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Two GTX 285's for $400 (200 each) better than Two 5850's?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 3, 2009 10:44:33 PM

Looking at the benchmarks for Crossfire 5850's vs SLI GTX 285's, I noticed barely any difference in power. In some games, there was no difference. In others, only 5fps difference, rarely more than that.

I know a place to get some really good deals at, and if I try really hard I *might* be able to get a GTX 285 for $250, maybe even $200.

Right now, not only can I not get my hands on any $310 5850's, but the only ones ever being sold cost $380 and only IF I can find them. That would be $620 - $760 for two 5850's.

I definitely could never get a 5850 for lower than $300, but I have a chance to get some cheap GTX 285's since they're alot older.

That would be just about the same performance but for $400-500 instead of $620-760.

But with the 300 series just around the corner, I just don't know.
I also really want to go with Nvidia, but the 5000 series is suppose to be amazing and perhaps the benchmarks I read were not as accurate as I'd like.


This is just frustrating, because everywhere both the SOC GTX 275's and the 5850's are sold out, unless you pay $320 for the former (instead of $250) and $380 for the latter.

I honestly just wanted to spend $600 to get TWO (have to be TWO) of the best graphics cards I could get.

More about : gtx 285 400 200 5850

a c 1401 U Graphics card
December 3, 2009 10:46:08 PM

Great price, jump it if you need the horse power
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a c 147 U Graphics card
December 4, 2009 1:21:54 AM

You better be running a 30" screen or multiple monitors in gaming for that much GPU power, or really it is a waste. My HONEST opinion is don't invest in a DX10 card anymore if you are going with high end. The GTX is a great card, but once the DX11 games start coming out, you will wish you had went with a card that supports it. Right now that would be an ATI 5xxx card. If you are looking at a dual 5850 setup, just skip right to a 5970. It uses (2) 5870 GPU's on a single card and blows away either of the setups you mentioned. Below is a review of the 5970 that also includes benches of what you asked.
http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3679&p=1

My opinion is to get a single 5970. Case dismissed. Just remember, the 5xxx cards are new and will more likely than not see improvements in games over the next year from driver updates. ATI cards tend to perform better over several driver updates when they refine them for certain games. The GTX 285 is kind of at the end of its rope with gained performance from driver updates.
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December 4, 2009 4:22:15 AM

u say he better be running a 30", or he'd be wasting gpu power, than you offer him a hd 5970?

one hd 5850 will hold u down for a few years
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a b U Graphics card
December 4, 2009 4:35:23 AM

285 sli for 400 total is still a pretty damn enticing setup, provided you have the real estate to let it stretch its legs.
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December 4, 2009 6:42:14 AM

I dont know why people say things like that.

In most current games, you cannot run 16x AA and max settings on any non-crappy resolution without SLI or Crossfire.

People say the same thing everytime new cards come out, and they're always wrong. The difference between one card and two is the difference between always being at 60+ fps and sometimes dipping into 30.

In fact, I remember when I got my 8800 people said the exact same thing. With only one, I couldnt even run an OLD game at 16x AA. Same for 4850, in fact to my knowledge ATI wont even ALLOW for 16x unless you have crossfire enabled.

And especially with old games, but even with new games, 16x AA is a much needed improvement.

Also, the monitor size is irrelevant since resolution is all that matters. And even so, 1080p and above is not hard to come by, and future proofing is always a great idea, so warning others "You better have [blank]!" is just silly imo.

Also, by securing two very powerful high-end cards,
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a b U Graphics card
December 4, 2009 6:44:23 AM

It is known generally that when someone refers to the ubiquitous 30" monitor, they are talking about a 2560x1600 resolution monitor.
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December 4, 2009 7:04:09 AM

Where can you get a gtx 285 for $200? Can you get me one? Thanks.
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December 4, 2009 9:09:28 AM

400usd for 2gtx285 is good price however 2x5850s are faster overall and it costs 520usd and more futureproof. Your decision ofc!
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a c 147 U Graphics card
December 4, 2009 9:38:18 AM

Haha, I didn't mean anything rude by the "you better have a 30" monitor" comment. I only meant that if you are wrapping this much up on a video card you better have something pretty to look at and something that will take advantage of it now. I wouldn't want to invest into anything, especially video card related, unless I could see alot of benefit now. Otherwise, I'll just sell the old card and get a new one when the time comes to upgrade which has kinda been 10-12 month (blah). I got a 5870 to hopefully stretch that a little longer.

I recommended the 5970 as an alternative to the dual card setups because it really outperforms either choice. But I must agree $400 for two 285's is a GOOD deal.
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a b U Graphics card
December 4, 2009 12:53:18 PM

jay2tall said:
Haha, I didn't mean anything rude by the "you better have a 30" monitor" comment. I only meant that if you are wrapping this much up on a video card you better have something pretty to look at and something that will take advantage of it now. I wouldn't want to invest into anything, especially video card related, unless I could see alot of benefit now. Otherwise, I'll just sell the old card and get a new one when the time comes to upgrade which has kinda been 10-12 month (blah). I got a 5870 to hopefully stretch that a little longer.

I recommended the 5970 as an alternative to the dual card setups because it really outperforms either choice. But I must agree $400 for two 285's is a GOOD deal.



From what i've seen in recent benchmarks, 2 x 5870's beats out the 5970. I'm not sure if this is due to the clock decrease that ATI set as the standard or if it is poor driver support, but either way...

