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Best upgrade from ATI HD 6950 2g? Xfire or Upgrade CPU?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 8, 2012 10:59:25 PM

I'm looking to upgrade my system a bit I'm getting that itch, I've had my parts for about a year now and would like something new, while my parts are still worth something and will sell on ebay. Which is the best upgrade from my HD 6950? a new 7000 series card? or xfire another 6950? maybe I should just upgrade the CPU and MOBO? My usual reference for GPU and CPU pricing is Tom's hardware's Best (cpu/gpu) for the money: Monthly articles. I'm assuming if I upgraded my CPU I would go with a i5-2500k, which is $179 @ Microcenter, they match all prices. What do you think, I'm I overthinking this?

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Sub $300+ whatever I sell my current parts for on ebay.

USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, SC2, SWTOR, Skyrim

CURRENT GPU AND POWER SUPPLY: XFX HD6950 reference model

OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS:
Case: Antec 1200
MOBO: Gigabyte GA-880GA-UD3H
PSU: Antec 750 Blue
CPU: CPU Phenom II x4 965 OC'd to 4.0g
RAM:12G Kingston hyperx DDR3
HD: Os on SSD Vertex 3, Seagate 7200rpm drive
Diplays: 24inch Del Ultrasharp 1920x1200 and a 22' Acer @ 1680x1050

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Microcenter, Fry's, Newegg, Ebay? COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA

PARTS PREFERENCES: Prefer ATI cards,

OVERCLOCKING: Yes SLI OR CROSSFIRE:Maybe

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 24inch Del Ultrasharp 1920x1200 and a 22' Acer @ 1680x1050

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:
a b U Graphics card
March 8, 2012 11:49:52 PM

Ok well just because you rank SC2 so high, I would actually say go for an nVidia card. That's one of the few games that crossfire/SLi makes near to no difference in, and a GTX560 Ti runs it much better than a 6950 for some reason. In fact, my old GTX460 system gets better FPS in SC2 than my 6950 (maxxed)... So I'd say wait for the GTX660Ti or something similar. That said, I have nothing against AMD cards. Maybe look at a 7950, those run quite well, but not on the scale of the nVidia cards for some reason.
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a b U Graphics card
a b à CPUs
March 9, 2012 12:13:20 AM

I think that the bottleneck here is the cpu:



You can get an i5 2500k and you can keep your 6950 till something good will be launched. (no point changing gpu if you can't get +75% at least upgrade from the previous. And at the moment there is nothing that can give you +75%. At least from a single gpu solution.)
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March 9, 2012 12:16:03 AM

Interesting, I might consider waiting for a better Nvidia, but with cards coming out this spring do you think my CPU would be a bottleneck?

Honestly though SC2 runs fine on Extreme graphics settings, I guess its more for first person/3rd person type games like SKyrim or SWTOR, I get about anywhere from 45-80 FPS in SWTOR on High Settings. The more I talk about this it seems liek I really don't need a new GPU, lol. Maybe a CPU, but I just don't know whats the best investment.
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March 9, 2012 12:17:51 AM

Replied too late, interesting I gues I didn't realize the i5 2500k was would be 2x better than my current CPU
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a b U Graphics card
March 9, 2012 12:25:19 AM

I'd suggest the CPU upgrade as well. Even the lowly G630 gets more FPS than any stock AMD CPU.
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a b U Graphics card
a b à CPUs
March 9, 2012 12:25:31 AM

You could wait for Ivybridge since you didnt change till now, so you can get more performance:


:) 
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March 9, 2012 4:37:01 PM

hmm... I hope ivy bridge cost is similar to the i5 2500K
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