Currently HD 4870, upgrading recommendations?

schoff

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Hello all,

I currently have a Sapphire Vapor-X HD 4870 1GB card on my Gigabyte UD4P (crossfire ready) board, with a Phenom X3 720 processor. In preparation for a few games coming out, particularly Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising, I am interested in upgrading my graphics. There are a couple options i'm considering and researching, but I wanted to get some recommendations from somebody.

As I have stated, my mobo can handle crossfire. I would have to upgrade my PSU to a 700W (from 500), which will add another $80-120 if I do decide to get another 4870 and have a crossfire setup. Another option I'm considering is getting a NVidia GPU. I have looked into the GTX 275 and 285--both are a little pricey, but both with will run with my OCZ 500w power supply, right? Should I consider it a major plus that NVidia support CUDA and Physx?

Right now I have a Acer 20" LCD display, with recommended setting of 1600x900. What monitor would be the most effective for which type of card? Would I need to upgrade my monitor to get the most out of 4870 crossfire, or a GTX 275/285 for that matter?

Another thing I don't exactly understand is if my motherboard runs Nvidia cards. Do motherboards have restrictions? What do I look for in the specs to determine that?

If you need any other information that would help make a better recommendation, please let me know!

Thanks

**Edit-- Or should I splurge on the 5800 series that just came out? ha.
 
Much as I like spending other peoples money ;), I'd say you have a nicely balanced system right now; a more powerful card would only be held back by the CPU and is not really needed at that resolution anyway.
The only restriction with motherboards is with SLI/CF. Only Nvidia chipsets support SLI while Intel/AMD only support Crossfire (except for x58 'boards which can usually do both). For a single card any MB will support any GPU as long as they have matching slots/connectors.
Wait until the games come out and see how your rig performs, perhaps by then the 57xx cards will be out and Nvidia will have their own DX11 products released, both of which would probably be better upgrade options.
 

topper743

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You have brought up several questions. You did not provide the model of you MB. If your MB is crossfire ready it will not do SLI, it's either or. You could get another 4870 if you like and have over kill for that monitor or you could get a new HD58XX series GPU which will do DX11 and still probably have over kill. The MB you have will run any one (1) Nvidia GPU not two and not SLI so the 295 is probably out as the 295 is a two gpu card and needs the MB support to have it function properly (someone else chime in on this). You have a very balanced system as is. Are you really sure that you need to upgrade. If you look around, ebay and such there is a flood of 4870s for sale cheap. Adding a 4870 is probably the least expensive way to go. Yes you will need a bigger better PSU. At least 750 with good ratings, don't get a cheapie and ensure that it have the proper pinned plugs to accomidate two GPU if that is how you choose to go. If you go with two GPUs then you have to consider whether that CPU has enough power to support two powerful GPUs. I suspect the the CPU will be the bottle neck unless you can get the clock up to 3.5GHZ or so.
 

schoff

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Thanks for the great suggestions! Until I see how my computer runs Operation Flashpoint i'll hold off on upgrading.

If I do upgrade, I will probably go with the 4870, seeing that it is the least expensive, and my mobo can handle it.

As for overclocking the CPU, I'm not entirely sure how to do that. Is this something that I would benefit from now, even without the upgrade to crossfire in which it will be necessary? I'll start researching how to overclock, but if anyone has any good links that would be helpful!

As for the monitor, i'm happy running my 4870 on a 1600x900 monitor; it seems to be effective. If I did decide to go crossfire, what monitor and/or specs should I be looking at to make sure i'm getting the most out of my setup?
 

schoff

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I know I can find guides online on how to overclock the CPU. From what I understand it's done through the BIOS before you boot? My main question is: Is it bad for the CPU to overclock it all the way to 3.5Ghz from 2.8Ghz? Will I need more voltage?