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Should I get a 5970?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 29, 2009 4:37:23 AM

Hey guys,

I am currently in the process of building a computer and have so far got all the components together but am still deciding on a graphics card.

I was originally going to wait for the higher end GTX 3xx to come out but after looking around a bit I found that there where some people saying that they weren't likely to be out until at least Q2 2010, and I don't really want to wait that long.

SO here is my question: Should I get a 5970 or wait for until nvidia releases some of their higher end cards?


Here is what I have put together so far:

Case: Thermaltake Xaser VI, with water cooling, bigwater 780e
Processor: i7 950, 3.06 GHz
PSU: Coolermaster Silent Pro M1000W
Memory: 2x Corsair 6GB Dominator 1600MHz (total 12GB)
Motherboard: eVGA X58 SLI Classified
Sound card: Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium
Network Card: Bigfoot Killer-K1
Wireless Network Card: D-Link DWA-556 Xtreme N
Storage: Hitachi 2TB 7200rpm Deskstar
and
Kingston 128GB SSD V-Series


So far I have figured the reasons for me getting the 5970 are:

  • I can get it now
  • Its faster than any of the nVidia cards out now
  • I probably won't want to get multiple cards so the fact that I can't crossfire is not an issue

    The reasons against getting a 5970 are:
  • My motherboard is SLI compatible, seems like a bit of a waster, although as I said before I'm unlikely to want to get more than one card
  • It seems to me that there seems to be 2 real groups of manufacturers, one of them AMD one Intel, all of my components are from that Intel side while the 5970 is from the AMD side, not sure if this is really going to be an issue
  • I have had bad experiences with drivers from ATI before, haven't used an ATI card in 4yrs though so I'm not sure whether or not the card they are over their drivers difficulties
  • Card costs >$1,000 (AUD) nvidia cards generally seem to be cheaper than that, but that might be b/c its new..


    Any help will be greatly appreciated, I don't really want to fork out 1k+ (AUD) on a card that I may regret buying but I don't want to pass it up and find myself waiting for months for the nVidia card.

    Also I would rather not have any responses which say: Get ________ because its better as a company, I don't care about the company I'm talking about the card itself.
  • More about : 5970

    a c 169 U Graphics card
    December 29, 2009 5:05:55 AM

    Hello and welcome to the forums :) 
    What resolution are you going to play at ?
    December 29, 2009 5:56:41 AM

    Hi maziar thanks for the welcome and the reply

    At the moment my screen has a maximum resolution of 1440x900 although later I will be looking to upgrade that as its only 19", which by today's standards doesn't seem to be great
    Related resources
    December 29, 2009 5:59:12 AM

    pick up a 5870 and a new monitor instead.
    December 29, 2009 5:59:45 AM

    Still u made huge mistake by going EVGA. imo a 5850 is good.
    a b U Graphics card
    December 29, 2009 6:06:48 AM

    hazar said:

    So far I have figured the reasons for me getting the 5970 are:

  • I can get it now
  • Its faster than any of the nVidia cards out now
  • I probably won't want to get multiple cards so the fact that I can't crossfire is not an issue

    The reasons against getting a 5970 are:
  • My motherboard is SLI compatible, seems like a bit of a waster, although as I said before I'm unlikely to want to get more than one card
  • It seems to me that there seems to be 2 real groups of manufacturers, one of them AMD one Intel, all of my components are from that Intel side while the 5970 is from the AMD side, not sure if this is really going to be an issue
  • I have had bad experiences with drivers from ATI before, haven't used an ATI card in 4yrs though so I'm not sure whether or not the card they are over their drivers difficulties
  • Card costs >$1,000 (AUD) nvidia cards generally seem to be cheaper than that, but that might be b/c its new..
    f.


  • Just get the 5970, or get two 5850s Xfired, or get a 5870.

    1. All X58 1366 motherboards are both SLi and Xfire compatible. You can crossfire two 5870s for Xfire, or two 5970s for Quad-Xfire.
    2. It doesn't matter who makes your graphics card, it has nothing to do with Intel, which designs the CPU chip. Nvidia or ATI work equally well in either Intel or AMD motherboards/CPUs.
    3. Drivers have improved a lot recently on both sides.
    4. It is expensive because it dominates the GTX295. A GTX295 is equal to a 5870, and a 5970 is equal to two underclocked 5870s. So a OCed 5970 will equal 2xGTX295 in Quad SLi. (1 5970 costs $600 USD, 2xGTX295 costs $1000 USD)
    5. Nvidia's DX11 cards won't come out until at least March 2010.
    December 29, 2009 6:08:34 AM

    evga makes some of the best quality motherboards and from what I hear they have great tech support and service. I personally would pick up a 5870 and a nice led 1080p monitor. You'll get nice color from the monitor and perfect fps paired with with graphic card. i would also consider buying an i7 920 and overclocking that. And if the new nvidia cards come out and rape the 5xxx series you wont feel so ticked off you dropped a small fortune into the graphic card alone.
    December 29, 2009 7:25:54 AM

    Thanks so much for the help everyone

    Thanks bluescreendeath, i didn't realize that all x58 1366 motherboards are compatible with Xfire, perhaps Ill have a look at some other options....

