Is it worth getting a 7870 over a 7850 if I only have a core 2 quad and DDR 2 Ram?

Discussion in 'PC Gaming & Rigs' started by EdwinJ85, Mar 4, 2013.

  1. EdwinJ85

    EdwinJ85
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    Hi guys,

    Sorry to bother you but I need some advice. I've got an old core 2 quad clocked at 2.5ghz a core with 4GB of DDR2 800mhz ram and a msi 1GB 7850 stuck in it, as techradar recommended it. I can finally run modern games at medium settings very well and I am chuffed, chuffed until I saw this for only about £50 more:

    Club3D HD 7870 XT jokerCard review | Graphics cards Reviews | TechRadar

    From what I read, the 7870 is a good 15-20fps per game better than the 7850 and although I only game at 1080p so 1GB of video ram works fine, I want to future proof a little.

    I only have a 500w coolermaster psu (20amps + on both rails) - I've got an SSD,HDD and DVD drive so they much power. Would it be worth considering upgrading to the 7870 or is my machine already a chokepoint? My pci-e port is just an old x16, it's not 3.0 or anything.

    Thanks guys, I've been pondering this for a while!
     
  2. chrissav

    chrissav
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    It's probably not worth upgrading for that alone, IMO any upgrade should include more VRAM, going to cost more so try to save for a bit and make your upgrade a bigger step.
     
  3. Four quid mate

    Four quid mate

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    To be honest mate I'd look at upgrading your CPU, mobo & RAM before getting a new GPU.
     
  4. Razor

    Razor
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    You can get a huge boost just by overclocking your CPU and gpu. Your CPU at stock is bottlenecking your gpu and your 7850 can easily be clocked to 7870 speeds.
     
  5. Jamezinho

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    7850s are generally very good overclockers, so as others have said, I would look at doing that and upgrade the CPU.

    It doesn't take a huge overclock to reach 7870 performance. I'm running a 40% core speed overclock on my 7850 which makes the card punch well above its weight. For a simple overclock go into the Catalyst driver software, set the core to 1050MHz and the power limit to +20 and see how you go. That should be achievable without increasing the voltage.
     
  6. EdwinJ85

    EdwinJ85
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    I've got a friend going to the i series this year who might be able to help overclock it a little, but this card is already pre overclocked slightly.

    If my system is the bottleneck there is no point getting a new card at all really, I can't really afford a new machine either so it may be the end of the road. :/

    Thanks everybody, confirming that my machine is the bottleneck and not the card is useful to know. :)
     
  7. EdwinJ85

    EdwinJ85
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    Done that, seems a little better. Can I get it to 7870 levels?

    Thanks!
     
  8. EdwinJ85

    EdwinJ85
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    The 7870 has twice the VRAM, 2gb as opposed to 1gb. I only game at 1080p though.
     
  9. EdwinJ85

    EdwinJ85
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    Can't the 7870 be overclocked far higher than the 7850 though? It's only £50 quid or so more, I just wanted to know how much difference my machine would see.

    Thanks though, I'm so stupid when it comes to PC's but I just can't game on console anymore - the graphics have fallen behind PC massively.
     
  10. bladedripper

    bladedripper
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    Just get the best card you can and overclock it..:smashin:
     
  11. EdwinJ85

    EdwinJ85
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    Makes sense. Would it be risky to run the 7870 with a 500w coolermaster though? I hear they aren't built very well.
     
  12. Razor

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    You are kinda missing the point of my post. Your CPU is holding back your current 7850 by a fair bit and until you overclock your cpu you won't be getting the performance out of your 7850. Therefore it's pretty pointless in getting a faster gpu until you overclock your CPU. If it was my setup I would clock the CPU to around 3.2ghz or slightly more and then clock the 7850 and see if you are happy with the performance. There will be a big difference in performance from what you have now. If I then decided I wanted more gpu power I would skip the 7870 and just go for a 7950 which is overall a much better card and only slight more in terms of cost over a 7870. :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2013
  13. EdwinJ85

    EdwinJ85
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    Ah, I see. To be honest I am almost happy with it how it is, I can run most games at medium to high at 1080p/30fps, even crysis 3 which I think will be the most demanding game for a while. If I could run every game on high/very high at 1080p I'd be set. I only use FXAA and low anistropic filtering anyway so I wouldn't need to turn them up and drain framerate.

