Is the new 5870 pointless on anything less than an i7?

loafer87gt

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Have had a couple of people tell me that there is no point upgrading my current 8800GTX to a 5870 as I wouldn't see much if any performance difference as I am severely limited by my QX6700 CPU running at 3.2 Ghz. My LCD's natives resolution is 1920x1200, so I have had to pass on a lot of the most recent titles as I am just not able to run them with all the bells and whistles I would like to be able to, and I was hoping that upgrading my video card would allow me to run some of these games. Common consensus amongst my nerd peeps is that I would see a bigger gain my ditching my current CPU and motherboard (Bad Axe 2) and keeping my 8800GTX than I would by buying a new video card. Needless to say, I am kind of torn. I passed on the last gen of video cards not seeing a big enough performance jump from my 8800GTX, but after reading through the reviews, maybe it is the newer CPU's that are making just as much of a difference as the video card. Would a newer card be totally wasted on my nearly defunct current rig, or would I see at least some slight gains in more GPU intensive titles?
 

Kowan

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As more people get the card, you'll have a much better idea of what to expect and can make the choice then if worried.

You would be able to max the eyecandy and I think be happy with the purchase.
 

HeXeD

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They would be completely incorrect.. I currently have a Q6600 @ 3.2 GHz and I went from a 8800GTS to a ATI HD 4850 and it was a huge improvement. To say that you would not get as much improvement over a vid card upgrade vs a cpu is ridiculous when you look at what you are trying to accomplish. I can garauntee you that for all of these titles that you had to pass on, that you will be able to enable all the "bells and whisltes" in graphics on those new titles. Now of course there are more CPU dependent games out there but you will still be getting a noticable bump in performance even with those. If you were going from a 4890 or GTX 275/285 etc..etc, then a cpu upgrade would be the best. In your situation, your QX6700 should be just fine. Antialiasing, shader effects, you will see a big boost. If I saw it with my 4850 @1900x1200, then you should definitely see it with this card. Mine arrives Friday so good luck deciding.
 

lowteckh

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It'll probably bottleneck, but not the scale you're thinking of. To say there'd be no/little performance gain would be the most ignorant comment.
 

Thor

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will you see a hugh difference.. no places that are hitting your cpu will be the same, but you can turn up all of the eye candy at your reoslution, and that shouldnt affect your cpu limited games at all, if nothing else get it as part of an upgrade path.. that is my plan with these cards.. i know my 4200x2 isnt going to be a great combonation for this card, but come next return time, ill upgrade the rest of the system to fit around it.
 

Pastyface

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I think a few too many people take 800 x 600 benchmarks where they intentionally make the cpu the bottleneck as the ultimate justification.

While I'm certainly no expert, at a higher resolution like 1920 x 1200 almost every quad core over 3ghz is gonna perform very close to one another unless its an older game and then you get 190fps instead of 230....

My point changes a bit when you put sli/crossfire into the scenario, some games (farcry2 is one that i can think of) will love a nice overclocked i7 over a normal c2q too make sure the gpu's are chugging along at their full potential.


Bottom line IMHO you will not be bottle necked if you only want to use a 5870.
 

legcramp

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E8400 or higher would be pretty good for the 5870, as long as you're taking advantage of the card :)
 

Conker

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Ofcourse you'll see improvements if your running at higher resolutions. If your running at low resolutions your cpu will cap out first before the graphics card. No matter what you'll see a definite improvement with average, max, and min fps. You get dx11 also.
 

sirmonkey1985

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basicly.. the higher the resolution and more eye candy.. the less the cpu becomes a bottleneck.. for single card your cpu will do fine with the 5870.. for crossfire a phenom II x4 3.6ghz or higher or an i5 or i7 are your best options..
 

RamonGTP

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I disagree with your friends wholeheartedly. You will absolutly see a very noticable difference from your 8800GTX at 19x12.

http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3341&p=12

Just take a look at how much better the 4870 performed over the 8800GTX in these benchmarks, the test system is using the same CPU you have. If the 4870 performed that much better, the 5870 can only be better still.

No matter what your friends say, a Core 2 Quad is not going to go from being the test CPU of choice, to being a major bottleneck and rendering it worthless by simply going to a 5870. Sure, an i5/i7 setup will get you more out of the card, but even on your current CPU, it will be head and shoulders better than the 8800GTX
 
Last edited:

samops03

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I disagree with your friends wholeheartedly. You will absolutly see a very noticable difference from your 8800GTX at 19x12.

http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3341&p=12

Just take a look at how much better the 4870 performed over the 8800GTX in these benchmarks, the test system is using the same CPU you have. If the 4870 performed that much better, the 5870 can only be better still.

