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5850 vs. 5870 for Photoshop and possible video production

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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November 27, 2009 10:07:33 PM

Hi, here is my planned configuration:

Motherboard: Asus P6TD
Processor: Intel Core i7 920 (2.66GHz)
Memory: Kingston 12GB DDR3-1333 (6x2GB)
Video Card: ATI Radeon HD 5870 1GB (or HD 5850 1GB)
Sound Card: Creative X-Fi Fatal1ty Pro PCI-E
Power Supply: Corsair TX 650W or Corsair HX 1000W

Primary use: Adobe Creative Suite (mostly Photoshop)
Secondary use: Video, not demanding, like Captivate or Articulate
Possible future use: Video 1080p & burning Blu-Ray disks
Maybe (not critical): Light gaming

I am curious if I should get the HD 5850 or HD 5870. I don't mind spending a little more on the 5870. However, my quandary is, will I ever use the additional power? If there is no way I will ever see the difference, I might as well get 5850. What do you think? Is the difference between 5870 and 5850 noticeable only in heavy duty gaming?

As for the possible future use for processing 1080p video, would the 5870 be sufficient (or even the 5850), or am I missing something important?

I read a lot of articles and threads here and on other websites, but they seem to concentrate on suitability to gaming, hence my question.
November 28, 2009 6:26:30 AM

Hello and welcome to the forums :) 
For your work both cards will do the job well,so go for HD 5850 which is cheaper,doing PhotoShop and burning disks "Mostly" depends on your CPU (which you have a great one ) and the effect of VGA isn't as much as a CPU,so for HD 5850.
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November 28, 2009 7:04:19 AM

Thanks for your reply. What about possible 1080p video production? Would either card do as well?
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November 28, 2009 7:08:06 AM

Video cards are for gaming and *some* 3D modeling apps, for photoshop the difference is 0 between a $50 card and a $500 card, future apps maybe, games definitly but from what your listing your better off with a ATi 4350 or Nvidia 9500GT or similar if your not gaming.
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November 28, 2009 7:39:49 AM

hwyhobo said:
Thanks for your reply. What about possible 1080p video production? Would either card do as well?


I agree with Mazier's assessment. As to video production, the same applies. You 'might' save a wee bit of time after the rendering is all done in the displaying of the product, but even with your processor expect to take quite a bit of time (go get a coffee) while rendering a complex re-touch in CS4, and in say Maya 3d go get lunch while it processes and renders.
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November 28, 2009 7:46:17 AM

apache_lives said:
your listing your better off with a ATi 4350 or Nvidia 9500GT or similar if your not gaming.

You mean there is an advantage to the ATI 4350 over the ones I listed? I looked at the specs but don't see anything that might suggest better suitability to task. Am I overlooking something?
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November 28, 2009 7:57:38 AM

croc said:
I agree with Mazier's assessment. As to video production, the same applies. You 'might' save a wee bit of time after the rendering is all done in the displaying of the product, but even with your processor expect to take quite a bit of time[...]

Indeed, photoshop tends to take its sweet time. Would a faster processor rather than a faster video card help? Would i7 860 be much of an advantage? (yes, I know there is a different section of the forum for processors, but since we're already talking...). I was thinking about it, but read some other threads, most of them were not enthusiastic about i7 860 and tended to steer folks toward i7 920. My configuration is still planned, I can change it.

The potential minus for the i7 860 was also the amount of memory one can affordably (using 2GB sticks) put into the system - 8 vs. 12 for the 920. I know Photoshop will not take advantage of it anyway, but I am thinking of potential video work - that probably would use it, I think?

Thanks for all your advice. The last computer I put together was close to 2 decades ago. It was laptops ever since (docked and connected to a decent monitor while at my desk). I am ready for a real computer again (besides my laptop), but am a bit behind on hardware specs.
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November 28, 2009 9:54:06 AM

hwyhobo said:
Thanks for your reply. What about possible 1080p video production? Would either card do as well?

Yes both card would be well but as others said since your main work isn't gaming you can cheaper models too they will be fine like HD 5750 as an example
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November 28, 2009 10:32:36 AM

With respect to Maz, I believe he has it wrong. Most photo/video editing/production programs only use the CPU and ram to do their work. Only the newest versions would even consider using the GPU. Even then it would be a CUDA aware program so you'd need an Nvidia GPU to make it work. Other then that the only job the video card is to output the things you see so you can see what you've done.

Seeing as you have a 1080P monitor, you'll need something to handle that res for whatever light gaming you want to do. If your programs aren't CUDA aware, then I'd get the 5770. This will be enough for light gaming at 1920x1080, and give you Eyefinity. Multi monitor usage is a must for Photoshop work.
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November 28, 2009 2:22:27 PM

Well newest version of CS benefits from a good GPU,but as i said not much,it mostly benefits from a good CPU,overall 3D works/renderings benefit mainly from a good CPU rather than VGA
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November 28, 2009 2:41:09 PM

As for the possible future use for processing 1080p video, would the 5870 be sufficient (or even the 5850), or am I missing something important? said:
As for the possible future use for processing 1080p video, would the 5870 be sufficient (or even the 5850), or am I missing something important?


i dont know what kind of "processing" you intend to do but the the current radeons can do hd transcoding.
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November 28, 2009 4:36:24 PM

wh3resmycar said:
i dont know what kind of "processing" you intend to do

From start to finish. Probably nothing challenging at first, hopefully progress to more interesting things. For now I want to do it as a hobby, then see if I can use it in my work once I understand it a little better.

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