I am not sure whether to buy a 5850 and o.c. it or shed some extra money to buy a 5870, which then if I o.c.ed would be far ahead of a 5850. I'm really trying to get the best so down the line I can just crossfire it. Which do you think would be better a little ways down the line? So if I was to go with either which brand would you recommend? I really just want a card that runs cool and is good for overclocking. A card I had in mind was the Sapphire Vapor-X 58xx any input?
Yeah I agree with the extra $100 or more dollars not really being worth the performance. Do you guys think that down the line two OCed 5850s will still hold there own? Or do you think if I was going to perhaps go the 5870 way it would make a bigger impact in the future?
2 OCed 5850s should be pretty darn good for a good while. You can actually flash the BIOS and do voltage tweaking on many of them, but I don't have one an haven't done it, so I don't know which ones work best for that. Probably easiest with the ASUS since you don't have to worry about voiding the warranty by flashing, plus they generally have solid cooling. Whatever the case, the Sapphire cards generally have pretty good cooling, so that might help your OCing, also- XFX has the double lifetime warranty in North America, so if you live in the US or Canada, that'll be good for you too. some of the MSI boards have the extra OCing features as well- good cooling and I think voltage tweaking.
Only reference cards (and ones that specifically advertise) can increase voltage.
And omgitzfatal, just out of curiosity, did you try an OCCT error check on your card? I thought mine was 100% at 825 (never crashed, all looked good) however it would get an error or two in 10 min. A little bump in the voltage, now it passes 10-15 minutes w/o error at 850.