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What should i do? Video Card buying help

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January 8, 2010 6:56:27 PM

After years of keeping my MSI 8800 GT 512 OC i decided its time to upgrade i currently own a GIGABYTE MB with two PCI-E slots and could only go crossfire. One slot is 16x and the other 8x if crossfire both slots would be put at 8x. My PSU is a Corsair 650 watt. Currently running a AMD CAllisto 55 x2 at 3.6ghz.

Im looking for a good video card that could do 1920x1080 or 1280x720. Im upgrading because of the coming game battlefield bad company 2. Currently im on 1280x720 with mw2 .

What ive been thinking

Getting a hd 4770 Crossfire < i think this outperforms a gtx 275?
Getting a hd 5770
Getting a hd 4890
getting a gtx 260.

Questions i have
Why does a 4000 series outperforms a 5000 series in ati?
Why is are people saying that a hd 4890 is better than a hd 5770?
Should i wait alittle longer until the new cards come out during q1-q2? will the prices drop by alot or alittle?

Thank you all for reading

More about : video card buying

a c 1410 U Graphics card
January 8, 2010 7:00:30 PM

The HD4890 is a high range card the HD5770 is the new mid range replacing the HD4770! The replacement for HD4870 is HD5870!
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a c 376 U Graphics card
January 8, 2010 7:02:43 PM

People say the HD4890 is better than the HD5770 because it is approximately 15% more powerful. The HD5770 has it beat in terms of features as it is DX11 compatible, much more power efficient/gives off less heat and supports 3 monitors. It's also usually cheaper. Those are probably the 2 cards you should choose from.
If you are considering crossfire in the future I would probably go with the HD5770 as the power/heat difference is large and more important for running two cards.
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a b U Graphics card
January 8, 2010 7:11:56 PM

The 5770 has a 128 bit memory bus (coupled with faster DDR5 memory chips so still performs almost as well as a 256bit bus with slower DDR3 memory) and so is just a bit slower in performance than the 4870 in a few games but faster in a few others but the 4890 is a bit faster than that - the 5770 is however usually a better choice for upgrading now for a couple reasons -

1. the 4xxx series has reached EOL and are becoming hard to find so pricing on them is becoming inflated.

2. the 5770 uses much less power and is therefore much quieter and produces less heat and can be run on a lower wattage PSU or allows you to setup a crossfire configuration without having to go to a much larger PSU (and the 5770 has been shown to scale fairly well in a xfire config)

3. the 5770 also supports DX11 which the 4xxx series does not which means in a year or 2 as True DX11 games are released you will be able to keep the 5770 while you will need to replace the 4xxx series cards (unless the game makers write seperate versions of the game to support DX10 - which is unlikely)

EDIT : In looking at several of the latest comments posted on the reviews there are several people that show they purchased it from Newegg that list the 955 chip in their setup and none of them list it as a con or suggest any probblems with the Bios not recognizing the chip so I'd think it has been updated already !
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a c 376 U Graphics card
January 8, 2010 7:25:59 PM

JDFan said:
The 5770 has a 128 bit memory bus (coupled with faster DDR5 memory chips so still performs almost as well as a 256bit bus with slower DDR3 memory)

The memory bandwidth of the HD5770 is actually slightly higher than cards with ddr3 and a 256-bit bus.
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January 8, 2010 7:35:52 PM

The best price/performance you can get right now is crossfire 4850s...they will outperform gtx285 and 5850 for just $200. Of course they do not have Dx11 and eyefinity, so if those are important to you, you will need a 5xxx series card. These cards won't last long at this price, so I would jump now while you can still get them cheap if you decide to do it.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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January 8, 2010 8:08:34 PM

Would the prices drop by q1-2 ? If I'm saving extra 40 I could wait thank you all for your help you guys rock!
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January 8, 2010 8:17:20 PM

Also are most crossfire setups make the video card 8x for both of them? Cause with mines if I'm only using one card it goes x16 if I cross fire it does x8 for both. I don't think eyefinity or dx11 is important to me since I'm only running a single monitor and according to some reviews dx11 doesnt really look that awesome just some water details etc icould be wrong
edit: dx11 is it important? I'm alittle lost now I thought all old video cRds are able to play dx 11 games but just missing certain effects?
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a c 232 U Graphics card
January 8, 2010 8:25:40 PM

You need to read this article:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-310-5970,24...

