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Buy 2nd 6870, new GPU, or new system?

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  • Graphics Cards
  • Games
  • Graphics
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Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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February 3, 2013 4:36:52 PM

I want to upgrade my computer to keep up with games. I want to be able to play Bioshock Infinite with maxed settings (except maybe not maxed AA). Should I:

a) Buy a second Radeon 6870 and do crossfire? (cheapest)
b) Buy a new video card? (less cheap)
c) Buy a whole new system? (not cheap) (willing to spend up to $700)


I currently have:

Phenom II X4 955
Radeon 6870 1GB
4GB DDR3 RAM


I'd prefer not to buy a new system, but if I have to to keep up with games I'll bite the bullet.

Any help will be much appreciated.

More about : buy 2nd 6870 gpu system

February 3, 2013 4:56:12 PM

I don't have a specific price range for a new card + RAM. I want to keep playing games with max settings, but I don't want to pay out the ass for it. I guess if I had to put a number on it, I wouldn't want to spend much more than $250 on gpu + RAM.

And I have 2 sticks of 2GB RAM right now. My mobo is an ASUS M4A88TD-V, which can do DDR3 2000(O.C.) / 1333 / 1066
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February 3, 2013 5:04:40 PM

If you've got $700 to spend, you can get a pretty decent system for that much. If you're just upgrading your graphics card, the Phenom X4 955 will probably bottleneck it, so the best GPU you could get would probably be a 7850, 660 or 7870. However, budget Intel-based gaming systems are so much bang for the buck nowadays, it's almost irresistible. You can get a nice i3-3220 or i5-3470 rig for 650-750 bucks (including the GPU.)

Here's a list of some parts I found:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If you count all the rebates, it comes in at about $690, but that also includes things you might not need, like the power supply and hard drive. You could also go AMD and save yourself ~$50, and their socket is also not "Dead" like Intel's is. I'm no pro, but this setup is very similar to my system and it's working great. Just haven't bought my GTX 660 yet. ;) 

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February 3, 2013 5:07:20 PM

Is it a good idea to go with a dual core? Seems like most builds I see are going with quad cores these days
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a c 87 U Graphics card
February 3, 2013 5:08:23 PM

Phenom II x4 955 to an i3 is not really an upgrade for most games. If OP upgrades his/her CPU, it'd be better to either go for an i5 or get a cooler for overclocking the Phenom II x4 955, saving a lot of money and still getting good results.
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a c 87 U Graphics card
February 3, 2013 5:10:26 PM

goodoldneon22 said:
Is it a good idea to go with a dual core? Seems like most builds I see are going with quad cores these days


Given that you already have a decent Phenom II quad core, no, it isn't a good idea to go for any current dual core Sandy/Ivy CPU. The modern i3s are great CPUs for the money, but not worth getting if you already have a similarly good CPU such as yours and they'd be a downgrade compared to a decently overclocked Phenom II x4 955.
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February 3, 2013 5:14:50 PM

I meant that he can upgrade later to an i5 or even i7 but he said he didn't want to pay out the ass for it...And I agree with him. The i5-3470 is only 50-60 bucks more.
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February 3, 2013 5:17:23 PM

You could also pop in an FX 6300 if the motherboard supports it. Those things are REALLY cheap right now.
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February 3, 2013 5:25:49 PM

sell ur old 6870 (~$110???)

buy a new 7870 ($240)

buy 4 GB of Ram ($25)

OC ur system
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a b U Graphics card
February 3, 2013 5:25:59 PM

A Radeon HD 7870GHz Edition card is your best bet for a bang-for-your-buck. Also, look into a GTX 660ti, like this one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... It's more expensive, but will perform better in certain games, so that brings me to my next question, what games are you most likely to play?

