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Crossfire a Radeon 5850 with 6870?

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December 2, 2010 6:26:53 PM

Hello all!

Long time viewer of the forums but always found my answers with no need to start a new post until now. Ive looked all over the net but cant find much. Any help would be much apprechiated.

Tax time is right around the corner and Im looking to upgrade my Power Supply to something over the 700 watt range for a little headroom and to pick up another Video card to crossfire for that much needed gaming performance. My question is...

Can I Crossfire my Radeon 5850 with the newest 6870? If so would it be better with this configuration as opposed to X2 5850's? The 6870's are cheaper and a little bit better performer than the 5850's from all my research so I would rather buy a 6870, if it would be a good configuration. I just haven't ever crossfired, so im not sure the best way to set it up.

Another question would be...

I also thought about updating the CPU instead at a Phenom II X6 1090T and would be paying around the same for the second video card. Would it still be better to get the second card instead of the CPU as far as pure gaming performance? Or would I hit a bottleneck and would I see better performance gains with the new CPU instead. From what ive gathered, the CPU difference although quite better will not give me as much as a performance gain than buying a 6870 and setting up crossfire. Any thoughts?


Thank you for any information that will help me


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a c 130 U Graphics card
December 2, 2010 6:50:42 PM

No you cant they need to be the same family/sub family. That means 58xx so 5830 would work with a 5850 or 5870
The best example on this chart http://game.amd.com/us-en/content/images/crossfirex/CF_... is the 48xx series family.

Mactronix :) 
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a b U Graphics card
December 2, 2010 6:52:08 PM

won't work, has to be another 5800's card 5830 5850 or 5870 but will scale to slowest card so best bet is a same model 5850
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December 2, 2010 6:54:59 PM

ahh, ok. Thank you!

Now the second question..would I see a better gain in my gaming performance if I got a Phenom II X6 1090T instead of another 5850 to crossfire? I would think the Crossfire would be a lot more substantial than the CPU upgrade unless I hit a big bottleneck which would make buying another video card useless.
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a b U Graphics card
December 2, 2010 7:00:29 PM

t aanswer that we need to know what your current cpu is :D 

*add*

better yet full system profile current psu mobo ram, gpu and cpu
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a c 214 U Graphics card
December 2, 2010 7:03:01 PM

What is your current CPU?
If you have at least a Quad Core 3.0ghz or faster,you would be better off with getting a 2nd card.
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December 2, 2010 7:03:56 PM

Running a Athlon II X4 630 @3.4 ghz on a MSI 790XT MB
Tough Power 650watt
8 GB OCZ Platinum DDR2 (1066)
Sapphire Radeon 5850
HAF 922 Tower
Corsair h-70 CPU cooler
Tons of Cooling!!
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a b U Graphics card
December 2, 2010 7:07:13 PM

you'd probably see the most gain with a second 5850, if you want the latest you could probabyl sell your 5850 for a good price still and maybe try to get 2 6870's but really 5850's would be fine for max settings in most games unless you're running an eyefinity setup in which case the 6870's or above might be justifiable
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a c 217 U Graphics card
December 2, 2010 7:14:53 PM

Just to be clear, 5850/5870's are faster than 6850/6870's. The only place where the 68xx cards do better is with tesselation.

The 68xx cards are the next generation of 57xx cards. They say the reason for the name change was they intended to keep selling 57xx cards and didn't want to confuse people (obviously it's far more confusing to people the way the renamed things).
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a c 214 U Graphics card
December 2, 2010 7:17:58 PM

I would say to upgrade to a phenom ii and also get the 5850.
Prices are low for both i'm sure it's doable.
Totally up to you but a 2nd 5850 wouldn't be bottlenecked by your CPU.
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a b U Graphics card
December 2, 2010 7:19:04 PM

mostly correct bystander. the 5850 is almsot even with the 6870 they cross blows but the 5850 wins more battles than it loses. the only reason to get the 6870's in xfire yould be that the 68xx series scales better in xfire than the 58xx will its jsut debatable if it'd be worth the money to swap to the better scalign cards imo it wouldn't be unless he's trying an eyefinity setup
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a c 130 U Graphics card
December 2, 2010 7:26:15 PM

Dont want to get into am argument about it but calling the 68 card replacement 57 cards is wrong they are there to block the GTX 460 price/performance hole that they left last time, the performance gain over a 5770 is just too much to make that a reasonable assumption.
AMD are moving the performance segments around and fitting a card propper where the X830's used to go.

As i say dont want to argue the toss just putting this out there for info.

Mactronix :) 
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December 2, 2010 7:28:57 PM

Thank you all for your feedback.

I wouldnt be using more than 1 monitor at a time, so no eye infinity setup. I change between my HDTV and my PC monitor depending on if Im watching movies, playing games etc. Dont think I will ever get into or even have the room to get into multiple monitors :) 

Any recommendations on a Bang for buck power supply? Im sure I would need to upgrade my 650watt if I wanted to crossfire 2 5850's.
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a b U Graphics card
December 2, 2010 7:48:53 PM

mactronix bystander is smarter than that, he was sayign that they are the replacment for the 57xx which is why they are almost as fast as the 58xx series, i think he was just poingting out the generation change shifting up a tier :D 


as for a good psu reccomendation for crossfire 5850's you shoudl be fine with a 750 watt psu but i'd step up to a 850 watt cause just to be safe

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

for nonmodular at $130

modular is cleaner btu mroe expensive at $190 ($170 after rebate)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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December 2, 2010 8:01:31 PM

Nice! Thank you!

