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Value: 2 x HD 4770 Crossfire vs. 2 x HD 5850 Crossfire

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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February 21, 2010 2:37:33 PM

Building a new gaming rig to upgrade my ancient Pentium 4 3.2 Ghz system (which I can't coax any more performance out of). I already have a single HD 4770 in the old system. New system will be an i7-860 Lynnfield on a Gigabyte GA-P55-UD5 with Plenty of RAM and Power. After upgrading my monitor, I will be gaming at 1920x1200.

Here is the rub. For the value, what would be better? Buy two HD 5850s for $600, or buy just one more HD 4770, save $480, and upgrade in another year or two. I know the 5850s in crossfire would be a monster, but at 1920x1200 is it just overkill right now? $480 could buy some really nice stuff: a better monitor upgrade and/or a nice SSD system drive. Does anyone think the difference will be that substantial for a year or two?

a c 130 U Graphics card
February 21, 2010 2:43:34 PM

The difference? Night and day.

2xHD4770 is lacking one thing though; dx11. If you ever wanted to play a game that has it, you're ass-out.
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a b U Graphics card
February 21, 2010 2:55:00 PM

I would put the 100 dollars on another 4770, the MSI version is 92 at newegg right now. It will give you a lot of graphic power and let you experiment with crossfire. You have the benefit of the 40nm die with the 4770 so you get the less power/heat qualities of the 5 series. You aren't missing a thing not having dx11 right now.
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a b U Graphics card
February 21, 2010 3:02:34 PM



As you can see the 5850 is about twice the performance of a 4770, so it would equal 2 4770s. Now 2 5770s are about equal to a 5870 and will outperform a 5850 for about the same price, at your resolution there is no need for more performance than a 5870.

http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1105/5/
http://www.guru3d.com/article/radeon-hd-5770-review-tes...
Read the results there and you will see.

Also some may tell you that the 5770 is memory bandwidth starved, this is not correct. Just look that those benchmarks, the 5770 has half the shaders and half the bandwidth of a 5870, yet two 5770s are on-par with a 5870. Here is another source:

http://alienbabeltech.com/main/?p=12474
"The results generated today seem to disprove the commonly accepted idea that the 5770 is primarily held back by memory bandwidth. In actual fact ATi seems to have equipped the card with enough bandwidth to make it a reasonably balanced part overall."

It also shows that a lot of performance can be gained by core clock overclocking.

My vote goes to 2 5770s in crossfire which only cost ~$300 and will give you all the performance you could reasonably need at 1920x1200. That said, 2 4770s in crossfire will come close to a 5850 which isn't too far off and is a lot cheaper of an upgrade. It all comes down to when you plan to upgrade if it is within <1-1.5 yr. then I would go with the 4770s and if it is a greater time frame then the 5770s. Also remember that you could always sell the original 4770 for $50-$100 so you must factor that in. I hope this helps.
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February 21, 2010 4:08:31 PM

go for another 4770
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February 21, 2010 5:24:04 PM

Thanks all for the input. I am going with another HD 4770. It looks like it should be enough for me for the time being and saving $500 is huge. Plus, I'll have the foundation in place for a bigger GPU upgrade in the near future.
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February 21, 2010 5:24:26 PM

Best answer selected by jdp245.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
February 21, 2010 5:39:00 PM

Considering 2xHD4770 is roughly equal to one HD5850 that is the real comparison. Another HD4770 is obviously the best value for the money but an OCed HD5850 will beat an HD5870 and offer DX11 and power efficiency without any crossfire scaling/compatibility issues compared to another HD4770. And you'll be half way to the crossfired HD5850 setup you wanted.
Really it's a decision you have to make yourself but coming into it thinking you MUST buy two HD5850s rather than one doesn't make much sense. Personally I would just ebay the HD4770 and grab an HD5850.
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a b U Graphics card
February 21, 2010 6:39:08 PM

jyjjy said:
Considering 2xHD4770 is roughly equal to one HD5850 that is the real comparison. Another HD4770 is obviously the best value for the money but an OCed HD5850 will beat an HD5870 and offer DX11 and power efficiency without any crossfire scaling/compatibility issues compared to another HD4770. And you'll be half way to the crossfired HD5850 setup you wanted.
Really it's a decision you have to make yourself but coming into it thinking you MUST buy two HD5850s rather than one doesn't make much sense. Personally I would just ebay the HD4770 and grab an HD5850.


I'll point this out, the 5870 can OC too, as well as the 4770 and the 5770. They are all very good overclockers so the OC point is moot. Crossfire scaling and compatibility issues are not all that problematic with two cards, the problems usually occur when duel GPU cards get long in the tooth.

All in all, he made the right decision as 2 5850s are a waste at his resolution.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
February 21, 2010 7:07:45 PM

AMW1011 said:
I'll point this out, the 5870 can OC too, as well as the 4770 and the 5770. They are all very good overclockers so the OC point is moot.

No one suggested the HD5870, the comparison I was making was crossfired HD4770s vs one HD5850 and I was stating what kind of performance one can get with a single HD5850 and I was accurate. The point about OCing would only be moot if all the cards OCed the same. They do not and OCing a crossfired setup is trickier than a single card.
I clearly stated another HD4770 would be the best value for the money but a single HD5850 has a number of advantages. Crossfire scaling/compatibilities issues do still exist, there is nothing wrong with listing it.
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February 22, 2010 12:28:46 PM

@jyjjy - Thanks for the response. Point well taken on the real comparison being between the 2 x 4770 or a single 5850. I had already budgeted and designed the system around the 2 x 5850, when I realized that I probably already had half of a good solution in my old case and could save $500. I'm going with another 4770, and will keep an eye on what comes down the pipeline in another year or two for an upgrade. And that frees up some room in the budget to get one of the new TRIM compatible SSDs for my boot drive!
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a b U Graphics card
February 22, 2010 7:19:50 PM

Please note, he said 5770 in response, not 4770. Another 4770 won't gain you much performance. He meant spending $300 to upgrade to 2x5770 instead of 2x5850 at that resolution.
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