Have a 6950, worth upgrading?

Alright, I have a Radeon HD 6950 that I bought back in mid-2011 and it's been an awesome card, especially for Skyrim modding. However, the card is definitely dated and there are recently released games that will significantly tank the card and with the release of the new consoles, I reckon I have every excuse to get a new GPU.

I'm considering the R9 280x as the replacement. It's fast, has plenty of VRAM and the price is fairly reasonable. (the Gigabyte version looks really good) Would the 280x be a good choice or would it be better to wait until the consoles release and possibly sometime after before making a decision?

Finally, just so you know, my CPU is the i5 2500k. I do not think the 2500k will struggle too much with the "next-gen" games.


Wait until the R9 series comes out. Those will support mantle without any sort of fiddling, and they are a marked improvement over your current card.

You're absolutely right. 2500K + 280x would be excellent for next-gen games.

Mantle is backwards compatible with the RHD 7000-series. There is not so much new about the "new" AMD GPUs, it's more of a refresh, just like the nVidia GTX 700-series.

If you're on linux, you might just want to wait for the next driver generation in a few months before deciding to upgrade your 6950. It's not a slow card, it's not like you're struggling to get good graphics out of it. I would also stay in the same tier, which means R9 290 rather than 280. After the initial introduction, prices will come down, especially if nVidia updates their range next year or so.

So the R9 290x will be at around 600-700 bucks at release. Has there been any price points for the 290?

The 280X is a rebranded 7970 Ghz edition (both are using the same Tahiti gpu core) so just pick up an existing 7950/7950 while they're dirt cheap. The 7k series also is a new architecture that overclocks really far and makes a big difference. Also FYI a 7970 is 2x as powerful as a 6970 and a 7950 is only about 7% slower clock-for-clock than a 7970 yet clocks nearly just as high. Any decent 7950 is going to be able to hit 1100mhz without touching voltages and that brings it toe-to-toe with 7970ghz and some stock clocked 770/780s. 780s will still smoke them after those are overclocked but that is to be expected.

Ive seen a slide setting the r9 290 at 399$, considering it has only ~10% less cores than the 290x and 5% lower clock (with the same 4gb and mem bus)it should perform like a 7950 to a 7970. Well see how much it costs in a few weeks, but if its really only around 400 itll sell like hotcakes.

The r280x is the HD7970Ghz rebrand (faster memory less power useage) the r9 290 is a differnt beast

Flash it to a 6970.

Thanks for the flashing tip. I increased the shaders to 1536 unified and upped the GPU and Memory to 880 and 1375 MHz, essentially matching the 6970. Not sure how much it will help the performance.

My CPU is currently at default clockspeed (3.30 GHz) I should be able to increase it to at least 3.8. Will that have a somewhat of an impact on gaming performance? Or will the GPU just bottleneck regardless?

The 2500k overclocks well and should make a bit of a boost. It depends on the game title really which needs more oomph.

Mods: Destroy this thread.

.. Why?

From what I've seen, the new series is kinda like haswell: incredible when upgrading from something ancient, nothing too overly important otherwise.

Those were rumored prices.

290x for 595.20$.

290x for 591.62$.

I agree, unless you are upgrading to a 290x... 7xxx will suffice.

Buying a new card (like a new system or upgrading) then there is no point in getting an older generation card for ~same price (unless one is on crazy cheap sale, then they aren't ~same price!).

Wait till the 290x is released and wait till maxwell in first quartr of 2014.

The i5 2500k should be fine, but the game will take advantage of Intel's multi threading, and AMDs 8 core processors. These games are still being optimized, so it will only improve. If you have patience, Wait for the new AMD cards as they will be best bang for buck. --I would honestly go with the 280, as it has very good price for performance. If you want to spend a little more, go with a 770. With nvidia you pay higher for a premium, but their driver support and hardware support seems to be much faster and better. In the end you get what you pay for! 

I would just wait it out, being that the game optimization is running rampant right now. If you're a BF4 fan, then AMD may be the better choice being that they're optimizing if specifically for AMD cards. Then again, nvidia will be working on that as well so there shouldn't be any problems! Cheers.