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Old August 20, 2011, 01:29 PM
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Default Should I buy another graphics card to run in cross-fire or buy a single one?

I posted this on another forum and everybody seems to assume I'm rich: "I would purchase 2 6970", "I cross Fire 2 6990 And Its Good Not Good Its Best"

I currently have an XFX 5870 1GB but I worry that I might start to have trouble playing future games coming out. Should I buy another 5870 to run in cross-fire or a single 6990 card? And it appears that 5870's are already getting rare?

Specs:

3.4 ghz processor

6 gigs RAM

I also believe that only 650 watts of PSU is not enough for cross-firing those cards.. Am I right?

And I'm not buying Nvidia.

As you saw, I cannot afford two 6990's but I can afford one at least.
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Old August 20, 2011, 01:34 PM
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full specs bro.

then we can decide.

and perhaps wait till the next reiteration,something about this fall should ring a bell or two.
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Old August 20, 2011, 01:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by _dangtx_ View Post
full specs bro.

then we can decide.

and perhaps wait till the next reiteration,something about this fall should ring a bell or two.
Extreme lazyness on my part from dxdiag:

Operating System: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit (6.1, Build 7600)
System Manufacturer: Gigabyte Technology Co., Ltd.
System Model: GA-790XT-USB3
BIOS: Award Modular BIOS v6.00PG
Processor: AMD Phenom(tm) II X4 965 Processor (4 CPUs), ~3.4GHz
Memory: 6144MB RAM

and the card is XFX HD Radeon 5870 1Gb with.. 850 mhz I believe.
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Old August 20, 2011, 01:57 PM
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single card. 6990 but i would till wait for a refresh
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Old August 20, 2011, 02:02 PM
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Meaning?
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Old August 20, 2011, 02:26 PM
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GIGABYTE - Motherboard - Socket AM3 - GA-790XT-USB3 (rev. 1.0)


  1. 1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x16 (PCIEX16) (Note 3)
  2. 1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x8 (PCIEX8) (Note 3)
    (The PCIEX16 and PCIEX8 slots conform to PCI Express 2.0 standard.)

not that you'll lose much but still on a 6990 pair i would like dual 16x
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Old August 20, 2011, 02:38 PM
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I think the answer to your question is easy. You stated in your description that "I worry that I might start to have trouble playing future games coming out". If you are not having any problems playing the games you want to play then do nothing (unless you have money burning a hole in your pocket...I know I don't). From what I have read the 6xxx series have better scaling then the 5xxx cards and at this point the 5xxx cards are becoming harder to find and prices are not as low as they use to be. IMO leave well enough alone, enjoy your 5870 as long as you can, and when it stops doing what you feel your GPU needs to do then sell the 5870 and upgrade to something new. If it lasts you long enough you may get to choose from the next gen GPU or the 6xxx at discounted prices. Just my opinion.

If I read into your words too much and you do plan to upgrade now regardless, then sell and go for a 6990 or x-fire if you find a used hd5870 at a great price.

My vote is to wait it out.

On the power supply question, need to know one thing first...what is your 650w power supply?
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Last edited by Bond007; August 20, 2011 at 02:47 PM.
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Old August 21, 2011, 01:42 AM
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Stick with your 5870. Tbh, your platform is going to bottleneck any higher cards or crossfire. I went from a Q9450 at 3.4ghz, which is a comparable cpu to yours and I saw light years of difference when I upgraded platforms to the i5 2500k. Bottom line, you will not utilize a crossfire's/higher card max potential with your current setup so you will see very minimal gains even if you do get another 5870. I wasn't satisfied with my 1st 6870 because I thought it didn't give me the performance I wanted when I was on my Q9450, so I got a 2nd one and gained a full 10 fps, I even upped the OC to 3.6ghz to see if I would gain any noticeable fps gains, I did not.... only then did I realize that I was being bottlenecked by my cpu/platform. I averaged around 45-50fps on Bad Company 2 on my Q9450 with xfire, and when I went to the i5 2500k, it jumped to 120-130 on average, hitting as high as 180-200 fairly often. On the Q9450, gpu usage under msi afterburner would hover around 44% at load for both cards, while on the i5 2500k, both were at 99% the whole time, a clear indication of bottleneck.

