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Old January 5, 2012, 09:35 AM
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Default Upgrade path from single 5850?

I'm currently running a single stock Radeon 5850 in my Core i7 920 rig and I haven't kept up the hardware world with much focus since the 5850 came out back in 2009. To be honest, I haven't had any issues with any game that has been released since. But now that I've skipped a generation, maybe I could upgrade.

My question is, now that we are seeing the 7000 series come about, what is the best option for video card upgrades? Should I go on eBay and find another 5850 and run them crossfire, or should I go grab a new single card from the 6000 or 7000 series?

I just have a 1080p monitor and don't plan on upgrading that for quite some time. Thoughts?
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Old January 5, 2012, 11:32 AM
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I would probably hold on to the 5850 and pickup a 7000 series card or nvidia equivalent when new cards are out.
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Old January 5, 2012, 08:45 PM
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crossfire efficiency is a main concern of 5XXX cards.
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Old January 5, 2012, 09:30 PM
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And they still aren't "cheap."
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Old January 6, 2012, 05:25 AM
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I think it's worth hanging onto for another generation or so if you don't find it lacking. I can still run any games I've wanted to play so I'm hanging onto my single 5850 for a while longer.
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Old January 16, 2012, 12:24 PM
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I'm a little tempted to get the Gigabyte Radeon HD 6970 OC 2GB card. My XFX 5850 is still pretty good for most games, but for games like skyrim and battlefield, especially on the 16:10 display I just got, can be somewhat underpowered. By no means are we talking about unplayable, in fact you'd be hard pressed to notice it consistently, but the lags are there. Also, there seems to be some kind of HDCP handshake problem that prevents me from play blu rays on a cold startup (I usually have to shut down and turn back on each day in order to play blu rays)...

I'm wondering what sort of noticeable improvement I might notice, if any, if I were to get the 6970...
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Old January 16, 2012, 09:28 PM
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I moved from the 5850 to the 6970. It was a worthwhile upgrade especially for bf3.
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Old January 16, 2012, 09:38 PM
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I would buy another 5850 and CF it, these cards still can run any game well.
look at single card 5850 vs 6970
then 5850CF vs 6970
Radeon HD 5850 vs Radeon HD 6970 Performance Comparison Benchmarks @ Hardware Compare
AnandTech - Bench - GPU11
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Old January 17, 2012, 05:28 AM
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Since you don't seem to be having any immediate need for an upgrade I would bypass the 6xxx cards. Wait until either your card is not doing what you want it to or the prices stabilize on the new HD 79xx or Nvidia cards. I wouldn't bother with buying another 5850. That said you could keep you eyes open for a cheap used 5850 that will boost performance for less $ (5xxx cards do have lower xfire scaling and performance/watt than newer cards though).
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Old January 17, 2012, 10:25 AM
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I'm switching from a 5850 to a 7970~ One generation gap I think is the best way to save some money for 2 years to get a nicer video card instead of doing minor upgrades like 5850 => 6950

I've tried crossfiring the 5850 but the performance just isn't that great imo, you are low on v-ram and the 5000 series are not known to crossfire as well as 6000 series or higher
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