graphics card upgrade?

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It's been almost 3 years since I built my present rig, I think. 3 years ago I learned only as much as I needed to know to put it together, and do not consider myself a 'computer guy' My desktop is rated at "6.0 windows experience" fwiw... intel i7 920, 2.67GHz quad core 12GB ram-- can't remember which ddr rating. 2 years ago, 3 sticks were $120 or something like that, so can't be crazy fancy. 2x ATI radeon HD 4890 graphics cards in "crossfire" (series?). dunno what motherboard I have. I can find out somehow, if important. It wasn't a cheap one. SO-- I can run all games, and usually on high, but not reliably on highest or "ultra" or whatever. Far Cry 3, for example, I could not take to the max. Oddly, amnesia was very graphics intensive, and really bogged down. Even skyrim has to be one down from the max. I LIKE graphics. The visual splendor is important to me, as much as gameplay. I play many of the RPGs, and a few first person shooters: FC3 of course, skyrim, bioshock, dishonored, mass effect. I've been thinking of upgrading for a while, and don't know how to tread through the ocean of specs and numbers. I have 2 1gb, ddr5 graphics cards: what does 2013 get me that 2010 did not, are there other numbers I'm not looking at besides memory quantity and memory speed? (such that a 1gb, ddr5 card in 2013 will outperform the same from 2010?) Which graphics cards will get me to smooth performance on highest settings? (or is there another bottleneck, like the processor or something). Actually, one limitation for something like civilication V, is that my present cards are not directx11 compatible. What prompted this post now, in particular, is that I intend to buy bioshock infinite. Amazon has a promotion, with a free copy of bioshock infinite with some of the following graphics cards, and since I plan to buy the game at full cost anyway, that amounts to a $60 discount off of a new card. Will any of these enhance my present rig? or just same my $ for a year or 2 more. http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.htm...oup=2&plpage=1 thanks for the suggestions!! -Bernard
 
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I just recently got and this week installed a 7770 card. It performs well, has relatively low power consumption/heat (and even came with an adapter so I could use my old vga style lcd monitor). It didn't cost all that much and I'm pretty happy with it! http://www.amazon.com/Sapphire-Radeon-PCI-Express-Graphics-11201-17-20G/dp/B00A0HZOEA What sort of gaming are you doing? Can you recommend any good games other than first person shooter types? I'm debating getting the new Sim City that's coming out but the price on that looks pretty steep.
 
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Your power supply and motherboard info is important - the numbers on the side of the supply. If this video card fits your motherboard and power needs/connectors match your powersupply, I would look at something like this. http://us.ncix.com/products/?sku=75197&vpn=03G%2DP4%2D3661%2DKR&manufacture=eVGA&promoid=1302
 
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these should all work fine if you wanna stick with ati. [7870 le (7890)]. or 7950 for performance and the 7970 ge for extreme. nvidia 670 & 680 bellow that sucks
 
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HD 4890 = PCIe 2.0 so the new card(s) should be PCIe 2.0 also, which will limit which video cards that will be compatible.
 
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You have a decent setup already. to really get an upgrade you should get at least a 7950 or 7970 I doubt it draws more power than 2 4890's so your power supply should be fine. the 8xxx series should be coming out fairly soon(2013)( which will probably cause the cards I mentioned to drop in price.
 
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PCIe is backwards and forwards compatible. Just because the cards are capable of PCIe 3.0 doesn't mean it won't work in a PCIe 1.1 or 2.0 slot. And vice versa. And yeah I'd look at a single 7950 or 7970.
 
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Originally Posted By: Rand
You have a decent setup already. to really get an upgrade you should get at least a 7950 or 7970 I doubt it draws more power than 2 4890's so your power supply should be fine. the 8xxx series should be coming out fairly soon(2013)( which will probably cause the cards I mentioned to drop in price.
Wow, I forgot that it's the 2nd digit in numbering scheme that seems to matter here. Each one of those 4890s gets over 3x as much double precision GFLOPs as my 7770--that machine would be great for a BOINC GPU cruncher! (Single precision GFLOPs wise the are very similar though.) So, like Rand says, no need to upgrade at all. If you do, only a single 7970 would seem have the possibility of outperforming your dual setup by any substantial amount. Also, with the dual setup, do you get better bus data transfer rate than with a single graphics card setup? If so, it could be that the two 4890s would outperform the single 7970. If not, it wouldn't be a very significant difference anyhow. These numbers are.... from wiki, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_AMD_graphics_processing_units : The 7970 has 3789 single GFLOPS and 947 double precision GFLOPS. The 4890 has 1360 single GFLOPS and 272 double GFLOPS. The 7770 has 1280/1408 single GFLOPS and 80/88 double GFLOPS (depending on whether it's clocked at 1 GHz or 1.1 GHz).
 
