HD6870 Upgrade to HD7870 or HD7950 Is it worth it

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HD6870 Upgrade to HD7870 or HD7950 Is it worth it

Postposted on Sun Sep 02, 2012 10:13 pm

Hi Guys:

I would be interested in hearing your arguments for or against upgrading from an HD6870 to either an HD7870 or HD7950. Due to how I buy and sell them, It would only cost me about $70 extra net to go to the 7870 but about $140 for the HD7950 after I sell the HD6870.

I game on a 42 in 1080p LCD HDTV (LG with 60hz refresh ). My current system was almost free due again to how I buy/sell them:

Intel Core 2 Quad Extreme QX9650 @ stock 3ghz
4 gigs ram 600w psu

Primary games are:
Crysis,Crysis Warhead,Crysis 2, Deuss Ex Human Rev, Sniper elite v2,Batman arkham city and asuylem, Rage,Battlefield 2 and 3, Supreme Commander 2, Serious Sam BFE, Just started on The Darkness II (seems pretty cool). My current rig seems to be able to just about max out all settings @ 1080p with only the occassional hiccup.

I'd like to start folding again but I still have not heard of any progress with the HD7000 series for PPD *(NVIDIA is still king). Has this changed yet?


From most tech articles I've read, this processor is still fast enough at 1080p to cause any of the above cards to become the bottleneck in about 95% of todays games *(I welcome your input on this too but for me to go up to a sandy or Ivy bridge system, I'd have to spend too much money just to squeeze out an extra few fps........Frames that may not make any difference in eye candy or gaming smoothness anyway).

So, for a gaming cheapskate what do I do.

Stay put ( NOt exactly suffering and most games are still pretty smooth).
Pop for the extra $70 for the HD7870
Or go for broke with the HD7950?

The floor is all yours!
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Re: HD6870 Upgrade to HD7870 or HD7950 Is it worth it

Postposted on Sun Sep 02, 2012 11:57 pm

I upgraded from an HD 6850 to an HD 7850 and it was well worth the (at the time) $270 I paid for it. Crysis 2 at 1080P/DX11 Ultra went from an unplayable mess to quite playable.
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Re: HD6870 Upgrade to HD7870 or HD7950 Is it worth it

Postposted on Mon Sep 03, 2012 12:14 am

If you are going to upgrade, get the 7950. It is significantly faster and worth $140.
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Re: HD6870 Upgrade to HD7870 or HD7950 Is it worth it

Postposted on Mon Sep 03, 2012 1:59 am

have u considered nvidia's uncoming gtx 660ti it might be worth waiting for it unless amd is the way u want to swing ;)
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Re: HD6870 Upgrade to HD7870 or HD7950 Is it worth it

Postposted on Mon Sep 03, 2012 7:30 am

I went from a 6850 to a 7950 and the difference is night and day at higher resolutions.

If you only have a 1080p screen, you probably won't see much difference apart from the latest games at ultra/max settings - since the 6850 handles most games at that resolution pretty well.
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Re: HD6870 Upgrade to HD7870 or HD7950 Is it worth it

Postposted on Mon Sep 03, 2012 9:14 am

matdem1 wrote:My current rig seems to be able to just about max out all settings @ 1080p with only the occassional hiccup.


Then why upgrade? Do you want to get rid of the hiccup? I don't think it'd be your cpu, as the C2Q-E's are still pretty stalwart. Ram upgrade may be the best thing you can do.
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Re: HD6870 Upgrade to HD7870 or HD7950 Is it worth it

Postposted on Mon Sep 03, 2012 9:48 am

TheEmrys wrote:
matdem1 wrote:My current rig seems to be able to just about max out all settings @ 1080p with only the occassional hiccup.


Then why upgrade? Do you want to get rid of the hiccup? I don't think it'd be your cpu, as the C2Q-E's are still pretty stalwart. Ram upgrade may be the best thing you can do.