Here's the "winners" from THG's latest (December) GFX Roundup
Best Graphics Cards For The Money: December '09

$50 - HD 4650
$65 - HD 4670 / 9600 GSO
$85 - 9600 GT
$95 - 9600 GT / HD 4830
$110 - GTS 250 512 MB
$120 - GTS 250 1 GB
$155 - HD 5770 / GTX 260
$200 - HD 4890
$240 - 2 x GTS 250
$310 - No winner (HD 5850 Honorable Mention)
$330 - 2 x GTX 260 / 2 x HD 5770
$400 - 2 x HD 4890
$410 - No winner (HD 5870 Honorable Mention)
$465 - No winner (GTX 295 Honorable Mention)
$625 - No winner (HD 5970 Honorable Mention)

The 4890 is the fastest single card out of the bunch you listed. If ya didn't get that, the 260 is next.....personally I think the 5770 is a card w/o a market or maybe that's just me (and the folks at anandtech)

http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3658&p=14

" The value of the 5770 in particular is clearly not going to be in its performance. Compared to AMD’s 4870, it loses well more than it wins, and if we throw out Far Cry 2, it’s around 10% slower overall. It also spends most of its time losing to NVIDIA’s GTX 260, which unfortunately the 4870 didn’t have so much trouble with. AMD clearly has put themselves in to a hole with memory bandwidth, and the 5770 doesn’t have enough of it to reach the performance it needs to be at."

Quote:
Why does a 4000 series outperforms a 5000 series in ati?


A 5870 outperforms a 4870 but they are not in the same price category. The 4870 costs about the same as the 5770 and it kicks butt on the 5770. Across the board, as shown by the summary below, the old 4xx series outperform the 5xx series in the same price category.

Quote:
Why is are people saying that a hd 4890 is better than a hd 5770?


Cause it is

Quote:
Should i wait alittle longer until the new cards come out during q1-q2? will the prices drop by alot or alittle?


You could take that concept to the extreme and you'd never buy anything. Historically, early summer is the best time to buy a vid card. The new generation cards come out in the fall and have 6 months to go from hardware A to Hardware C or whatever, the vendors get a chance to tweak the design and drivers are stable and mature.
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a b U Graphics card
January 8, 2010 8:29:14 PM

vvilliamm said:
Also are most crossfire setups make the video card 8x for both of them? Cause with mines if I'm only using one card it goes x16 if I cross fire it does x8 for both. I don't think eyefinity or dx11 is important to me since I'm only running a single monitor and according to some reviews dx11 doesnt really look that awesome just some water details etc icould be wrong
edit: dx11 is it important? I'm alittle lost now I thought all old video cRds are able to play dx 11 games but just missing certain effects?


Up to this point that is not an issue as PCI-e X8 has enough bandwidth overhead that even the newest cards can not saturate it so you will not notice any difference between X8 and X16 speed (though some of the newest high end cards are getting close so in the future it might become a bottleneck but so far the dual X8 slots are not a concern.
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a b U Graphics card
January 8, 2010 8:34:31 PM

Pretty much all games are written for DX9, then have DX10 add-on effects to make it look more realistic. DX11 is so new there are only a few games that make use of it so far. DX11 includes more efficient shade and skin mapping features that will allow game developers to give you the more realistic look with less graphics card power. I think its likely DX 11 will become a big deal, but the question is how fast. Somewhere in the 1-3 year timeframe is likely. You have to decide if you will replace your graphics card again that soon or not. Also if you are still on XP then DX11 does nothing for you.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
January 8, 2010 8:36:41 PM

DX11 is only used in a handful of current games because it is brand new but it's definitely a lot more than "some water details." Here is a demo that shows the possibilities of DX11;
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PR40GwRtFyw
x8 crossfire is fine, it's x4 that isn't really worth it.
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a b U Graphics card
January 8, 2010 8:46:07 PM

JackNaylorPE said:
The 4870 costs about the same as the 5770 and it kicks butt on the 5770.
Thats a bit of an exaggeration. The articles you linked are back on the beta 8.66 drivers. Its a little better on the 9.11 drivers. Still not across the board as fast as a 4870.

