you explain it please?
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a c 107 U Graphics card
February 1, 2012 2:10:05 PM

for some really useless information.......

Video RAM (VRAM) means in general all forms of random access memory (RAM) used to store image data for a computer display. All types of video RAM are special arrangements of dynamic RAM (DRAM). Video RAM is really a buffer between the computer processor and the display and is often called the frame buffer. When images are to be sent to the display, they are first read by the processor as data from some form of main (non-video) RAM and then written to video RAM. From video RAM (the frame buffer), the data is converted by a RAM digital-to-analog converter (RAMDAC) into analog signals that are sent to the display presentation mechanism such as a cathode ray tube (CRT). Usually, video RAM comes in a 1 or 2 megabyte package and is located on the video adapter card in the computer.

Most forms of video RAM are dual-ported, which means that while the processor is writing a new image to video RAM, the display is reading from video RAM to refresh its current display content. The dual-port design is the main difference between main RAM and video RAM.
Somewhat confusingly, the most common type of video RAM is called Video RAM (VRAM).Video RAM is the vanilla flavor of video RAM. It is dual-ported, allowing the processor to write to it at the same time that it is refreshing the image on the display monitor.
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February 1, 2012 2:55:57 PM

swifty_morgan said:
for some really useless information.......

Video RAM (VRAM) means in general all forms of random access memory (RAM) used to store image data for a computer display. All types of video RAM are special arrangements of dynamic RAM (DRAM). Video RAM is really a buffer between the computer processor and the display and is often called the frame buffer. When images are to be sent to the display, they are first read by the processor as data from some form of main (non-video) RAM and then written to video RAM. From video RAM (the frame buffer), the data is converted by a RAM digital-to-analog converter (RAMDAC) into analog signals that are sent to the display presentation mechanism such as a cathode ray tube (CRT). Usually, video RAM comes in a 1 or 2 megabyte package and is located on the video adapter card in the computer.

Most forms of video RAM are dual-ported, which means that while the processor is writing a new image to video RAM, the display is reading from video RAM to refresh its current display content. The dual-port design is the main difference between main RAM and video RAM.
Somewhat confusingly, the most common type of video RAM is called Video RAM (VRAM).Video RAM is the vanilla flavor of video RAM. It is dual-ported, allowing the processor to write to it at the same time that it is refreshing the image on the display monitor.



Thank you for the explanation
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a c 107 U Graphics card
February 1, 2012 3:19:57 PM

A 7970 should be faster than two 5850s as it's faster than the 5970 in many cases. Guru 3d includes the 5970 in their reviews with the 7970 and 7950s. If it was me I would have already added a second 5850 by now as they could be had for well under $200 a while back. Since you have the money, just get a 7970 or 7950
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February 1, 2012 3:32:52 PM

megamanx00 said:
A 7970 should be faster than two 5850s as it's faster than the 5970 in many cases. Guru 3d includes the 5970 in their reviews with the 7970 and 7950s. If it was me I would have already added a second 5850 by now as they could be had for well under $200 a while back. Since you have the money, just get a 7970 or 7950



But what about 2x6950 2Gb?
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a c 170 U Graphics card
February 1, 2012 3:34:00 PM

2xHD5850 will cause some stutter. Not recommended.

Get the HD7950.

POWER:
Your PSU might be adequate for the HD7950. Here's how to calculate:

1) find the AMPERAGE listed for the graphics card you buy (example, 50 Amps)

2) check your PSU to see if it has a higher amperage rating on the +12V single or combined rails (for "combined" it must say "combined"; you don't add them up yourself)

3) run an online calculator to determine the overall WATTAGE requirement of your system, including any overclocking
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February 1, 2012 3:52:32 PM

photonboy said:
2xHD5850 will cause some stutter. Not recommended.

Get the HD7950.

POWER:
Your PSU might be adequate for the HD7950. Here's how to calculate:

1) find the AMPERAGE listed for the graphics card you buy (example, 50 Amps)

2) check your PSU to see if it has a higher amperage rating on the +12V single or combined rails (for "combined" it must say "combined"; you don't add them up yourself)

3) run an online calculator to determine the overall WATTAGE requirement of your system, including any overclocking



I have already done all calculation my 650W is ok for 7970 and 7950, but for 2x6950 2 GB - is on the edge. That is my mine question replace power supply and put 2x6950 or go with single 7950 OC or 7970
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February 1, 2012 3:52:33 PM

Skyrim does not take a large amount of GPU power guys it is largely a CPU dependent game. For the OP a second 5850 will PWN on any game driving a single monitor and being OP already has a 5850 if OP can find another 5850 for CF that's his best bet if not 6950 CF will give OP the most graphics power for the dollar plus OP can add another and another in the future if need be. I hear Tri Fire 6950s are all good.
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Best solution

a c 107 U Graphics card
February 1, 2012 8:44:16 PM

2 6950s in crossfire will generally be a little faster, but not much. I say a single 7970 because you add a second on in a year or so for even more power. Of course, unless you're using eyefinity either solution is likely to be held back by your CPU. As it is my two 5870s are sometimes limited by my CPU depending on the game.
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a c 124 U Graphics card
February 1, 2012 9:22:10 PM

CF 5850s at stock is roughly 5970 performance.

Two 5850s at 870/1200 on stock voltage is roughly 7950 performance.

Speaking from experience at 1080p, CF 5850s kick ass. BF3 at Ultra 2xMSAA gives me over 60fps average - well, original BF3 MP maps are usually close to 70 while B2K maps tend to be a tad lower like 58-63 avg.

Metro 2033 runs at Very High, DX11, 4xMSAA only thing not enabled is DoF and it averages over 50-60+fps depending on the level.

Bang for your buck, CF 5850s.

That said, I would personally get a single 7950 right now if I was going to buy a new GPU. However, I'm probably not upgrading for at least another year.
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April 10, 2012 3:44:18 PM

Best answer selected by Mishania.
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