I can't decide which processor to go with. I'd like to have an upgrade path, but I don't have more than $1000. Multitasking is probably the most important thing. I was also considering http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... but I don't know what the consensus is on Cougar PSUs. Everyone tells me Corsair is the best.
For the most part, I plan to hook this up to a couple monitors and a 1080p TV. Mostly I'm using this for MS Office, Matlab, MathCAD, Mathematica, other engineering software, listening to music, maybe HTPC. Gaming would be nice, but I'd like to have full resolution when I'm playing. Probably an unreasonable request.
Is everything compatible with the builds I posted? Do I have to worry about driver issues with 5850/5870s? I keep seeing reviews that say a lot of games lock up on the 58XX series. Also, which operating system should I install? I can get both 32 bit and 64 bit Win 7 for free. And how future proof is each build?
Approximate Purchase Date: This week Budget Range: $700-$1000 System Usage from Most to Least Important: Multitasking (lots of browser tabs), Matlab, Wordprocessing, and gaming Parts Not Required: monitor and OS Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com, Microcenter Country of Origin: US, Microcenter at disposal Overclocking: Maybe SLI or Crossfire: Maybe Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080 Willing to play at lower res
The Radeon HD 6870 and HD 6850 are both excellent cards, and offer an amazing price/performance ratio. In my testing, the Radeon HD 6870 offered approximately 95% of the performance of the Radeon HD 5870, for 64% of the price - all with lower heat, noise and power.
The Radeon HD 6850 performed offered approximately 85% of the performance of the Radeon HD 5870, for 48% of ther price. The HD 6850 vs. HD 5850 comparison held ot that of the 6870/5870 - 95% of the power for 64% of the price.