I have been working on putting together a new machine, and thought i would go with a 5970. However, i was told that 2x 5870's would be a much better option. Could someone share some information and let me know which option would be best? I understand the 5970 is basically 2x hd 5850's or whatever, but would the performance gain be that great from having the 2x 5870's over the 5970?
Here is what i have going in with it/them so far:
ASUS M4A89TD PRO/USB3 AM3 AMD 890FX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
AMD 965 CPU
G.SKILL Flare 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2000
ASUS VW266H Black 25.5" 2ms(GTG) HDMI Widescreen
CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply
The HD 5970 = two HD 5870s underclocked to HD 5850 speeds so that it is within ATX specifications, it has a TDP of 294 W, ATX's max is 300 W.
Two HD 5870s will at stock speeds outperform an HD 5970 at stock speeds. Note that two HD 5870s are easier to overclock in terms of heat issues, however, the HD 5970's HD 5870s GPUs are cherry-picked and may overclock past the HD 5870s.
I'd go for the HD 5970, mainly because it's cheaper and it allows for further expansion of another HD 5850/ HD 5870 or HD 5970.
I recommend you only buy 1 since the 5870 will max just about everything, and $300 doesn't justify 30-60 FPS extra you wont notice. Human eye cant see past 45-75 FPS, the only counter to that claim is some sports, the selling point of 120 hz TV's is that the more frames the slower the ball moves and the slower tickers on the bottom move.
Any way, the 5870 is the best route to go. It is cheaper if you go single or crossfire, and offers slightly more performance. I also highly suggest you just get 1 5870 now and get more than 4GB of ram.
Maxes out my ram easily while gaming. Doesnt matter if you crossfire 2 5970's if you run out of ram your fps COULD end up less than 10.
EDIT: I just noticed that i confused the price of 5850 and 5870. The 5970 is cheaper. So its either a single 5870 for now, which is more than enough power for this years games. Or a 5970. How ever 2 5870's slight performance dont justify the extra $100.
Thanks everyone for the wonderful insight. I think i'll grab the hd 5970 for now. I wanted to go with ASUS, but have had trouble finding them in stock at a trusted website. Maybe i'll wait for a couple weeks and see if they come back. As for the ram, should i grab 2x 4GB sticks, so that i may have a chance at sticking in an aftermarket hs/cooler on my CPU? or 4x 2gb sticks as they're probably cheaper.
Again, thanks so much for everyones time and input.