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Upgrading GPU from Radeon 5870

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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April 25, 2012 2:36:05 PM

I am looking to upgrade my GPU. I am into all types of gaming and the most current games I play/will play are Skyrim, Dragon Age II, Guild Wars 2, Diablo 3.

My Radeon 5870 works fine for now but I am looking for better performance. I am thinking about getting one of the following: Radeon 7970, 7950 Geforce GTX 680, 580. This should last me a few years.

Here is my System

MB: GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD3R
CPU: Core i7-950 or 960 ( I do not remember)
RAM: 6GB 2Gx3|MUSHKIN 998805 R (thinking about adding another 6GB)
Power Supply: CORSAIR|CMPSU-850TX 850W RT

I am also running Win 7 64 bit.

Any advice would be great. Not sure if I should stick with AMD or switch to Nvidia.
a c 251 U Graphics card
April 25, 2012 3:19:47 PM

The obvious choice would be the GTX 680 followed by the 7970 , 7950 and the GTX 580.
Your budget amount must be in the $500 range with the cards you are considering and on a side note the additional 6gb of ram will not help in gaming right now untill they come out with games that take advantage of more than 2 or 3 gb of ram. While playing MW3 I had the task manager resource monitor up on another screen and the computer didn't use more than 5gb of ram for a total with the game running and things open and running in the bachground. If you have plans for the extra ram then that's fine but for gaming it's not nessecary but of course it's your computer and you certianly can put what you want into it.
April 25, 2012 3:26:28 PM

Thanks for the input. This puts the cards in perspective for me. I am going to Beta Guild Wars 2 this weekend and I will see how the system performs. After that I will look to see if I can get a good deal on a new GPU.


I can hold off on the RAM if it will not help.
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a c 251 U Graphics card
April 25, 2012 3:50:43 PM

Xyron said:
Thanks for the input. This puts the cards in perspective for me. I am going to Beta Guild Wars 2 this weekend and I will see how the system performs. After that I will look to see if I can get a good deal on a new GPU.


I can hold off on the RAM if it will not help.


Well as far as the ram goes as I said it's totaly up to you as to what you put in your computer and when I built my computer I figured I would go with the max amount of ram(24gb) and that it would help with games and everything. However as I had said in the previous post with the resource monitor open and I could actually see how much ram was being used I was disappointed because now I have like 20gb of ram just sitting there doing nothing.
With ram being so cheap right now maybe it's a good thing to add the 6gb now because you never know when there is going to be a shortage of ram and then it will become more exspensive.
April 25, 2012 5:45:30 PM

Quote:
GTX 480 is the biggest value atm.
It is alot faster than a 5870.
$210
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Bump your core to 800mhz and it matches a GTX 580 without a voltage increase.


Really? I get a kick out of these statements when people say "it is A LOT faster" and then don't back anything up.

Check out this link.

http://www.overclock.net/t/699427/gtx480-vs-hd5870

Now I know out of all the reviews on the interwebs you can get some performance variation, but it usually is pretty close. Like these two cards. I will agree, it looks like the 480 is faster, but only by a couple fps here and there. That hardly constitutes "A LOT FASTER". Games are often developed and optimized for either Nvidia or AMD, so depending on the title that is being benched it could go slightly one way or the other, as we see here with the numbers.

As to the OP, I am in your exact same boat, X58 rig with a 5870. I agree that it is starting to show its age, (pity, its been a great card) but honestly it can still hold its own. It definitely lacks power in the tessellation dept, AMD didn't really pursue this until the 6000 series cards. That's mainly the biggest difference between the 5K and 6K cards. But honestly with some of your games that you mention, I honestly think that you'll be fine staying where you are. Of course to give you a real good opinion, I would have to know what kind of pixels you're dealing with, ie resolution? how many monitors? I game at 19 x 12 and honestly I think the 5870 has a little bit more life in her :) 

Plus there is so much going on right now it would prob be beneficial to wait regardless of what you do. Nvidia is making some big announcement this saturday, prices are in a big state of flux. Amd just price dropped the 79xx series cards. If the 670 comes out could be more change, if the 680 supply ever catches up could change things also. So really I see a lot of change in the next month.
Cheers
April 28, 2012 5:22:15 PM

rdzona said:
Really? I get a kick out of these statements when people say "it is A LOT faster" and then don't back anything up.

