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[Budget $800-1,000] - i5 v AMD Build + Monitor Recs

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December 7, 2009 8:59:20 PM

As Christmas nears, I figure it's time to treat myself to an upgrade from the DELL XPS cookie cutter purchase I made in the summer of 2005. Sure it looks fancy, but as a former hardcore gamer, I'm used to performance which has since started to wane since the installation of Windows Vista ( :non:  ) and surely creaking innards of the machine itself.

Looking for some help in getting my new build up and running. Gems of info and tidbits are below! Thank you all in advance for any friendly abuse and nitpicking :) 

Breakdown


APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: to purchase parts over next 7 days.

BUDGET RANGE: hopefully between 800 - 1,000 ... this is excluding monitor (more info below!)

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming (WoW, occasional BF2, STEAM), Internet, basic web coding/FTPing, basic media (codecs, DVDs, pictures)

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, speakers, half-broken headset, mic, soundcard

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg, microcenter, shopping comparison sites, et al. ... essentially any and all of your basic thrifty online locations

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: California, USA

PARTS PREFERENCES:

...caught between i5-750 intel build versus the fancy Phenom II X3 720 Black Edition which Tom's has been touting in the 'Best Gaming CPUs for Money':

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-gaming-cpu,2466-3.html

i'm not partial to either. simply want to eek out performance and cost for a gaming focused rig. thoughts/recos here? leaning towards the Tom's "usual" with the i5. i have DDR2 RAM in my current comp (intel build), not sure if i can simply fuse that over to the new build or not though. sounds like the i5 is more palpable for folks *not* overclocking.

MONITOR RESOLUTION: Currently running 1600x1200 on a DELL p1100 CRT from 2001

http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/monitors/p1110/En/specs.htm?c=us&l=en&s=gen&cs=

but... looking to upgrade monitor...see below.



Ramblings + Add'tl Comments



ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:

These are my limited thoughts for parts, as I'm still undecided on CPU/Mobo...which also means I can't do much with the RAM:

Case:
Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail

Graphics Card:
Currently running a Geforce 9600 GT, which I got for $115 earlier this year ... not looking to spend above $140 if I can for an upgrade, but (a) should I upgrade? (b) what of this list would be a good 'win' for +60fps? Best PCIe Card: ~$90 To $140

HD:
All advice points to a single HD like...SAMSUNG EcoGreen F2 HD154UI 1.5TB 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive

PS:
OCZ Fatal1ty OCZ700FTY 700W ATX12V / EPS12V

OS:
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM

DVD/CDROM:
I have Dual Drives: 16x DVD-ROM Drive + 48x CD-RW Drive in my DELL at the moment...keep and swap in or cheaply upgrade?

Sound:
Running Sound Blaster Audigy™ 2 ZS (D) Card w/Dolby 5.1, IEEE 1394 at the moment.


Monitor Help!

Additionally...seeking monitor with FAST refresh times to replace my beastly CRT which is fantastic at quick motions (great for FPS). Assuming a 2ms monitor like the one below would be a good purchase? I've read that it doesn't matter between the 5ms and 2ms, as your eyes won't notice, but to that point folks say if you're used to a smooth CRT...downgrading to an LCD will annoy the beggars out of you. and isn't a good idea. ideal size: 21-24"

Monitor: ASUS VH226H Black 21.5" 2ms(GTG) HDMI Widescreen LCD Monitor - Retail or ASUS VH242H Black 23.6" 5ms HDMI Full 1080P Widescreen LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 1000:1



Bundle of Joy?

...and just to throw a wrench into it all....after stating the above recs, just scouting combos, what of this Eggy bundle here?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductCombos.aspx?Item=N82E16811146060&SubCategory=7&SortField=0&PageSize=10&page=1]http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductCombos.aspx?Item=N82E16811146060&SubCategory=7&SortField=0&PageSize=10&page=1]http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductCombos.aspx?Item=N82E16811146060&SubCategory=7&SortField=0&PageSize=10&page=1



Thank you all in advance for any insight/input!

More about : budget 800 000 amd build monitor recs

December 7, 2009 10:21:48 PM

updated certain bits.
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December 7, 2009 11:16:02 PM

The samsung F2 is a eco-friendly (low power, low performance) drive. You want the F3 (performance) drive.

The "eggy-combo". Bad HDD (slow 5900 RPM). Possibly bad PSU (Rosewill has a well earned bad reputation with PSUs.) Case is OK (I dont get NXTs fetish with useless angular lumps of plastic stuck on the case).