This might start getting off topic from my original post but for my gaming purposes is single rail PSU's better? Ive been building PC's for 10 years but know little of power supply's besides wattage, connections and the basics.
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a c 214 U Graphics card
December 2, 2010 8:40:38 PM

I have no idea,i never thought it really matterd
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a c 130 U Graphics card
December 2, 2010 8:42:54 PM

g00fysmiley said:
mactronix bystander is smarter than that, he was sayign that they are the replacment for the 57xx which is why they are almost as fast as the 58xx series, i think he was just poingting out the generation change shifting up a tier :D 


as for a good psu reccomendation for crossfire 5850's you shoudl be fine with a 750 watt psu but i'd step up to a 850 watt cause just to be safe

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

for nonmodular at $130

modular is cleaner btu mroe expensive at $190 ($170 after rebate)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Your not saying anything different, you do realise that don't you? I can read all you basically just did was quote bystander, they are not the replacement cards for the 57 series as that card is yet to be released, I understand the thinking and how its easier to view and explain it that way, doesn't make it right though does it ?
As i said i just wanted to put the correct info out there, sure some of us know whats meant but some of the people may not.
As i already said being almost as fast as the 58xx series is one of the main reasons why they are not straight replacements for the 58xx series.

Mactronix :) 
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a c 217 U Graphics card
December 2, 2010 8:59:14 PM

You are just quoting the ATI version of the tail. They say it's not a direct replacement. They say this, because the intend to keep selling the 57xx cards.

At the same time, they call them the midrange cards of the 6000 series, were as the 58xx cards are called the high end cards. The 69xx cards will be the new series high end cards.

Call it what you will. Repeat ATI marketing ploys, or call it like you see it. It doesn't really matter. The end result is the same.
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a c 130 U Graphics card
December 3, 2010 8:03:19 AM

You need to look at the actual facts, chief among these are that this generation is cobbled together the best AMD could manage after the 32nm process was shelved.
Had the 6850 and 6870 been on the 32nm process as planed they would have outperformed the 58xx cards like they were meant to.
Having to produce the cards on a 40nm process forced some compromises on them, they 100% had to stop the 460 gaining traction and having its own sweet spot in the market place, the Barts chips were best placed to do this job. 5770's are selling really well so they dont need to touch those just yet.
Im sorry this has all meant that the performance sections have been moved about and it seems to hav econfused you. There are reasons why these had to be 68 cards and not 57 cards but i doubt you would understand or see the reasons as what they are, you seem to have it hardwired that if it dosent outperform the last X8XX card then it has to be a X7XX card.
Hopefully next generation things will get back to the drawing board, for now things are as they are for marketing reasons plain and simple, if people are unhappy or confused, well AMD dont really care.

Mactronix :) 
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December 3, 2010 3:15:31 PM

Your machine its fine, just keep playing with it until the HD6900 series come out, and sell that 5850 cheap, and put the rest of the money to buy the new AMD card
u wont need x2 6870 at all
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a c 217 U Graphics card
December 3, 2010 7:23:56 PM

mactronix said:
You need to look at the actual facts, chief among these are that this generation is cobbled together the best AMD could manage after the 32nm process was shelved.
Had the 6850 and 6870 been on the 32nm process as planed they would have outperformed the 58xx cards like they were meant to.
Having to produce the cards on a 40nm process forced some compromises on them, they 100% had to stop the 460 gaining traction and having its own sweet spot in the market place, the Barts chips were best placed to do this job. 5770's are selling really well so they dont need to touch those just yet.
Im sorry this has all meant that the performance sections have been moved about and it seems to hav econfused you. There are reasons why these had to be 68 cards and not 57 cards but i doubt you would understand or see the reasons as what they are, you seem to have it hardwired that if it dosent outperform the last X8XX card then it has to be a X7XX card. Hopefully next generation things will get back to the drawing board, for now things are as they are for marketing reasons plain and simple, if people are unhappy or confused, well AMD dont really care.

Mactronix :) 


If that's the case, then why are they planning a 69xx series to fill the top tier cards?

They've never offered a single GPU 900 series card before. Why now?

And it also doesn't make sense about the die size. Shrinking the same chip doesn't make it go faster. It just allows for them to add a higher transistor count. That same chip would still run at almost the same performance on a 32nm process.

Maybe they intended to make a 6800 performance chip, and didn't. I still think the rest of the world would have prefered they named it like they normally name midrange chips. I'm not confused on what to buy, but you see a ton of posts of people expecting a chip that's a lot faster than the 58xx cards.
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a c 130 U Graphics card
December 3, 2010 8:26:35 PM

The 69xx series is because the range was messed up as i have stated. Not only was it meant to be 32nm, which by the way would not in itself make the chip faster for the same frequencies/clocks, what it would mean is that the chip would be able to run faster frequencies/clocks for the same or less power requirements, this in turn means the chip is physically able to be run faster than one made at a larger nm process.
There is also the new Arch, the change to the 4 shader arangement that was meant to be across the range and not just in the Cayman.

I fully understand what you are saying and you are correct in as much as Barts was meant to be the 67xx and Cayman was meant to be the 68xx but it hasnt worked out how AMD wanted it to because of the loss of the 32nm process. So its been fudged as best to benefit AMD's profit line.

Whats been released is still a barts chip but its been renamed because its been beefed up to take on the 460 which brings its performance too close to the 58xx to reasonably call it a 57xx replacement. Thats why the 69xx series has come to be because AMD cant just scratch the Cayman chip because its inconvenient to have a higher performing card than a 58xx.
The reasonable thing would have been to price cut the 58xx cards to see off the 460 but they use the high price of the last series to prop up the price of the new tech these days. Why buy the old card when the new one is such a similar price or cheaper ? Who would buy a 6850 or 6870 if teh older cards were noticably cheaper ? I know i wouldnt.

Mactronix :) 
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December 14, 2010 5:23:26 PM

Best answer selected by desi27.
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a c 272 U Graphics card
December 14, 2010 7:14:02 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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