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Upgrading a 6870, $400 budget (potential builds)

Hello! In the coming week or two I'm looking to pull a bit of a performance upgrade on my rig. I'm going to have a bit over $400 to work with, and as much as I've been looking around I can't come to a solid conclusion on my own as to how I should go about doing this. I ultimately decided I should ask everyone here what they thought of my situation.

For the past four months, I've been having huge problems with ASUS's RMA department. Long story short, I'm finally supposed to be getting a working board again this Monday. It's an M4A88TD-V EVO/USB3 motherboard, which only has one x16 slot on it. This makes the logical decision to upgrade to a powerful single-slot GPU.

However, I'm very very hesitant to work with the motherboard again, given the previous failure. I'd much rather use a portion of the budget to purchase a new motherboard, in particular I'm looking at the GA-990FXA-UD3 from Gigabyte. This would get me away from ASUS as well as net me a few extra, much-appreciated PCI-e expansion slots. If this were the case, I would choose to crossfire my 6870 with the double-d model from XFX. The issue I have with this idea is that I genuinely don't know how much of a performance boost I would get from this, as I'd be using two 1GB models in crossfire, which worries me due to the fact that several modern games such as Crysis 2, BF3, and Max Payne 3 are demanding more than that despite the fact that I game in 1920x1080. I also don't know how many games are affected by the micro-stuttering issue, or how heavily I would notice it. Generally the idea of upgrading in the first place is to try and get a smoother experience.

The other option is to stick with my current board for now, which to be honest won't be a huge deal provided that it continues to work in the future. In this scenario I'd want to go for either EVGA's FTW GTX 670 or XFX's Double D 7950. I don't really hold a preference to AMD or nvidia, but to be brutally honest the 670 seems to stomp most other cards for the moment. I do feel that the 'buy the more powerful card and crossfire/SLI in the future' argument seems a tad hollow however, because that style of thinking is what landed me in my current spot.

I suppose what I'm really asking is whether or not it's worth it at this point to crossfire my 6870(as a note, I would not be selling it if I didn't crossfire), or if I should buy a more powerful single card and upgrade my motherboard further in the future, regardless of any grudges held against ASUS. If you think the latter is a better option, what do you think would be the best option? I should note that I do use two monitors, but I only use the 1080p display for gaming, and don't intend to upgrade to a higher resolution in the near future. However, I will most definitely be toying with the clocks on whatever solution I end up with.

Thanks again guys, and sorry for the monster post! Relevant PC specs below:

Case: CoolerMaster 932 HAF
PSU: Thermaltake TR2 RX 850W
Motherboard: ASUS M4A88TD-V EVO/USB3
GPU: XFX AMD Radeon HD 6870 1GB (Reference cooler, not a newer model)
RAM: 8GB G.Skill Trident DDR3 1600 timed at 7-8-7-21
CPU: AMD Phenom II x4 955 BE processor, clocked at 4.0Ghz
9 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. Best answer
    Your best choice right now is the GTX 670. Although nice to crossfire a 6870, the 1GB version as you said may draw you back some. 2GB is practically good for the current and future generation of games.
  2. If I were you i'd just go ahead and get the 670, since you have the money now. Motherboards are much cheaper and would be easier to upgrade later. I was in a similar situation and I'm glad I made the choice of just upgrading the card first.
  3. if you have plans to upgrade your major hardware in the near future I would buy the best single video card I could get.

    lots of people don't want to hear this but it's true. I have a q9550 775 processor and the machine it's in is faster than ANYTHING AMD has produced to date.

    So I would look carefully into what I buy for other upgrades. The 955 won't push anything you buy to great heights but the extra vram will be a benefit.
  4. get a gtx 670.
  5. at that price point, 670, unless you are willing to be patient and see how the 660 and the 660ti will turn out.
  6. GTX 670. I didn't want to spend 520$ for a 680 when i could get a 670 and get acceptable performance will still a 2Gb vram
  7. I strongly recommend staying away from 6870 crossfire. I had that setup and it was very inconsistent. Recently traded that for a single GTX 680 and the improvement was huge.
  8. Wow. That was a very rapid (and unanimous) response. Thanks guys!
  9. Best answer selected by Bahamut2k456.
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