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Radeon 5850 HD - Tons of Brands.... Which one?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 28, 2009 4:12:04 PM

Hello,

After much research, I've decided I want to get 2 5850s in Crossfire for my new system that I'm building. The only question now, is what brand? Is there a difference? The only thing I've been able to find (aside from price) is that XFX seems to have the best warranty (double lifetime lol?). Also, XFX comes in several different editions - with Black Edition being a small increase over the others (something small like 10mhz increase in speed).

Best prices I've found are as follows:
XFX Black Edition: $360 (Newegg)
XFX XXX Edition: $340 (Newegg)
XFX Standard: $305-310 (out of stock everywhere incl. newegg)
Sapphire: $299 (newegg)
Diamond: $320 (amazon)
Gigabyte: $315 (newegg)
MSI: $330 (newegg)
HIS: $315 (newegg)
Asus: $310 (newegg)
Visiontek: $310 (newegg)
Powercolor: $299

Assuming XFX is the best.... is the price increase for XXX/Black Edition worth it? Especially when considering that the Standard edition is nowhere to be found?
December 28, 2009 4:38:53 PM

Are you building the rig on a website or yourself??
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December 28, 2009 4:57:42 PM

For my GPU's, I try to go with XFX simply because it has the warranty. So that's what I would really look at.

As for the other brands, MSI, HIS, and Asus tend to do very well. I know Gigabyte does for MoBo's, but I'm unsure about their GPU's.

There have been a few posts on Toms here about the Diamonds not working correctly... I'm not sure if that's just the luck of the draw or if there is something going on there.

To me, what it comes down to is take the lowest cost reasonable brand, like the Asus at 310 and pit that against the XFX, which leaves us with..

Asus: 725mhz core clock, 1000mhz memory
XFX X: 755mhz core clock, 1125mhz memory

So with the XFX not only are you gaining a little on the chip and memory speed, but you also gain a double life time warranty for only a ~30$ difference.

When you are already spending 300+, another 30 to have a fantastic warranty seems well worth it to me.




I would definitely wait until you get more replies in here though, never go with just 1 opinion ; )
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December 28, 2009 5:38:47 PM

The Asus has a 3 year warranty I believe. Is more than that really worth $30? Or anything for that matter?
For some perspective in February of 2007, slightly less than 3 years ago, the 8800 GTS 320mb was launched with a retail price of $300, what the HD5850 costs now. Can you even imagine having one of those cards right now and worrying about the warranty running out in two months? Thinking back and wishing you had paid the $30 extra dollars for a longer warranty in case it breaks soon?
Of course not, there's no reason to pay extra for a longer warranty. If the price is the same sure, why not, but even considering paying 10% more for it is simply daft imo. Even if you have a trust fund or something there's no way you'll care about that card in over 3 years.
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Best solution

December 28, 2009 5:42:27 PM

I'd go with the cheapest, which at $299 the Sapphire is a steal, Sapphire is definitely one of the top-tier manufacturers.

You can go into CCC, click OverDrive, click the key, slide the sliders to 755/1125.
Now is someone else doing that worth $30?
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December 28, 2009 5:42:37 PM

Ok - so warranty aside - I'd be most interested in choosing the one with the best track record if performance specs are identical. Are all those cards identical specs with the exception of XFX XXX Edition and XFX Black Edition?

I've been on my eVGA GeForce 8800GTS 640mb for a little over 2 years now and haven't had a single issue. If there were an eVGA version I'd probably buy it. I'm guessing eVGA only markets nVidia cards since every other manufacturer in the world seems to have their own version of the 5850.
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December 28, 2009 5:47:36 PM

All HD5850s are the same card. They only differ in fan/heatsinks and price. Some have factory overclocks which can easily be duplicated(usually bettered) on your own with software.
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December 28, 2009 5:49:16 PM

On Saturday I ordered an XFX XXX 5850 (should arrive tomorrow!), after looking around it seemed to be the most powerful and at an excellent price. The company also has a very good reputation both for their warranty and their products in general.
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December 28, 2009 5:49:43 PM

Wow... so XFX is charging $60 more for roughly a 20mhz core clock increase I can do myself. That's dirty. Thanks for the info guys.
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