I'm torn between what to do. I'm an avid gamer, and currently acquired a 30 inch monitor with a native res of 2560x1600. I'm currently running a i7 920 DO @ 4.2 , but now i need a good video card to run games at this resolution with the graphics turned up. I'm currently trying to decide between: 2 - 5870's or 1 -5970. Money isn't an issue and am willing to go as far as buying 2 - 5970's but only if it's needed. I want to achieve Good fps and edit: max graphics on 2560x1600, so whatever that takes.
Forgot to add the motherboard I'm using is the Evga 3 sli classified x58 (but from what i read on these forums, it still works with crossfire)
For "Good fps and good graphics on 2560x1600" one HD5970 should be capable. For the "max graphics" requested in the thread title you may need two. I would just get one for now and then decide if it isn't enough for you.
2 HD 5870's will be faster than 1 HD 5970, but will use a little more power. They'll also overclock better. Ideally, though, you'd want 2 2Gb HD 5870's, in crossfire I'm sure they could use the extra memory.
I have a 5970 and a 30" monitor. Welcome to the club.
You can definitely max resolution with a 5970. I do get 200+ frames per second on MW2. I get over 100 in BC2 and 200+ is common on few other games.
The 5970 is perfect right now but in the future you can simply turn down AA. At 2560x1600 resolution there is 2x more pixels for edges to get smoothed over than 1080P. So even 2x or 4x AA looks great.
Is 2x5870's > a 5970? Yes it is.
Do you need it? Well my monitor displays at 60hz and my FPS is over that.... so no you won't need anything more.
A 5970 is considerably cheaper than 2x5870s.
So cheaper price
Lower power consumption
Nearly the same performance.
I am using the powercolor LCS 5970 so it has a waterblock. Overclocking at 950mhz core and 1200mhz memory. Performs better than 2x5870s at stock speeds. With a waterblock it loads at only 40C and doesn't add noise.
The problem is actually get your hands on a 5970. Good luck with that BTW.