Crossfire or upgrade

Hello together,

I am currently traveling in NZ but alrady thinking about upgrading my desktop PC when I am going back home. My system is roughly the following:

i5 2500k (ocd to 4.5GHz)

Gigabyte Radeon 7870 OC


580W PSU


I am now wondering whether it is smarter to get another 7870 and crossfire them or to get a R8 280X (i am thinking about getting the gigabyte here as well). Getting the 280x might be the budget solution since I will (hopefully) not need to upgrade my PSU and I could sell the old 7870. What do you guys think?
(my system should run must of the new games in highest settings @ 1080p. I am also doing some programing/rendering/scientific calculations)

How long do you think my overclocked i5 will suffice for new games? As far as I have heard the performance of the new processor generations has not increased significantly.

I made the terrible mistake of not having a PCIe 3.0 mobo. How badly can that affect my performance? (I was very new to hardware stuff when I build this PC so please dont tell me how stupid I am :-) )

Thany you for your help!

I would say at this point the hd 7000 series price has gone back up , so crossfire only if you can find a 7870 for a 150 or 160 US price point . For any higher price just upgrade .


I was debating the exact same thing. I had the Gigabyte HD7870oc and was debating a crossfire or upgrade. Two 7870s will definitely give you a good amount of grunt and they OC very well but the way I saw it is that's it from there. I sold my card on Amazon for $140 and picked up two Saphire 7950s for $189.00 a piece on newegg. That's $378 - $140 = $238 which is only $39 more than another Gigabyte (Im OCD so I have to have identical cards). This gives me power than 2x 7870, a 7970, or a 280x for minimal more than the 7870 xfire route and cheaper than 7970 and 280x BUT there are always issues that accompany Xfire so the way I have had it explained is you better enjoy tinkering and tuning as much as playing. And better yet I can add one to two more cards as I need it. Dont get me wrong 7970s and 280xs would be fine choices as well and in the future I will most likely return to a powerful single gpu but I was feeling like experimenting so I could draw my own conclusions. Dont rule out Nvidia cards either. As far as the PCIE 3.0, generally there is not a huge difference between 3.0 and 2.0 especially at 1080 so you should be ok. I think you will also be ok with you i5 (quad core?) as the GPU will dictate more than the CPU but don't take my word for it cause I'm a AMD guy as far as CPUs go. What would help others reading this is if you posted your Mobo, your powers supply and a price range your dealing with. And lastly research, research, research your products. There is more than enough information out on the world wide web and a plethora of reviews and benchmarks and you'll be amazed how much you learn about building a system.  

If you have the option, always upgrade. Because then, in the future, you can crossfire the upgrade, and get even better performance.

Just noticed you did post your PSU. You could for sure benefit from some more juice in that dept regardless of the route as a 7970 needs more and for sure Xfire will. I just upgraded to a 1000w from a 650w. Check this out for figuring power requirements:

Thank you guys for your replies. My budged is very flexible but I'd like to stay at a good price performance ratio, which is why I will not consider nvidia cards ;-). The i5 is a quad core so according to what you said it should be enough for some time.

I completely agree that two 7950s are a good choice, but they pose the same issue for me as getting another 7870: I will need a new PSU which adds another 80€ on top.Also, the prices of graphics cards are a bit higher in Europe. I can't find a 7870 for 160€ (which is already way more than 160$).

As you suggested I will post my mobo & PSU as well:

580 Watt be quiet! Straight Power E8 CM Modular

Asus P8P67 Intel P67 So.1155

So at the moment I am more inclined to go for the R9 280x because it seems cheaper overall. Given that I could sell my 7870 for maybe 120-150€ and I would not need to upgrade the PSU this seems quite reasonable!?

Thank you for posting that website, B.o.C! That is very helpful. My current setup needs 417W, if I replace it with a 7970 (which is pretty much the same as the 280x) I get a calculated power consumption of 485W (GPU overclock not included). I guess I should be good with a 580W PSU and a 280x then?


Edit: I did not include the capacitot aging while calculating the wattage. My PSU is over a year old now...

This look slike the card to go:,27.html


What do you think of it? Is guru3d a reliable reviewer? (I have heard that toms hardware and anandtech are not recommended!?)