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Radeon 6850 or 2 x nVidia GTS 450 SLI ??

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a b U Graphics card
December 9, 2010 8:50:56 PM

Hi, you guys helped me before with a PSU question... and it was great advice.. (and i took it..!)

Now i've got another dilemma i'm hoping you can help me with.. My next upgrade for my system is going to be the video card (currently a Radeon 4870 512mb)

budget: ~$200, res: 1920x1200

I'm contemplating between a single Radeon 6850 (and i would overclock it to about 6870 specs), or 2 x nVidia 450's in SLI (also both overclocked to about 850MHz on the cores)

The reason i'm not considering anymore (i was before) the Radeon 5750/5770's in CF.. is because that generation seems to be a tad behind now in the 'tessellation' and dx11 arena.. compared to now the Radeon 6xxx series and the current nVidia's...

After rebates i can get 2 x GTS 450's for practically the same price as a R6850... and also i'm attracted to the fact that nVidia has a 'hawx 2' coupon as well, as i'm planning on getting that game anyways :)  so that's $50 worth right there... (Now having said that... 'hawx 2' is just 1 game... and if an alternative is ultimately a better choice overall... than i'd probably go with the better choice of course...

It seems that most review sites show that 2 x 450's SLI can be a pretty powerful setup... probably stronger overall than the 6850.. however... sometimes lower minimum frame-rates than a single card.. and also the slight complications sometimes of course with the 2 x video cards vs 1 powerful one, that's making it harder to decide. Another reason i'm attracted to 2 cards though.. is because it will be easier for me to "get rid of them" a couple years from now.. as my job is a 'mobile techie' if you will, and 2 x medium sized/powered cards are easier to put into client machines who need a used video card replaced... compared to a big monster card (like the one i'm stuck with now) that not only requires a big case (which most people don't have), but also a powerful PSU (which most people don't have too, haha)

So there's my dilemma... any advice and recommendations would be greatly appreciated..!

here's my setup for reference:
Core i5-750 @ 3.8GHz | A-DATA DDR3 2000 4x2GB @ 1.9GHz
ASUS P7P55D-E Pro | XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 | OCZ Vertex 2 60GB
Seagate Barracuda 2x80GB (RAID 0) | WD Caviar Black 640GB SATA3
Antec 900 Two | Corsair HX650W | Radeon HD 4870 512MB @ 800MHz/1GHz



Cheers,

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a c 130 U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
December 9, 2010 9:32:18 PM

GTS450 is a powerful setup. The problem is that you're limited in terms of performance. A single GTS450 is also weaker than your current card, and (especially because you mentioned it)SLI'd, ties a moderately OC'd HD6850.

http://www.guru3d.com/article/geforce-gts-450-sli-revie...

The HD6850 can overclock to HD6870 performance (a bit better than the HD5850). If you took an HD6850 and OC'd it, you'd have performance equal to a stock GTS450 SLI. The better part of this is that you can later crossfire the 6850 with a partner, furthering your performance.
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a b U Graphics card
December 9, 2010 11:30:22 PM

Shadow is right and you can also buy another 4870 for crossfire and insane performance. They would be more pwerful then the 6850 or the 450 SLI
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a c 130 U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
December 9, 2010 11:33:40 PM

If you're out for pure performance an HD4870 crossfire is fine, too. However it'd be much better if you went with an 6850 crossfire. Keep in mind an HD6850 OC crossfire outperforms an HD5970 (IIRC).
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a b U Graphics card
December 9, 2010 11:35:49 PM

I know but 4870 are very cheap nowadays and it would be a great upgrade fro that res.
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a b U Graphics card
December 10, 2010 1:26:07 AM

thanx for the responses...

i'm not gonna add another 4870 for 3 reasons: first my system is already overclocked.. so my 650w PSU might be too low for 2 x 4870's in there i'm pretty sure... also my current 4870 is the 512mb version.. so i'm limited to that 512 in CF too.. which is not great (if i had known i would have shortly after purchased my 1920x1200 monitor - i would have splurged the extra $20 on the 1gb version at the time :)  )... 3rd reason is that i want dx11 support as well...

2 x 6850's is above my 'video-card-budget' (as well as probably my PSU capability - as i'm intending to have the Corsair 650HW in my system for the long run...)

so it's back to a single powerful card vs 2 in SLI/CF for ~$200...

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December 10, 2010 8:55:27 AM

Friend,
GTS 450 is very good card u have selected for sli. ur powersupply will support these two cards very well and new nvidia drivers are better than ati drivers. so go for GTS 450.
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a c 130 U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
December 10, 2010 9:01:11 AM

wasupmike said:
thanx for the responses...

i'm not gonna add another 4870 for 3 reasons: first my system is already overclocked.. so my 650w PSU might be too low for 2 x 4870's in there i'm pretty sure... also my current 4870 is the 512mb version.. so i'm limited to that 512 in CF too.. which is not great (if i had known i would have shortly after purchased my 1920x1200 monitor - i would have splurged the extra $20 on the 1gb version at the time :)  )... 3rd reason is that i want dx11 support as well...

