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Trying to figure out and upgrade to my rig

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
April 17, 2012 9:59:21 AM

Hello everyone,

I have been thinking about a GPU upgrade to my rig recently as it appears to be the bottleneck in some games and that's what I use my computer for 95% of the time.

heres the below:

XFX HD 4890 Core @ 925 Mhz and Vram @ 1,045 MHz
DELL ultrasharp 1080p (its kinda old like 2008 maybe or even 2007)

Intel Core i5 760 @ 4 GHz
4 GB Corsairs CMD @1,600 MHz
SPSS 650 W
OCZ Vertex 3 256 GB
others HDD 2TB
Xonar DS

I've been playing MW3 and LOL mainly and it works a treat, but in games like Skyrim with high AA or CIV 5 (extended play on OC is no go) it's falling short a little bit.

I am somewhat lacking knowledge in the current market. I read in other places that at 1080p it won't bring much of an upgrade for cards below $400.

I would like to get some opinions from you guys as to what I should upgrade next. Card or monitor seems to be the right choice, but I am content with my monitor although it is a bit old.

Many thanks!

More about : figure upgrade rig

a b U Graphics card
April 17, 2012 10:34:22 AM

I'd go for GPU too. It's not a bad card but you're kind of wasting that i5
April 17, 2012 10:38:54 AM

I've been thinking that, but it seems that some people think that a 4890 is as good as a 550ti (seems crazy to me). i ran my setting at ungine heaven at performance (per tom's benchies) and I get a flat 30 fps.

I'm thinking how much do I have to spend to get a noticeable difference. Some say higher AA would require more VRAM so pointing towards AMDs some say at this res its 2-3GB is kinda wasted so Nvidias make more sense?? I'm mega puzzled...

But thanks for advice... anything is appreciated!
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a c 214 U Graphics card
April 17, 2012 11:17:24 AM

Actually a 4890 is slightly better than a GTX550ti.It's more comparable to a 6850.If your looking for Ultra res textures then 2GB of VRAM is a must.

Your monitor is fine,imo.1080p is 1080p.You'll only notice a difference in the colors or the contrast if you upgrade to a newer model.

The first gen i5 is starting to age a bit and although it may hold you back in some games I do agree a GPU upgrade seems like a bigger gain if your looking to max out those games.

I would suggest waiting for the price cuts to take affect for AMD cards(should be a week or two but still unknown) and get a 7950.Or if you favor Nvidia you could wait for the GTX660 or GTX670.
April 17, 2012 11:28:19 AM

Thanks... Seems like I have to spend a lot of money to get a jump from a 3 yrs old £130 ($200) card...

offtopic: is that why they stopped selling 4890? it was too OP for it's time?
a c 214 U Graphics card
April 17, 2012 11:33:37 AM

Stopped selling when? Now or then?

The high end dual GPU cards are always a limited thing.Not everyone can afford them so they don't usually make a lot of money off it so they don't produce as many.
April 17, 2012 11:48:44 AM

kyufaker said:
Thanks... Seems like I have to spend a lot of money to get a jump from a 3 yrs old £130 ($200) card...

offtopic: is that why they stopped selling 4890? it was too OP for it's time?

They stopped making 4890 dies when 5xxx series production started. after that all you could buy were cards still in stock at retailers. kind of like how you can still buy 5xx series nvidia cards even though production has/is going to stop very soon. I had two CF4890s and only upgraded because i got a crazy deal on two eyfinity6 5870s on newegg for 160 each. they were a great setup and very powerful (both in games and physical power draw) when they were made.
a b U Graphics card
April 17, 2012 12:04:48 PM

What's your budget? I know you said something about $400, but you'd be getting a decent upgrade for about $250-300. HD 7850 at least, I'd say. For Nvidia, I'd wait for the GTX 660(Ti?).
April 17, 2012 1:34:19 PM

Thanks. I was fishing to see how much i have to spend to get an upgrade. I think I will spend around $300-$400 (£200-£300, my maths is not off, just recognizing UK pricetags are tad higher than US).

