I'm planning on buying a new system this week (or before mid year specials end), I was planning on getting 5850's in crossfire or a single 5870 now and a second one later due to price/performance and being cooler/less power hungry than Nvidia's offerings, but after reading some bits here and there about ATI drivers being less stable or something, and now I'm thinking that if the drivers are as much of a problem as suggested I might be inclined to accept a slightly louder/hotter card if Nvidia drivers are better, personally I haven't used an ATI in years so I'm not sure about their drivers.
So short version: Are the ATI drivers a big enough deterrent/problem to warrant going for a gtx 470 (single or SLI)?
I'm not swayed by PhysX, tessellation kinda care about but figure it won't be important anytime soon, concerned a bit with heat especially with SLI.
I think a few years ago ati drivers were really a problem and the 58xx series were having troulbe earlier this year, but they've gotten pretty much all the major bugs at of this line, so stability wise they're both pretty close IMO so i would base your decision based on performance power and heat, and of course warrenty
I completely agree. The 5850 is an impressive card but I would go with the 470. Don't let anyone convince you that it's not a smart buy because of the heat , noise or power consumption. Mine runs cooler and quieter than my 285 did @ 60% fan speed. I can game for two hours and it will not go over 63c at 60% fan speed. You should see "similar" cooling results since I am running mine in the first revision Antec 900. As far as the power consumption goes , I could care less about the minuscule additional expense associated with running this card if there is indeed a factual one.
Again , I am not dogging the 5850 I just recommend the 470 over it.
If the OP wants to play Crysis, then a 5850 actually performs equal to or slightly better than a GTX470. Sure the GTX470 gets 10-20 fps more in other games,
but those other games are already around 50fps mark so it doesn't matter that much.
Overall, the GTX470 is a bit better than the 5850, but I'd say it's not worth the $50 difference. If he can find a GTX470 on sale for $300, then go for it.
As for the OP comparing 2x5850s or 1 5870, those would be a great option. The former is more expensive but can max out Crysis @ 1080p.