Upgrading from 2 x MSI R5770 Hawk's in CrossFire. Recommendations?


Jun 3, 2011
APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: whenever; not pressured by purchase date.

BUDGET RANGE: sub $400; basically money from selling the 2 MSI R5770 Hawk's + ~$100.

USAGE: will be for gaming; can't wait to play Battlefield 3!!! :D

CURRENT GPU AND POWER SUPPLY: 2 x MSI R5770 Hawk's in CrossFire @ a mild OC to 950/1350; OCZ ModXStream-Pro 700W

CPU: Intel Core i7-2600K @ a mild OC to 4.00GHz
MoBo: Gigabyte Z68XP-UD4; Bios: F3
RAM: CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1600; X.M.P.: Profile 1
Chasis: CM Storm Scout; may be a tight fit for newer/longer GPU's; thinking about getting the new CM Storm Enforcer for the enlarged space for GPU's and the 2 x USB 3.0 on the case

PREFERRED E/RETAILER: e-retailers: newegg, tigerdirect, amazon; retailers: microcenter

PARTS PREFERENCES: open to both AMD and Nvidia; I have a thing for the MSI Hawks/Lightnings; I love the new Twin Frozr III design :love:

OVERCLOCKING: Yes; some mild OC

SLI/CROSSFIRE: I'm trying to transition toward a single GPU configuration from my currect CrossFire config; although, I am open to SLI/CF in the future, if necessary

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1680x1050; might be getting a 1920x1080 monitor soon

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: My goal is to try and match my CPU to GPU performance. Currently, I feel I am bottlenecking my CPU with my 5770's (I may be wrong :p ). In anycase, I ultimately want a single GPU configuration that will be able to run Battlefield 3 on MAX settings in addition to semi-futureproofing my current rig.

A. MSI N570GTX Twin Frozr III: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127582
B. MSI R6970 Lightning: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127581

Thanks for checking this out and hope to hear from the community soon!

p.s. What is the recommended place to sell hardware? Honestly, the only place I can think of is eBay or a friend :lol:


Jun 3, 2011
Right, that's what I was thinking about going for! :na:
Still have some questions unanswered though.
Are the hawks bottlenecking my CPU? and where to sell them :lol:
I guess I'll have to wait until its later during the day for more people to chime in on this one :)
Three points:
PSU and Graphics:
*read my Photonboy comment, in particular note that new cards are coming. My advice for you is whatever AMD HD7000 series costs about $400. Heat and noise will be much less and several tweaks (including improved AA and Tesselation) should have been made. For $400 I'd hope for something at least 2x the performance of an HD5870 or GTX560Ti but the noise alone is a big deal.

Micro-stutter SLI and Crossfire:

Bottleneck test:
Run the Taskmanager during a video game (at least five minutes). CTRL-ALT-DEL. Must view ALL THREADS (under processes). Also, hyperthreading is rarely used so if you see 8 graphs you can usually ignore Graph #2,4,6 and 8. Hyperthreading also can only benefit to 30% improvement but the AVERAGE CPU USAGE with hyperthreading enabled simply averages the 8 graphs. This actually makes the average value completely useless in TWO ways:
1) It averages 8 threads when usually only four can be used in a game.
2) the Hyperthreads aren't equal to using the main core of each CPU but they're treated as equal for averaging purposes.

A game can't yet use all four physical cores of a CPU to 100% yet so factor that in:

Scenario #1:
A game shows a single core peaking at about 50% (none higher).

Analysis #1:
You can handle a graphics card of at least 2x the performance.

Scenario #2:
A game shows a single core hitting 100%.

Analysis #2:
You MAY benefit from a CPU overclock but it's not certain (other cores may pick up the slack).

*I did several benchmarks using an i7-860 and HD5870. I confirmed that there was NO BENEFIT to overclocking my CPU in the slightest which I suspected as I rarely went above 40% on any one core of my CPU. You can not use benchmarks that ADD up a separate CPU value. I used in-game benchmarks including Crysis.
^valid points; basically Id say there is diminishing return past a certain point...

In the end the OPs system is fine for 16X10 (like I said) if he can put up with the microstutter that I personally found to be foul with my former 6870 crossfire setup, but the core of his system is fine so either keep the 5770s or sell them and upgrade to a gtx560ti/570 or 6950/70 or wait, if everything is running find in the OPs mind then by all means wait... save your money all the same models will be available for a while so its not like a life/death choice, just sayin'
I agree in general too..

However, it depends on which games he plays. There are several games that would benefit from a single card with much better performance. In particular:
1) max settings
2) higher frame rates (up to 60FPS for most flat screens)
3) better Anti-Aliasing (especially with HD7000 or GTX600 new cards)
4) better Tessellation (future-proofing)
5) eliminate the micro-stuttering caused by MULTIPLE GPU's (pretty bad in some games)

Personally, I think my HD5870 is pretty awesome overall. In fact it maxes out a few games. In particular, "Bioshock 2" is completely maxed out at 60FPS (VSYNC) and full AA and is incredibly smooth.

On the other hand, most other modern games would play better on a better card. Keep in mind all the games look and play far better than an XBox 360 or PS3, but I have no issue to spend $400 for a better gaming experience.

I'll be getting an NVidia 600 series with these rough specs:
- at least 2x the performance of my HD5870 (better with future games which use more Tessellation)
- at least 1200MB of VRAM
- quality brand with good cooling solution

I've been ignoring PhysX up until now, but unless AMD has a benefit over NVidia (aside from releasing earlier) I'm going to wait. Also, AMD prices are likely to be overinflated until NVidia release their 600 series anyway.


Jun 3, 2011
I'm interested in Nvidia 600 series now! :lol:
When are those being released?

On a side note, with my current rig, I can play Battlefield: Bad Company 2 on MAX settings.
Vsync Off: ~90fps
Vsync On: constant 60.1fps

Anyway, basically sounds as if I'm waiting for the AMD 7XXX series or Nvidia 6XX series.


Jun 3, 2011
So you think it's best to wait it out another year or so?
I mean right now I have no problems running games on max.
For example, I just installed Deus Ex: Human Revolution and I cranked up everything including tesselation. And whadda ya know, it runs 60.1 fps (vsync on, I suppose).

The only thing buggin' me is the CrossFire. More heat, not always compatible, micro-stutter, list goes on. However, I am pleased by the performance of these cards.

Do you guys expect the higher end cards of the AMD 7XXX and Nvidia 6XX to outperform what I have (2x5770 CF @ 950/1350) by at least or up to 2x the performance?

btw. Thanks to everyone for your suggestions and comments. I appreciate it. :)


Jun 3, 2011
Right. If anything, I'll probably go for something that's a significant upgrade other than a simple replacement/substitution for the 2x5770 i currently have.

My 'p.s.' question is still untouched though...
Anyone know/prefer a place to sell their hardware? (specifically graphic cards :))