Is it worth shelling out 2x the money for an HD 5850? Perhaps a silly question, obviously 5850 is more performant - but any personal experiences from owners would be very welcome. Any reason I should steer clear of either of those? Or would you recommend an equivalent NVIDIA series instead?
Jyjjy: thanks! that's exactly the info you can't really get from reviews (or I haven't found). I haven't finalized my monitor choice but I'll probably go with 24 or 25 inch wide screen HD LCD eg http://www.google.com/products/catalog?q=monitor%2025%2...
Btw if you have any monitor recommendations, I'd be happy to hear them.
An HD5770 will be decent for 1920x1080(or 1200.) It will struggle a bit on the most intensive games with high settings but it's definitely pretty good for that resolution. It's a good choice if you have a motherboard capable of crossfire as then you can add another in the future when you find it necessary and prices have come down. It scales well in crossfire and 2 HD5770 in crossfire offer similar performance to an HD5870 although the minimum framerates suffer a bit because of the 128 bit bus. If your budget is tight it's probably the way to go but if you have the money the HD5850 is the better choice. The HD5850 also OCs very nicely and can get up to or exceed the performance of a stock HD5870
Now I'm having second thoughts... I COULD go with the 5850 but why not save 140 bucks when I can always expand later like you said (mobo is cross fire capable). The only thing is getting xfire-ed 5770 will be more power and heat, I really liked 5850s temp/watt profile.
Since I'm just learning about this stuff - which retailers would you recommend? I very recently realized it's not ATI selling them. ASUS or VisionTek or ...? The cheapest I found was on PROVANTAGE (Asus). Or any one will do?
Hmm I really need to think if it's worth spending the extra money...
Oh and finally, should I go for a 16:9 or 16:10. I have no intuition which is better simply because 16:10, while larger, sounds very non-standard to me (wrong?). I thought HDTV only came in three tiers, 16:9 being the highest...?
(I'm looking for an HDTV lcd with HDMI/DVI/HDCP and possibly a tuner though I might go with a tuner card on the box).
Those recommendations were mostly based on price. The main difference between cards from different manufactures is the fan/heatsink and the warranty. All the cards are pretty much the same other than that with some minor exceptions. Some offer a factory OC which is mostly useless as the results can almost always be easily duplicated(and usually bettered) on any card you might buy.
You can run 16:9 movies on a 16:10 monitor. There will just be a small black bar at the top and bottom of the screen.
How the motherboard operates in crossfire(x16, x8 or x4) should be listed in it's specifications. If you tell me the specific board I can tell you.