First upgrade in 6 years... Where's my weakest link?


Dec 15, 2012
Hello THG!

I was quite active 6 years ago, and satisfied with my respected rig (at the time). Since then, I don't even know what my old THG logon was. Time to overhaul "Big Daddy," as I call my box. Here's the (very abridged) original rig:

- Core 2 duo e6600 with an ASUS nForce chipset mobo
- GeForce 8800 GTX
- 10,000 RPM HD
- 4 gigs killer (at the time) Corsair RAM
- Antec 900 case with crazy fans going on
- Zalman 9700 cooler

Since then, I've made a few changes:
- Out with the GeForce, and in with a Radeon 6850.
- New Kingston HyperX 3K 240 GB SSD (which doesn't do nearly what it should in this platform).

Components purchased so far for Big Daddy's overhaul (but not yet installed):

- ASUS Sabertooth Z77 mobo (I know there's alternatives, but ASUS's stability lasted a long, long time. Gonna stick with them over say, Gigabyte).
- Core i5 3750k
- 32 gb of Ripjaws PC1600 RAM

I'm sure the new build with be an improvement to say the least.

My question is this: With PCIe3 being supported in the new mobo, is my Radeon 6850 still worth keeping? Get another one to configure in Crossfire? Or just get a new (and relatively cost effective) PCIe3 video card?

My needs are heavily graphics intensive. Would the Radeon 6850 be my weakest link? Are there any other pitfalls I'm missing here?

Thanks guys. Good to be back.


The 6850 is not necessarily a bad card but it will bottleneck the 3570K. I'd suggest getting a 7870 GHz edition.

I'm not a fan of the Sabertooth it's overrated and expensive, and the thermal armor does nothing. Get this instead:

It's still an Asus board but you won't have the heat problems associated with the Sabertooth.

And then I'm not sure what 32GB of RAM is for - unless you're doing some hardcore video editing you won't use it. Maybe go with 16GB in a 2 x 8GB configuration and then you can add more if needed.