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Upgrading a Radeon HD 5450 Need Advice

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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February 5, 2013 11:37:52 AM

The purchase date is today. I've finally gotten the money together and am ready to do this. The budget range is $200-250. With less being better, obviously. Especially if I can go for a 2GB card for less than $200. But, it's not the holidays and I don't expect miracles.

The primary use is gaming. I will be playing the following kinds of games:

Skyrim (with mods, including graphic enhancing mods)
Witcher 2 (gameplay mods only most likely)
Metro 2033 (no mods)
Fallout 3 (mods)
Fallout New Vegas (mods)
XCOM
GTA V

I don't think I'll ever be running things like Battlefield 3 or Crysis.

Current GPU and PSU are:

ATI Radeon HD 5450 1GB
Coolmax ZX-600 600W Power Supply

Other System Specs:

Motherboard: MSI 785GM-P45
CPU: AMD Athlon II X4 635 Quad Core CPU 2.9 Ghz
RAM: 8 GB DDR3 SDRAM 1333 (PC3 10666) 240-pin Dual
Channel
Cooler Master Elite 310 Mid-Tower Case

My preferred websites for parts are tigerdirect and newegg. Though, I'm not opposed to other sites like amazon.

Parts Preference: I'm open to suggestions. I like ATI, but this computer has a bad habit of randomly crashing sometimes, and ever since the 13.1 driver update, it won't even leave sleep mode (I've had to turn it off). I figure either there's a bad sector in the hard drive, or the video card drivers suck. But I'm not going to give up completely on ATI.

Overclocking is a possibility, but not a must.

My monitor is a 32" LG 1080p tv with max resolution of 1920 x 1080.

My main goal is to really just run the games listed at max or close enough at 40+ fps on average. 60 is ideal, but given the CPU, I wouldn't be surprised if that limits itself to older games only.

Here are the cards I'm considering:

PowerColor AX7850 2GBD5-DH Radeon HD 7850 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card

DIAMOND 7870PE52GV Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 CrossFireX Support Video Card

I understand there's the potential to bottleneck the card given the cpu, and I'm okay with that. Anything will be a step up at this point. And I may upgrade the cpu later, and in the meantime, just overclock it. Though, the upgrade also leads to a slight catch because of the motherboard. The motherboard can only handle cpus up to 95w. So the best I could upgrade to is a Phenom II x4 x960 and not a 965.

Anyway, any help, advice, or suggestions are greatly appreciated and thank you for taking the time to at least read this! :) 
a c 218 U Graphics card
February 5, 2013 1:06:19 PM

Either GPU will perform well. The 7870 is the stronger of the 2 (and the pricier). Your PSU should also be okay to power either of them.

If cost is the predominant factor, go with the 7850. Otherwise, go with the 7870. There is no wrong answer here.

Good luck!
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February 5, 2013 1:17:03 PM

Well, that's good to know. Saving a few bucks would be nice. I've got all day and I've cast the question in a couple places so I'll sit back and wait for a consensus to gather. Thanks man!
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a c 218 U Graphics card
February 5, 2013 1:26:17 PM

That is why we are here. Have fun!
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February 5, 2013 2:18:23 PM

Okay, after waiting a bit, the general consensus across the Internet is to get the 7850. Case closed, I'm going with the first link.
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a c 218 U Graphics card
February 5, 2013 3:15:34 PM

Good decision. Have fun!
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!