    Thanks everyone for you help although to clarify what I said earlier about there seeming to be two groups of companys ie intel and AMD i was looking at the manufacturers, where eVGA, ASUS, Intel, nVidia etc all seem to make one thing while ATI, AMD Saphire etc seem to make other things. It's good to be certain that they are both compatible.
    December 29, 2009 3:10:22 PM


    In my opinion, you should be buying an X58 based motherboard because you want to SLI/XFire your graphics cards - and even then it adds minimally to performance. With the resolution you are running, SLI/XFire are wasted. A single 5850 will allow you to run with everything turned on.

    After living with a 4870x2, I will say that was one hot card. The 5970 runs just as hot and is just as huge - and its downclocked from a standard 5870. I had to take out the drive bays so the 4870x2 would fit. 2x5850s/5870's will fit in a normal case, but Im not so sure about the 5890. Many people had to cut their chassis to get it to fit (if its not modular).

    The ideal to me with that mb would be two 5870 or 5850's (I am currently running 2x5850's in crossfire on an Intel X58mb with a 1900x1200 24" monitor).

    Just my 2 cents
    a c 259 U Graphics card
    December 29, 2009 3:26:12 PM

    At 1440 x 900 you do not need a very strong video card. A 5850 will give you exceptional performance, even at 1920 x 1200. The 5850 is comparable to the GTX285 if you prefer that route.

    The only reason to consider a 5970 is if you will use a 2540 x 1600 30" monitor.

    As to the other parts of your build, I think you are paying more than you need to.

    Liquid cooling is not necessary for the i7 series. A decent air cooler for $50(us) is enough.
    i7-950 does not give you a big step up for twice the price. A trivial overclock will tale a i7-920 to 975 speeds. Actually, for gaming no overclock at all is needed.

    A 750w psu from corsair or another quality vendor will power any single graphics card out there.

    No game will use 4gb, let alone 12gb. 6gb of ram is enough for the game plus background tasks.

    Do you really need a sound card? Onboard HD sound is very good. You can always add a sound card later.

    Any X58 motherboard will have a 1000 network capability. A separate card is not necessary.

    Any X58 motherboard will do the job, don't spend more for an enthusiasts board. There is no need for 4 way sli or record level overclocking capabilities.

    Take all the savings and see if you can justify a 30" monitor and a 5970 which will really give your gaming a boost.
    a b U Graphics card
    December 29, 2009 6:14:43 PM

    hazar said:
    Thanks so much for the help everyone

    Thanks bluescreendeath, i didn't realize that all x58 1366 motherboards are compatible with Xfire, perhaps Ill have a look at some other options....

    Thanks everyone for you help although to clarify what I said earlier about there seeming to be two groups of companys ie intel and AMD i was looking at the manufacturers, where eVGA, ASUS, Intel, nVidia etc all seem to make one thing while ATI, AMD Saphire etc seem to make other things. It's good to be certain that they are both compatible.


    Nvidia and ATI are the main graphics card "designers." (AMD is a CPU microchip company that bought out ATI.)

    eVGA, XFX, Sapphire, ASUS, etc are all manufacturers - they can make either Nvidia or ATI cards.
    a c 125 U Graphics card
    December 29, 2009 6:25:59 PM

    geofelt said:
    At 1440 x 900 you do not need a very strong video card. A 5850 will give you exceptional performance, even at 1920 x 1200. The 5850 is comparable to the GTX285 if you prefer that route.

    The only reason to consider a 5970 is if you will use a 2540 x 1600 30" monitor.

    As to the other parts of your build, I think you are paying more than you need to.

    Liquid cooling is not necessary for the i7 series. A decent air cooler for $50(us) is enough.
    i7-950 does not give you a big step up for twice the price. A trivial overclock will tale a i7-920 to 975 speeds. Actually, for gaming no overclock at all is needed.

    A 750w psu from corsair or another quality vendor will power any single graphics card out there.

    No game will use 4gb, let alone 12gb. 6gb of ram is enough for the game plus background tasks.

    Do you really need a sound card? Onboard HD sound is very good. You can always add a sound card later.

    Any X58 motherboard will have a 1000 network capability. A separate card is not necessary.

    Any X58 motherboard will do the job, don't spend more for an enthusiasts board. There is no need for 4 way sli or record level overclocking capabilities.

    Take all the savings and see if you can justify a 30" monitor and a 5970 which will really give your gaming a boost.


    Totally agree, alot of your system is a waste of money IMO, also if your not going for a 2560 x 1600 monitor then a 5970 really isn't needed, a 5850 will be plently.
    December 29, 2009 8:04:54 PM

    Again, thanks for the replies

    Just to justify some of the things in my build: the 12gb of ram i found was necessary for a project I was working on (3d graphics..) a friend had 8gb and his computer crashed every time he tried to render b/c not enough memory, therefore I would assume 12gb is enough. The sound card was only neccessary because of some of the features which the software comes with, I wasn't really as interested in the actual hardware, although i still wanted High quality sound.

    Also I am currently running on pretty low resolution but some time reasonably soon (like in the next few months) I was going to upgrade to a larger monitor, therefore I figured buy a better graphics card which will be able to handle the higher resolution, even when playing games.


    Also, I decided on buying a 5870, that way if nvidia does release something which is great a crushes the ATI cards then I wont feel so bad about buying another card but if nvidia takes a while or a feel like upgrading I have easily enough room in my case and enough slots on my board that I can just add another one.


    Thanks again for the help
    !