I built a system fairly recently with a XFX HD 4890 XXX graphics card, which I got for what I now realise was a very good price at £135 new. I was thinking of getting another 4890 to crossfire at some point but, but I'm thinking of selling that card now and getting two 5770's to crossfire instead.
The reason being that I think I can sell the 4890 on ebay for more than I paid for it, and 2 5770's would be about £240 currently. The cost difference overall wouldn't be that much, whearas 4890 process will probably drop fairly sharply soon. I'm interested to play around with a crossfire setup, just for fun really. I realise the 4890 is fine for most games at 1920 x 1080, so its not really out of necessity that I'm looking to upgrade. I would have all the benefits of DX11, less heat, noise, power consumption etc than if I was to crossfire 2 4890's of course.
Would there be any drawbacks to changing to 5770's? Never crossfired before so I'm not sure of the drawbacks, e.g. do any games have issues with it (mainly play FPS games). Would I have to do a clean install of windows or should the 5770's just work if I update drivers? I've just got windows 7 on and installed everything I need so I really can't be bothered to go through the process of installing again! Would I be better off waiting until the 5850/5870 are readily available and get on of those instead?
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
I've got a Core i5 with ASUS p7p55d PRO by the way. I realise that crossfire will only run at 8x/8x but from what I've read that shouldn't make too much of a difference.
What I am doing is waiting for the second gen DX11 cards to come out. The 4890 you have should allow you to play most games on high to very high settings. If being DX11 ready is a must for you, IMO, I would wait for the 5850/5870's to come available or wait until Nvidia comes out with their DX11 hardware and let the price wars commence. As of right now, the only DX11 software out there is a benchmark (that I know of). There are DX11 games on the horizon, but unless absolutely necessary, hold off on the upgrade. If you want more horsepower and decide to for for a second 4890, make sure you address the heat issue with extra cooling as the top card will run 5-15 degrees C hotter than the one on the bottom. Crossfiring itself has come a long way and I haven't experienced any significant issues as far as playing games are concerned. If you decide to purchase the 5770's, all you would have to do is uninstall the old drivers>reboot>install new drivers and enable crossfire x. Good luck with your decision Mike
A single 4890 is more powerful than a single 5770. Crossfire does give alot of benefits in most games. However, anytime you are dealing with a dual card setup you have to content with possible heat issues. I myself has a 4870 and added a second and had HORRIBLE heat issues. So much so I gave up and sold the 2 cards on eBay and got a 5870. It ran 20C+ hotter and crashed once it his 100C. It depends on your case airflow and what setup. Your mobo has 2 slots between the top two PCI-E x16 slots so you may be ok. I only had 1 and the cards were right against one another and the top card would trap the heat from the one below. Just some things to think about. A single card is always less headache than two.
A single 4890 will perform pretty darn well though. I'd I were to upgrade from a 4890, I would honestly go straight to a 5850 or 5870. I know some people are going the dual 5770 route because the 5800 cards are hard to get, but I would honetly wait until I can get the best single card solution.
Heat is probably my main concern to be honest. I think the airflow in my case is not bad, but my current card still maxes out at about 75 degrees after a heavy session. 2 4890's would make a lot of heat I imagine, expecially overclocked. Wouldn't like to think how much power they would use either! I think I will probably wait then, until I can get hold of a 5850 or 5870 at a decent price.
Got a couple of Noctua NF-S12B case fans, Scythe Ninja 2 Rev B cooler and a Silverstone case. Seems to keep everything cool but its hardly "extreme" cooling. I guess I would probably need a better case with more fans for crossfire etc, so I think 1 gpu definately makes more sense.