The bigger change has been the 4870 and GTX 260 prices have gone up as supplies get scarce which gives the 5770 better value at that price point. Also two 5770s in crossfire perform about the same as a 5870 for less money.

We will have to see where they price the 5830 as that could seriously bite into the 5770s market.
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January 8, 2010 10:57:06 PM

So basically It looks like I shouldn't get a 4xxx series cause in a year or so it would be outdated and I would be forced to get a new card because old dx9-10 cards can't play new dx 11 games. So I should get a 5770 instead or wait alittle longer for more dx11 cards to come out cause it seems like price hasn't really settled. This reminds me of ddr2 ram
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a c 376 U Graphics card
January 8, 2010 11:25:53 PM

It will probably be longer than year before there's any games you actually can't play with a DX10 card. You just wont be able to use the DX11 setting that will make the game look better.
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January 9, 2010 12:03:55 AM

So basically even If directx 11 games came out and you have a card like series 4000 or gtx 260 you could still play it but just missing some details cause it would be running game like directx 10. So let's say directx 12 came out direct x 10 cards could play the games also right?
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a b U Graphics card
January 9, 2010 12:31:41 AM

vvilliamm said:
So basically even If directx 11 games came out and you have a card like series 4000 or gtx 260 you could still play it but just missing some details cause it would be running game like directx 10. So let's say directx 12 came out direct x 10 cards could play the games also right?


That is still to be seen - as DX11 is a pretty radical change and adds several instructions that DX10 cards can not perform so if the game is designed for DX11 as most will be in the near future then a DX10 card will not be able to play it - Just like the shader model 1 DX9 cards can not play newer shader model 2 DX10 games unless the game designers make a seperate version of the game that runs without using the DX10 enhancements (which some games may do at first) but after awhile they will not invest the extra time and effort to do so you will eventually have to scrap the DX10 card and buy a DX11 card (just like you had to scrap the DX9 cards and buy DX10 !) so if buying now it is best to get a DX11 card instead of investing in older tech unless the performance difference was that noticeable which it isn't ( a 5770 will run pretty much any game out at decent settings at most resolutions. ( I use a 22" 1680x1050 monitor and it runs everything pretty much maxed out at that res. ) - If you can afford an 58xx or 59xx series card then by all means get one of them instead of the 5770 but for the mid range cards the 5770 is a good choice and when the time comes that you get a larger higher res monitor you can add a second 5770 and get as good or better performance the most of the 58xx series cards and overall cost will be less.
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a c 232 U Graphics card
January 10, 2010 4:02:08 PM

dndhatcher said:
Thats a bit of an exaggeration. The articles you linked are back on the beta 8.66 drivers. Its a little better on the 9.11 drivers. Still not across the board as fast as a 4870.

The bigger change has been the 4870 and GTX 260 prices have gone up as supplies get scarce which gives the 5770 better value at that price point. Also two 5770s in crossfire perform about the same as a 5870 for less money.

We will have to see where they price the 5830 as that could seriously bite into the 5770s market.


