In search of an upgrade for my MSI Radeon HD 5850

First off, my knowledge is computer hardware is spotty at best, so bear with me :(

I'm looking up upgrade my ATI HD MSI 5850 PCI-E 16X 1GB. I am an avid gamer looking to run the latest games in max settings with little issue. I have noticed in SWTOR I have had issues raiding in outdoor areas and in Starcraft II I have seen random frame rate drops. My hopes are to be ready for Diablo III as well. I have only begun minimal research on the radeon hd 7000 series but I'm open to any and all possible upgrades.

My power supply is Xtremegear 700 wat

My CPU is an i7-950 3.06 8m LGA 1366.

My motherboard is msi x50 pro-elite sli/crossfire. I also run with asetek 510lc 120mm watercooler.

I run on a 40 inch proscan tv and to my knowledge the max resolution I have been able to pull off is 1366/768.

I am willing to overclock but I need to do a lot of research before I am comfortable doing it.

My budget is $100-maybe 300 for this card.

Thank you for any and all assistance in regards to question in advance. Anything and everything is greatly appreciated.
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  1. If you can't run games maxed out at 720p with that HD 5850, you probably have other issues. The HD 5850 should be able to handle 1080p at max/near max settings. Try uninstalling the graphics driver, run Driver Sweeper from Safe Mode, and have it remove any remnants of AMD and Nvidia graphics drivers it finds. Reboot and install the latest driver for your card/OS.
    And don't forget the Application Profiles.

    You may want to clean your system of resource wasting garbage and registry errors too by running CCleaner. Do the Clean and Registry both:

    Here is a graphics card hierarchy chart to compare cards:,3107-7.html
    I used to have a HD 6870 that performed excellent at 1080p with an i3-2120 dual core. Your HD 5850 should be the equivalent of that card. $300 might move you up to a HD 6950, but as you can see from the chart... it's only a one tier jump. Hardly noticeable.
  2. Your power supply might be the problem.
  3. Thank you for the assistance. I'm going to follow clutch's directions and see what happens. Could my power supply really be the issue? I thought a 700 wat would be sufficient, would upping it to a 750 remedy the situation?
  4. Looks like a PSU problem to me too.

    For your info, there are actually ranks on PSU alone. Not just other hardware such as GPU and CPU has. Regardless of the output it labelled with, the ranks gives you better clue of what it actually deliver. Usually you'll see some ranks from Bronze, Gold or something like that. And the brand does matter. The price also mentions the quality it brings, again, regardless of the output it labelled with. A good PSU promise a better power flow on your system, ensuring it to perform the way it should.

    I don't really know about your PSU brand, but I know some better brands that you should look into. Some names such as Seasonic never fails to anyone. Even though I only use 1 on my 26 PCs, the rest was using Xigmantec's. The supply for Seasonic in my hometown was not many back then...but that's my story.

    Anyhow, my suggestion would be changing your PSU for, let's say a 700 watts or so from Seasonic's lineup. Or you could pick Xigmantec too, they're not bad either, but Seasonic definitely better.
  5. I tried running driver sweeper, it went smoothly however now I'm unable to reinstall catalyst control panel. I was able to get the drivers back on though. I'm going to start doing some research on PSUs soon.
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