But as purple stank mentioned maybe holding off another week or so will see price falls (introduction of 660 and 670 into the market?)

given lower power consumption on the new range of cards I can potentially get CF/SLI on the lower range? (my PSU is not modular so desn't have enough 6-pins, so will be another $100 or so). Do you folks reckon this will give better value?
April 17, 2012 1:51:03 PM

I would wait for the gtx 660ti to come out. I have the 560ti in sli and they are amazing.
April 17, 2012 1:54:17 PM

Go with GPU like others are saying. Also, they eventually always stop making a certain card :)  Like nvidia just announced that they are going to stop production on the 580 and 590. They don't just keep making these kind of products indefinitely :D 
a c 214 U Graphics card
April 17, 2012 3:28:21 PM

What exactly is the make/model of your PSU?
April 17, 2012 3:31:33 PM

Silverpower SP-S650 650W (not modular)
a c 214 U Graphics card
April 17, 2012 3:39:30 PM

That seems like an okay PSU.It's got the proper amount of amps on the +12/v rail.But i'm having a hard time finding a review on it.
a c 214 U Graphics card
April 17, 2012 4:52:20 PM

Seems good.More of a budget builder's PSU but it will still be able to power a Crossfire or SLI setup.Especially with the new cards.
April 17, 2012 5:01:53 PM

The 680 is faster than two 570s in SLI so it is so much more card than a 560ti. But wait for the new cards, see what comes out and prices should shuffle around a bit and then you can make the best decision. Right now in my opinion the 680 is the best bang for the buck, even at $500.
April 17, 2012 5:22:07 PM

purple stank said:
Seems good.More of a budget builder's PSU but it will still be able to power a Crossfire or SLI setup.Especially with the new cards.

yeah... not enough 6 pin cables... unless I can somehow combine the remaining cables into a 6 pin, but I think I recall different cables connect to different rails, which cap at certain powerdraw... all in all out of my confusion im thinking CF/SLI = new PSU...
April 17, 2012 5:30:01 PM

that's assumiing i want to go for more than 1 GPU? given the new lower power reqs on the 28nm 650 is more than enough to power even the top end ones... with more than enough headroom so that i never really hit the '80%' cap?
a c 214 U Graphics card
April 17, 2012 6:48:33 PM

O yah I forgot about the connection issue.You could use a molex adapter but as you said all of the different rails and such.That's one of the things I don't like about multi-rail PSU's you have to calculate which rail has how much power,etc.When/if the time comes go for a single rail PSU.But if your just planning on using a single card your current PSU is fine.
April 18, 2012 4:02:16 PM

LOL, you bought one of the only cards no one had advised ^^ anyway, good luck! i hope it meets your needs!
April 18, 2012 4:07:27 PM

yeah i know... but couldnt resist the bargain
a c 214 U Graphics card
April 18, 2012 5:23:51 PM

I guess it's a good deal.But the whole point was to get a new card because of the low power consumption.The 6970 draws about 250 watts.That's about 120 watts more than a 7850 for the same price which almost matches it in speed.Should have at least waited for the price drop...
April 19, 2012 8:19:00 AM

hmmm... i wonder if they accept returns...
a b U Graphics card
April 19, 2012 1:40:55 PM

You got a great one - don't worry about the HD 7850, next month you'll be pining for the GTX 660Ti, then the HD 8850 next year...

You might want to upgrade that PSU though - just for safety. It should be able to handle any single card, but it might get tired after a while and crap out on you.

This one has a $20 off promo right now:

And there's the next step up if you want:
a b U Graphics card
April 19, 2012 8:53:48 PM

purple stank said:
Those Antec PSU's are always so ugly.And the wires aren't even sleeved.I really like Antec's performance but they really suck at aesthetics.

:(  +1

Modular = better, for sure.
April 19, 2012 9:35:55 PM

heres a 1 dollar question... r6970 requires 2 8pins... i got 6+2 and 6 pins... so i plugged in 6+2 and used a 6 to 8 converter they provided... what does that mean for my card's performance? thx as usual folks
a c 214 U Graphics card
April 19, 2012 10:03:11 PM

Nothing performance wise.I would just suggest not particular 6970 from MSI comes with x2 8pins while a normal 6970 only has a 6pin and a 8pin.That additional power is for'll be fine with just a 6pin and a 8pin but don't O.C.
April 20, 2012 8:34:17 AM

so lol... i htink my psu is giving up...

When i put the card in i chucked unigine heaven on worked like a charm...

but when i turned civ 5 on after lik 3 mins screen went blurry... in cod and just running windows normally i had screen splits (like someone chopped a part of the screen and squeezed it on the other side)

apparently ppl on the net said its the oc that causes it, the card was stock oc... so i powered it down using the power tune scroll to -20% and underclocked it to 800... games work a bit longer but still get minor blurriness... tried reinstalling drivers several times... even got bsod once (wow havent seen one of those for like 4 years...)

leads me to think my psu is giving up... but it worked fine with a 4890 oced which power wise isn't a whole world too far away...

im thinking of dishing out a corsair hx 750W... but just need second opinions if it is the right move... or maybe its not even the psu.,..