    If I could just overclock my CPU and spare opening up my machine yet again or risking a psu blowout that would make more sense. The problem is my multiplier is locked and fiddling with my FSB is beyond my skills, especially as that changes the ram speed as well as the cpu speed.

    If I can get it up to 3.2ghz how much of a jump do you think I will see? I've already overclocked the card core to 1050MHz and the power limit to +20 via CCC as recommended above.

    Thanks.
     
  14. Razor

    Razor
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    Google a guide for overclocking your cpu and have a read. Its very easy to clock those chips so dont worry about that. All you need to do really is set the ram to auto timings, set the ram voltage to the correct amount (look on manufacturers website), then up the FSB and bump the Vcore when it fails. You dont need to touch the multi at all. These chips really are very easy to clock.

    If you havent already got an aftermarket cpu cooler it would be a very good idea to invest in one. As for your psu it should be fine for your current setup.

    As for the improvement in performance once they gpu and cpu is clocked, well it should be very noticeable. :)
     
  15. Theydon Bois

    Theydon Bois
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    What Razor said. You could stick a Titan in there and you would see little improvement, as a CPU WILL bottle neck a GPU. I am speaking from experience, and if the forum where I posted all my 3d mark scores was still up, I would repost it here, as it shows my card and CPU set up at the time improving as I moved through CPUs from C2D 6600 > Q6600 with a 8800GTS, and then with a 5870 as well from Q6600 to i5.

    If you were deliberating at the time and paying a little extra (paying x or x+40), then fair enough, but to have a card in situ and think of changing is a little off as you have paid x, then want to pay x+40 on top (meaning you have now paid x+x+40 and then have to recover a % of x)......er I am babbling now, but I know what I mean. :D
     
  16. EdwinJ85

    EdwinJ85
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    If I can over clock the cpu would it make sense to buy the 7870 or would the difference still be too small to bother with due to throttling?

    I'm hoping to buy a new rig at the end of the year but this one needs to last if poss.

    Thanks again everybody, this is really helpful. :)
     
  17. TheNameIsJambo

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    I think you'd be better off with a new CPU [and mobo] matey. There's no point in upping your GPU when that CPU will strangle you in most new games.

    Even my 2600K gets its legs stretched by a lot of titles.
     
  18. EdwinJ85

    EdwinJ85
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    I thought that as well but the 7850 was a massive leap over my previous card, upgrading did help then.
     
  19. TheNameIsJambo

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    Upgrading helped, but chances are you are only getting to use a percentage of the power it actually has to dispose because your CPU isn't quick enough.

    Your CPU just doesn't have to calculate AI + Physics in games, it is also used to send the graphical data to the GPU. If your CPU doesn't have enough grunt to keep up with the game, it definitely won't keep up with sending enough data to your GPU.

    The single-core speed of your CPU is the most important aspect of any CPU, as not all games are optimised to take advantage of 4 cores; or 8 threads.

    You won't see any more benefit out of your HD7850; let alone a HD7870, unless you either:

    1) Heavily overclock your CPU.
    2) Buy a new CPU, Mobo + RAM.

    You're still rocking the oldschool DDR2 and FSB type stuff.

    If you're really contemplating keeping that Rigarsaurus Rex, then I suggest you watch this video -
    Worth upgrading your old graphics card? NCIX...
     
  20. Jayc1976

    Jayc1976
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    Please excuse my noobish question but I'm new to pc gaming etc i have Intel® CoreTMi5 Quad Core Processor i5-3470 (3.2GHz) 6MB Cache and a hd 7850 2 gb. Will I see any benefit if I overclock my cpu/gpu if so are there any guides on this? Thank you
     
  21. TheNameIsJambo

    TheNameIsJambo
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    You can't really OC a locked chip. The Intel chips which are unlocked are proceeded with a 'K'.

