This is my first time posting on here but I've been coming to Tom's for info since I started building my own PCs a couple years ago. I built my current PC 2 years ago and it was already behind the times then, because I wanted a Windows PC and didn't have a lot of cash. I am going to upgrade it here in the next couple months. I already have purchased an AMD FX-8350 and an ASUS Sabertooth 990FX motherboard.
My question is in regards to video cards. A co-worker has 2 9800 GX2s for sale for a good price. I currently have an HIS Radeon 6850 in my machine. My question is: Is the 9800 GX2 better than the 6850? He is making it seem as though the 9800 is far superior but the info I'm finding and benchmarks don't make it look that way. I'm just wondering whether I should buy these two cards or just spend less money to get another 6850 and run in Crossfire. I don't do a lot of gaming, but when I do, I'd like to get as much performance as possible without spending money that's not worth it.
My 6850 has not been performing as well lately as it did when I first put it in. I am working on updating the drivers to see if that fixes the problem but I just want some advice on where to go from here.
Thanks to everyone who can shed some light on this. I really appreciate it.
Let's hope you purchased the right sabertooth board.
Anyway, the 9800GX2 would be around a GTX 460 which is around your 6850, however it draws much more power. Personally, I would save the trouble of getting either 2 6850's or 9800GX2's and go with a SINGLE card to avoid microstuttering and other annoyances when it comes to dual SLI/CF.
Some good choices are:
well, toms hierarchy chart has them on the same tier, so it wont be an upgrade, more like a sidegrade. Also 9800gx2 is a dual gpu card so it comes with all the drawbacks of a 2 gpu setup, like microstuttering and inconsistant performance if a game doesnt properly support sli. Similarly performing sinle card would be wiser choice. And 6850 doesnt draw as much power either http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-car...
about the drop in performance you've experienced, how are the temps? there might just be some dust in the heatsinks so stuff (cpu or gpu) overheat and throttle down the clockspeeds
What do you mean by "let's hope you purchased the right sabertooth board?" Do you know something I don't?
I play WoW mostly and when I first installed the card, I could run it on ultra at 60fps. Now if I put it on ultra, I can run it at 16fps and it's barely playable. I know the expansion increased the video quality but that's a huge drop. The card runs at 36 degrees celsius on idle and I'll have to see the temps while playing.
I think it's the Rev. 1 board but I've read that there is a new BIOS that does support PD/Vishera. I think I installed the 12.8 drivers. Didn't see 12.11 on the HIS website. May have to go directly to AMD.
I know the expansion increased the video quality but that's a huge drop.
I dont play wow, but maybe the game needs over 1gig of vram at ultra settings after the expansion, so you're just running out of vram. And that causes the card to use the system ram or even the pagefile on the hdd to swap textures etc.. and that will have a huge impact on the fps. just a thought...