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Upgrade advice - 5000 Series

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hi, I keep getting tempted to upgrade my computer but I'm not sure of the best way to go about it. Currently I have a 5970 at stock speeds, a 1090T CPU (4.0ghz) and 8gbs of memory.
Although my GPU is old it still largely does the job it's only because I run an Eyefintiy setup (5760 x 1080) that I occasionally get poor performance. However I don't want to spend too much and I'm slightly dubious about selling my current GPU, also I'd like to see what the future has to offer on the Nvidia side of things. This has led me to the idea of getting a 5850 and running it in Trifire; I would get a 5870 but my 5970 overclocks awfully so I doubt I'd be able to match the clockspeeds.
I'd get the 5850 as a sort of incremental upgrade until either prices fall or my funds rise enough to do a more substantial one. Anyway I'd just like peoples opinions and/ or experiences with this setup since I've read varying things about it. Specifically do you think the extra RAM provided by the card will be useful since I think my current 2gb provided by the 5970 is why I struggle.

Incidentally I did post a topic about trifire going on a year ago, so I've been mulling this over for a while lol. It's only I've started to struggle with games recently - by struggle I mean I can't run them on high, which is annoying tongue.gif. Sorry about the slightly wordy and noobish post, I'd really appreciate any advice.
My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Phenom II x6 1090t ASUS Crosshair IV Formula Radeon HD 5970 8GB DDR3  
Hard DriveOSPowerCase
500GB x2 Windows 7 64bit CoolerMaster Silent Pro 1000w HAF X 
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My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Phenom II x6 1090t ASUS Crosshair IV Formula Radeon HD 5970 8GB DDR3  
Hard DriveOSPowerCase
500GB x2 Windows 7 64bit CoolerMaster Silent Pro 1000w HAF X 
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post #2 of 5
If you are truly being limited by the VRam, adding the 2nd card will not be very helpful to you. Obviously there would be an improvement by having more muscle but the advantage would be limited by both the VRam and less than 100% crossfire scaling. I remember reading that tri-fire is much smoother in-game than crossfire though. I suggest running gpu-z while playing and have it log your VRam usage. If its not maxing the ram out, the 2nd card would be worthwhile. If it is...... the latest generation card (3 gig and up) would be your best bet for the future.

EDIT: It has been my experience that a lack of VRam hurts your performance by causing your framerates to fluctuate some and cause the frames to jump sometimes. If you are having issues all the time (while playing on high) then you could simply be gpu limited.
Edited by Roll Cam Tide - 4/16/12 at 4:45pm
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
I just tried using gpu-z and afterburner but neither seem to log vram. I just read a thread in which a 5970 user said he couldn't log memory usage either. However I'm fairly certain it's a vram issue because, as you said, I keep experiencing random fps drops i.e. when there's no good reason for it. When I check the log files these drops also seem to coincide with a drop in gpu usage which to me suggests a shortage of vram.
I figured another gpu would help because, to my mind, I would then have 1gb of ram to each screen although that still isn't great. I suppose my best option is getting a newer 3gb card or waiting for the 7990 but then that won't be cheap. I suppose no eyefinity option is ever cheap though.
My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Phenom II x6 1090t ASUS Crosshair IV Formula Radeon HD 5970 8GB DDR3  
Hard DriveOSPowerCase
500GB x2 Windows 7 64bit CoolerMaster Silent Pro 1000w HAF X 
  hide details  
Reply
My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Phenom II x6 1090t ASUS Crosshair IV Formula Radeon HD 5970 8GB DDR3  
Hard DriveOSPowerCase
500GB x2 Windows 7 64bit CoolerMaster Silent Pro 1000w HAF X 
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Reply
post #4 of 5
Hmmmm... Must be a limitation on that particular card model. I just want to make sure your aware of this, please don't bite my head off if you already know. Even if you added the 2nd two gig card, your system would still only have 2 gig of VRam available to it. It sends the exact same info to each card so even though you really have 4 gig of VRam, you'll only have 2 gig when it comes to gaming. That means all your gaining is the gpu horsepower. (Though thats still not a bad thing)thumb.gif
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Oh, that's what I was afraid of. I'd always expected the vram from a second graphics card would be used but wasn't sure. Well there's no cheap option then and I'm not sure I want a dual gpu card again...so I guess that leaves either the 7970 or the 680, lol. Thanks for your help! biggrin.gif
My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Phenom II x6 1090t ASUS Crosshair IV Formula Radeon HD 5970 8GB DDR3  
Hard DriveOSPowerCase
500GB x2 Windows 7 64bit CoolerMaster Silent Pro 1000w HAF X 
  hide details  
Reply
My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Phenom II x6 1090t ASUS Crosshair IV Formula Radeon HD 5970 8GB DDR3  
Hard DriveOSPowerCase
500GB x2 Windows 7 64bit CoolerMaster Silent Pro 1000w HAF X 
  hide details  
Reply
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