If I were you, I would either sell off your system to get a new one, if you really want superior performance. However, your set up is good for any games out now, so that might not be a good option. If you're playing 1080p or below resolution, xfire 6870's would obliterate any game if you do decide to upgrade, and I've seen them go for around 160$ with rebates so xfire would be very affordable.

AMD Radeon HD 6950 & 6970 CrossFire Video Card Reviews - Aliens vs. Predator - Legit Reviews

Starting on page 6, you can see how amazing the 6870 scales vs the 6950 and 6970. It often times come so close to the latter two and that was the reason why I picked it over the premiums of the 69xx cards. To me, that minimal gains (if any in certain games), is not worth the ~70$ premium you would pay for the 6950 and certainly not the 200$ premium for the 6970 and you have to remember that the 6990 is ~10% slower than xfire 6970's because they have to down clock the card a bit to meet TDP. Unless you are playing on a 30'' screen or multiple huge monitors, do not go for the 6970. 6870's are the best bang for your buck.

And PSU - stick with something 750w+ from a reputable brand. I would personally go for 850w+
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Old August 21, 2011, 02:19 AM
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@CloudFire - That's true in older DX9 & 10 and even early DX11 games whose implementation of DX11 was very minimal.
With the newer DX11 titles, the load leans more and more towards the GPU rather the CPU. Especially considering that the 5XXX series isn't practicularly good at DX11.
+1 on the psu.
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Old August 21, 2011, 02:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CloudFire View Post
Stick with your 5870. Tbh, your platform is going to bottleneck any higher cards or crossfire. I went from a Q9450 at 3.4ghz, which is a comparable cpu to yours and I saw light years of difference when I upgraded platforms to the i5 2500k. Bottom line, you will not utilize a crossfire's/higher card max potential with your current setup so you will see very minimal gains even if you do get another 5870. I wasn't satisfied with my 1st 6870 because I thought it didn't give me the performance I wanted when I was on my Q9450, so I got a 2nd one and gained a full 10 fps, I even upped the OC to 3.6ghz to see if I would gain any noticeable fps gains, I did not.... only then did I realize that I was being bottlenecked by my cpu/platform. I averaged around 45-50fps on Bad Company 2 on my Q9450 with xfire, and when I went to the i5 2500k, it jumped to 120-130 on average, hitting as high as 180-200 fairly often. On the Q9450, gpu usage under msi afterburner would hover around 44% at load for both cards, while on the i5 2500k, both were at 99% the whole time, a clear indication of bottleneck.

If I were you, I would either sell off your system to get a new one, if you really want superior performance. However, your set up is good for any games out now, so that might not be a good option. If you're playing 1080p or below resolution, xfire 6870's would obliterate any game if you do decide to upgrade, and I've seen them go for around 160$ with rebates so xfire would be very affordable.

AMD Radeon HD 6950 & 6970 CrossFire Video Card Reviews - Aliens vs. Predator - Legit Reviews

Starting on page 6, you can see how amazing the 6870 scales vs the 6950 and 6970. It often times come so close to the latter two and that was the reason why I picked it over the premiums of the 69xx cards. To me, that minimal gains (if any in certain games), is not worth the ~70$ premium you would pay for the 6950 and certainly not the 200$ premium for the 6970 and you have to remember that the 6990 is ~10% slower than xfire 6970's because they have to down clock the card a bit to meet TDP. Unless you are playing on a 30'' screen or multiple huge monitors, do not go for the 6970. 6870's are the best bang for your buck.

And PSU - stick with something 750w+ from a reputable brand. I would personally go for 850w+
I'm still learning. How would it bottleneck the card?
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