But of course you can compare yourself, just go to this link: http://www.anandtech.com/bench/GPU12/372

And as for dual core to quad core, Intel does a really good job with their Hyperthreading Teachnology, so it would seem like you have a quad core, but if you already have a quad core, then stick with it. Take a look at this vodeo, as it explains the benefits of having more cores: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4PDoy-mi0A

Any more questions, feel free to ask!
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a c 123 U Graphics card
February 3, 2013 5:30:08 PM

gtx660............... monitor/resolution?
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a c 87 U Graphics card
February 3, 2013 5:33:22 PM

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/Bh9I
If you want an i5, it is well within your price range and if you keep your case, hard drive, and optical disk drive, you can even fit in an excellent SSD such as this Plextor M5S 128GB while being under the budget with one of the best Radeon 7870 cards and a good i5 such as the i5-3350P. You also have the option as mentioned above by lethalsam to sell your old components. Keeping your motherboard and CPU as well and getting a good cooler for overclocking or getting a new AMD CPU and overclocking are also great choices that'll be cheaper than going for an i5. Still, an i5 is easily doable in your price range.
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February 3, 2013 5:37:06 PM

I'll be hooking my system up to a 50" 1080p TV.

The games I see myself playing are Bioshock Infinite, Civ 5, Skyrim, the next Fallout, and the next Half-Life.


I know I'm getting off topic in the graphics forum, but what do you guys think about the AMD FX 4100? I can get one and a mobo for $150 total at MicroCenter. Or should I wait for the i5 prices to come down?
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February 3, 2013 5:38:14 PM

And what's the best way to sell my components?


P.S. I'll be getting a new case and HDD, but reusing my old 650W power supply.
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a b U Graphics card
February 3, 2013 5:42:59 PM

goodoldneon22 said:
I'll be hooking my system up to a 50" 1080p TV.

The games I see myself playing are Bioshock Infinite, Civ 5, Skyrim, the next Fallout, and the next Half-Life.


I know I'm getting off topic in the graphics forum, but what do you guys think about the AMD FX 4100? I can get one and a mobo for $150 total at MicroCenter. Or should I wait for the i5 prices to come down?

Intel doesn't like dropping the prices until a new generation CPU is released, so either buy it at the price now, buy a Sandy Bridge i5 (still very good), or go the AMD route, and buy yourself something like an FX 4100, 6100 or 8120. All these CPUs are powerful and will perform well in gaming and everyday tasks.
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a c 87 U Graphics card
February 3, 2013 5:45:38 PM

Don't get an FX-4100. It won't be any better than your current CPU except maybe in overclocking and at that point, you're better off with an FX-4300 or a six core model.

IDK if it's the best way, but when I'm selling, I tend to use Ebay.

Also, I recommend Piledriver (Vishera) much more than Bulldozer (Zambezi). Chances are that your current motherboard already supports these CPUs too and to make sure, you can check the manufacturer's web site (you might need a BIOS update).
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a c 87 U Graphics card
February 3, 2013 5:49:36 PM

goodoldneon22 said:
And what's the best way to sell my components?


P.S. I'll be getting a new case and HDD, but reusing my old 650W power supply.


By new HDD, is that keep old HDD and get new SSD, or just get new HDD? Also, are you looking for anything in particular for the new case?
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a b U Graphics card
February 3, 2013 5:50:36 PM

blazorthon said:
Don't get an FX-4100. It won't be any better than your current CPU except maybe in overclocking and at that point, you're better off with an FX-4300 or a six core model. IDK if it's the best way, but when I'm selling, I tend to just throw stuff on Ebay.

Also, I recommend Piledriver (Vishera) much more than Bulldozer (Zambezi). Chances are that your current motherboard already supports these CPUs too and to make sure, you can check the manufacturer's web site (you might need a BIOS update).

I was scared to suggest Piledriver, because I wasn't sure if it was supported on older chipsets. But yeah, go for the newer architecture, you will see a performance increase, and I didn't realize that your Phenom II X4 955 performs better than a quad core FX processor.
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February 3, 2013 5:53:02 PM

blazorthon said:
By new HDD, is that keep old HDD and get new SSD, or just get new HDD? Also, are you looking for anything in particular for the new case?


I've heard SSD only improve load times in games and make a minimal difference in-game (i.e. FPS), so I was planning getting a normal HDD.

And as for cases, I don't want anything flashy. I want the cheapest, simplest black case that isn't a piece of crap.
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a b U Graphics card
February 3, 2013 5:55:03 PM

OP can you list your current computer specs? Please include model numbers for your motherboard, power supply, hard drive, RAM etc. (650w Antec PSU isn't a model number)

Everyone seems to want to jump the gun here before knowing what you even have.
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February 3, 2013 6:00:47 PM

iknowhowtofixit said:
OP can you list your current computer specs? Please include model numbers for your motherboard, power supply, hard drive, RAM etc. (650w Antec PSU isn't a model number)

Everyone seems to want to jump the gun here before knowing what you even have.


CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 955 BE (HDZ955FBGMBOX)
GPU: HIS Radeon 6870 1GB (H687F1G2M)
MoBo: ASUS M4A88TD-V
RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1333 (F3-10666CL7D-4GBRH)
PSU: Thermaltake TR2 RX 750W
HDD: Seagate 500GB (ST3500320SV)


And I want to thank you guys for being so helpful so far. I appreciate the advice
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a c 87 U Graphics card
February 3, 2013 6:07:26 PM

goodoldneon22 said:
I've heard SSD only improve load times in games and make a minimal difference in-game (i.e. FPS), so I was planning getting a normal HDD.

And as for cases, I don't want anything flashy. I want the cheapest, simplest black case that isn't a piece of crap.


Not that I'm trying to push you towards it, but having an SSD is extremely convenient. Yes, it doesn't help the FPS, but the sheer loading time for gaming and everything else is very nice.

A few case options you might consider:
Xigmatek ASGARD II PRO (Black)
http://pcpartpicker.com/part/xigmatek-case-cccae37bsu02

NZXT Tempest 210 (CA-TP210-01)
http://pcpartpicker.com/part/nzxt-case-catp21001

Rosewill Challenger-U3
http://pcpartpicker.com/part/rosewill-case-challengeru3

Zalman Z11+HF1
http://pcpartpicker.com/part/zalman-case-z11plushf1

Corsair 300R
http://pcpartpicker.com/part/corsair-case-300r

The next important decision would be to decide on what to do for the CPU- Upgrade it, upgrade cooling and overclock, or leave it as is.
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a b U Graphics card
February 3, 2013 7:33:19 PM

I would sell everything and start from scratch.

You would get about these amounts for your parts (priced at ebay):
- $60 for the CPU
- $100 for the GPU
- $15 for the RAM
- $45 for the Motherboard
- $40-$50 for the PSU
- $10-$20 for the HDD

Around $300 for your current stuff, case excluded (typically shipping makes used cases worthless on ebay). Otherwise, you might be able to try to sell it locally via craigslist for $300-$400 (what I would charge).

I would get this and sell the current stuff, counting on around $300:
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/Bj4f

You will need to pick a case. Plenty of decent once can be found for $50 or less. The Zalman Z9 is cheap right now and so is the Corsair 200R.
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a c 87 U Graphics card
February 3, 2013 7:49:31 PM

iknowhowtofixit said:
I would sell everything and start from scratch.

You would get about these amounts for your parts (priced at ebay):
- $60 for the CPU
- $100 for the GPU
- $15 for the RAM
- $45 for the Motherboard
- $40-$50 for the PSU
- $10-$20 for the HDD

Around $300 for your current stuff, case excluded (typically shipping makes used cases worthless on ebay). Otherwise, you might be able to try to sell it locally via craigslist for $300-$400 (what I would charge).

I would get this and sell the current stuff, counting on around $300:
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/Biys

You will need to pick a case. Plenty of decent once can be found for $50 or less. The Zalman Z9 is cheap right now and so is the Corsair 200R.


Personal preference I suppose, but I'd spend a little less on the PSU and get a difference cooler. The H60 cools maybe a little better than the CM Hyper212 Evo and the Evo can be found for half the price. Even better at about half the price is the latest Zalman Optima. I'd also avoid that Radeon 7950- reference cooled models generally aren't worth buying compared to some non-reference models that are almost always at the same price points.

For example, this model is a little faster and far better cooled (quieter and lower temps) for only another $8:
http://pcpartpicker.com/part/gigabyte-video-card-gvr795...
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February 3, 2013 8:01:05 PM

iknowhowtofixit said:
I would sell everything and start from scratch.

You would get about these amounts for your parts (priced at ebay):
- $60 for the CPU
- $100 for the GPU
- $15 for the RAM
- $45 for the Motherboard
- $40-$50 for the PSU
- $10-$20 for the HDD

Around $300 for your current stuff, case excluded (typically shipping makes used cases worthless on ebay). Otherwise, you might be able to try to sell it locally via craigslist for $300-$400 (what I would charge).