About the only games in there that would really benefit from a graphics upgrade are BF3 and Crysis2. If you have some money burning a hole in your pocket, putting it into a 256GB SSD would be a great investment. It can give you an edge in multiplayer gaming even, since you'll load and spawn faster than people without an SSD in many games.
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Re: HD6870 Upgrade to HD7870 or HD7950 Is it worth it

Postposted on Mon Sep 03, 2012 5:16 pm

Chrispy_ wrote:
TheEmrys wrote:
matdem1 wrote:My current rig seems to be able to just about max out all settings @ 1080p with only the occassional hiccup.


Then why upgrade? Do you want to get rid of the hiccup? I don't think it'd be your cpu, as the C2Q-E's are still pretty stalwart. Ram upgrade may be the best thing you can do.

About the only games in there that would really benefit from a graphics upgrade are BF3 and Crysis2. If you have some money burning a hole in your pocket, putting it into a 256GB SSD would be a great investment. It can give you an edge in multiplayer gaming even, since you'll load and spawn faster than people without an SSD in many games.


This- Crispy_ on point again. And maybe not even a 240GB+ model, ~120GB is enough to run your OS, Apps, and more than several games that will make use of the SSDs strengths (BF3 in MP for sure). Those are regularly going on sale for ~$80. And you don't need the latest-greatest-fastest-coolest looking one; literally anything on a SATA3 chipset will do the job these days with the differences more the fodder of benchmarks than something you'll notice.
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Re: HD6870 Upgrade to HD7870 or HD7950 Is it worth it

Postposted on Mon Sep 03, 2012 11:13 pm

I'm not into multi player At all... I get killed and re-spawn more than I can enjoy.

Any votes for the HD7870 ? Or is the 7950 the only worthwhile upgrade from my 6870?
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Re: HD6870 Upgrade to HD7870 or HD7950 Is it worth it

Postposted on Tue Sep 04, 2012 12:06 am

Stick with the 6870 and wait for a complete system overhaul.

The HD 7870 and 7950 yield little return over 6870 under 1080 gaming and your current CPU will end-up holding back 7870 and 7950.

The only plausible reason to get 7870 and 7950 is if you want reduce power consumption and noise level of your system.

Core 2 architecture does show its age in modern games. It is mostly because of the being stuck with a front-side bus and having a off-die memory controller. Just check out TR's recent CPU comparison to see the differences between CPUs of yesterday versus what is running today.


http://techreport.com/review/23246/insi ... today-cpus
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Re: HD6870 Upgrade to HD7870 or HD7950 Is it worth it

Postposted on Tue Sep 04, 2012 7:26 am

matdem1 wrote:I'm not into multi player At all... I get killed and re-spawn more than I can enjoy.

Any votes for the HD7870 ? Or is the 7950 the only worthwhile upgrade from my 6870?

Stick with your HD 6870. You said yourself: You only get an occasional hiccup. Since your asking opinions, my opinion is that ~$225 is way, way too much to pay just to fix an occasional hiccup.
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Re: HD6870 Upgrade to HD7870 or HD7950 Is it worth it

Postposted on Tue Sep 04, 2012 3:29 pm

The difference for me to go to a 7950 is only $130 net as I have my 6870 sold for $130 and can buy the 7950 for $260 VIA NEWEGG OPEN BOX

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... b%20AX7950


It is normally $330 for this powercolor overlcocked in the box
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Re: HD6870 Upgrade to HD7870 or HD7950 Is it worth it

Postposted on Tue Sep 04, 2012 3:47 pm

matdem1 wrote:I'm not into multi player At all... I get killed and re-spawn more than I can enjoy.

Any votes for the HD7870 ? Or is the 7950 the only worthwhile upgrade from my 6870?


If you think BF MP is bad, try Counter-strike. You DON'T respawn.

There is one rule in Battlefield- YOU WILL DIE. If you're new to it, regardless of your prior experience (even if it is a prior Battlefield game!), you will probably die at least ten times per kill. It will take relative ages to get yourself skilled, but it is worth it, and once you do you'll be knocking them down like the rest of us.
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Re: HD6870 Upgrade to HD7870 or HD7950 Is it worth it

Postposted on Wed Sep 05, 2012 2:07 pm

I went with the HD6950 oc'd in the box .. you only live once!
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Re: HD6870 Upgrade to HD7870 or HD7950 Is it worth it

Postposted on Wed Sep 05, 2012 7:21 pm

Krogoth wrote:Stick with the 6870 and wait for a complete system overhaul.

