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I7 920 + 5850 or Phenom 2 X4 940 + 5870

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October 13, 2009 6:00:45 AM

Which one performs better in terms of gaming only?
a c 203 à CPUs
a b 4 Gaming
October 13, 2009 6:53:43 AM

Hmmmmmmm tough question. Can we add a i5 750 / 5870 into the mix?

What games are we talking about? Want to list them?
This might end up being a split decision based on the game being looked.
October 13, 2009 7:43:34 AM

Go 955/HD5870.
You cant possibly get better.
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a b à CPUs
October 13, 2009 7:52:21 AM

Listen to WR2. i5 750 / 5870 ftw.
a b à CPUs
October 13, 2009 9:53:03 AM

+1 for i5 750 / 5870
October 13, 2009 2:39:42 PM

planning to play:
Crysis
Modern Warfare 2
Mass Effect 2
Batman Arkham Asylum
Prototype
Risen
Deadspace
Left 4 Dead

Basically all the games lol.
a b à CPUs
October 13, 2009 2:41:37 PM

Do you have any hardware that will be used in your build or are you starting from scratch?

October 13, 2009 3:05:37 PM

i7/fermi :]
October 13, 2009 3:30:50 PM

OvrClkr said:
Do you have any hardware that will be used in your build or are you starting from scratch?


From scratch except for a 1900x1200 monitor
a b à CPUs
October 13, 2009 3:35:45 PM

If you have cash to burn then get 920/5850 or 5870

If not then a 750/5850, either way you will have a hell of a machine.....

It all depends on your budget......

October 13, 2009 3:40:57 PM

do you think it'll be worth waiting for non reference 5850's and 5870's? How much better are they usually, and will they be more expensive?
a b à CPUs
October 13, 2009 3:48:18 PM

I don't think the non reference 5850's or 5870's will be worth waiting for...... don't know about the pricing.... If you have the cash and need a system ASAP then don't hesitate, just make sure you get a good warranty on all your parts....
a c 203 à CPUs
a b 4 Gaming
October 13, 2009 3:56:57 PM

With your 1920x1200 monitor you'll want the 5870 and what ever CPU you can fit into your budget. I hope that's the i5 750.
October 13, 2009 4:41:20 PM

does anyone have the tomshardware review and benchmarks for 5850 and 5870? I looked for it and couldn't find it.
October 13, 2009 4:52:37 PM

WR2 said:
With your 1920x1200 monitor you'll want the 5870 and what ever CPU you can fit into your budget. I hope that's the i5 750.


Would you please explain the reason that I need the 5870 at that resolution?

From the benchmarks I saw the i7 920 will offer about 8-10 FPS's more than i5, overclocked (non xfire)
The 5870 also gave 8-10 FPS over the 5850.

The benchmarks were both for the 1900x1200 resolution.

So I thought to myself since either way i'll gain 8-10 fps I'd rather just go with the 1366 and 5850 architecture which has the advantage of triple channel memory, future upgrade to the 6 core, and better xfire performance. This way I can throw in another 5850 in 6 months and get better xfire performance over i5. Another selling point for me is the fact that I can easily change my gpu in a year by selling the 5850 (at a low price of course) and getting a new gen card, however upgrading my cpu may require a new motherboard, and ram. If there is something wrong with my logic someone please point it out, I could be completely off.
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October 13, 2009 5:01:05 PM

I would go for a 945 or 955 BE, an AM3 FX mobo and a single 5870 for now.

The FX mobo will ensure you dont have pci-e bottlenecks in future if you decide to add another graphics card. Going AM3 should allow you to go with a 6-core Thuban in ~6 months time if you need more cpu power for crossfire.

If you are definitely gonna go crossfire, a 5850 might be enough right now. I would not go near an i5 for crossfire, either the AM3 AMD or the i7 920 would be my choice.
a c 203 à CPUs
a b 4 Gaming
October 13, 2009 5:07:49 PM

So we're not talking about a budget constrained decision here?
That can totally change the direction of this tread.

