First off, thanks for your site. I've got a Gateway FX6800-01e (Intel Core i7) that I'm looking to upgrade the video card for. I've just replaced the stock PSU with a Corsair HX1000W so I feel like the sky is basically the limit on what card I can get. Here's my problem:
The Gateway came with an ATI HD4850, which after less than a year is toast (idle at 85C/going north of 100C at load). I've replaced it with an XFX 9800GT from a previous build (idles at 45C, thankfully). Here's how I see my options:
1) Get a second 9800GT to do SLI (Possible with a non-nForce board?)
2) Get an ATI card to eventually run Crossfire with (What's the best deal for the money? High end 4000 series? Mid-range 5000 series?)
I'm also looking to upgrade the RAM (Currently 3GB DDR3) and wondering if I shouldn't do that first, then the video card. Again, thanks for your site Rodney, I look forward to your reply.
I know I am not Rodney, but I have looked up this question myself. It appears that Rodney typically recommends buying a high end GPU rather than low end SLI/CF. He said so in this recent post:
Basically he recommends it because you can upgrade even more to SLI/CF in the future.
As for your question of HD5000 vs HD4000, the best bang for the buck is a mid 5000. 4890 or a 4980 are both mid to low $200s which is the same for some of the mid 5000. The only reason I would suggest the the 5000 is the DX11 and lower power consumption. It also all depends on which models you are comparing. Like an ATI 4890 vs 5650 I would say go for the 4890.
Thanks for the reply. With Nvidia out of the mix, I've narrowed it down to these 3:
High End: HIS HD5850
Mid Range: Sapphire HD4850 X2
Low End: Diamond HD5770
Any thoughts? Also, are stream processors a good measure for the horsepower for video cards?
I'd recommend an ATI 5850 myself.
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