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Which card?: Sapphire vapor-x HD5770 vs 5850

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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July 26, 2010 1:44:40 PM

I've got an Antec 300 case and I'm using a 24" @ 1920x1200.

Ignore all power requirements.

My current gpu is the loud and proud 9800GX2 - which is probably more powerful than the 5770. Some of you will say that the 9800GX2 is enough to meet my needs at my current resolution - graphics horsepower wise. It's not mine though, and I'll soon need a replacement, that is why I'm considering these 2 cards.

My first concern is noise/heat output, second is future gaming capability (I'd like my setup to play all current games - Dirt, ETW, Crysis, Supcom as well as upcoming games at very high settings - AA is optional). I'm not concerned how much the setup costs, although I'll take the cheaper option between two very similar ones.

I'll add that I've got xfire capability, so I can consider buying one card now, then buying a second one, say, 6 months down the road when the price comes down and new games require more power. Also, I might be getting a 2nd 24" monitor, although I'm not aware of too many games that make use of exactly 2 - other than Supreme Commander

I know about eyefinitiy, but 3 monitors? I'm not quite at that level yet - also, I don't think a 5770 would be enough for 3 monitors at 1920x1200 playing something like hawx. Would the 5850 be enough?

So, I have the following questions for you graphics gaming experts:

- Will a Sapphire Vapor-X 5850 even fit in my case? I've got between 10.6 and 10.75" of room - as do all Antec 300s. If not, then my choice is clear.

- Based on my requirements, what would you recommend?

- Are there any 5700 or 5800 series radeon cards out there that are even quieter than the Vapor-X series?

- Are we on the verge on another release of video cards, like, say, the 6000 series or perhaps new gpus that will drive down the prices of existing ones?

- I cant decide between the 5770 and the 5850 - horesepower wise - however there is the 5830 that should be in between. Does a vapor-x or other quiet version of this gpu exist?
a b U Graphics card
July 26, 2010 2:08:42 PM

The 5770 should not even be in the equation at the resolution you wish to play at. Forget future requirements, the 5770 will be at the max to survive with current requirements.

At 1920 x 1200 the two cards to consider is the 5850, or even the GTX460 (ideally the 1gb version). The 5850 is more powerful but considerably more expensive, the GTX460 is weaker but with overclocking it runs very well at your resolution, especially for its price.

I have not included the 5830 because the GTX460 768mb card is same cost but better, and the 1gb card is a bit more expensive and even better still, so there is no reason to consider the 5830 except for Eyefinity. But then I would not consider the 5830 powerful enough for multiple screens for gaming...I don't consider it powerful enough for single monitors at your resolution

I believe the ATI 6000 series is out later this year?
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a c 376 U Graphics card
July 26, 2010 2:18:23 PM

The HD5850 will fit in your case and is more appropriate for your resolution, especially if you are considering moving up to eyefinity. It is a good card at stock but what makes it a great deal is that it can overclock a huge degree(40%+) if you get the right card. I would recommend this one;
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
It is the best you can buy. Here is a review;
http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1273/1/
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a c 124 U Graphics card
July 26, 2010 2:34:41 PM

I wouldn't get a 5770 for that resolution. At least not if you're interested in playing games at high settings. A 5770 is decent and all, but I found even with a single 5850 overclocked I couldn't max out many of my games (STALKER, Crysis/Warhead, Metro 2033, etc) but older less demanding games will run fine. Still, if jyjjy is right that it'll fit in your case then a 5850 is definitely the way to go.

I don't think the Vapor-X is really worthwhile since they charge a premium for the factory OC not just the cooler. That ASUS card jyjjy linked is quite good and quiet, and supports OCing to a good degree.

And yeah already mentioned but the GTX460 > 5830.
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a b U Graphics card
July 26, 2010 2:39:17 PM

HD5850, all the way.

HD5770 is for the lower middle segment of PC gaming.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
July 26, 2010 2:44:37 PM

wolfram23 said:
I found even with a single 5850 overclocked I couldn't max out many of my games (STALKER, Crysis/Warhead, Metro 2033, etc) but older less demanding games will run fine.

He did say AA is optional so considering that I believe he should be able to max out even the games you mentioned with an OCed HD5850.
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July 26, 2010 5:20:30 PM

Thanks for the fast replies.

I think I'll go for the 5850... but I'd like to ask some additional questions.

- Is a fps difference of 25 versus 40 noticeable? The human eye can't distinguish more than 20 or so, but then a higher frame rate seems "smoother", so where do you draw the line of playability?

- At what fps does going higher produce no visible effect? It's higher than 20, but less than 60 - as that is the refresh rate of the monitor.

wolfram23 said:

I don't think the Vapor-X is really worthwhile since they charge a premium for the factory OC not just the cooler. That ASUS card jyjjy linked is quite good and quiet, and supports OCing to a good degree.


I mentioned that my #1 priority is cooling and noise output. The 9800GX2 is way too loud, and from the reviews I read ATI seems to be more efficient, cooler and quieter overall - which is why I haven't yet considered NVidia.

I'm willing to pay a premium (I can get the Vapor-X 5850 for 336CAD) for something that's cooler and quieter. The fact that it's overclocked is icing on the cake - and is really not much to consider as one can just clock it themselves.
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a c 124 U Graphics card
July 26, 2010 5:50:05 PM

The human eye can definitely see a lot more than 20 fps... The only reason people say that is because that's what many movies run at, but there's blurred motion so it seems to be nice and smooth.
http://www.100fps.com/how_many_frames_can_humans_see.ht...
http://whisper.ausgamers.com/wiki/index.php/How_many_FP...

So, yeah, maxing out your monitor's refresh rate will look better than running at 30fps.

I don't know which cooler is going to be the quietest, they all advertise being the quietest. I'm sure someone did some sound tests, somewhere but I guess you can google it for yourself.
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a b U Graphics card
July 27, 2010 7:16:58 AM

Consider 60 FPS as the standard for gaming. Something around that is definitely going to please you. Something below 25, and you would definitely notice the stutter in the display
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a c 376 U Graphics card
July 27, 2010 11:12:35 AM

tom thumb said:
Is a fps difference of 25 versus 40 noticeable? The human eye can't distinguish more than 20 or so, but then a higher frame rate seems "smoother", so where do you draw the line of playability?

What you see in most benchmarks is an average frame rate but it is the minimum frame rate that will determine how smooth the game feels. In general, for first person games, you want minimum frame rates to stay above 30 for smooth game play so an average of around 40 fps should usually cover that. An average of 30 or above will usually be playable but if minimum frame rates dip down into the low 20s/high teens things will stutter noticeably. At that point I would certainly prefer to just lower a setting or two rather than put up with it.
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July 28, 2010 3:18:23 AM

jyjjy said:
What you see in most benchmarks is an average frame rate but it is the minimum frame rate that will determine how smooth the game feels. In general, for first person games, you want minimum frame rates to stay above 30 for smooth game play so an average of around 40 fps should usually cover that. An average of 30 or above will usually be playable but if minimum frame rates dip down into the low 20s/high teens things will stutter noticeably. At that point I would certainly prefer to just lower a setting or two rather than put up with it.


How about Racing games, or RTS's, would you recommend the same for them?
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a c 376 U Graphics card
July 28, 2010 8:21:27 AM

Third person games tend to be a bit more lenient, games from an overhead view even more so.
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July 30, 2010 1:33:05 PM

Best answer selected by tom thumb.
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