I'm thinking about building a new computer to replace my 3 year old one. I'm trying to decide whether to get a Radeon 5870, two 4890's, or just get another 8800GTS 320MB to put in SLI with my old one. Obviously the third option will most likely be the worst in terms of performance, but how much of a performance gain will I get with the first two? Is it worth the money? Which option would you recommend?
I don't really have a budget per se, although I'd like the whole build to be under $1500 or so. I can get a free i7 860 chip through work, and I'll take some parts from my old PC. What I need to buy are mobo, ram, case, and GPU (already have a 650W PSU), and maybe a new monitor. This should leave me roughly $400-$500 for GPU, although I still want the most value possible for the money.
Assuming you'll have a monitor of 1920x1080 or higher just get an HD5850 and OC it. The HD5870 isn't worth the extra money if you are willing to OC imo.
If the processor will be free and all you need is mobo/ram/case then there's no way you should come anywhere near spending $1500 unless you want to get some expensive stuff like a solid state hard drive or bluray burner.
OCing a video card is really pretty easy. With an ATI card you can even do it directly through the catalyst control center although you will get better results with other software that can up the voltage on that card.
Any recommendations or OCing software? I've used Riva TUner before, but on Windows 7 a prompt came up everytime I boot up the computer asking if I want to allow it to make changes to the system. Eventually I just got so annoyed that I uninstalled it. Is there a way around this?
Hmm. I'm not on Windows 7 so I can't help you with that. Perhaps someone else can. I wouldn't have the card constantly OCed however. With Rivatuner you can just set up a OCed profile and turn it on when you go to game and off when you are done. It will help you save power and produce less heat.
Last I read you want to use the MSI afterburner software to alter the voltage of the HD5850.