I'm in the market at the moment for a new video card or cards, and i am curious as to what other enthusiasts or even experts think about the 5850 crossfire. I have done some research and i think i would rather get 2 5850s over a single 480 even though i know it'll be more expensive by a little bit. Anyway, thanks for your input if i get any.
I rather get the GTX 470 in SLI just because it performs better than the HD5850 AND the SLI scaling is much much better than Crossfire. If you are lacking power for your power supply or do not have a good quality power supply, I do not recommend any. If your motherboard doesn't support SLI, then Crossfire will be your only option.
If you want to go to another root, GTX 460 in SLI is a very decent path too. HD5770 Crossfire doesn't hurt as well, but compare scalings to SLI, GTX 460 SLI is the better option.
Power Supply - Can it run dual GTX 470s?? That's a lot of power.
Monitor Resolution - Two cards might be pointless if your resolution is too low.
Two 5850's would be a great Crossfire setup, but do you need it? What resolution are you playing at? A single ATI 5850 should do pretty well by itself @ 1920x1080. Exception being if you play Metro 2033 @ 1080p with DX11 on. But that game kills everything right now.
As reprotected suggested, a GTX 460 1 GB SLI setup outperforms even a GTX 480. And should save you about $50 compared to an ATI 5850 Crossfire setup.I think the 460's go for $220, though there's an XFX deal right now to get a 5850 for $254? Either @ NewEgg or TigerDirect, forget which one sent me the email.
Generally, SLI seems to scale better than Crossfire. However, the ATI cards tend to run cooler and use less electricity.
2 5850s perform better than 1 GTX 480.But if you want something cheaper with the same performance of 2 5850s,then consider 2 GTX 460s.They are about 20% faster than 1 GTX 480 and perform pretty much like 2 5850s(even outperform it in some games) and cost less too.
Thanks for all the input guys, i appreciate it. I considered the 460 sli option, but i have a 4850 atm and im kind of partial to ati because they have not let me down yet. I also have a 850 watt corsair PS, so what kind of options could i run based off that? Oh and i agree with iam2thecrowe, i think i may wait for 6000s at this point but with them coming out also means price drop in the previous generation so i may consider 5850s still . oh and to who ever said one will do, i know it will but if i can run it why not right?
If you want to stick with ATI, and you have an 850W Corsair PSU, the ATI 5850 Crossfire setup is an easy choice for long term performance. With prices on those coming down lately (I saw a "Sold Out" offering of $209 each last night) it's a great time to be looking at the 5850.
The 6000 series may well bring prices down as well. Time will most certainly tell. The other question is whether the 6000 series will be a big deal or not. If it's a big deal, you might get one of the newer cards. Though I think I saw an article recently which was claiming they aren't really new cards, but possibly a "refresh" sort of.
With your quality PSU, you could go ATI 5870 Crossfire if you wanted.