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GPU upgrade from 2x6850s on a 4 year old PC

jpnolejpnole Member UncommonPosts: 1,696

Currently rocking a 4 year old PC built in Jan 2011. I'd like to do a new build much later in the year (late summer/autumn). My specs are:

Crossfired 6850s, Phenom II X4 965, 8GB RAM, Win 7 64

In the meantime, I'd like to spend $200-250 on a single GPU that would be considered a worthwhile upgrade to my dual 6850s which I'll probably sell on Ebay. I'd like to consider just the latest AMD R series or the Nvidia 900 series in order to have the latest tech and get the best use of the drivers. I'm assuming it's either going to be the AMD R9 280X or the GTX 960 in January when it's released. When I do my build later in the year, I'll be giving this PC to my wife to replace her 7 year old PC (my 2008 build - which may be retired as a NAS storage device) and it will likely receive no further upgrades as her gaming needs aren't as demanding as mine. 

Thanks for any advice!

 

Comments

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,125

    The entire GeForce 900 series is out of your price range, though I'd regard the GeForce 600/700 series as still being current, given that they're the contemporaries to AMD's current lineup.

    Depending on how you feel about rebates, this may or may not stretch your budget:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125505

    If you want to stay strictly inside your stated budget, there's this:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814131533

    But that has a price that is awfully close to the first card, while the performance isn't.  If you're not willing to shell out for the first card, you could save some money and get this:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127789

    But that's only an upgrade over what you have now when CrossFire isn't working flawlessly.  Which is a lot of the time, admittedly.

  • kairel182kairel182 Member UncommonPosts: 287

    Just built mine earlier this month.  EVGA GTX 970, was about $350 I believe and came with a free game.  Probably the best performance for price on the market.

  • Leon1eLeon1e Member UncommonPosts: 791

    Idk for how much it goes nowadays but I had the same GPUs (crossfired and overclocked) and last year I upgraded to R9 290X. Best decision I've made after getting an SSD.

     

    The R9 290 (non-x) actually is 100$ less, landing perfectly within your budged. 100MHz lesser clock and a bit less stream processors but still kicking. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150697&cm_re=r9_290-_-14-150-697-_-Product

  • AthisarAthisar Member UncommonPosts: 666

    Your budget is a tricky area, it's not quite high enough for a solid upgrade. The 280X is a decent enough card, but it's older technology now and I'd say it's not enough. If you can push the budget up a bit I'd go for a 290, or wait until you can get that. You could probably get a 7970 second hand for a lot less, which is the same card as the 280X.

  • syntax42syntax42 Member UncommonPosts: 1,378
    What are you using for a CPU?  Depending on what you have, it might not make sense to add an expensive GPU to your system.
  • jpnolejpnole Member UncommonPosts: 1,696
    X4 965, it's in my OP. I had considered that as well. Probably leaning toward the 290 at this point. Unless the 390 series ushers in some price cuts and the 290x drops.
  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,125
    To give you some idea of performance, a Radeon R9 290 has 40 GCN compute units.  A Radeon HD 6850 has 12 SIMD engines.  They're different names for analogous portions of the GPU, and 1 GCN CU at a given clock speed will tend to be a little faster than a VLIW5 SIMD engine at the same clock speed.  So I'd expect the Radeon R9 290 to be 3-4 times as fast as a single Radeon HD 6850.
  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,125
    Originally posted by jpnole
    X4 965, it's in my OP.

    It would probably help to say that it's a Phenom II X4 965, as model numbers have been so weird that it may not be immediately obvious that it's a CPU, and it's also not the only 965 part ever released.

  • jpnolejpnole Member UncommonPosts: 1,696
    Originally posted by Quizzical

    Originally posted by jpnole
    X4 965, it's in my OP.

    It would probably help to say that it's a Phenom II X4 965, as model numbers have been so weird that it may not be immediately obvious that it's a CPU, and it's also not the only 965 part ever released.

     

    True Quizzical, I just added it in. Thanks for the description of the relative power of the two GPUs, that was helpful.
  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,061


    Originally posted by jpnole
    X4 965, it's in my OP. I had considered that as well. Probably leaning toward the 290 at this point. Unless the 390 series ushers in some price cuts and the 290x drops.

    The 290 is probably about as low as it can go. What the 390 will do, when it's released, is put price pressure on the nVidia 900 series cards.

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