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Card for 1680x1050 res and 20"/22" monitor

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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May 9, 2010 1:01:37 AM

Well, the thread title lists what I have and I'm curious about potential games. My usual activities include 3D (Photoshop, Google Earth, stuff like that) and movies. I don't have any games right now. Do you have to pay to use Crysis?

I would probably only get Crysis and maybe Left For Dead and Call of Duty. I might get a sports game, too, but most games can handle that?

For comparison and for examining real numbers, I looked up benchmarks for the HD 5770 and HD 5850 using Crysis and 1680x1050 resolution (DirectX 10, too). I would be using either a 20" or 22" monitor.

This is how it looks (I rounded off numbers since most sources displayed relatively the same stats):

0xAA
5770 - 32 fps (avg.), 20 fps (min.)
5850 - 47 fps (avg.), 30 fps (min.)
both are 1GB cards

4xAA
5770 - 27 fps, 15 fps
5850 - 39 fps, 22 fps

I'm not sure how much the reduction in frame rate (frames) effects quality of the gaming experience but if 30 fps is fine for Crysis, I'm inclined to go with a cheaper card. However, the more expensive card, the HD 5850 seems to keep you at min. of 40 fps. I guess I'm wondering about the comparison of 30 v.s. 40 and what the difference is, if any. The price of the HD 5770 is a bit easier on the pocket book, for sure, though. I'm just curious how the cards compare.
May 9, 2010 1:05:47 AM

Oops, I almost forgot... maybe I should list my PSU? It's a Corsair HX520W. I hope it's sufficient.
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a b U Graphics card
May 9, 2010 1:31:51 AM

Yes you have to pay for Crysis. If you don't even have any games currently, I would be inclined to say 5770. I'm running a 5770 at 1920x1080 and do play Crysis and I find it perfectly acceptable. Ultimately though, it comes down to your budget.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/2856
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May 9, 2010 2:38:02 AM

Okay, I'm now really confused. :D  If I go with the 5770, it might be good enough but just barely or another perspective is it's not good enough for highest settings/performance in powerful games?

If I go for 5850, I'd have no concern but have to pay double almost. Ouch...

If I go for either card, does it depend on brand? To make it simple and because some ATI fans suggest it, I'd go for a reference pcb card. So, no customization or customized coolers. The custom cards might have slightly less heat but I am not sure which one and many ATI fans say get a standard pcb card since you can mess with settings/voltage.

But, I don't know which brand of ATI card anyway. I think it's narrowed to two brands, XFX or Sapphire. Sapphire seems to have the cheapest cards especially for 5850 but XFX has the longer or better warranty. I probably prefer XFX for a 5770 but the Sapphire is cheaper for both cards and I can walk into two local computers stores and pick up a Sapphire 5770.

Which one would you choose and why?

I might go with a 5770 just because of price. I'll just go with a compatible game that allows good frame rates and performance. Although, the 5850 seems to cover everything. I'll see what my ultimate budget is when I decide (to buy) but I still need to choose a brand, I think. ???
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a c 376 U Graphics card
May 9, 2010 3:23:08 AM

Quote:
For newer games like Crysis, Stalker, BFBC2 at 1680x1050 the 5770 is not going to cut it.

This is a ludicrous statement to make. When you say such thing PLEASE tell people that your standards are that all settings, including AA be maxed out otherwise you are simply being misleading. Most people just want to be able to play a game on settings that make it look good and aren't rich/OCD about having everything possible maxed out to the point that they will pay twice as much money to do so on a handful of games.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
May 9, 2010 3:30:06 AM

Canuck1 said:
Okay, I'm now really confused. :D  If I go with the 5770, it might be good enough but just barely or another perspective is it's not good enough for highest settings/performance in powerful games?

The second. This was exactly what I'm talking about with my above post. Only on the most intensive games will that card struggle at all at that resolution and then you will likely just need to turn AA down some. I believe there are two games were you may actually have to turn down some actual settings(slightly) to consistently get frame rates above 30 and those are Crysis and Metro 2033.
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a b U Graphics card
May 9, 2010 4:00:53 AM

To answer your last question the differences between the different brands' cards are largely cosmetic - some will be slightly overclocked, have a custom cooler, etc. Personally, I wouldn't pay more than a few dollars extra for either. XFX offers a double lifetime warranty, so that's one thing to consider.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
May 9, 2010 12:27:02 PM

