Balanced GFX Card for a Phenom II X4 945

I just started to buy parts for the first PC I'm gonna build, and the excellent "Building a balanced Gaming PC" articles on Tom's got me thinking about what graphic card to buy.

I'm more of a budget gamer, usually going with low-to-mid-range rigs, but this time I'd like my system to last for at least 3 years and to be at least somewhat upgradeable afterwards (I'd rather upgrade my CPU than my GFX card though). In general, I'm not a person who is opposed to playing new games on anything but the highest settings, though I'd like the shift to medium to happen as late as possible in my build's lifetime, obviously. ;)

I'd recently bought a Phenom II X4 945, and since I'd like DX11 support, I'm just torn between the 5770, the 5830 and the 5850 - personally I'd prefer the 5850, but it's somewhat overpriced here in Austria atm, and I'm not sure if the 945 wouldn't bottleneck its performance a bit too much.

The 5770 would probably be a decent choice and has the benefit of possibly being crossfired later, but I'm not sure if I really want to do that (my motherboard decision is obviously also dependant on that choice).

Lastly, the 5830 was mainly listed because it fits nicely in the middle between the other two choices, though the general consensus on that graphic card (from a price-performance-POV) seems to be less positive than on the 5770/5850 - I might be wrong though.

Can anyone enlighten me on which setup (of the X4 945 together with one of the suggested graphic cards) seems the most balanced/smart, from a gaming perspective? Any opinions on this matter would be very much appreciated :)
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  1. 945 wont bottleneck anything too much, the 5850 would be the best option obviously. The 5770 doesnt handle DX11 extremely well unfortunately. What are the prices on 5770s, 5830s, and 5850s in your area? What resolution do you intend to play at?

    If its only a little bit more to get a crossfire capable board it gives you good upgrade potential, and if you arent running super high resolution you could start with a 5770 and put another in crossfire in a year or two.
  2. Well, the 5770 is around 130-170€, the HD 5830 sells between 190-240€, and the 5850 is usually on sale between 280 and 320 € (sorry that it's in Euro, but the percentage-based price difference is at least apparent with these numbers).

    I'm intending to buy either a 22" or a 24" monitor (if I find a good one at a decent price), so my aim would be a good 1920x1080 performance coupled with my Phenom II X4 945.

    You're right at any case, I will most likely buy a Crossfire-capable motherboard anyways, since I want my PC to be upgradeable...and no matter which card I buy, crossfiring later sounds like a good way to keep my system alive a bit longer.

    Any more opinions on this matter would be appreciated :)
  3. HD5850 is good for a long term...
    Make sure you have a decent PSU to run it or even to CF it later... :)
  4. ur better off getting an asus directcu 550 because it easily overclocks past 5870 performance, and getting a 785g mobo, but if you want to crossfire get a 790gx, it shouldnt cost much more than a 785g mobo, andthe dual x8 lanes on crossfire 5850 on have a 2-3fps difference over a full dual 16x pcie lane 790fx which is usually well overpriced. with either of those boards you should be able to overclock ur cpu to 3.6-3.8 ghz, which means ur gfx cards will not be bottlenecked. if you decide to get a 790gx board for future crossfiring, try to get at least a decent 650w psu. its best to look for a power supply with a lot of A on a single 12v rail. youll need at least 40-45A for crossfire.
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