I would get this and sell the current stuff, counting on around $300:
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/Biys

You will need to pick a case. Plenty of decent once can be found for $50 or less. The Zalman Z9 is cheap right now and so is the Corsair 200R.



Thanks for the build.

I don't have anything that came with the parts (not even boxes). Is that a problem when selling on ebay?
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a b U Graphics card
February 3, 2013 8:09:33 PM

goodoldneon22 said:
Thanks for the build.

I don't have anything that came with the parts (not even boxes). Is that a problem when selling on ebay?


I just sold a bunch of stuff, myself, some with boxes, some without. It didn't seem to make much difference. Just take good pictures and state clearly what you are selling.

blazorthon said:
Personal preference I suppose, but I'd spend a little less on the PSU and get a difference cooler. The H60 cools maybe a little better than the CM Hyper212 Evo and the Evo can be found for half the price. Even better at about half the price is the latest Zalman Optima. I'd also avoid that Radeon 7950- reference cooled models generally aren't worth buying compared to some non-reference models that are almost always at the same price points.

For example, this model is a little faster and far better cooled (quieter and lower temps) for only another $8:
http://pcpartpicker.com/part/gigabyte-video-card-gvr795...


Good catch on the HD7950. I went ahead and changed it to a different model. I thought it was the iceQ version without looking. The only reason I'm advocating the new 2013 version of the H60 is because of how thoroughly impressed I am at its performance so far for me personally. 10C lower at idle and about 18C lower at full load coming from a nice 4 heat-pipe direct-touch 120mm HSF. Throw Corsair's 5 year warranty on top of that and its a no brainer for me. Plus the new hoses are very easy to work with.
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a c 123 U Graphics card
February 3, 2013 8:18:16 PM

why don't you just put another video card in the machine and ride it into the sunset?
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a c 85 U Graphics card
February 3, 2013 8:47:43 PM

full system specs and budget?

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a b U Graphics card
February 3, 2013 9:08:56 PM

iceclock said:
full system specs and budget?


Read the thread.
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a c 85 U Graphics card
February 3, 2013 9:10:19 PM

theres missing parts of his full specs...

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a b U Graphics card
February 3, 2013 9:13:32 PM

iceclock said:
theres missing parts of his full specs...


Case, optical drive, and HSF are the only ones that I see that are missing. The rest is above. He has $700 to spend and is considering selling his current setup to help put more money toward getting something all new.
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a c 85 U Graphics card
February 3, 2013 9:14:42 PM

yes i read all that, but if he had a good ps i wouldnt have to replace it for him thats why im asking.

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a b U Graphics card
February 3, 2013 9:18:18 PM

iceclock said:
yes i read all that, but if he had a good ps i wouldnt have to replace it for him thats why im asking.


Look 12 posts up from this one.

(If you were wondering, its a mediocre FSP built unit. Nothing special, but not going to hurt anything either)
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a c 85 U Graphics card
February 3, 2013 9:26:04 PM

good to know, but ur pointing-out is annoying and serves no purpose to help the op. just annoying me. but any recommandation other than me not reading with my glasses are welcomed.



id recommand keeping ur cpu. getting a heatsink+someram+videocard.

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/BjX7
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/BjX7/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/BjX7/benchmarks/

CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-U12P SE2 54.4 CFM CPU Cooler ($59.95 @ Amazon)
Memory: Mushkin Silverline 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($46.98 @ Outlet PC)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.98 @ Outlet PC)
Storage: Plextor M5S Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($94.99 @ Microcenter)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card ($184.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $456.88
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-02-03 18:25 EST-0500)

and sell ur gpu and ram and hard-drive online.
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a c 87 U Graphics card
February 3, 2013 11:57:28 PM

You're annoyed? OP would probably be annoyed if he/she had to repeat his/her specs too. No offense, but you're in no position to complain about being annoyed over something that you overlooked.

Still, your recommendations are sound.
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a c 85 U Graphics card
February 4, 2013 3:06:12 AM

good to know, i can be annoyed at people pointing there finger, its not necessary.

and ur comment is useless.

atleast u admit my recommandations are sound, hell i know theyre sound.

if you got nothing good to say keep it to urself.

but thanks for the comment. not trying to be a goof, but ive had it with people pointing out my mistakes or lack of details.

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