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HD 5970 price drop after Fermi release

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 31, 2010 6:03:04 AM

Will the price drop? And also is there any real difference in the branding when it comes to performance ex: saphire? 5970 vs his 5970
March 31, 2010 6:56:47 AM

its still easily the best card on the market, so i wouldnt expect it to.
Performance wont be noticeable unless you overclock, which even then it wont be very noticeable.
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a b U Graphics card
March 31, 2010 7:02:55 AM

Doubt it for now, the HD 5970 is still the undisputed king of graphics cards atm. I'm thinking it will stay that way for a long time, because GTX 480s won't be able to be bought until April, and mass distribution won't begin until past June. Then, it will take a few more months for nVidia to develop a dual GF100 card, because a single GTX 480 uses more energy than a dual-gpu single card HD 5970, and to get two GF100 GPUs on the same card, nVidia's going to seriously have to either rework these cards or cripple them severely to be able to put two on the same graphics board and not exceed the 300W ATX limit on graphic cards.

As for branding, the GPU underneath the graphic card's heatsink is still the same, two HD 5870s underclocked to 725MHz/1000MHz. However the ability to overclock them is limited by their coolers - most are reference design, but soon enough there should be non-reference like Sapphire's Toxic/Atomic or Vapor-X editions, or HIS's IceQ. Although right now AFAIK there are no non-reference design coolers.
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a b U Graphics card
March 31, 2010 2:48:58 PM

i doubt fermi's release will drop the price of the 5970, and i would imagine that it will put the price of the 5850 a little closer to the MSRP

about dual fermi, the only way i see it being don is a 2 x GTX460 (even more crippled) or just not care about the PCI-SIG specifications
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March 31, 2010 4:39:54 PM

chillybawls said:
Will the price drop? And also is there any real difference in the branding when it comes to performance ex: saphire? 5970 vs his 5970


Price drop: This is unlikely. Just since the official launch event, the prices on the HD 5970 have skyrocketed. They were finally getting down into the $600-650 range, but have since jumped back up to the $750-800 range. ZipZoomFly has increased their prices on EVERY HD 5970 to $800, and NewEgg has increased their prices as well. Limited availability paired with a lackluster overall response to the GTX 480 has given retailers no incentive to drop prices. As long as limited supply of the GTX 480 is driving consumers towards ATI cards, the prices on the 5xxx series will stay high.

Branding: most manufacturers will give you a good card (which isn't to say that it's guaranteed not to be defective, but most of the major manufacturers produce quality products). HIS and Sapphire are widely held to be some of the top-quality manufacturers, XFX is well-known for great warranties (whatever value you might put on that personally), while Diamond has a reputation among many consumers for being a steaming turd. When buying new technology, customer service is always a plus. You don't want to get stuck with a company that can't or won't help you out if you end up with a bad card.

Also, keep in mind that some companies are now starting to sell the 5970 with tweaked specs - overclocking, more memory, etc. Some of what's being done is stuff that you can achieve at home (i.e., overclocking/voltage tweaking), while some of it is only available if you pay the premium price the manufacturer sets (i.e., XFX's upcoming 4GB HD 5970). Generally, all HD 5970s will meet a minimum baseline spec, no matter which version you buy, but some will be pushed a little harder out of the gates.
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March 31, 2010 7:55:27 PM

Like many others, I'm currently in the holding pattern for buying a new Ati card, mainly from waiting for prices to drop, which I'm starting to become convinced isn't going to happen. Or at least they won't drop very much.

My understanding about the 5970 is that it is basically two 5850 in sli? If you run two 5870's in crossfire, you'll get better performance than out of the 5970? One poster here said that there should be some new versions of the 5970 coming out that allows more overclocking potential?

In todays games like BC2, Crysis, MW2 etc, would there be that much of a difference running 2GB of GPU memory compared to 4GB of GPU memory? I'm trying to decide if its worthwhile to wait for these newer Ati cards to come out, of if I should just go with a 5870 and pick up another when the prices drop a bit.

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a b U Graphics card
March 31, 2010 8:15:25 PM

hockster said:
Like many others, I'm currently in the holding pattern for buying a new Ati card, mainly from waiting for prices to drop, which I'm starting to become convinced isn't going to happen. Or at least they won't drop very much.

My understanding about the 5970 is that it is basically two 5850 in sli? If you run two 5870's in crossfire, you'll get better performance than out of the 5970? One poster here said that there should be some new versions of the 5970 coming out that allows more overclocking potential?

In todays games like BC2, Crysis, MW2 etc, would there be that much of a difference running 2GB of GPU memory compared to 4GB of GPU memory? I'm trying to decide if its worthwhile to wait for these newer Ati cards to come out, of if I should just go with a 5870 and pick up another when the prices drop a bit.


you might be waiting a while for ATI price drops

the 5970 is 2 5870's down clocked (to stay under the PCI-SIG 300w requirement) so the performance is near that of CF5850's, though you can OC them to 5870 levels and get the same speed as CF5870's

as for gpu memory, 1GB is fine for now, though at extreme resolutions and AA you might want to get teh 2GB model (you know, like EyeFinity 6 displays)

the only GPU's i have seem with 4GB memory are the workstation cards, or dual gpu cards which really only have effectively half as much since eahc gpu only has half of the effective memory, and in CF or SLI you don;t add the memory together
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March 31, 2010 9:52:58 PM

mindless728 said:
you might be waiting a while for ATI price drops

the 5970 is 2 5870's down clocked (to stay under the PCI-SIG 300w requirement) so the performance is near that of CF5850's, though you can OC them to 5870 levels and get the same speed as CF5870's

as for gpu memory, 1GB is fine for now, though at extreme resolutions and AA you might want to get teh 2GB model (you know, like EyeFinity 6 displays)

the only GPU's i have seem with 4GB memory are the workstation cards, or dual gpu cards which really only have effectively half as much since eahc gpu only has half of the effective memory, and in CF or SLI you don;t add the memory together



In overclocking the 5970 to equal 5870's in crossfire, would the overclocked 5970 be equal to the 5870's in crossfire though in stock settings? Essentially meaning that overclocking the 5870's would then surpass the overclocked 5970?

I guess the main point of my question regarding the 2GB vs. 4GB of GPU memory would be in relation to wondering if I should wait for the 5870 2GB cards to come out and running them in crossfire. Would the total of 4GB's of memory on both cards be really needed? I plan on hooking my new computer up to my 50" plasma and want to make sure I'm feeding it the best graphics that I can.

Thanks for the information!
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March 31, 2010 10:23:53 PM

hockster said:
In overclocking the 5970 to equal 5870's in crossfire, would the overclocked 5970 be equal to the 5870's in crossfire though in stock settings? Essentially meaning that overclocking the 5870's would then surpass the overclocked 5970?

I guess the main point of my question regarding the 2GB vs. 4GB of GPU memory would be in relation to wondering if I should wait for the 5870 2GB cards to come out and running them in crossfire. Would the total of 4GB's of memory on both cards be really needed? I plan on hooking my new computer up to my 50" plasma and want to make sure I'm feeding it the best graphics that I can.

Thanks for the information!


The chances are good that your 50" plasma is still just a single 1920x1080 display - 4GB worth of GPU is massive overkill. A single 5970 should be more than sufficient. Crossfiring 2GB 5870s or 5970s to run a single 1080p display is a pretty big waste of money.
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