Hello there. I have a 24" monitor than runs natively at 1920 x 1200. I just purchased a DELL PC with a i7 - 920, 6g RAM and a HD 5870. I want my PC to be able to at least play all games at that resolution, all maxed out for a least a year from now. I have read reviews in places like PCGAMER or MAXIMUM PC telling how powerful the HD5870 was and stating also that a HD5970 might be necessary if you have a 30" monitor at 2560x1600 but otherwise you would be better off with a HD 5870 at 1920 x 1200 resolutions. Is that true? I would hate to see that my recent PC configuration is already DEAD and that I should have picked a HD 5970 instead. I know 30fps is the acceptable frame rate for a game to be playable and I thought that the standard was still Crysis so seeing that at that resolution the HD 5870 could handle that game all maxed out above the 30fps I was somehow relieved but now I see that Metro 2033 is the NEW standard and more hardware hungry than Crysis and I really don't know if the HD 5870 could handle that game at my resolution. Are there a lot of games coming this year to be as demanding as Metro 2033? Is my system already obsolete? Oh my!!? Please, I would like to hear your opinions! Thanks a lot!!
When you talk about future, there is no such thing as guaranteed.. The HD 5970 is the best performing card but i doubt that it might be replaced by some other card before ending this year only.. You've made a very good purchase and the taxing quality of few titles should not make you squeal.. A little lower resolution and'or eye candy is not going to change the game..
Things like AA, tesselation, and ambient occlusions are very taxing on performance with minimal if any gain for visuals. If you can live without too much of these settings a 5870 would be plenty.
Now a 5970 might not be the best choice even if you wanted extra power because crossfire doesn't scale well with low resolution monitors. You won't be getting your money's worth. I personally think it is only necessary for high resolutins like 2560x1600 or some form of eyefinity.