The HD 7870 and 7950 yield little return over 6870 under 1080 gaming and your current CPU will end-up holding back 7870 and 7950.

The only plausible reason to get 7870 and 7950 is if you want reduce power consumption and noise level of your system.

Core 2 architecture does show its age in modern games. It is mostly because of the being stuck with a front-side bus and having a off-die memory controller. Just check out TR's recent CPU comparison to see the differences between CPUs of yesterday versus what is running today.


http://techreport.com/review/23246/insi ... today-cpus



This Guru3D article seems to contradict Scott's findings. Granted it does not look inside the second but it does show that there is almost no difference in 3-D gaming performance at 1920 x 1200 with an HD7970 all the way down to an Athlon II x4 645

http://www.guru3d.com/article/radeon-hd ... e-review/1
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Re: HD6870 Upgrade to HD7870 or HD7950 Is it worth it

Postposted on Wed Sep 05, 2012 7:53 pm

matdem1 wrote:This Guru3D article seems to contradict Scott's findings. Granted it does not look inside the second but it does show that there is almost no difference in 3-D gaming performance at 1920 x 1200 with an HD7970 all the way down to an Athlon II x4 645

http://www.guru3d.com/article/radeon-hd ... e-review/1


The games in the review will indeed perform well in average FPS with a low end CPU, but that's only because they're not CPU intensive. Switch to say BF3 in a 64-man MP map and that game switches to being CPU limited in a hurry, for the most modern example.

You can get away with a slow CPU, but CPU speed is more a driver of your measured lowest FPS and thus the overall 'smoothness' of the experience. There's obviously a balance, as you don't want a CPU that heavily outruns your GPUs either, at least from a budget perspective. Typically you'll spend about as much on CPU, RAM, and motherboard as the GPU, if not a little more, if you're really trying to balance things out.
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Re: HD6870 Upgrade to HD7870 or HD7950 Is it worth it

Postposted on Thu Sep 06, 2012 5:17 am

On topic, I was playing Dirt2 last night and noticed that it ran like crap when other cars were involved, whilst the solo rally stages ran super-smooth at the same settings. It was really really distracting to the point that I lowered the screen resolution to 720p but it made no difference; this was AI routines using up CPU power - I had to turn down geometry to get it running smoothly.

This is a 2.83GHz Q9550, so whilst it's getting a little old it's still a potent CPU, and would have been considered decent when Dirt2 was released.
Curious, I fired up FRAPS and put everything back on max detail. About 70 fps on solo rally stages and about 55fps on levels with AI drivers.

Proof, in my mind, that average FPS is meaningless - because what forced me to drop detail was not the 55fps, but the occasional hitches where the illusion of motion failed. Minimum FPS is by far the most important metric for any gaming processor, and the 99th percentile result shows us just how often games are running at those minimum speeds.
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Re: HD6870 Upgrade to HD7870 or HD7950 Is it worth it

Postposted on Fri Oct 26, 2012 7:21 am

^Totally agree. CPU is responsible for minimum framerate, and is much more important than average fps.

I have my framerate capped in all my games (thank you MSI Afterburner OSD), often 10-15fps above my minimum to preserve smoothness. (And it has the nice side effect of reducing heat on the GPU.) If I'm playing at 40fps and then hit an easy-to-render location, jumping up to 60fps is almost as annoying as dropping below 30fps. I've got Crysis capped at 40 because it often dips below 30 in firefights, and Crysis 2 capped at 45 for the same reason; if I'm running along at 50-60fps and all the sudden it drops to 40 or lower, it breaks the illusion of motion for me.

But I digress - if you want to upgrade, I'd say wait for the HD 8870. My HD 6870 is great for my needs, and I don't plan on upgrading until next year's GTX 760 drops below $200.
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