Graphics card is the hard one. The cards below $140 only play well (high-ultra high settigns) at lower resolutions (1280x1024 and below). Also you need to consider how important you think DX11 will become before you want to buy a new graphics card.

For a combination of DX11 and play at 1680x1050 at near max settings you would want a 5770 ($170ish). You may be better off keeping the 9600 and saving to upgrade the graphics card and monitor at some point in the future. Plan on spending about the same amount on each ($200 monitor = $200 graphics card). They are equally important.
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December 7, 2009 11:18:59 PM

mo0 said:
As Christmas nears, I figure it's time to treat myself to an upgrade from the DELL XPS cookie cutter purchase I made in the summer of 2005. Sure it looks fancy, but as a former hardcore gamer, I'm used to performance which has since started to wane since the installation of Windows Vista ( :non:  ) and surely creaking innards of the machine itself.

Looking for some help in getting my new build up and running. Gems of info and tidbits are below! Thank you all in advance for any friendly abuse and nitpicking :) 

Breakdown


APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: to purchase parts over next 7 days.

BUDGET RANGE: hopefully between 800 - 1,000 ... this is excluding monitor (more info below!)

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming (WoW, occasional BF2, STEAM), Internet, basic web coding/FTPing, basic media (codecs, DVDs, pictures)

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, speakers, half-broken headset, mic, soundcard

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg, microcenter, shopping comparison sites, et al. ... essentially any and all of your basic thrifty online locations

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: California, USA

PARTS PREFERENCES:

...caught between i5-750 intel build versus the fancy Phenom II X3 720 Black Edition which Tom's has been touting in the 'Best Gaming CPUs for Money':

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-gaming-cpu,2466-3.html

i'm not partial to either. simply want to eek out performance and cost for a gaming focused rig. thoughts/recos here? leaning towards the Tom's "usual" with the i5. i have DDR2 RAM in my current comp (intel build), not sure if i can simply fuse that over to the new build or not though. sounds like the i5 is more palpable for folks *not* overclocking.

MONITOR RESOLUTION: Currently running 1600x1200 on a DELL p1100 CRT from 2001

http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/monitors/p1110/En/specs.htm?c=us&l=en&s=gen&cs=

but... looking to upgrade monitor...see below.



Ramblings + Add'tl Comments



ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:

These are my limited thoughts for parts, as I'm still undecided on CPU/Mobo...which also means I can't do much with the RAM:

Case:
Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail

Graphics Card:
Currently running a Geforce 9600 GT, which I got for $115 earlier this year ... not looking to spend above $140 if I can for an upgrade, but (a) should I upgrade? (b) what of this list would be a good 'win' for +60fps? Best PCIe Card: ~$90 To $140

HD:
All advice points to a single HD like...SAMSUNG EcoGreen F2 HD154UI 1.5TB 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive

PS:
OCZ Fatal1ty OCZ700FTY 700W ATX12V / EPS12V

OS:
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM

DVD/CDROM:
I have Dual Drives: 16x DVD-ROM Drive + 48x CD-RW Drive in my DELL at the moment...keep and swap in or cheaply upgrade?

Sound:
Running Sound Blaster Audigy™ 2 ZS (D) Card w/Dolby 5.1, IEEE 1394 at the moment.


Monitor Help!

Additionally...seeking monitor with FAST refresh times to replace my beastly CRT which is fantastic at quick motions (great for FPS). Assuming a 2ms monitor like the one below would be a good purchase? I've read that it doesn't matter between the 5ms and 2ms, as your eyes won't notice, but to that point folks say if you're used to a smooth CRT...downgrading to an LCD will annoy the beggars out of you. and isn't a good idea. ideal size: 21-24"

Monitor: ASUS VH226H Black 21.5" 2ms(GTG) HDMI Widescreen LCD Monitor - Retail or ASUS VH242H Black 23.6" 5ms HDMI Full 1080P Widescreen LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 1000:1



Bundle of Joy?

...and just to throw a wrench into it all....after stating the above recs, just scouting combos, what of this Eggy bundle here?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductCombos.aspx?Item=N82E16811146060&SubCategory=7&SortField=0&PageSize=10&page=1]http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductCombos.aspx?Item=N82E16811146060&SubCategory=7&SortField=0&PageSize=10&page=1]http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductCombos.aspx?Item=N82E16811146060&SubCategory=7&SortField=0&PageSize=10&page=1



Thank you all in advance for any insight/input!


