The 2 x 4850's are 1GB models. They run at $90.00 a piece. So basically a total of $180.00. I'm assumming I would have to shell out more for an appopriate mobo and power supply. So let's say an additionaly $30-60 to acquire what I need. Is it worth having two cards of a lesser value compared to the 5850? Do I gain some sort of viewing advantage having two cards?
Here is a benchmark of the HD Radeon 5850 vs. 2 x 4850 vs. 5770.
It seams like the 2 x 4850 fairs well against the 5850 and it costs less. I've never built a system before, and I am just unsure which path to take. I'm open to suggestions. Price is not necessarily an option, but I'm not breaking the bank to build an epic system.
the advantage you gain is a lower price for the cards, though for a decent crossfire mobo you are looking at ~$110 and a good PSU would be the Corsair 650TX (or antec, seasonic 650w as well, there is a list) which would be another $100 or so. In reality you would want this as well if you got the 5850 so you have the ability to crossfire down the road.
The disadvantage to 2 x 4850's over the 5850, is you can't just add another in down the line, you would have to replace the cards with either a single card or multiple cards