Hey all, I've been thinking about upgrading from my 9600GT for a while now, and i'm ready to do it now--i just have to decide on which card. I thought i had my mind made up on getting a 5770, but then i started to think: buying a mid-range card now will mean it will be obsolete far more quickly than buying a high end card, which made me consider stepping right up to the 5850. I will be building a new system next year, and my current one will pass to my brother--i want to make sure it's a suitable gaming for him until he graduates from highschool. (3 more years)
Here are my system specs:
Athlon II X4 620 @ 3.2GHz, OCZ Gladiator 92mm cooler.
4GB Corsair PC-6400
Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-US2H mobo
OCZ 600W ModXStream PSU
Hitachi Desktar 500GB HDD
Case with 3 120mm fans, 1 80mm, so airflow is not an issue right now
The biggest question is: Which card is a better value from a price vs performance standpoint?
From a price performance view, the 5770 is certainly a better value, especially since they are so cheap you can practically get two for the price of a single 5850. Two such cards in crossfire will even outperform a single 5850, but since you don't have a crossfire board that's not much of a selling point for you . If you are worried about longevity and have the money then just go for a 5850. If you get the 5770, you will likely be upgrading a little sooner.
3 years is a long time and by then you will probably be able to get whatever mid range card comes after the 5770 for next to nothing anyway. Resolution is key here but i would side with the 5770 myself.
If you're playing at 1650 x 1050, the 5770 is a viable solution. If you wanna play DX11 games at 1920 x 1200 or 1080, then you'll want a 5850 or 470
As for price performance ratio's here's what they cost today in dollars per frame (DX11 games, 1920 x 1200, high settings, 9 benchmark average which does not include results of recent driver improvements)
ATI 5970 11.52 (down from 11.93)
ATI 5870 10.09 (down from 10.59)
nVidi 480 10.01
nVidia 470 9.08
ATI 5850 8.89 (down from 9.04)
The 5850 and 5870 get a boost this week compared to last as street prices (except for 5970) are almost down to the original MSRP's. ATI buyers should be thanking the green team for thew price reductions ... let's see if they can return the favor next week
1680x1050 or lower resolution, go with an ATI 5770.
1920x1080 or higher, go with ATI 5850 or GTX 470.
Crossfire ATI 5770 isn't a bad idea, and may outperform a single 5850. However, Crossfire or SLI are not a 100% increase in performance. So it'll cost the same as a 5850, but you may not get equal performance in ALL cases.
I'm a fan of doing the single greatest GPU you can afford to do at the time. Then later, when you need more power, you can add a Crossfire or SLI card. That's what I did with my GTX 260's. Started with a single card, and later added a second when I wanted more juice.
when i got my 9600GT it was about a 6 month old card (bought summer 2008), and it cost me 150$. it's still passable, but in newer games i can't play at the highest settings or dream about AA. now it is two years old, and it can't handle the a lot of new games at my resolution. i figured that the same sorts of things would result from getting a 5770, (2 years from now, it will not be able to handle the best games at the best settings). am i right in thinking this?
Personally, @ 1920x1080 I would do an ATI 5850, GTX 470, or Crossfire ATI 5770's for good performance. Anything else won't max everything out in the most modern titles.
If the money is an issue, you can certainly do a single ATI 5770 for $150 to $160 (it'll be a ton better than your 9600GT). Add a second one for Crossfire and you'll be at or slightly above ATI 5850 performance for about the same price. However, your next upgrade will replace two video cards, instead of adding a single card to create Crossfire.
I'd rather do a single ATI 5850 for about $300 and be able to add Crossfire later on, but that's just me.
If you can't Crossfire, I'd go ATI 5850 then to ensure you get the best long term performance @ 1920x1080. It's $300 or more. Honestly I've never spent that much on a single card either. LOL! But you'll be able to play everything with high graphic settings and room to spare for later on. If you're planning to keep the same card for the next couple years, I'd get the best you can now.
The ATI 5770 is a great card, but @ 1920x1080 you're pushing it with things like Metro 2033, Battlefield:Bad Company 2, etc. I don't like spending other people's money, but 5850 is your best price/performance option if you cannot go Crossfire later on. In my opinion.
Just built a new gaming PC for my brother a month ago. Spent about $1,500 in total, and the ATI 5850 is the heart of the system.
thanks a lot. i will wait a couple weeks until the gtx 465 is released, and HOPEFULLY cause some sort of price war. the 5850 use to be 300 flat in canada but now they are increasing more in price. as consumers we neeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeed some competition here.
You should compare the GTX 465 to the ATI 5850 before you think about buying one. Although I think you're just hoping the 465 will push 5850 prices down. Keep in mind though, the ATI 5850 is the faster of the two. So there may or may not be any real price change based on the GTX 465.