I am trying to decide between 3 options. A Radeon 5970 2gb, the ASUS Ares, and two 5870's in a crossfire setup.
My main concerns are longevity, cost to upgrade in the relative far future (3+ years), along with the amount of slots taken up (I require many slots; planning on using this with an ASUS rampage III.)
Maximum budget is ~1200, but I am not looking for top of the line over longevity. If I can make the 1200 last for 6 years, then I will go with that option.
-The Ares takes up 3 slots, I don't know if it's cross fire compatible, and even if it is, it won't be available in 3 years. I don't know if I can crossfire two separate cards (say a 5970 and 5870)
-The 5970 takes up 2 slots, but I haven't heard of anyone putting it into a crossfire setup yet, or know if it's possible.
-The 5870s in a cross fire setup barely beat the 5970 in the articles I have read, and they occupy 4 slots altogether.
Here is what I am thinking:
If the 5970 can be crossfired, go with that, and upgrade with another one at a later date when they are dirt cheap.
If the 5970 can be crossfired, go with the Ares. This is not my preference because it may represent a big expenditure that doesn't help much with longevity - it will be out of date in 3-5 years.
I am considering the 5870s just as an alternative to the 5970, so far I don't see many benefits given what I want, but I may be oblivious to some issues, given my my very out of date knowledge of the power computing scene.
Here is the info the opening post requests:
APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: ASAP
BUDGET RANGE: 500-1200, the less the better
USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, Adobe productivity apps, rendering, transcoding
CURRENT GPU AND POWER SUPPLY: Undecided; I will buy a powersupply based on whatever is needed. This is a new setup, so no current gpu.
OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS: Intel i7 980xtreme, asus rampage III mobo
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: none
PARTS PREFERENCES: Only considering ATI becuase of good experiences with them in the past. Although, I don't know if that's that same since AMD acquired them.
well if your wanting pure raw performance.. 1 5970 will play any and everything.. and for a good long while too.. if you needed another down the line you can always throw another one in there.. but to be honest i'd just go with a 5850.. it would be the best bang for your buck and you always have the option on throwing in another one.. but i have a 5830 and i can tell you there is not ONE game out there that i can not play at max settings.. so i'd say get a 5970 if you want the best thing out but a 5850 would more than work.. a 5870 would murder any game as well.. buuut if it were me.. id get one 5850 or a 5830.. and then wait til november, december and get you a 6000 series card.. you already have enough money for one so why not?
Thanks jesman, I need to build the machine now, so I can't wait. My current system is too old to run my day to day programs effectively. However, I am trying to build for longevity, so the 5970 is my baseline.
Can anyone else provide some input? Can the 5970 be put into crossfire mode? I am pretty new to these things; been out of the computer building business for 9 years.