The radeon 7850 (Link A) is better on some things, like the 2gb ram, crossfire support, 256 bit... But the 650 (Link B) is better on other things like the clock speeds and memory clock... I've spent hours comparing the two, but I don't know enough to decide which is actually better... So whixh one is going to give better performance? There are two other cards I'm looking at as well (Links C & D) but they don't seem to fare as well as the other two.
AMD FX-4100 3.6 quad core processor, OC to 4.3 ghz
ASRock 990fx Extreme3 motherboard
Thermaltake 750w power supply
G. Skill Sniper DDR3-1866 8gb ram
AMD Radeon hd 5670 graphics card
So my system should handle any of the graphics cards I'm looking at. So any advice as to which will be the best option for performace, as well as being a smart buy for the future (For instance, one may run great but need to be replaced in a year or two, whereas the other may not perform as well but can be crossfired with another when the time comes and run amazing), would be appreciated.
Link A: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=14-161-...
You can't really compare GPU and memory clocks across different GPUs, especially ATI/AMD vs nVidia.
pixel rate, texel rate, memory bandwidth, and gigaFLOPS are what you need to look at.
If you plan on running antialiasing or high resolutions, I'd forget about that 1GB in link B & D.
I'm currently running 1GB 650Ti's in my secondary workstation (actually the system I use the most these days) and it does everything I need it to fine - however they were a steal at $100-$110 after rebate.
The 7850s definitely outrank the 650ti in 3 out of 4 of the criteria that count for theoretical performance, with memory bandwidth being nearly twice as good. However, most of the time that difference wont account for much.
Meanwhile, the GeForce 600 series GPUs are very good on power usage for their performance level.
AMD cards can pay for themselves within 3 months if you want to go that route though - but sometimes it seems finding the right catalyst driver version to use for a particular card is a crapshoot.
You should probably give us a bit more details on your intended usage model.
Games you play, monitor(s) resolution, any GPGPU accelerated tasks you would do.
Specifics on the later could have a major impact on which to chose, as for most things AMD comes out way ahead in general compute performance.. but there are some major cuda-only titles as well, plus the ability to have Physx if that's important to you.
I would base the purchase decision on crossfire or SLI in the future, as most titles only scale well with alternate frame rendering, and you basically just duplicate frames and add microstuttering, if you get any performance boost at all. Additionally, older GPUs end up being hard to find in new condition and may be hard to obtain a pair.. and current generation cards would likely double the performance anyways.
As far as gaming, it's gonna be things like the upcoming battlefield 4 and such. Currently, I'm running anything from skyrim, future soldier, arma 3, garrys mod, bioshock infinite, fallout... Quite a few games. They had a promo going on the 7850, so I went ahead and went with that, since it was only a 25 dollar price difference, and that was worth the extra gig and crossfire capability in my opinion. I do appreciate all the feedback however.