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Video Card Advice

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  • Graphics Cards
  • Gaming
  • Graphics
Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 20, 2010 2:51:23 PM

I recently upgraded my gaming rig, but havent touched the video card yet. I cannot seem to make up my mind even after reading reviews/charts for two weeks. I am choosing to use my lifeline and ask the audience.....can anyone help me??

Primary use will be gaming (MMO's/MW2 etc)

Current rig:
AMD Phenom II X4 965 BE
MSI 790FX-GD70 Mobo
GeminII S RR-CCH-PBU1-GP Cooler
8 Gigs (4 by 2gb) G. Skill DDR3 1600
Intel X-25M G2 SSD
WD 750 gig 7200 rpm HD
Thermaltake 750w PSU
Windows 7 Home

Current Cards:
Radeon HD 4670 (two in crossfire)

Budget:
Under 400, prefer 300.

I can't seem to pick between the 5870, 5850, or two 5770s in crossfire. Any other suggestions out there? Besides the gpu, are there any brands to stay away from?

More about : video card advice

January 20, 2010 2:59:26 PM

What resolution do you play at?

I recently bought a 5850, i play at 1680x1050, and i absolutely love it, even if it is a bit of an over kill.
a b U Graphics card
January 20, 2010 3:01:35 PM

I always go for the single best card in my budget. In line with what I just said I recommend the 5870.
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January 20, 2010 3:07:05 PM

Scubba, Good question. I am running 1680x1050
January 20, 2010 3:08:42 PM

hallowed_dragon said:
I always go for the single best card in my budget. In line with what I just said I recommend the 5870.



I was thinking about that as well. Going for the single card up front gives you upgrade potential down the road, and saves you noise/heat from having to run two cards.
a b U Graphics card
January 20, 2010 3:13:53 PM

At that resolution the X-Fire 5770 will be the fastest thing. But, in the future if you want to upgrade the monitor to a bigger resolution my suggestion to go with the 5870 would pay back for its higher cost. If you will want bigger performance you could always add another 5870 when they are cheaper. For your current resolution, anything greater in performance than a 5850 is an overkill, but as I said, you don't know what you will want in the future and by looking at your setup I believe that you will want more :lol: 
January 20, 2010 3:24:51 PM

Yes. I am looking to the future. I typically upgrade my machines every 3-4 years (graphics come in steps as needed). My monitor is a few years old and will likely be upgraded eventually. My gut tells me to get the 5870 and buy another in 1-2 years like you suggest, but that was my plan last time and it didn't work out.

In 2008 i picked up an 8800gt, but by the time I needed to upgrade they didn't make any 8800gt's anymore. The only places that sold them were shady online stores that were asking more than what I paid in 2008. Then that same week my 8800gt died.

Out of desperation I picked up two 4670s for a cheap solution while I figured things out (under 100 for the pair). Eventually i decided to upgrade everything and now i am stuck with sub par graphics based on my rig.

My major hold up with the 5870 is availability in say 2 years. At the rate new cards pump out it is hard to know what to expect.
a b U Graphics card
January 20, 2010 3:31:49 PM

x46018 said:
Yes. I am looking to the future. I typically upgrade my machines every 3-4 years (graphics come in steps as needed). My monitor is a few years old and will likely be upgraded eventually. My gut tells me to get the 5870 and buy another in 1-2 years like you suggest, but that was my plan last time and it didn't work out.

In 2008 i picked up an 8800gt, but by the time I needed to upgrade they didn't make any 8800gt's anymore. The only places that sold them were shady online stores that were asking more than what I paid in 2008. Then that same week my 8800gt died.

Out of desperation I picked up two 4670s for a cheap solution while I figured things out (under 100 for the pair). Eventually i decided to upgrade everything and now i am stuck with sub par graphics based on my rig.

My major hold up with the 5870 is availability in say 2 years. At the rate new cards pump out it is hard to know what to expect.


Then do as I do. Get the 5850, and upgrade each new generation for the mainstream-high end card. You don't spend a lot and you get above standard graphics which will hold you until the new generation comes.
January 20, 2010 4:31:23 PM

I did some more research and found the 5850 needs 2 6-pin power cables. I only have two free cables with my power supply right now. That would mean upgrading to a second 5850/70 would require a new power supply....not sure if that is worth the hassle/money.

Maybe two 5770s is the best way to go. newegg has a little sale on the sapphire vapor-x. Any thoughts on this?
a c 376 U Graphics card
January 20, 2010 4:45:40 PM

One HD5770. It will be great for your resolution. If you end up feeling the need for something more you can always get another and later on it will cost less.
a c 148 U Graphics card
a b 4 Gaming
January 20, 2010 4:46:58 PM

x46018 said:
I did some more research and found the 5850 needs 2 6-pin power cables. I only have two free cables with my power supply right now. That would mean upgrading to a second 5850/70 would require a new power supply....not sure if that is worth the hassle/money.

Maybe two 5770s is the best way to go. newegg has a little sale on the sapphire vapor-x. Any thoughts on this?


I would honestly recommend the 5850 for your purposes at $300. If you want to spend the $400 for a 5870 knock you socks off. But, to be honest the better buy is the 5850, the extra $100 is honestly only worth it if you say so. I bought a 5870 and love it, but I would have settled for a 5850 also if I didn't have the funds. The 5850 can be overclocked to the 5870 clocks, which allows it to perform just under the 5870 because it does have fewer Stream Processors and Texture units.

As far as connecting a second card. Just because your PSU only has 2 PCI-E 6 pin's doesn't mean you can't install 2 cards. You would just use (1) 6pin on each, and then use the (1) 4pin molex to 6pin adapter for each.
a c 376 U Graphics card
January 20, 2010 4:55:22 PM

Bleh, a $300 card for 1680x1050 is bad advice imo. Unless he has a lot of money burning a hole in his pocket.
a c 148 U Graphics card
a b 4 Gaming
January 20, 2010 4:58:53 PM

jyjjy said:
Bleh, a $300 card for 1680x1050 is bad advice imo. Unless he has a lot of money burning a hole in his pocket.

I have a 5870 on a 1680x1050 LCD. Sure MW2 has NO issues and the GPu barley reaches 70C when playing. However, Dirt2 and some other games take advantage and BOY do they look pretty. :D  I am also sure a 5870 will keep me happy WAY WAY WAY longer than a 5770 would.
a c 376 U Graphics card
January 20, 2010 5:05:06 PM

The benchmarks for an HD5770 at that resolution are pretty great too. Buying a card twice as good as you need is always a mistake imo considering high end cards are always sold at a premium and prices are always going down. The option of adding another in crossfire for performance similar to an HD5870(for $100 or more less) any time you want makes the HD5770 a no brainer here imo.
a c 148 U Graphics card
a b 4 Gaming
January 20, 2010 5:50:44 PM

^Yes the $100 between the 5850 and 5870 is mostly not that justified unless you have it to burn and want the extra performance. I still think the 5850 is a great buy if you are looking for highend graphics. In many games the 5770 will run great, MW2, Left4Dead2, however the very demanding games will take a 5770 to it's knees.
a c 376 U Graphics card
January 20, 2010 6:00:32 PM

You can probably count the games that an HD5770 can't max out at the resolution on one hand.
!