My suggestion is go with a 5870 for now, it'll serve you well, then down the road, get another if you need, my 2 cents...
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a c 1401 U Graphics card
December 4, 2009 7:32:29 PM

If you can get 2 x GTX285 for $400 do it. If the price is $500 think about it then there might be solutions that make more sense like HD5850. Hang on 2 x HD5850 is like $630 right now.
Hmmmm, shall I wait for a price drop.
Decisions decisions
At the end of the day it is your money that you are spending and all the solutions that have been discussed in this thread are so powerful that there is no game out to date that they get seriously challenged.
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December 4, 2009 9:01:34 PM

It'll prob be a bit more than $200 per unless I get lucky, but could get some $200-$250 without too much difficulty.

You can find amazing deals on ebay. If you get lucky, you can find an ex-gf/ex-wife selling off her ex's parts not understanding the value, lol.

But you can find even NIB older cards for cheap. You just have to be patient and watch carefully. It's certainly not easy, but you can get great deals on ebay.
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December 4, 2009 9:03:22 PM

jonpaul37 said:
From what i've seen in recent benchmarks, 2 x 5870's beats out the 5970. I'm not sure if this is due to the clock decrease that ATI set as the standard or if it is poor driver support, but either way...

My suggestion is go with a 5870 for now, it'll serve you well, then down the road, get another if you need, my 2 cents...


It's because the 5970 is actually two 5850's, NOT two 5970's.

Hence the price. A 5970 is $600. A 5850 is $300, two are the same price as the 5970.

If they released a card with two 5870's, it would cost $800 not $600.
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December 4, 2009 9:04:48 PM

whemian said:
400usd for 2gtx285 is good price however 2x5850s are faster overall and it costs 520usd and more futureproof. Your decision ofc!


Where can you find a 5850 for $260?

I cant find any below $320, most are $380. And since they're brand new AND sold out, ebay is NOT the place to look, lol.
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December 4, 2009 11:19:18 PM

When Newegg sells them for $320, you aren't gonna get them much cheaper than that. Their original MSRP was $259 before shortages caused them to ramp it to $299. All the retailers, even the discounters have promptly stuck another $20 on that.

I sold a spare 5850 on Ebay and it went for $340 for 1 bid on a 3 day auction. Most of those overpriced cards on Fleabay aren't selling.

This said if you want one they come in regularly at NewEgg if you check often you will get one. I really don't blame NewEgg at all for not taking orders when they have no stock -- I promptly cancelled my order on Amazon as soon as my 5870 was confirmed as shipped. (my order on Amazon was one of each card they carried, since they are all reference boards, at worst I would get more than one )

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December 5, 2009 12:56:32 AM

FWIW, NewEgg currently has stock of three different 5850, and three different 5970s. I ran them all the way to "checkout" and they were still showing available.

They do NOT, however, have any 5950s -- which isn't a surprise.
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a b U Graphics card
December 5, 2009 3:15:54 AM

Sapphire HD 5850 - $309.99 (In Stock - Limit 2)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


The GTX285's are still going for $350 - $400 on Newegg. if you can buy them for just $200 a piece (don't see how) then I advise you buy several of them and sell them on Ebay for $300 ($50 below the best Newegg price and still a $100 mark up for you).


Was the 5950 supposed to release already? I thought that was next year.
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Best solution

December 5, 2009 4:28:02 AM

nitros85 said:
It's because the 5970 is actually two 5850's, NOT two 5970's.

Hence the price. A 5970 is $600. A 5850 is $300, two are the same price as the 5970.

If they released a card with two 5870's, it would cost $800 not $600.


Correction:

A 5970 is 2 downclocked 5870 GPUs. It has 1600 SPUs instead of 1440SPUs the 5850 has. The lower clocks are the reason why it is lower performing.

I also believe they DID release this card and it DOES NOT cost $800, but only $600.
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a b U Graphics card
December 5, 2009 5:25:21 AM

The downclocking of the 5970 is to comform to stock limitation of 300w. The intention is that enthusiasts will be able to OC it to 5870x2 levels and break the 300w limit themselves, something the company can't do with standards to adhere to.
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December 5, 2009 7:08:48 AM

JofaMang said:
The downclocking of the 5970 is to comform to stock limitation of 300w. The intention is that enthusiasts will be able to OC it to 5870x2 levels and break the 300w limit themselves, something the company can't do with standards to adhere to.


I wouldn't say "will be able to overclock to 5870x2 levels". There are other limiting factors that prevent this GPU from reaching those clocks. The most obvious is heat. Anandtech has documented their attempt to reach that level and have fallen short on their goal.

Here is the link if you want to read through it.
http://www.anandtech.com/weblog/showpost.aspx?i=657
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December 5, 2009 3:36:30 PM

one-shot said:
Correction:

A 5970 is 2 downclocked 5870 GPUs. It has 1600 SPUs instead of 1440SPUs the 5850 has. The lower clocks are the reason why it is lower performing.

I also believe they DID release this card and it DOES NOT cost $800, but only $600.

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a b U Graphics card
December 6, 2009 3:47:32 PM

one-shot said:
I wouldn't say "will be able to overclock to 5870x2 levels". There are other limiting factors that prevent this GPU from reaching those clocks. The most obvious is heat. Anandtech has documented their attempt to reach that level and have fallen short on their goal.

Here is the link if you want to read through it.
http://www.anandtech.com/weblog/showpost.aspx?i=657

The word I used was intention. I have fully read that article, and others on the 5970. Results vary.
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December 10, 2009 4:24:35 PM

gtx285fanboy said:
GTX285 ftw, Get a BFG H20+ for $500 and a 9600 for (guessing) 60 bucks. OC the gtx 285 and use the 9600 for phsycs rendering. BEST graphics solution for under $600. bet!

http://www.bfgtech.com/advancedcoolingsolution.aspx


One of the more accurate handles I have seen in use for a while...
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