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Is Upgrade From HD 7770 to HD 7850 Worth It?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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October 5, 2012 11:09:26 AM

Hey all. I'd like to upgrade my GPU from the HD 7770 to the HD 7850. It's looks like it would be a decent jump for a budget card, but I'd like to get the pro opinions first.

I'd like to get 2-3 years out of the card. The most important thing for me to get out of the card is gaming performance. Mostly Guild Wars 2. The 7770 actually runs the game very nicely 90% of the time on high settings but when there are HUGE battles of 100+ players things get really choppy.

If I want to get a beefier card I'll probably also have to upgrade my PSU so that will be even more cash. The 7850 is as high a card I'd go with my current PSU which is 500W.

Any opinions or advice? Can I overclock the HD 7770 to get a slighter edge of performance that I'm looking for for a couple of years? Is crossfiring the 7770 a better option? I'd have to upgrade my PSU also if I crossfired wouldn't I?

Cheers people, here's my computer specs:

CPU: AMD FX-4100 + Asetek 510LC Liquid Cooling
Memory: 8 GB DDR3/1600MHz
Motherboard: ASUS M5A97 LE R2.0 AMD 970 Chipset CrossFireX Support
PSU: Corsair CX500 V2 80
GPU: AMD Radeon HD 7770

October 5, 2012 12:02:51 PM

Wait for the HD8k series. Its not too far until you will see some news about it, and thats when you should make a decision.

I personally would advise you against the HIS 7850, someone else on this forum has an issue with the same card, that I am also helping, and when he RMAed it because of an issue, they said the card was fine.

I wouldn't recommend to crossfire, crossfiring with low end cards just spells out disasters. However if you do choose to do that, your 500W should be just fine, the 7770's aren't major power hogs.

Personally, if you were to go for a 7850, make sure you get one with good coolers, such as Sapphires, Gigabytes, or even Asus' if you could afford one.
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October 5, 2012 12:16:09 PM

Thanks for the replies guys. jrgong thank you very much for all that info. That was very detailed. I'll look into everything you mentioned.
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October 5, 2012 1:12:46 PM

Just a quick tip if your following Jrgong's advice which was good. Don't crossfire these cards, you will have more issues than you were expecting. Trust me with that.
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October 5, 2012 1:42:36 PM

Actually, Crossfire with the 77xx cards works excellently in my experience. The problem with it is just that each card has 1GB of frame buffer and that's not enough for such performance in many games.
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October 6, 2012 11:51:17 AM

Best answer selected by Stylo.
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October 6, 2012 12:37:23 PM

It's not the graphics card that is holding you back its that fx-4100 CPU although you may see a very minimal performance increase if you were to upgrade to a 7850 but in the end that CPU is whats the obstacle.. Look at this benchmark by overclocking it from 3.0 to 4.0 you can see the significant boost In performance indicating that there's a CPU bottleneck. Guild Wars 2 is CPU intensive specially when you get into big battles with allot of people.


http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/guild-wars-2-perfor...
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October 6, 2012 3:57:04 PM

Orlean said:
It's not the graphics card that is holding you back its that fx-4100 CPU although you may see a very minimal performance increase if you were to upgrade to a 7850 but in the end that CPU is whats the obstacle.. Look at this benchmark by overclocking it from 3.0 to 4.0 you can see the significant boost In performance indicating that there's a CPU bottleneck. Guild Wars 2 is CPU intensive specially when you get into big battles with allot of people.


http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/guild-wars-2-perfor...


Hmm, interesting Orlean. So would you suggest overclocking the CPU? You can check my system specs in the first post.
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October 6, 2012 3:58:56 PM

Orlean said:
It's not the graphics card that is holding you back its that fx-4100 CPU although you may see a very minimal performance increase if you were to upgrade to a 7850 but in the end that CPU is whats the obstacle.. Look at this benchmark by overclocking it from 3.0 to 4.0 you can see the significant boost In performance indicating that there's a CPU bottleneck. Guild Wars 2 is CPU intensive specially when you get into big battles with allot of people.


http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/guild-wars-2-perfor...



