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5850 vs 5870 vs 5870 2GB

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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June 3, 2010 2:49:20 PM

I'm looking to get a video card for my machine in the next month or two. I was looking the the GTX 470, but the heat and power consumption have turned me off. So now I'm looking at the 5800 line of cards. When I got the PSU I wasn't thinking of CrossFire, so at 650W I'm kind of limited. Which is fine, because I really don't want to drop $700 on two cards. This is the first time I've been able to build my own computer from the ground up, so it's sort of a budget build, but I think I've gotten a good start on things, and don't mind putting a little bit more into the GPU. I don't really want to do any overclocking until my warranties are up at least, so if I run into any problems, I'm not stuck. The only exception I would give would be for the 5850, since it is on the lower end.

My main questions are, is the 1440 shading units in the 5850 vs the 1600 in the 5870 going to be that noticeable? Right now my game of choice is Bad Company 2, and I play Left 4 Dead 1 & 2, and will be playing MW2 more when I get the video card. I play on my laptop (Dell Studio 1737) but I'm getting too much lag in BFBC2 when there's explosions around me which is what pushed me to a desktop.

My other question, is if I have the money, is the performance increase equal to or greater than the price difference going from the standard 1GB 5870 to the 2GB 5870 (approx. $400 compared to $500)?

Finally, is there a certain brand that seems to hold up longer (ASUS vs Gigabyte vs Sapphire etc)?

My build:

ASUS M4A78T-E Motherboard
CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W PSU
AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition 3.2GHz CPU
G.SKILL ECO Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1333 SDRAM 7-7-7-21

More about : 5850 5870 5870 2gb

Best solution

June 3, 2010 3:15:42 PM

Get an Asus DirectCU DH5850. Read a few overclocking guides, and get it to 980+core/1200+mem. That will get it to perform past the HD5870. It will also max out BF:BC2/L4D/MW2. Your PSU can also handle 2x HD5850s, though you will have to downclock the OC to around 850/1150.

Don't bother with an HD5870. Not too good of a price/performance, and as I said, an HD5850 OCs past a 5870.

2GB is useless unless you're going above 1920x1080.

Try to get some RAM with better timings btw.
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June 3, 2010 3:28:48 PM

Hmm well like shadow said the 5850 is a better performance for the price and you can crossfire it with your set up. However, while you can OC it to those high speeds that only will beat a stock 5870... you can just OC a 5870 to leave it in the dust. Also, over 900 core will require more voltage and that may or may not hurt the GPU's lifespan. Mine are running at 875/1200 without any voltage change.
I would say get the 5850 and save that $100+ and maybe in a few months you can add a 2nd 5850 for lightning fast performance.

I made a thread with a whole lot of 5850 single and crossfire benchmarks
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/289809-33-single-5850...
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June 3, 2010 5:09:24 PM

Best answer selected by MotoGuy.
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June 3, 2010 5:11:03 PM

shadow187 said:
Get an Asus DirectCU DH5850. Read a few overclocking guides, and get it to 980+core/1200+mem. That will get it to perform past the HD5870. It will also max out BF:BC2/L4D/MW2. Your PSU can also handle 2x HD5850s, though you will have to downclock the OC to around 850/1150.

Don't bother with an HD5870. Not too good of a price/performance, and as I said, an HD5850 OCs past a 5870.

2GB is useless unless you're going above 1920x1080.

Try to get some RAM with better timings btw.


Newegg doesn't have the DH5850, but they do have the EAH5850 which looks like the equivalent. I'll keep my eye out for it. Thanks again.
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June 3, 2010 5:18:41 PM

go with an 5850 and save $$ in a 2 or 3 years ATI will have something even better
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