Looking to upgrade my graphics card.

I asked the community a couple weeks ago what the best card for my system was but I couldn't get a straight answer.

Specs:
Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600
8gb DDR3 SDRam
450w Antec PSU
500gb SATA HDD
Screen Resolution is 1680x1050
Current GFX Card is Radeon HD 6670.

Im looking to run Skyrim/BF3 on high and my budget is $150-$170. Nvidia or ATI/AMD is fine with me. A recommended card was the 6850 and the GTX 560 no ti, but I was leaning towards the Sapphire Radeon HD 6870. Would my computer be able to handle this card? If not what is the best card I can run without it being bottle-necked.
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  1. Hi

    you really should be first looking at a CPU upgrade in my opinion. your main issue is that your CPU simply cannot process all the information to keep skyrim running at a good speed. skyrim is a very CPU demanding game. take a look at the benchmark here:
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/skyrim-performance-benchmark,3074-9.html

    your cheapest bet is to upgrade to an AMD APU such as an A8 3850, get an A75 motherboard, and run hybrid crossfire with your HD 6670
  2. At the moment I have just enough for a graphics card. This is my first build (replaced CPU, HDD, Graphics Card, case, cpu and Ram from a Dell Inspiron 560mt) so I wont be completely rebuilding until I get a better paying job. So for the moment would I be able to run a 6870?
  3. Nevermind, I'm taking your advice and getting this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103727 and this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131795. Would the above CPU be able to max out Skyrim? For some reason the link for the mobo isn't working. Heres the name ASUS M5A78L-M LX PLUS AM3+ AMD 760G Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
  4. Tell me if this is a good setup?

    ASUS M5A78L-M LX PLUS AM3+ AMD 760G Micro ATX AMD Motherboard

    AMD FX-4100 Zambezi 3.6GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) Socket AM3+ 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor FD4100WMGUSBX

    G.SKILL Value Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333

    Antec VP-450 450W ATX 12V v2.3 Power Supply

    Sapphire Radeon HD 6670 1Gb GDDR5 possibly Radeon HD 6850, 6870, or GTX 560

    Thanks for all your help by the way, I also made sure the parts were compatible.
  5. you're very welcome.

    and sorry if I wasn't more clear, but is the CPU I was talking about:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819106001

    it's actually a first generation APU, with a built in graphics card that's much better than traditional integrated graphics. plus you can crossfire it with your 6670 for better performance :)

    get the APU and something like this :
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157258

    and you're all set, no need to change anything else :)
  6. Hello my friend,you cannot run hybrid crossfire with phenom II,you can only do that with an APU procesor but it's not worth it since your graphics card isnt that good for gaming anyway.The most powerful graphics card your cpu can handle without being the bottleneck is radeon 6770 or nvidia GTX 550 Ti,anything higher than those cards is a risk,although radeon 6850 might be just fine,but cpu upgrade is something you should definitely consider in the near future,good luck anyway,cheers!!!
  7. vmem said:
    you're very welcome.

    and sorry if I wasn't more clear, but is the CPU I was talking about:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819106001

    it's actually a first generation APU, with a built in graphics card that's much better than traditional integrated graphics. plus you can crossfire it with your 6670 for better performance :)

    get the APU and something like this :
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157258

    and you're all set, no need to change anything else :)


    I was thinking about changing everything to this:

    ASUS M5A78L-M LX PLUS AM3+ AMD 760G Micro ATX AMD Motherboard

    AMD FX-4100 Zambezi 3.6GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) Socket AM3+ 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor FD4100WMGUSBX

