APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Early May BUDGET RANGE: Variable, $150-300
USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming gaming gaming
CURRENT GPU AND POWER SUPPLY: Antec EarthWatts EA650 650W , New build so no GPU yet.
OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS: Tentative mobo: ASUS M4A79XTD EVO 790X, Tentative CPU: Athlon II X3 435, or X4 635-- Depends on which side of my budget range I fall on.
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg preferred, but really wherever the best price is.
PARTS PREFERENCES: Any quality brand with good warranty service.
OVERCLOCKING: Not on the GPU SLI OR CROSSFIRE: MAYBE
MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1680x1050 (NOT upgrading, this monitor is a very high quality panel, will take with me to the grave)
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: This is for an upcoming new system build. My total budget is around $850. I am above all trying to figure out what makes the most sense from a shrewd value-performance-needs standpoint.
Originally I was set on going for a single 5770 setup that would be crossfire ready to drop in a second 5770 later on. Due to some recent developments (friend giving me his old Antec 900 case) my budget now has some extra wiggle room to consider moving up to a 58xx system. I am having a hard time finding a clear answer between my own needs, desire to future proof, and price.
It seems like my option is between a 5770 and 5850, eventually with a crossfire setup for either one(would wait at least a year to buy the second). Seems like the 5850's will go down in price the fastest since they are so overinflated above msrp right now--on the other side of that coin It really burns me up to think about buying the first one for $50 or more above MSRP now. The 5830's sure are in a sweet spot for prices but I don't see them recommended much.
I am not the kind of person who will cry if I can't crank Crysis up as high as it goes and get 60fps. I am rocking a 7800GTX on my current gaming rig to give you an idea of my tolerance for scaling, and that pretty much any 5 series card will spoil me rotten.
I guess the TLDR version is: Is a 5850 crossfire worth the price premium over a 5770 crossfire for someone who appreciates graphics and longevity but is not super anal about max settings and 60fps.
I suppose it's also worth throwing out if the crossfire setup is even necessarily a good idea at 1680x1050.
HD5850 would be the sweet spot right now for your resolution. Price wise it costs $300, for that money you can get two HD5770 (actually one will handle most everything well at your res) for crossfire and get performance that rivals HD5870. Tough choice!
The HD5830 has not been recommended because it is closer to HD5770 in performance but closer to HD5850 in price. It needs to drop down to about $200 to be priced right based on performance/$ compared to its siblings.