Try this:

Core i5 750 Processor Boxed
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...
$150

Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$55

GIGABYTE GA-P55A-UD3 LGA 1156 Intel P55 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?http://www.n...
$135

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL8D-4GBRM - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$92 -Freeshipping

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$55 -Freeshipping

SAPPHIRE 100283-2L Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$165 -Freeshipping

OCZ Fatal1ty OCZ550FTY 550W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Modular Active PFC Power Supply - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$45 -After rebates

Total = $698 -After rebates

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December 7, 2009 11:23:23 PM

@moth - cheating with the Microcenter I5 price. Depends on how much gas it costs to drive there & back. :p 
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December 7, 2009 11:27:30 PM

dndhatcher said:
@moth - cheating with the Microcenter I5 price. Depends on how much gas it costs to drive there & back. :p 


He he! :p 

Yes its so devastating to drive to the store and back! :na:  Everyone does it every day for food and stuff!
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December 7, 2009 11:29:33 PM

agreed on the bundle. i'll strike that out.

- HIS H577FN1GD Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card - Retail

^^ does that work for a graphics card upgrade? i think i'll happily sink money into that...pending it fitting into an appropriate MOBO.

Question: Would this work? Or am I overspending on the Crossfire piece?

GIGABYTE GA-P55A-UD3 LGA 1156 Intel P55 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

Question: Any monitor recs or should I whip open a new thread?



Build so far (but still need confirmation on Mobo, Graphics, Monitor, CD/DVD Drives [can I swap in my DELL ones, or should I just buy new?]):


i5 from MicroCenter @ $150


SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive


$54.99


G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL8D-4GBRM


$91.99


Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders


$104.99


I'll plump for the OCZ Fatal1ty OCZ550FTY 550W @ $45 as well.

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December 7, 2009 11:30:36 PM

MothMusic said:
Yes its so devastating to drive to the store and back! :na:  Everyone does it every day for food and stuff!
My nearest microcenter is 200 miles round trip. :fou:  :cry: 
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December 7, 2009 11:34:10 PM

dndhatcher said:
My nearest microcenter is 200 miles round trip. :fou:  :cry: 


Ouch.

Don't worry this AMD build will wipe away your tears:

Try this:

AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$166

Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$55

GIGABYTE GA-MA770T-UD3P AM3 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$70 -After rebate

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL8D-4GBRM - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$92 -Freeshipping

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$55 -Freeshipping

SAPPHIRE 100283-2L Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$165 -Freeshipping

OCZ Fatal1ty OCZ550FTY 550W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Modular Active PFC Power Supply - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$45 -After rebates

Total = $648 -After rebates

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December 7, 2009 11:35:11 PM

mo0 said:
agreed on the bundle. i'll strike that out.

- HIS H577FN1GD Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card - Retail

^^ does that work for a graphics card upgrade? i think i'll happily sink money into that...pending it fitting into an appropriate MOBO.

Question: Would this work? Or am I overspending on the Crossfire piece?

GIGABYTE GA-P55A-UD3 LGA 1156 Intel P55 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

Question: Any monitor recs or should I whip open a new thread?



Build so far (but still need confirmation on Mobo, Graphics, Monitor, CD/DVD Drives [can I swap in my DELL ones, or should I just buy new?]):


i5 from MicroCenter @ $150


SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive


$54.99


G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL8D-4GBRM


$91.99


Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders


$104.99


I'll plump for the OCZ Fatal1ty OCZ550FTY 550W @ $45 as well.


If you really want crossfire, go with this build here.

Try this:

Core i5 750 Processor Boxed
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...
$150

Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$55

GIGABYTE GA-P55M-UD4 LGA 1156 Intel P55 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$150 -Freeshipping

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL7D-4GBRH - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$100 -Freeshipping

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$55 -Freeshipping

SAPPHIRE 100283-2L Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$165 -Freeshipping

OCZ Fatal1ty OCZ700FTY 700W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$60 -After rebates


Total = $735 -After rebates
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December 7, 2009 11:37:05 PM

i'll be honest, i don't even know what the benefits of a Crossfire build would really be :) 
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December 7, 2009 11:45:23 PM

You should probably look at after xmas sales. During black friday sales you could get 21-22 inch 1920x1080 monitors at just over $100.
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December 7, 2009 11:49:16 PM

Crossfire lets you put two identical graphics cards in the computer and combine them into one more powerful graphics card. Its a good option when someone wants to game and can not afford an ideal graphics card right away, or for someone using an older monitor that would need a graphics power boost when they do upgrade their monitor. Also in some instances (like a 5850 vs a pair of 5770s), the pair is faster and about the same price.