    You can OC the 7850 into 7870+ territory. You just increase the MHz by about 50MHz at a time, test it ingame or using FurMark. When the graphics drivers crash, take it back 50MHz and go up 25MHz, if it crashes again, go back 25MHz and then go up 10MHz.

    You get the idea.

    Don't forget to turn the power up +20% in Catalyst! :)
     
  22. Jamezinho

    Jamezinho
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    As I said earlier in this thread, if your are planning on overclocking a 7850 then start at 1050MHz. There are very few cards that can't do that on stock voltage. Then, if you wan't more performance start going higher, but you may need to start increasing the voltage as you get to 1100MHz or higher.
     
  23. Jayc1976

    Jayc1976
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    I thought I read somewhere that the i5 3470 has a turbo boost of up to 3.6ghz I'm probably mistaken as like I said I'm new to this. I will follow your directions thanks for the input. I assume I do this through ccc also do you have a preferred monitoring utility for temp/use age etc
     
  24. TheNameIsJambo

    TheNameIsJambo
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    The 'TurboBoost' technology kicks in automatically, but your multipliers [In the BIOS] are locked to a certain range. Usually 200MHz - See this video for the maximum OC [Don't rely on that method though]:
    Intel I5 3470 Overclocking Guide/Tutorial...
     
  25. bladedripper

    bladedripper
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    ARK | Intel® Core
     
  26. TheNameIsJambo

    TheNameIsJambo
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    I use MSI AfterBurner or EVGA PrecisionX - Essentially the same tool - Offering you the usual OC options and give you a plethora of graphs to look at!

    You can also try Sapphire TriXX - If you want a basic layout, no graphs, just OC, fan curves and temps.
     
  27. Jayc1976

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    Thanks guys for the useful info!
     
  28. Jamezinho

    Jamezinho
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    I used Trixx with good results. As Jambo says it looks a little more basic but in a way that can be a good thing as the layout and features are more simple to use.
     
  29. EdwinJ85

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    Thanks, that's an eye opener.

    Would the fact the new card have more vram matter at all? From what I can tell the gains I would make upgrading the card would be very minimal, the laws of diminishing returns and all that.

    Would it be worth getting the 7870 if I could overclock to say 3.2+ on the cpu? Most modern games are working towards multiple cores I think. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that you think not.

    If a 1 GB 7850 is a better card my system can run fully already and anything higher is pointless I am happy with what I have for now as I can play most new games at above 30fps and above medium settings. What I don't want to do is miss out on another 20 or so frames a second for 50 if I can get it, or if 2gb vram would help me run better textures/more Anti aliasing.

    I hope that makes sense?

    Thanks!

    PS: I am stealing rigasaurus rex. That's a keeper!

    PPS: You have a TITAN??? Please do some hi def ultra settings renders of your games for us! I'll never be able to afford on of those bad boys, they must be amazing.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2013
  30. TheNameIsJambo

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    More VRAM would help, in a lot of games, considering most games need circa 1GB+ of VRAM these days.

    I know you really can't upgrade your CPU; as you've avoided talking about it ;) but if you can OC it, it's highly recommended. You may not notice a night-and-day difference, but you'll certainly get a lot better performance.

    I just don't want you to buy a HD7850 2GB card and be a little let down when the performance doesn't blow you away! :( The new GPU will give you a good boost, but you won't benefit from the full power of the card because your CPU will always hold it back.

    The Titan is a great card mate, cost me an arm and a leg - And a couple of factors had to come together to allow me to get it, but it was worth it. I'm hoping I won't need to upgrade my GPU for quite some time! :)

    In stead of buying a new GPU, why don't you scrape your cash together (maybe save for another month or so?) and in stead of blowing a couple of hundred quid on a GPU, why don't you put that money towards a new mobo, CPU and RAM.

    There are plenty of guys around here who will help you on the way!
     

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