There is a HUGE difference between playing "low or medium settings" and having to live without AA or turning down shadows slightly on a handful of games. For example here's the Crysis benchmarks from Tom's review of the HD5770;
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-5770,2446...
No AA + high details at 1680x1050 = over 40 fps
This most definitely is a very good card for that resolution. Would an HD5850 be better? Of course it would but suggesting someone spend twice as much money on a video card because the card "won't cut it" in a certain game when "won't cut it" means 40 fps if you can live without AA is misleading imo. I'm not saying you shouldn't give your advice just make sure people know where you are coming from when you give it so they can make a informed decision with their money.
As for tomorrow's games I'm not so sure they'll be much more intensive until we get new consoles. It took around 3 years for a game as intensive as Crysis to come out(Metro 2033) and the Stalker series has also been around a long time and hasn't really gotten harder on cards.
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May 9, 2010 6:07:35 PM

Thanks, guys! Actually, I'd probably be playing on a 20" LCD monitor for now. My brother borrowed my 22" Samsung to watch movies on his laptop and whatever else he uses it for. I guess it's nice to use a larger monitor with a laptop if it's only on your desk. I'm typing this via my laptop using a 20" monitor right now. The resolution on both is 1680x1050, I believe.

Of course, I'd prefer the 5850 and is a good long-term purchase, probably, and is a good card for lower heat/temps for such a powerful card. But, this is still a $300 card for Canadians and would have to be a Sapphire for that price.

The HD 5770 is only half as expensive and only those intensive games you mentioned would stress the card but it's still a bit playable but maybe 10 less frames on average. I'll think about it but if price becomes the main factor, I'll go with a HD 5770 so the next and only question remaining would be whether to go with Sapphire or XFX. I think I'd want a reference card.

If there's anything to add regarding the brands or reference pcb, please add to the thread! :)  I understand both perspectives you guys and I think both of you have good points. I'll choose according to what I can afford but the other questions are a matter of choice/preference. I don't have an opinion on those yet so hoping experts can chime in! :) 
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a b U Graphics card
May 9, 2010 11:38:08 PM

There probably won't be any real differences between the brands especially if you are getting a stock one. XFX does have a double lifetime warranty though.
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a b U Graphics card
May 9, 2010 11:42:55 PM

I would recommend a 5770 as well. You can Xfire another 5770 down the road if you have an Xfire motherboard.

What are the rest of your system specs though?
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May 10, 2010 1:04:07 AM

Okay, probably a 5770 then unless I go even cheaper... :-D I think it's between a 4770 or 5770 but I want the 5000 series card. I'd like the 5850 but maybe overkill unless I do some hardcore gaming!

The other specs include Gigabyte P35 mobo, Corsair HX520W PSU, Intel Q6600 G0 stepping CPU, Audigy 2ZS sound card (I hope this works in Windows 7) and the OS is Windows XP, currently. Might upgrade to Windows 7 at some point, though. I also use Linux and that's another potential issue but no need to include that in this discussion! :D 

My monitors include Acer 20" X203 (I'm borrowing that one), LG 20" and Samsung 22" (brother is using that one) and all the resolutions are the same, 1680x1050.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
May 10, 2010 1:20:08 AM

The HD4770 would be ok but not particularly good for 1680x1050. I'd stick with the HD5770. There's also the HD5750 which would be pretty good but it's really not much cheaper than the HD5770 which is worth the extra money.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
May 10, 2010 2:27:35 PM

Not everyone needs to pay hundreds of dollars to max out the settings/AA in every game in existence and the age of a game is irrelevant. Crysis is years old as well. If that shows anything it's that games aren't getting harder to run and likely wont really until there are new consoles.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
May 11, 2010 12:50:25 PM

Your standards once again are not normal. What you consider lame most sane people consider excellent.
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May 16, 2010 12:01:20 AM

It's okay, guys. No need to feel offended so plz no need to get defensive towards each other, okay? :) 

I appreciate all the advice and your perspectives! That is towards EVERYONE who replied. I'm still not decided but mostly because of the price. I like the HD 5850 but $300! I guess that's a lot for me but mostly because there are a few other hardware components I hope to get. ;)  Not to mention, maybe software.

However, the HD 5850 sounds like a very future proof option! Might be overkill for me but a nice comfort that it can play almost anything!

I'm trying to rate stuff this way:
HD 5770
XFX (reference card) 577A-.....
Sapphire 5770 Vapor-X
Those are my top two and will only consider one or the other

HD 5850 (more flexible considering availability and price is generally high!)
XFX (reference card again)
Sapphire Vapor-X model (or Toxic - will choose based on price if one of these)
Asus Cu-Core (any reason to pick this over the other two above?)

I guess I prefer a reference card because of the hot air going out of the case rather than worrying about my cooling or fans.... any comments on that? Or on my ratings/choices? :) 
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