No matter what your friends say, a Core 2 Quad is not going to go from being the test CPU of choice, to being a major bottleneck and rendering it worthless by simply going to a 5870. Sure, an i5/i7 setup will get you more out of the card, but even on your current CPU, it will be head and shoulders better than the 8800GTX

Agreed

An overclocked Q6600 or equivelent should be more than enough to say its not bottlenecked.
 

loafer87gt

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Awesome to hear guys. Think I'm going to pull the trigger on ordering one this morning. I have quite a bit of catching up to do gaming wise! Some of the last titles I had to take a pass on because I was concerned about performance were:

Ghostbusters
Far Cry 2
Stalker Clear Sky
Armed Assault 2
Rise of Flight
Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood
GTA IV

Here's hoping the 5870 will finally let me enjoy them!

Cheers!
 

Pieter3dnow

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Some games have heavy strain on the gpu some strain the cpu more.

If you paid some attention on the reviews done here by the [H] crew you would know which ones they are :).
 

Pieter3dnow

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At stock speeds? No. overclock that chip

http://www.amd.com/us/products/desk.../Pages/ati-radeon-hd-5870-specifications.aspx

ATI Avivo HD Video & Display technology7
UVD 2 dedicated video playback accelerator
Advanced post-processing and scaling8
Dynamic contrast enhancement and color correction
Brighter whites processing (blue stretch)
Independent video gamma control
Dynamic video range control
Support for H.264, VC-1, and MPEG-2
Dual-stream 1080p playback support9,10
DXVA 1.0 & 2.0 support
Integrated dual-link DVI output with HDCP11
Max resolution: 2560x160012
Integrated DisplayPort output
Max resolution: 2560x160012
Integrated HDMI 1.3 output with Deep Color, xvYCC wide gamut support, and high bit-rate audio
Max resolution: 1920x120012
Integrated VGA output
Max resolution: 2048x153612
3D stereoscopic display/glasses support13
Integrated HD audio controller
Output protected high bit rate 7.1 channel surround sound over HDMI with no additional cables required
Supports AC-3, AAC, Dolby TrueHD and DTS Master Audio formats

Displaying video , easy.

Games at 1900*1080 are still imited to which type of game they are (cpu vs gpu).
 

BlackTTC6

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A 5870 is going to be severely bottlenecked by a E5300 at stock speeds. It may work well at low res but at 1900 it'll be pathetic
 

Menelmarar

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Have had a couple of people tell me that there is no point upgrading my current 8800GTX to a 5870 as I wouldn't see much if any performance difference as I am severely limited by my QX6700 CPU running at 3.2 Ghz. My LCD's natives resolution is 1920x1200, so I have had to pass on a lot of the most recent titles as I am just not able to run them with all the bells and whistles I would like to be able to, and I was hoping that upgrading my video card would allow me to run some of these games. Common consensus amongst my nerd peeps is that I would see a bigger gain my ditching my current CPU and motherboard (Bad Axe 2) and keeping my 8800GTX than I would by buying a new video card. Needless to say, I am kind of torn. I passed on the last gen of video cards not seeing a big enough performance jump from my 8800GTX, but after reading through the reviews, maybe it is the newer CPU's that are making just as much of a difference as the video card. Would a newer card be totally wasted on my nearly defunct current rig, or would I see at least some slight gains in more GPU intensive titles?
At 1920 resolution, for most modern games you're going to be GPU/Graphics bottlnecked. The 5870 should be a real good upgrade.

The Core2's are not weak CPU's, especially not an extreme edition quad core thatyou've overlcocked. LOL.
 

Concentric

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OP, there is a massive difference between your 8800GTX and a 5870. Your CPU may hold back the 5870 slightly in some games, depending on how much they task the CPU, but at your high resolution you should see a decent (if not massive) improvement in all the latest games.
Definitely a worthwhile upgrade, assuming that you have the cash and a decent PSU, etc.
 

R3MF

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thanks for the review, especially for the Armed Assault 2 data.
 

vjcsmoke

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So what is the benefit to dual stream 1080p? Would I be trying to watch 2 different movies on 2 different monitors at the same time?
 

vjcsmoke

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PS If you're afraid the 5870 would be bottlenecked too much by the cpu you could always just get a 5850 and pocket the $120 in savings. $259 vs $379. When/if you upgrade your CPU later, just grab another 5850 and crossfire them.
 

Udgnim

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there are more games out there GPU limited than CPU limited

unless you got a single core or crappy dual core, you should see a noticeable improvement with a GPU upgrade
 

RamonGTP

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Also keep in mine that most games that will be CPU limited will already be running at crazy high FPS anyway.
 
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