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Old 08-01-11, 11:51 PM   #1
Redeemed
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Default Unexpected upgrade...

Soo... bought this from a co-worker. He made some small upgrades- beefier PSU (BFG 450watt, dual 12v rails) and a Radeon HD5770 (XFX). My reason for buying it was to bless my best friend- he has four gaming computers, two of which are fairly dated regarding the entire machine, the other two are more recent but sporting older video cards.

His two "newest" machines are running socket AM2/AM2+, one is an Athlon64 x2 6000+, the other an Athlonx2 7750. The 6000+ is sporting a CrossHair mobo, 3GB RAM, and a GeForce 8600GTS. The 7750 is sporting a newer mobo using an AMD chipset, forget the specific model though, but it only had 4GB of RAM and was using a single 7900GT.

His other two computers were both s939, one an Opti185 and the other an Opti170. The 185 had 2.5GB of RAM, as did the 170. The 170 was using an ASUS A8N-SLi Premium mobo, and a 7900GTX. The 185 was using an ASUS A8N-E mobo with a 7900GT.

Both 7900GT are identical cards by XFX. All four of his computers ran flawlessly, for what they were. They were all a bit sluggish in most newer games because of the dated graphics cards, but all were solid, stable machines.

Well, I parted out the rig I bought from my co-worker and distributed the parts to two of his computers.

The computer of his with the 7750 is now running 6GB of RAM and the XFX 5770. Night and day difference from how it performed with only the 7900GT in there.

The Phenom9550 I left in it's OEM mobo (didn't have any other one to install it in), but put 4GB of G.Skill RAM, and it is using the 7900GTX.

The Opti185 I installed in the ASUS A8N-SLi Premium, with 3GB of RAM, and the two identical XFX 7900GTs. From the get-go there were problems. At first, after enabling SLi, the video output would shut off after maybe a minute from windows booting to the desktop. Finally got it to stop doing that, DL'd all the remaining OS updates, etc. Go to play a game and it plays fine for the first game, second one it hard locks about half way through- the BSODs. Something about not being able to initialize the video card driver. Reboot the computer and it goes to the desktop fine, fire up the game again and it freezes at the loading screen. So, knowing the 7900GTs are fine since they've worked perfectly up untill this point, I figure it may be an issue with the mobo. Reasoning- after I first enabled SLi I'd get a warning at the bottom-right hand corner about one of the 7900GTs being in a low-performance PCI-e slot. Not true- both slots operated at x8 because of SLi. So I'm suspecting the second slot on the mobo may be buggy. It was never used up untill tonight.

Anyhow, so feeling bad and not wanting them to be stuck with a single 7900GT, I gave him my HIS 5770. So for right now, I'm using the two 7900GTs in SLi, and other than being noticeably slower and having to reduce my IQ in-games significantly, they're working fine.

Not planning on keeping them though.

So that's why I'm looking to upgrade. I could pick up another 5770, or "6770" for about $100- but I've had the itch to "upgrade" my computer anyways. If you'll recall, my friend does have four computers, only two of them actually received a video card upgrade, the other two are still sporting the original video cards.

We live up in the mountains, and it does get rather warm this time of year. High end cards are absolutely out of the question- costs too much to power them (especially with this many computers running), as well as running too hot. Not only that, just can't afford anything.

This isn't the best time for me to be upgrading though as I am about to go on a camping trip with my family- so to afford this I may have to be a hypocrite and use Newegg's "BillMeLater". If I do this, I'd like to purchase one more 5770 (or "6770") for my buddy as that's far more GPU than he needs, and then a new GPU for my self. Now, since I'll have up to 6 months to pay it off no interest I've considered getting a 6950 and just utilizing that TDP feature where it'll only consume up to XXX amount of watts or wattever... but I just don't feel I can justify the cost right now- even having 6 months to pay it off. Not only that, what ever card I do get I don't plan on keeping for very long. If things pan out as I'm anticipating I plan to purchase AMD's 7770 or whatever it'll be once they release it. The card I'm buying now I'd give to my best friend as the final card so all four of his computers will be "up to snuff" for most any game out there.

I'm looking at the 6770, 6790, 6850, and 6870. 6870 is the absolute highest I'm willing to go, but I'd rather not. Remember, what ever I buy now in about ~4 months time my best friend will end up with. He doesn't need anything from the 6800 line up- far too much GPU for the kind of games he plays. As is, him and his boys are blown away by how the two 5770s are performing. Even the 5770 paired with that old Opti185 has them stunned. These cards will likely last them another 3+ years before he looks to upgrade them again.

So just looking for recommendations. I'm not at all opposed to nVidia but be realistic- I'm attracted to AMD simply because they use less power, run cooler, and typically cost less, while not struggling in performance. Heck, from the few (litterally, only three thus far ) reviews I've read the 6790 out performs the 550GTi or whatever while costing about the same, running cooler, and consuming less power.

If there's a card from nVidia that isn't any more $$$, consumes just as little power, and runs just as cool as a competing AMD card I'm all ears. From what I've been reading though The 400 and 500 series cards just aren't as efficient as AMD's. That said, untill I see new evidence other wise I'm kinda' set on the 6770 through the 6870. Just looking for some feed back and opinions- food for thought, if you will.

Not sure when I'll make the purchase. Maybe tonight, maybe tomorrow, maybe within a week or two- not in a huge rush as I've not really been gaming- mostly just watching Star Trek: TNG on Netflix in my spare time.

So- sorry for the long read, but I appreciate all your input. Kinda' leaning towards the 6790 as it'll be marginally faster than the 5770, roughly the same price I paid back when I bought my 5770 (before rebates), and will be great for my buddy once I upgrade in about 4 months to something better. Thanks ya'll!
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Old 08-02-11, 12:02 AM   #2
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Default Re: Unexpected upgrade...