Check out this link.

http://www.overclock.net/t/699427/gtx480-vs-hd5870

Now I know out of all the reviews on the interwebs you can get some performance variation, but it usually is pretty close. Like these two cards. I will agree, it looks like the 480 is faster, but only by a couple fps here and there. That hardly constitutes "A LOT FASTER". Games are often developed and optimized for either Nvidia or AMD, so depending on the title that is being benched it could go slightly one way or the other, as we see here with the numbers.

As to the OP, I am in your exact same boat, X58 rig with a 5870. I agree that it is starting to show its age, (pity, its been a great card) but honestly it can still hold its own. It definitely lacks power in the tessellation dept, AMD didn't really pursue this until the 6000 series cards. That's mainly the biggest difference between the 5K and 6K cards. But honestly with some of your games that you mention, I honestly think that you'll be fine staying where you are. Of course to give you a real good opinion, I would have to know what kind of pixels you're dealing with, ie resolution? how many monitors? I game at 19 x 12 and honestly I think the 5870 has a little bit more life in her :) 

Plus there is so much going on right now it would prob be beneficial to wait regardless of what you do. Nvidia is making some big announcement this saturday, prices are in a big state of flux. Amd just price dropped the 79xx series cards. If the 670 comes out could be more change, if the 680 supply ever catches up could change things also. So really I see a lot of change in the next month.
Cheers



I agree. This has been a great card. I love this card. But playing these newer games, I am starting to see FPS decreases, fan speed increases and temp increases.

I am running 1920x1080 at high/ultra high settings during my games.

I am in teh Guild Wars 2 Beta and I plan on starting Diablo 3 next month. I can wait until mid next month for card. But should I stay with AMD and get a 7970 or switch to nvidia and get a 680?
a c 251 U Graphics card
April 28, 2012 5:42:23 PM

The 7970 has now had a price decrease due to the price that the 680 came out with so both cards are now around $500 and benchmarks clearly show the 680 being faster than the 7970 but when the faster is by 5 or 10 fps it's not a huge difference so they are a toss up. It then comes down to drivers for the cards and it always seems like Nvidia card drivers do well in certian games and are optimized for them and AMD card drivers are optimized for the other games so you may have to look at a lot of benchmarks to get a feel for which card drivers are doing well in the majority of the games that you like. For example lets say that Nvidia drivers do exceptionaly well in MW3 , BF3 and Bad Company 2 and those are the three games that you play , then it would make sense to go with an Nvidia card. Then lets say that AMD does exceptionaly well in Skyrim , WoW and Diablo 3 , then in that case if tose are the games you play then it makes sense to go with an AMD card.
Nvidia is about to release some more of the 600 model lineup and bt the tiome your ready to buy you may have some newer cards to consider.
April 28, 2012 7:08:12 PM

Yeah I agree^^ Honestly between the two, it's like splitting hairs. You really can't go wrong with either the 680 or 7970. Although with the prices of the 7970, I've seen 449.00 usd lately and at that price, I would have to go with amd. I am also in the Guild Wars 2 beta, been playing like crazy. Funny that were talking about gpus and GW2, because that game is very poorly optimized for gpus. The devs know about it and claim that they are working on it, but I'm only utilizing like 35% gpu in the game. So doesn't really matter if I have a 5870 or a 7970 :/  But hopefully that gets fixed, it is the first weekend beta event anyway.
a c 251 U Graphics card
April 28, 2012 7:40:44 PM

Quote:
Considering the 480 can hang with a GTX 580 without a voltage increase at 800mhz, i am correct.
As a little proof with my mouth:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17q7wbyQEMs
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvXmEn2M4EU

I guarentee the performance shown is far better than the 5870.
Not starting a fight, just experience.
The 480 was already 15% faster and drivers are now matured, it is even further ahead.
With a minor OC to 800mhz you sit at GTX 580 speeds.

So in total around 30% more speed with the OC, pretty damn good for the money.



It may well be that you can overclock a GTX 480 high enough so that it can give performance near to the 580 but look at what you have to do to get that performance. The 480 with it's 480 Cuda processing cores has to be overclocked by almost 100 mhz to get to a 580 , that will shorten the life of the card. The 580 with its 512 Cuda processing cores gives its performance at stock mhz and will therefore last a lot longer , plus you now have the option to overclock the 580 where the 480 is done and can go no further. I have had both cards and was very happy with the performance of both and considered it an upgrade to move from a 480 to a 580.
!