I'm building my first gaming system with a phenom2 x 4 940, 4 gigs of g.skill ddr2 1066, and i'm wandering if it will be worth the extra 100$ to get the 5850 or if I should stick with the savings and get a 5830
Honestly the amount of money that you will be saving with the 5830 isn't really worth the performance drop that happens. The 5850 preforms well for the price that its at and the power draw that it has.
However you have another way to look at it. is xfire 2 5770's and get performance between a 5850 and 5870 if left at the stock clocks. If you do the xfire 5770's i would look at xfx just for the reason of the double lifetime warrenty so if you don't like the cards you could sell them and get the 5850.
I have an update, (due to oil spill related vacation cancel), I have some extra money laying around that I could possibly spend on this computer. I'm thinking about just going all out on the graphics card and picking up a 5970. The new question that pops up is - will a phenom 2 940 quad core with a mediocre overclock on an am2 platform with ddr2 1066 "keep up" with that card?
uhmmm......depends on your resolution. if you're gaming at 2500 x 1600, the gain is much more on the graphics card, and the CPU becomes much less relevant. however, if you're on 1920 x 1200, and you feel like spending a little more, a 5870 would be your best option, while a 5850 is more than capable of pretty much any game at that resolution.
like you, i was trying to decide between a 5850 and 5830, and i was going to go for the 5850. but now i just bought a 5830 for 220$ CAD after taxes shipping, and MIR, which is an extremely good deal, 140$ cheaper than the cheapest 5850 after tax and shipping etc. i am extremely happy with it, and i've got it OCed at 943/1158.
As far as coolers go, I've been looking into the thermaltake frio, reviews seem to look like its a pretty solid overclocking cooler. I'm just apprehensive about getting a cooler that big and having it not fit in my case or covering ram slots.
I just installed the Frio on my system today. Unfortunately, first-time builder I am, I thought I could use my IDE CD/DVD drive from my old system on a MB that didn't have an IDE port - d'oh - wish I'd known that - so I had to buy one, oh well 25$ bucks at the most. So I haven't tested its overclocking abilities yet, but with the fans cranked up, idle it was around 26-28c. With the fans on low RPM, which is relatively quiet, it was around 33c at the most. I dunno if that's good or not for idle, probably a rough estimate, but it really pushed air around in the case nicely. I'll let you know within a week or so if it works well for me after the system is done and I'm not just fiddling around in bios. I fit it inside my antec nine hundred mid tower.