Get a 6850 if you want the most performance per watt.



Has great performance/dollar too:
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Old 08-02-11, 01:50 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roadhog View Post
Get a 6850 if you want the most performance per watt.



Has great performance/dollar too:
Whoa! Excellent information- thank you RoadHog!

That might be the way to go. It is interesting how the 5770 offers the greatest performance per dollar, based off of that chart- knew it was a good card.

Hmm... found an XFX and HIS that I really like- good user reviews, good professional reviews, reasonable cost, excellent looking coolers (appearance and functional design)... nice!

Still not made my mind up, but I'm leaning towards that 6850 after reading those charts. Still open to any feedback ya'll have.
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Old 08-02-11, 04:41 AM   #4
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Default Re: Unexpected upgrade...

Why not go with a nvidia card and you have added option for physx?
I bought a gtx 560 ti from asus (replacing gtx 260 see sig) a couple weeks ago and I've been very happy and impressed with it.

It runs more cool and quiet then the old card and perform much better too.

Now, im really bad at Ati's naming scheme so what equivalent ati card would be i dunno.
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Old 08-02-11, 07:23 AM   #5
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Default Re: Unexpected upgrade...

6870 $150 after MIR. and free shipping.
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Old 08-02-11, 10:34 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by EciDemon View Post
Why not go with a nvidia card and you have added option for physx?
I bought a gtx 560 ti from asus (replacing gtx 260 see sig) a couple weeks ago and I've been very happy and impressed with it.

It runs more cool and quiet then the old card and perform much better too.

Now, im really bad at Ati's naming scheme so what equivalent ati card would be i dunno.
I believe AMD's comparable card would be the 6950 or 6970- and as I stated in my wall-of-text OP that calibre of card is just out of my price range... too expensive of a purchase, consumes more power than I'd like, runs hotter than I'd like. Great cards, both from AMD and nVidia no doubt- just not the cards for me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by grey_1 View Post
6870 $150 after MIR. and free shipping.


I can't tell you how much time I spent last night scouring newegg's video card section, and completely missed this! Here I had it narrowed down to a HIS 6850 and an XFX 6850. Before rebate that card you linked is only $10 more, cheaper after MIR.

Me wants... Thanks Grey!
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Old 08-02-11, 10:38 AM   #7
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Kinda' off topic but I'm just thinking how funny it is- these two 7900GTs in SLi, back when they were "new", would have made for an expensive and killer gaming rig. Now it's hardly even low-end performance. Kinda' amazin' how technology progresses.
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Old 08-02-11, 10:50 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redeemed View Post
I can't tell you how much time I spent last night scouring newegg's video card section, and completely missed this! Here I had it narrowed down to a HIS 6850 and an XFX 6850. Before rebate that card you linked is only $10 more, cheaper after MIR.

Me wants... Thanks Grey!
YW - let us know how it compares to the 5770 if you get it. I may have reason to snag a couple down the road a bit myself.
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Old 08-02-11, 11:18 AM   #9
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Default Re: Unexpected upgrade...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Redeemed View Post
I believe AMD's comparable card would be the 6950 or 6970- and as I stated in my wall-of-text OP that calibre of card is just out of my price range... too expensive of a purchase, consumes more power than I'd like, runs hotter than I'd like. Great cards, both from AMD and nVidia no doubt- just not the cards for me.





I can't tell you how much time I spent last night scouring newegg's video card section, and completely missed this! Here I had it narrowed down to a HIS 6850 and an XFX 6850. Before rebate that card you linked is only $10 more, cheaper after MIR.

Me wants... Thanks Grey!
Shoulda bought that 6870 from me way back when my friend
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Old 08-02-11, 12:50 PM   #10
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YW - let us know how it compares to the 5770 if you get it. I may have reason to snag a couple down the road a bit myself.
I'm really tempted to pull the trigger now. Just kinda' mulling some stuff over... if I'm going to go 6 months no payment, I kinda' want to take care of all my friend's "upgrades" at once- need to replace that s939 rig, already have a mobo for it just need a processor and RAM, and would like to replace that A64 X@ 6000+... just trying to decide how much debt I want to shoulder. At least it is all AMD so it is relatively inexpensive for all of it, that and he really isn't running anything super high-end.

But of course, I will *definitely* share my impressions of which ever card I end up with. Never been good at carrying through regarding promises of full-on reviews, but I can at least provide my impressions. From what I'm reading in reviews though the 6870 is, in some games, twice as fast as my 5770 was, others 10 - 20 fps difference. Not a huge jump across the board but for the price... thinking it'll be worth it.

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Shoulda bought that 6870 from me way back when my friend
No joke! Hindsight, eh?
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Old 08-02-11, 01:04 PM   #11
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Don't wait too long. There'll be other sales, but that's a fine price for a nice piece of hardware.

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Old 08-02-11, 01:22 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by grey_1 View Post
Don't wait too long. There'll be other sales, but that's a fine price for a nice piece of hardware.

And thus my only problem- can't say I'm doing this out of need. I really am not gaming much at all anymore. the time I do spend on my rig is either here at nVnews, or watching ST:TNG episodes. Kinda' hard to go into debt when there's not much pushing you to do it.

But you're absolutely right- $150 after MIR is amazing, especially for a card of that caliber. I wish they'd let you know how long that rebate will be available.

Maybe I should just get the two cards for now. It's $250 minimum for BillMeLater, and that'd be about $300 I think. I could have that paid off with my second paycheck. If I'm pleased with the BillMeLater service, maybe I'll use it again to purchase the rest of the hardware to upgrade my buddy's rigs. Kinda' use these two cards as a test run and see how I like the BillMeLater service.

Ah- the tough decisions in life.
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