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Upgrading a 2 year old gaming rig!

Guswell

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#1
Hi folks, BF3 s out and I need to upgrade, present spec is;

Asus M4a79xdt evo motherboard (CF capable),
4 GB DDR3 Ram,
Radeon HD5870,
Amd Phenom II X4.

Should I get a GTX 580 (would it bottleneck?) or should I CF the 5870?
I'm not great at building or solving software issues but even I can swap a GPU over I hope.
Many thanks.
 
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#2
At What resolution you play?
 

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#3
Possibly 5870 CF will be the cheaper option, for more or less the same amount of firepower.
 
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#4
I see no point for upgrading this rig. Since you schould be able to run Battlefileld 3 in fullHD and all details.
 
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#5
Maybe up the RAM to 6GB+. Then get a 2nd 5870 for CF if you really must. I run BF3 on a 5yr old system and it runs fine. Dual 460s too so its kinda like a single 480 or 5870. Should be able to handle Ultra settings. But yeah it does depend on your resolution. If you are something like 1280x1024 then no way do you need another. Even 1680x1050 is questionable, but I did it on my 460 and it did make a visible improvement with the exception of titles like Metro which are just a pain anyways..

CPU I'd like to know more info on. Which model Phenom II X4? Mine is a 945...that I unfortunately keep having to downclock. Don't think my board likes being pushed anymore. But 3Ghz stock has been plenty.
 

Ixtli

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#6
I see no point for upgrading this rig. Since you schould be able to run Battlefileld 3 in fullHD and all details.
Sure, at a low framerate it will run.

Maybe up the RAM to 6GB+
This won't impact game performance at all.


I think people are really underestimating the engine in this game.
Have a look at this article: BF3 performance.
Do note that the 5870 they tested is a 2GB version! So "fullHD and all details" will run into a VMEM wall on a regular 5870.

Crossfire 5870 will run better, but it will still have a VMEM wall at 1GB.


Bottom line: if you have the money, a GTX580 will be a good choice. Maxing this game out on 1080p AND maintaining a fluid framerate (50+) is quite expensive :(
 
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#7
Sure, at a low framerate it will run.



This won't impact game performance at all.


I think people are really underestimating the engine in this game.
Have a look at this article: BF3 performance.
Do note that the 5870 they tested is a 2GB version! So "fullHD and all details" will run into a VMEM wall on a regular 5870.

Crossfire 5870 will run better, but it will still have a VMEM wall at 1GB.


Bottom line: if you have the money, a GTX580 will be a good choice. Maxing this game out on 1080p AND maintaining a fluid framerate (50+) is quite expensive :(
Uh, I average 60-70 fps, all setting on ultra, 1920*1200 resolution, NO SLOW DOWNS below 50fps.


@OP, whether you crossfire 5870 or get a single GTX580, you Phenom II is gonna be a bottleneck, just like my C2Q clocked at 4ghz is. Depending on how fast your Phenom II is clocked will determine just how much of a bottleneck it will be.
 

Guswell

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#8
Thanks for all the replies so far guys, I ll play around with the resolution and see what happens, at the mo the larger terrain maps are very dark with lighter squares!

Will that 2 year old asus motherboard handle a gtx 580 or will the system bottle neck?

Nc37 the CPU is the phenom II x4 965 black quad core.

What other graphics cards should i consider to replace the 5870?

Should I replace the CPU?

Not done much building so hope there's a simple swap out option.

Thanks again
 

Ixtli

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#9
4xMSAA? HBAO?

See this page for a CPU performance listing.

His CPU is definetly not a bottleneck :) Your C2Q *might* be.
Compare CPU load with GPU load while playing, and you'll see where your bottleneck is.
 
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#10
6950 will give 2-3% better performance. a 6970 will give approx 10% more performance, GTX570 about the same as the 6970 and GTX580 iirc 15-20% better performance. Least expensive route for you, crossfire 5870
 
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#11
4xMSAA? HBAO?

See this page for a CPU performance listing.

His CPU is definetly not a bottleneck :) Your C2Q *might* be.
Compare CPU load with GPU load while playing, and you'll see where your bottleneck is.
Dude, my C2Q is better than ANY PhenomII quad clocked at the same speed. I know where my bottleneck is. And it isn't so bad of a bottleneck that it's worth worrying about.

