Best upgrade path for Gateway FX?

3 replies [Last post]
Joined: 03/05/2009
Posts: 23

Hey Rodney,

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.

Cooler Master ATCS 840 Case / Asus Rampage IV Extreme / Intel Core i7 3820 3.6 Ghz
Corsair H80 / G.Skill Ripjaws 1600 32GB RAM / Diamond HD 5870
OCZ Vertex 4 256GB SSD x2 / Western Digital 2TB HDD x2 / Corsair HX1050 PSU
Logitech G19 Keyboard / Logitech G9x Mouse

I Ce Burg
Joined: 09/10/2009
Posts: 10

Hey there.

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.

Joined: 03/05/2009
Posts: 23

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?

3dGameMan's picture
Joined: 12/31/2000
Posts: 5356

I'd recommend an ATI 5850 myself.

Rodney Reynolds,