    G.SKILL Value Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333

    Antec VP-450 450W ATX 12V v2.3 Power Supply

    Sapphire Radeon HD 6670 1Gb GDDR5 possibly Radeon HD 6850, 6870, or GTX 560

    Would this setup be possible, bc if it is I'll put the old Mobo, CPU, and graphics card and sell it to my friend because he is looking for a cheap gaming computer.
  8. why would you spend money on something that will give you little or no benefit over what you have.? Yes, the q6600 is slow but the 41oo will not give big leaps and bounds. The video card will not give you what you need to run skyrim neither will xfiring on an APU with your old card. I think your first assumption on the 6800 series card was probably the best IMO. If you decide to go the APU route..... get the fastest quad core they make and 8gigs of 1866 memory. Those processors work best with higher clocked memory. just my thoughts.
  9. swifty_morgan said:
    why would you spend money on something that will give you little or no benefit over what you have.? Yes, the q6600 is slow but the 41oo will not give big leaps and bounds. The video card will not give you what you need to run skyrim neither will xfiring on an APU with your old card. I think your first assumption on the 6800 series card was probably the best IMO. If you decide to go the APU route..... get the fastest quad core they make and 8gigs of 1866 memory. Those processors work best with higher clocked memory. just my thoughts.

    So would the 6870 be able to run on my computer, but I might just rebuild the cpu and mobo to help futureproof it better. Hopefully the AMD CPU setup will last a couple of years. Last thing, would I be able to run higher end cards with the AMD setup? If so which ones? Thanks for the input, its greatly appreciated :D
  10. a lot of people like to hype the 955/965 phenoms. They're really little or no benefit going to that from what you have. The Intel 775 quads are quicker and their end of life was a couple of years ago. AMD has had the Phenom around longer than it should have been.......and recently posted info that they are ceasing production.... finally. The i" series quad processors would be the minimum I would upgrade to and is something ( at a minimum ) I would look into. If you can't afford it now save your money...... don't spend for the sake of spending.
  11. swifty_morgan said:
    a lot of people like to hype the 955/965 phenoms. They're really little or no benefit going to that from what you have. The Intel 775 quads are quicker and their end of life was a couple of years ago. AMD has had the Phenom around longer than it should have been.......and recently posted info that they are ceasing production.... finally. The i" series quad processors would be the minimum I would upgrade to and is something ( at a minimum ) I would look into. If you can't afford it now save your money...... don't spend for the sake of spending.


    while upgrading to a phenom 955 would be great, he would also need a new mobo for a CPU upgrade. at this point for $170 it's either CPU/mobo or a 6870, and the 6870 will be bottlenecked by his current CPU. it's why I suggested to hybrid fire with the quadcore A8 3870k for now, and if he has more money he can upgrade later, but at least the overall system will be running much smoother. (and on hybridfire with a 6670 the 3870k is no slouch and can handle most games at the OP's resolution)
  12. vmem said:
    while upgrading to a phenom 955 would be great, he would also need a new mobo for a CPU upgrade. at this point for $170 it's either CPU/mobo or a 6870, and the 6870 will be bottlenecked by his current CPU. it's why I suggested to hybrid fire with the quadcore A8 3870k for now, and if he has more money he can upgrade later, but at least the overall system will be running much smoother. (and on hybridfire with a 6670 the 3870k is no slouch and can handle most games at the OP's resolution)


    ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

    agree. that's why I suggested the 1866 memory in an above post.

    //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////


    I have a 6 core 1090t and I would never suggest at this point in time, if someone wants to upgrade....... to buy a Phenom. My old q9550/775 is so much quicker it's a crime to buy less.

    i see the 3870k is $120------ with a $15 promo code....... $105 would be a good buy.
  13. The 6870 would be good with your Q6600.

    A, A8-3850 is in the same tier as the Q6600 on tom's list.
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-cpu-review-overclock,3106-5.html
    Even the strongest APU is a sidegrade at best; just not worth the money.

    My x3 455 (also the same tier as your Q6600) posts slightly better numbers with 3x6770's than the 3x5770's in this review (I did oc to 4.0ghz, though).
    http://www.guru3d.com/article/powercolor-radeon-5770-single-slot-quad-crossfirex-review/13

    If my processor can handle 3 6770's (slightly stronger than a 6970), your CPU can definitely handle a 6870. You may not even need to overclock (though you can always grab an aftermarket cooler for $20-30 if you want to overclock it).

    have fun!
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