Oh and about that chart, I don't need a chart from the internet to tell me what I see sitting right on my desk. But just so you know, here's is a pic of my settings-



 

Ixtli

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#12
Anti-aliasing disabled. Well done, you just proved my point about the VMEM wall :)
 
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#13
ok, I'll turn AA on this evening when I get home from work and post my results. Only reason it's turned off is because I really don't see a difference when actually playing. You people have a good day til then.
 
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#14
I would go HD 5870 Crossfire and get between 8GB to 16GB of ram.
 

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#15
I would go HD 5870 Crossfire and get between 8GB to 16GB of ram.
More than 8GB is a waste for most people, and gaming. Unless the OP have cash to spare.
 
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#16
with memory being sooooo cheap, is there any reason not to upgrade?
 
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#17
with memory being sooooo cheap, is there any reason not to upgrade?
True but 2x4 8GB DDR3 1600mhz are more than half the price of a new 60GB SSD. ;)
 

Guswell

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#18
ok great so I'll go for the extra Ram, 8 should do, and a CF 5870, will the 700 PSU be ok? I bought the larger one with the CF upgrade in mind.

Any brand RAM recommended?

Am I right in saying i just drop in the new 5870, connect a bridge and power up? Sounds too good to be true!
 

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#19
ok great so I'll go for the extra Ram, 8 should do, and a CF 5870, will the 700 PSU be ok? I bought the larger one with the CF upgrade in mind.

Any brand RAM recommended?

Am I right in saying i just drop in the new 5870, connect a bridge and power up? Sounds too good to be true!
Won't see much of a difference going up in RAM unless you have other programs open while you game or anything else that eats up memory, but more memory is never a bad thing.;)

A 700W PSU is enough wattage for 2x HD 5870's though when it comes to PSU's brand matters, don't go for a cheap 700W generic brand PSU as they use low quality components to get them that cheap. Go with Corsair, Thermaltake, Antec, PC Power & Cooling, SilverStone and even Cooler Master puts out some decent units.

And yes crossfire is that easy to hook up, just throw the card in the second slot, put the bridge on and make sure they're both recognized in device manager/GPU-Z etc. Also do you know if your second PCI-E slot is x16 or at least x8 bandwidth?, cause if it's below x8 bandwidth Crossfire will be pointless and you'd be better of going with a single GPU instead.

My older 880G board was like that (x16/x4).

EDIT: Your board is x16/x8 so you'll be fine. :)
 
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#20
ok great so I'll go for the extra Ram, 8 should do, and a CF 5870, will the 700 PSU be ok? I bought the larger one with the CF upgrade in mind.

Any brand RAM recommended?

Am I right in saying i just drop in the new 5870, connect a bridge and power up? Sounds too good to be true!
You don't need to CF. A Single 5870 can run BF3 at high detail.

Yes, 5870 CF is more economically feasible than a single GTX580 - and faster.

8 GBs may not be needed, but ram is cheap, so why not?

Good ram brands are Crucial, OCZ, Kingston, GSkills, Corsair. Probably best to get enthusiast grade.

700W is generic or branded?

I see no point for upgrading this rig. Since you schould be able to run Battlefileld 3 in fullHD and all details.
I agree!
 
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LordJummy

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#21
It's weird how the guys with the "older" and "slower" rigs are the ones always saying "there's no point to upgrading!!! harumphh!!" lol. How would you know the difference if you don't have newer high end hardware? It seems like you shouldn't offer advice like that if you haven't actually tried it.

Just sayin'

I would go with the 5870 CF if I were you. Get a used 5870 off of craigslist or ebay or something for super cheap. It will be more powerful than a HD 5970 (minus the VRAM, but with one monitor you should be good for a while). Only a few games right now will break your video memory limitations.

Have fun upgrading, and good luck!
 
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#22
don't upgrade now,
pic up a nice ivy bridge cpu next year and a ssd, 8GB MEM 1600MHZ CL8/9 and go crossfire
 

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#23
well with what he has, it would be pointless to get a thuban or bull dozer BUT if he get Sandy, this would show some increases.
 

Ixtli

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#24
What do you mean, minus the VRAM? 5970 has 2x 1GB, not 2GB. It doesn't add up in crossfire.
 
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#25
well with what he has, it would be pointless to get a thuban or bull dozer BUT if he get Sandy, this would show some increases.
Well considering the Bulldozer often performs better than Sandy in Battlefield 3 according to a few independent reviews your advice is wrong.
 
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