Good point. OP should consider overclocking a little past 4GHz.
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October 6, 2012 4:53:27 PM

You can also check you'r CPU usage in game while roaming around and in a battle to confirm this I'm almost certain it's running at 100% usage. Yes I would suggest overclocking it. You should be able to get a 4.2-4.4ghz OC out of it fairly easily just watch your temps and voltage.
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October 6, 2012 6:14:54 PM

Orlean said:
You can also check you'r CPU usage in game while roaming around and in a battle to confirm this I'm almost certain it's running at 100% usage. Yes I would suggest overclocking it. You should be able to get a 4.2-4.4ghz OC out of it fairly easily just watch your temps and voltage.


That's not always very accurate. Some games will be at or around 100% when they're not CPU bottle-necked and the opposite happens with some games too.
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October 6, 2012 6:57:29 PM

Orlean said:
You can also check you'r CPU usage in game while roaming around and in a battle to confirm this I'm almost certain it's running at 100% usage. Yes I would suggest overclocking it. You should be able to get a 4.2-4.4ghz OC out of it fairly easily just watch your temps and voltage.


Orlean, since I'm borderline noob when it comes to this stuff, what utility will allow me to see volts and temp? Is it the AMD Vision Engine Control Center? And is that where I do the overclocking too? Is there a guide somewhere that shows me for my hardware?

Cheers
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October 7, 2012 12:13:41 AM

luciferano said:
That's not always very accurate. Some games will be at or around 100% when they're not CPU bottle-necked and the opposite happens with some games too.


Possibly but its a good indication that this is the problem the OP is experiencing. Since he is using a FX-4100 CPU and they are not known to be the best for gaming especially with a game like Guild Wars 2 that is CPU intensive. The benchmark shows a massive gain in performance by just increasing frequency compared to the 2500k which see's minimal gains at best.



Stylo said:
Orlean, since I'm borderline noob when it comes to this stuff, what utility will allow me to see volts and temp? Is it the AMD Vision Engine Control Center? And is that where I do the overclocking too? Is there a guide somewhere that shows me for my hardware?

Cheers


You can use programs such as CPUZ to monitor voltage and CoreTemp to monitor temperatures. As far as using AMD Vision Control Center for overclocking you could but I recommend making adjustments in bios since the software can sometimes cause problems. I did a quick search regarding the motherboard you have and nothing really came up since its a lower tier board so you are going to have to try to find some information on it as far as a in depth guide settings wise with that motherboard unless someone with hands on experience with this CPU and board you have chimes in. I did find a FX Bulldozer overclocking guide and even though a FX-8120 is being used there's allot of good information there.

http://www.overclock.net/t/1140459/bulldozer-overclocki...
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October 8, 2012 12:11:15 PM

Orlean said:
You can also check you'r CPU usage in game while roaming around and in a battle to confirm this I'm almost certain it's running at 100% usage. Yes I would suggest overclocking it. You should be able to get a 4.2-4.4ghz OC out of it fairly easily just watch your temps and voltage.


I played the game as you said and I ran Core Temp to show me the CPU usage. 2 cores hovered around 60-80% usage and the other 2 were actually less. And my temp hovered around 18 Celsius. Would you say that maybe it's the video card then?

You said to use CPUZ to monitor voltage if I overclock, so voltage changes on the fly? I'm unclear on exactly how and when to set voltage if I decide to overclock.

Cheers
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October 8, 2012 3:34:16 PM

That doesn't look like a CPU bottle-neck to me. It looks like either a faulty card or something similar. However, did you test it in something like a city or somewhere similarly intensive to work that CPU out?
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October 8, 2012 9:05:49 PM

luciferano said:
That doesn't look like a CPU bottle-neck to me. It looks like either a faulty card or something similar. However, did you test it in something like a city or somewhere similarly intensive to work that CPU out?


This was during a battle of around 40 players. What makes you think it's a faulty card?
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October 9, 2012 2:15:06 AM

Stylo said:
This was during a battle of around 40 players. What makes you think it's a faulty card?


IDK what causes it, but some cards under-perform by faults. Sometimes its drivers, sometimes its other software/hardware, but sometimes its a problem with the card itself. The latter can only be solved by replacing the card AFAIK. I might have forgotten if this has been covered before, but have you tried testing your card in another computer system to see if it works properly in other computers?
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