If you are going with an ATI 5770 you only need a single PCIe power cable and could drop the power supply down to the Fatal1ty 550W.
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December 7, 2009 11:49:49 PM

mo0 said:
i'll be honest, i don't even know what the benefits of a Crossfire build would really be :) 


To be honest crossfire is useless. Alot of people think they can get really good gpu performance for cheap but its deceiving. You have to pay more for a mobo, psu, case, a cpu that won't bottle neck the dual gpus, just so you can get the performance of a single premium gpu that costs less than all your crossfire ready components. And not even all games support crossfire, so its not perfect. So even if you got two 5770s for $330, it would be beaten in performance be a single 5850 for $310. How do you think they make such powerful gpus in the first place? They combine two cards together into one. So yea, I wouldn't recommend it.
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December 7, 2009 11:50:52 PM

dndhatcher said:
Crossfire lets you put two identical graphics cards in the computer and combine them into one more powerful graphics card. Its a good option when someone wants to game and can not afford an ideal graphics card right away, or for someone using an older monitor that would need a graphics power boost when they do upgrade their monitor. Also in some instances (like a 5850 vs a pair of 5770s), the pair is faster and about the same price.


Not fair! Your not including the cost of getting crossfire ready components.
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December 7, 2009 11:53:32 PM

MothMusic said:
Not fair! Your not including the cost of getting crossfire ready components.

Considering how hard it is to even find a 5850 in stock right now. Possible vs impossible - which wins? ;) 

Actually your statement is innacurate. A 5850 is nothing like a pair of 5770s architecturally. The 5970 is like a pair of 5870s and a 295 is like a pair of 275s, but those are the only dual GPU cards available right now (I cant find 4870x2s anymore). A pair of 5770s performs comparably to a 5870, which is faster and more expensive (400ish). Also the 5770 has the single power cable and low power usage so you can run about the same PSU. Just a little bit extra on the motherboard is all you need.
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December 7, 2009 11:58:33 PM

dndhatcher said:
Considering how hard it is to even find a 5850 in stock right now. Possible vs impossible - which wins? ;) 


It was on Newegg a couple of days ago! Just wait a bit, then rush to Newegg a buy it up!
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December 8, 2009 12:03:11 AM

Crossfire being a sensible option is fairly situational. I wouldnt sacrifice much for it, but having the option is often worth a little bit spent on a motherboard upgrade.
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December 8, 2009 12:05:11 AM

dndhatcher said:
Crossfire being a sensible option is fairly situational. I wouldnt sacrifice much for it, but having the option is often worth a little bit spent on a motherboard upgrade.


And a psu upgrade, case upgrade, cpu upgrade, wrestling with incompatibility and driver issues..... :) 
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December 8, 2009 12:42:34 AM

*winces* - did you say driver issues? i'm already fearing IRQ probs ;) 


sounds like i'll stick to the single Radeon (5850 or 5770) setup on the GIGABYTE GA-P55M-UD4 LGA 1156 Intel P55 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard. is there a comparable MOBO, or is that just the wisest option?

thanks to you both of you guys for chiming in here. most helpful.

almost ready to pull the trigger methinks :) 
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December 8, 2009 12:42:52 AM

anything i'm missing?
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December 8, 2009 12:45:35 AM

mo0 said:
anything i'm missing?


Looks good to me. No incompatibilities or anything. If you want to buy it, buy it! Merry Christmas! :D 
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December 8, 2009 12:47:56 AM

dndhatcher said:
Considering how hard it is to even find a 5850 in stock right now. Possible vs impossible - which wins? ;) 

Actually your statement is innacurate. A 5850 is nothing like a pair of 5770s architecturally. The 5970 is like a pair of 5870s and a 295 is like a pair of 275s, but those are the only dual GPU cards available right now (I cant find 4870x2s anymore). A pair of 5770s performs comparably to a 5870, which is faster and more expensive (400ish). Also the 5770 has the single power cable and low power usage so you can run about the same PSU. Just a little bit extra on the motherboard is all you need.


You know what I meant! :)  I was just trying to compare ballpark performance, in simple terms.
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