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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all. What is the best card that my system will not be a bottleneck to? Rig in sig, and the clocks in the sig are accurate for my rig. As you can see, at this time I am pretty much stuck with DDR2, and an e8400 @ 4.0Ghz. And as you can see, I am in need of a better GPU these days. The little 9800 GT sometimes dips down into 20 frames per second, when playing S.T.A.L.K.E.R Clear Sky on all max settings. That game is not exactly a new release lol. So if I want to play the new stuff on high with some AA, then I am going to need an upgrade. I am referring to stuff like Mass Effect 2, Stalker CoP, the upcoming Dead Space 2, StarCraft 2, and the like.

I do have the funds available for a 5970, but I am certainly going to wait for the release of the new Nvidia Fermi cards so that I can see what all the prices are going to do. And, I am pretty much stuck with this rig for about another 2 years. If I'm lucky, a year and a half. So would I be wasting my money buying a 5970, given whats in my system? Or should I just stick with something like a 5870, or the new GTX 480? Cause I would like to be as future proof as I can, since I do have the scratch for one of the higher end cards.
 

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i would say a 5770 your be fine with but i do think a 5850 or 5870 there will be a bottleneck and obviously more if you overclocked these cards. 5770 gets my vote. with your system your be wasting your money getting a 5970 or 5870 unless you upgrade everything else just my opinion.
 

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The E8400 will only start bottlenecking when you are using multi-GPU setups (SLI or Crossfire).

You are fine with the HD5850 or HD5870, and even the new GTX480 if you want to wait.

Poeple always dramatize the concept of bottlenecking.
 

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Bottlenecking really only occurs when their is massive amounts of data. Typically in multi-GPU setups like SLI or Crossfire. You're system would do fine with a 5870, or 5850.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Ok I'm sorry I should have clarified that. I do not care about unnoticeable bottlenecking. I am only talking about something that could be noticed in games, and at framerates the human eye can perceive. For example, if I got the 5970, and due to my system I could only get 86 FPS in a certain game, then it's really not that important, I will just get the 5890. But if the system will stick a 5850 and a 5970 with 34 hypothetical frames on the game, then I certainly wouldn't want to waste the money on the higher card. See what I mean?
 

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5970 is a bit overkill imo even if your system can take advantage of it. 5870 runs anything appreciably. Get 5970 if you really want the high fps which would be unnoticeable in most cases.
The best would be to get a 5850/5870 and put in another one a year later if required at a lower price.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by lurkingdevil View Post
5970 is a bit overkill imo even if your system can take advantage of it. 5870 runs anything appreciably. Get 5970 if you really want the high fps which would be unnoticeable in most cases.
The best would be to get a 5850/5870 and put in another one a year later if required at a lower price.
+1 well said thats just what im going to do unless i get the sudden urge lol
 

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Honestly in most instances of cpu-bottlenecking, it's effect is seen mostly in terms of how low are the min frames.

Take the case of a hypothetical game that would run at 100fps if you had an OC'd i7, with occasional dips down to, oh, say, 50fps. If you ran it on your e8400 at 4.0, you'd probably see an average of around 95fps, with occasional dips (in the same places where the i7 dips) down to 30fps.

The exception to this would be in those very rare instances where >2 cores can be used by a game.

BTW, they made some tweaks, and CoP is actually easier to run than Clear Sky. And Clear Sky may be older, but totally maxing it out w/full AA remains *brutal* on even the best gpu setups in certain areas of the game (like the Clear Sky camp in the morning-time when sun-rays are out).

Basically if your priority is to increase your maximum 'playable settings' in terms of graphics quality to be as high as the card you've invested in can go, then your cpu is adequate for anything you want (aside from tri-fire 5850's or higher). If you want to be a benchmark champion amongst all people who own the same graphics cards ... you'll need a faster cpu.
 

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Quote:


Originally Posted by lurkingdevil
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5970 is a bit overkill imo even if your system can take advantage of it. 5870 runs anything appreciably. Get 5970 if you really want the high fps which would be unnoticeable in most cases.
The best would be to get a 5850/5870 and put in another one a year later if required at a lower price.

5970 is good for Eyefinity setups, I just wish there was a 6 DP output version.

OP: Get a 5850. It may bottleneck a bit, but you will eventually upgrade that CPU, and then you will be glad you bought it.
 

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Quote:


Originally Posted by brettjv
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Basically if your priority is to increase your maximum 'playable settings' in terms of graphics quality to be as high as the card you've invested in can go, then your cpu is adequate for anything you want (aside from tri-fire 5850's or higher). If you want to be a benchmark champion amongst all people who own the same graphics cards ... you'll need a faster cpu.

This. Great answer, +1 rep coming your way.

I upgraded from a 4850 to a 5850 with the system in my sig. It was WELL worth it for gaming at the 1680 x 1050 res I use. BC2 plays at full settings, including having HBAO on, and using 4 x aa and 16 x af at 40+ frames. That's smooth enough for most, it rarely dips below 40, even when there's heavy explosions going on.

Sure, if I had an i7 @ 4+ Ghz, those frames would probably be double that or more. But that's pointless for me because I like to always enable v-sync, otherwise some games tear quite badly. BC2 still tears now, but nothing like without v-sync. The latest patch for DIRT2 fixed v-sync in that game, so that is now smooth as butter at 60fps. Point being, the max I can hope to achieve is 60fps with v-sync enabled, so wanting more is futile. I used FRAPS for fps measurement.

So being at 40+ is absolutely fine, easily smooth enough for me. And it's having a 5850 *now* that enabled that, even though the whole system will probably be upgraded later on in the year. Pretty sure the 5850 will go into the new system, it might even go into a crossfire board with a second card.

Go for a 5850/5870, you won't regret it. My preference would be the 5850, purely due to it being a good deal cheaper and easily able to oc to perform like a 5870.
 

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The majority of games are GPU bound at higher resolutions and CPU bound at lower resolutions, assuming you run your 24" monitor at 1920 x 1200/1080 then you should get the best GPU you can afford and not worry to much about your E8400.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks guys. Kinda what I was thinking. But eventually they will make cards that do outrun my CPU. Probly in a couple of years though.

But what about the RAM? Aren't they supposed to start selling ddr4 this summer? That puts my ddr2 pretty far behind...
 

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@OP

Your system doesn't bottleneck any card currently out on the market.

Edit:
A few game titles utilized quad-core cpus but most only use (2) two core. In those titles are the only places you will see a slight difference between those running dual-core and those running quad-core cpus. People often mistake this difference as a bottleneck, when in fact is not.
 
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