At this point, I'm down on the whole $155 category in that roundup.....as per the anandtech article, the 5770 needs to be at $130-$140 to make it worthwhile....the 4870 and 260 are worthwhile at the original $155 price point......at $170 and up, all these cards are overpriced, the 5770 most of all. As shown on THG's Dirt2 article, the 5770 might have a DX11 label, but it chokes on Dirt 2 when DX11 is enabled. It's certainly not a "future proof" choice today if it''s already chocking on Dirt2 with its minimal incorporation of DX11 features. It leaves a big price gap, but the 250 and 4890 are the cards I'm putting in now between $100 and $200 budgets.
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January 10, 2010 4:11:15 PM

JackNaylorPE said:
At this point, I'm down on the whole $155 category in that roundup.....as per the anandtech article, the 5770 needs to be at $130-$140 to make it worthwhile....the 4870 and 260 are worthwhile at the original $155 price point......at $170 and up, all these cards are overpriced, the 5770 most of all. As shown on THG's Dirt2 article, the 5770 might have a DX11 label, but it chokes on Dirt 2 when DX11 is enabled. It's certainly not a "future proof" choice today if it''s already chocking on Dirt2 with its minimal incorporation of DX11 features. It leaves a big price gap, but the 250 and 4890 are the cards I'm putting in now between $100 and $200 budgets.


I'm glad to hear someone else say this...I keep getting flamed when I recommend anything but a 5xxx series card. But right now they have terrible price/performance. With the 4850s back under $100 they should be added to your list, but I don't expect them to stay at that price very long.
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a b U Graphics card
January 10, 2010 4:36:20 PM

If you have the money to buy 4890, there is no other card in the territory that can out perform it.
Second choice is to go with a GTX 260, and probably 4870. Both can be overclocked to get performance very very close to 4890
Third comes 5770, with EYEFINITY and DirectX 11.

All in All
If you have $200, dont go for anything else then 4890.

Good Luck
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January 10, 2010 4:37:23 PM

hmm it seems like my best choice is to wait until a new gfx comes out and get a higher end card besides the 5770 even though it has dx11 support it doesn't really support it as well. I was planning to get the older 4850 cards but as other people mentioned in the future 1-2 years i would be forced to throw those cards away =/.

Thank you all for your help i hope this thread will help many many other members who are currently in the same situation as me lol. The prices for the gfx cards right now aren't settled it seems like its because of the lack of supply.

What im leaning towards is getting a single card then if it demands grab another for cross fire. i only got two pcie power connectors i hope the other cards dont require 2. ah just when i thought the 5770 was a good choice lol but after reading i guess the price of it is too high ill wait.

Also if i were to do a trade etc for one hd 5770 how much cash should i add?
my msi 8800 gt 512 oc + cash for a hd5770
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a c 376 U Graphics card
January 10, 2010 6:32:54 PM

I wouldn't hesitate about the HD5770. The card wasn't a good buy when it first came out and cost $170 while the HD4870 was $150. But now the HD5770 starts at $150 and the HD4870 is $175+. With that pricing and DX11/great power efficiency it's the obvious choice at that price point. The only other card you should really consider is the HD4890 and whether the performance gain is worth the extra money and forgoing DX11 and power efficiency is a call you need to make yourself.
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January 10, 2010 9:09:04 PM

I guess the only good thing right now is to wait until the 5000 series drop in price
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a b U Graphics card
January 11, 2010 5:09:49 PM

JackNaylorPE said:
At this point, I'm down on the whole $155 category in that roundup.....as per the anandtech article, the 5770 needs to be at $130-$140 to make it worthwhile....the 4870 and 260 are worthwhile at the original $155 price point......at $170 and up, all these cards are overpriced
I agree that its not at the price/performance I would like to see it at. Unfortunately sub $200 is a pretty common GPU budget and you are stuck you with three choices(260/4870/5770). Given the pricing right now, even with its flaws the 5770 is IMO the better value (based on the assumptions that with driver updates it will eventually catch up to the older cards performance and that DX11 will further that performance increase in games that make use of the DX11 shaders/tesselation). The 5850 at over $300 isnt the obviously great price/performance value it was at $260. There is no DX11 $200-300 option so the 4890 is a good opton if you can spend that much, but not enough more to jump up to the 5850 of 5870. I dont see any good reason to buy 285s or 295s at the prices they are now (except the rare PhysX case).
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January 12, 2010 7:47:13 AM

Thank you all for your inputs :)  . ive decided to hold back on the upgrades and wait till the prices are more stable or when nvidia releases their new cards
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!