Help deciding between 3 options

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.

Some considerations:

-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This is not my preference because it may represent a big expenditure that doesn't help much with longevity - it will be out of date in 3-5 years.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the 5970, so far I don't see many benefits given what I want, but I may be oblivious to some issues, given my my very out of date knowledge of the power computing scene.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:

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


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.



ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: see comments above.

Thanks for any help!
10 answers Last reply
More about help deciding options
  1. 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?
  2. For a long term, right?
    So i would say get a single HD5970 2GB for now, so you can buy and add another one later if you have money...

    What ASUS Rampage III? The Gene or the Extreme one?
  3. 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.
  4. @wa1 - thanks for the input. I am going with the extreme one.
  5. If you run the latest Adobe CS5 software, then they will benefit from CUDA, which is an nvidia technology
  6. Yeah I hate to say it but with that kind of budget I would suggest dual gtx 480s. There's even some good prices on them now
  7. yeah even i would suggest dual gtx 480 these have even beaten hd 5970 in gaming if you want to go for the best gtx 480 can help you for more futuristic system..
  8. naaa.... go 5970.. ive never seen one benchmark of a 480 beating a 5970 but ive seen pleanty with the 5970 spankin the 480
  9. Thanks again for all of the recommendations. I will check out the gtx 480. Haven't used an nvida card in a long time, but it may be time to take a second look.
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