If you're considering the $1000 i9 hex core and better CF performance as budgetary options (maybe triple CF/SLI even?) why didn't you mention Phenom 2 X4 965 + 5870?

edit;
figured that one out when I did the $$ math - you were price matching
a b à CPUs
October 13, 2009 5:13:36 PM

If a 5870 performs more or less the same as the GTX 295, then it would make no sense to buy a 5870 and later on xfire with another 5870.. That is overkill in almost any scenario. As I do agree with jenny as far as the AM3/5870 combo, there is no point in going AM3 just for the dual x16 slots if you already have the 5870 in mind. Most of you peeps here on toms just do not understand the firepower that the 5870 provides, it is INSANE as a single GPU solution and it will only get better as we get better drivers...
a c 96 à CPUs
a b 4 Gaming
October 13, 2009 5:19:46 PM

Here is Anand's article on the Radeon 58XXs

Unless you feel an overwhelming urge for Eyefinity or DX11, it will be hard to top 2 x Sapphire Radeon HD 4870 1GB ---- price seems to bounce between $290-$310 for the pair.

With a Phenom 945 95w, MSI 790FX-GD70 AM3, G.Skill 6GB (3 x 2GB) DDR3 1333 CL7 and this Antec Combo with Seagate HD (today only), you are in for $1,029.

Toss in a DVD and snag a key (BY OCT 20TH) for that copy of Win7RC 64-bit Ultimate yah got laying around and off yah go!

I don't think the extra $20 for the Phenom 955 is really worth it but others may differ ---- there is a combo with the Phenom 965 and the MSI 790FX-GD70 AM3 for around the same price but what what I've seen with the 945 you are going to hit around 3450Mhz at stock volts, anyway.

Beyond that it's pretty much ego :lol: 
a c 203 à CPUs
a b 4 Gaming
October 13, 2009 5:34:39 PM

kaywalker said:
Would you please explain the reason that I need the 5870 at that resolution?
At the higher resolutions the most demanding games are usually GPU limited before they become CPU limited.
So you could have a Q9550 / Phenom 2 X4 940 / i5 750 / i7 920 / i7 975 all giving you similar performance with the most demanding games with maxed out graphics and image quality settings.
I'm not so much concerned with your current games - 4 of them would run maxed out on 19x12 res with a lot less than 5850/5870. Its those being released in the next year or two make me think a strong GPU and the best CPU you can afford is the best choice for a constrained budget.
October 13, 2009 6:16:18 PM

thanks for the responses everyone. the reason I mentioned crossfire was not because I plan to do it right away. I'm talking 6 months from now when more demanding games come out. I was saying that the i7 seems more future proof. I guess I'll order all the parts for my rig and assemble them (which will take me a while since i'm busy with school) and order the gpu last, to see if there are price drops on the 5870
October 13, 2009 11:37:35 PM

umh slow down maybe with graphics card :)  ATI did release new card but Nvidia its still in works. If you really want to play now yep go for ATI but if you can wait 1day-3 monts ~ w8 for Nvidia Fermi and see the tests coz the prices will be probably similar but the performance...well gota see it soon :)  You don't want to find yourself in position where u could get extra 20% more performance for same cash. Meybe. :]
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a c 259 4 Gaming
October 14, 2009 12:55:01 AM

What about the I7 860 and either of the 5850/5870
October 14, 2009 1:08:57 AM

Dariusz said:
umh slow down maybe with graphics card :)  ATI did release new card but Nvidia its still in works. If you really want to play now yep go for ATI but if you can wait 1day-3 monts ~ w8 for Nvidia Fermi and see the tests coz the prices will be probably similar but the performance...well gota see it soon :)  You don't want to find yourself in position where u could get extra 20% more performance for same cash. Meybe. :]


Can't wait till 2010 for Fermi. By then there will be talks of new ATI cards, the cycle will never end.
October 14, 2009 1:17:43 AM

In terms of gaming, the 5870 and 940 is better (upgrade to 955), because the graphics card is faster, but some games use the CPU more than the GPU like L4D. If I can make a suggestion, get the i7, because so you can get to your games faster, you won't have to wait as much when you boot up your computer and your games.
a b à CPUs
October 14, 2009 2:15:44 AM

rolli59 said:
What about the I7 860 and either of the 5850/5870


If I had the cash for a decent P55 mobo, DDR3 ram and the 860 I would do it in a heartbeat, i really don't mind the 6-7% performance hit due to the PCI-E.... The 860 is an amazing CPU, specially for the price....


!