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FWIW - I've found this chart to be a useful way to compare GPU's. You don't get trapped in all the technical data analysis with this approach, and at the very least it gives you a way to see how much of an upgrade a card is. Tom's Hardware Ranking Looks like your 4890 is roughly equivilant to my 7750, but I'm not crossfired. It also agrees that a 79xx is the logical next step up.
 
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That is not accurate, the wiki page gives better specs; even the 7770 underperforms said card (though single precision compute is similar). An upgrade wouldn't make a huge amount of sense yet though, since he has a pair of these high powered cards that would still be similar in speed. The 7th gen cards are a lot more power efficient (GFLOPS per watt) but that isn't so relevant for power gaming if your power supply can keep up. (I actually like using my computers+BOINC as tiny space heaters during the heating season). Anyways, I find it really amazing that the compute power is so great for even entry/mid level systems. Massive parallelizations. Still waiting for some good games though (besides generic FPSes) and application/sims, that can demonstrate a good example of impressive parallel computing. I do think the desktop will make a comeback in 2013/2014, as tablets slowly are becoming saturated in the market, and the initial joy of these new toys wears off. My guess is people will want an upgrade older PCs and want a contrast to the clunky UI, ergonomics, small screens, slow end of the spectrum speeds, very limited OS, and other nuissances of their last latest toys--tablets. A contrast and relief to all that is a mini-supercomputer/nice computer that sits at the desk.
 

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Originally Posted By: ueberooo
Originally Posted By: Rand
You have a decent setup already. to really get an upgrade you should get at least a 7950 or 7970 I doubt it draws more power than 2 4890's so your power supply should be fine. the 8xxx series should be coming out fairly soon(2013)( which will probably cause the cards I mentioned to drop in price.
Wow, I forgot that it's the 2nd digit in numbering scheme that seems to matter here. Each one of those 4890s gets over 3x as much double precision GFLOPs as my 7770--that machine would be great for a BOINC GPU cruncher! (Single precision GFLOPs wise the are very similar though.) So, like Rand says, no need to upgrade at all. If you do, only a single 7970 would seem have the possibility of outperforming your dual setup by any substantial amount. Also, with the dual setup, do you get better bus data transfer rate than with a single graphics card setup? If so, it could be that the two 4890s would outperform the single 7970. If not, it wouldn't be a very significant difference anyhow. These numbers are.... from wiki, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_AMD_graphics_processing_units : The 7970 has 3789 single GFLOPS and 947 double precision GFLOPS. The 4890 has 1360 single GFLOPS and 272 double GFLOPS. The 7770 has 1280/1408 single GFLOPS and 80/88 double GFLOPS (depending on whether it's clocked at 1 GHz or 1.1 GHz).
I've got a 7970 and a 7770 crunching BOINC right now. They replaced a 5870. If we go by the spec's on that page, the 5870 is: 2720 GLOPS 544 Double GFLOPS We already know the spec's for the 7770. The 7970 (ghz edition) is: 4300 GFLOPS 1075 Double GFLOPS The 7850 is: 1761.28 GFLOPS 110.08 Double GFLOPS Also, if you open BOINC, you'll see that you can access your performance logs (which show you your benchmarks. This is where I see: 7970:
Code:
CAL: ATI GPU 0: AMD Radeon HD 7900 series (Tahiti) (CAL version 1.4.1741, 3072MB, 3032MB available, 10752 GFLOPS peak)
7770:
Code:
CAL: ATI GPU 1: AMD Radeon HD 7700 series (Cape Verde) (CAL version 1.4.1741, 1024MB, 984MB available, 3360 GFLOPS peak)
In thread about cards that Nick and I discussed these numbers: http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2791438 5870: 5440 GFLOPS peak 7850: 2202 GFLOPS peak 6960: 3418 GFLOPS peak If we go by the numbers, the 5870 should have been faster than the 7850, yet in application, his 7850 was burning through work units faster than my 5870. The 7970 is currently about 3x faster than than the 5870 was, this is again with respect to burning through the work units. So I guess this is a long-winded way of saying that the GFLOPS #'s don't appear to indicate the actual performance you are likely to observe.
 
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Originally Posted By: OVERKILL
Originally Posted By: UG_Passat
HD 4890 = PCIe 2.0 so the new card(s) should be PCIe 2.0 also, which will limit which video cards that will be compatible.
No it doesn't......... He can run any of the newer cards. I'm still on this board: http://www.asus.com/Motherboard/P7P55DE/#specifications Which is PCIe 2.0 I'm running a 7970 and a 7770 in it.
thanks. Good to know when I feel like adding a card to my HTPC
 
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