2 x 6850's is above my 'video-card-budget' (as well as probably my PSU capability - as i'm intending to have the Corsair 650HW in my system for the long run...)

so it's back to a single powerful card vs 2 in SLI/CF for ~$200...

Good choice on not sticking with old tech.

2x 6850's is not a 'now' buy, but rather one to look forward to in a year. Remember that if you buy a GTS450 SLI NOW, you're stuck with it. But with an HD6850, you can add another one later when their prices drop.

Ultimately I'd go with an HD6850. A GTS450 SLI is great, but a single OC'd HD6850 will be able to match it. And like I said, you can crossfire later.
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December 10, 2010 9:08:22 AM

I don't thinks that single HD 6850 can beat GTS 450 sli. do u have any link. moreover current PSU of wasupmike can handle 450 sli easily. for HD 6850 sli he might have to upgrade PSU also.
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December 10, 2010 9:27:37 AM

I'd OC a 6850 now and add a 2nd later. It'd the far more future proof config.
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a b U Graphics card
December 10, 2010 2:15:40 PM

I'm with 'digvijaysingh' - cause i won't be able to crossfire 2 x 6850's later with my current PSU (which i'll be keeping for a while).. and also i won't be adding more money into graphics after this for a couple of years... and by then i'd want whatever is latest generation tech then...

i was thinking of also throwing a GTX460 in the mix... So we're looking at:
1 x R6850 (i'll overclock it to about 6870 specs)
or
1 x GTX460 (also will overclock it)
or
2 x GTS450's SLI (both mildly overclocked)

thanx again..!



core i5-750 @ 3.8ghz | a-data ddr3 2000 4x2GB @ 1.9ghz
asus p7p55d-e pro | xigmatek hdt-s1283 | ocz vertex 2 60GB
seagate barracuda 2x80gb (raid 0) | wd caviar black 640gb sata3
antec 900 two | corsair hx650w | radeon hd 4870 512mb @ 800mhz/1ghz
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a b U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
December 10, 2010 2:45:35 PM

The Corsair HX650W is a solid power supply. Good buy there. :)  Also, your i5-750 @ 3.8Ghz is going to handle any GPU you throw at it. So your options are completely open from that aspect.

Ultimately, a GTS 450 SLI setup is going to be faster than a single GTX 460. Here's a direct review/benchmark of the GTS 450 SLI setup, where you can compare to the GTX 460 (and assume it's similar to 6850).
http://www.guru3d.com/article/geforce-gts-450-sli-revie...

The GTX 460 1 GB and ATI 6850 are fairly comparable performance wise. The two take turns beating one another depending on what game you actually benchmark them with. So you may want to look at benchmark reviews for both cards and relate this to what games you intend to play. Or look at other specific features (heat, power use, etc).

It would appear, according to this review, that the ATI 6850 uses less power at load.
http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/graphics/2010/11/06/xf...

I would personally, rather have a single ATI 6850 or GTX 460 1GB. This will allow you to add a secondary video card at a later time to improve overall performance. Two GTX 460 1GBs will beat out a GTX 480 fairly handily, so that's a pretty deadly performance combination.

Now, all that aside, to be entirely honest, @ 1920x1200 I'd want more power (personally). An ATI 5850 or GTX 470 were always my recommendations for that resolution. Both of which are pretty cheap right now. For example:

EVGA GTX 470 Superclocked is $249.99 @ NewEgg.com and has a $20 MIR making it $229.99.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

You can also get the ATI 6870 for $240 @ NewEgg.com
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Just something to consider. :)  I know your budget was approx $200.
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December 10, 2010 4:19:49 PM

Depending on how often you upgrade, you may want to avoid "you can always SLI later" logic. I know I always thought that for a while but Last Christmas I bought a GTS 250 for $100. Here we are a year later and still the price is $100. In order to make it worth my while, I would need to purchase a used card on ebay for ~$50. Sometimes its better to just save up another $50 and get a better single card. Just something to think about. If you are only purchasing upgrades once a year, SLI might be the better option now. While a 6850 might come down in price a little, by next Christmas, there will most likely be something better in a single card anyway.
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a b U Graphics card
December 12, 2010 12:46:16 AM

i think i'll try the 2 x GTS 450's... like 'jerreece' said - one R6850 is gonna be pushed to its max i'm sure @ 1920x1200 /w everything at high settings during the next 2 years (and i won't be CF-ing two of them in the future cause of my PSU)... and yeah - all hardware review sites are showing 2 x 450's SLI get almost double the performance than one 450... which puts it around R5850-5870 performance... great for long term @ 1920...

i had made the decision to get an SLI/CF motherboard when i bought it... may as well give it a try..! i can get 2 x 450's @ ~$200 after rebates... so it seems to look like my most powerful option at that budget and current setup options... thanx guys..!




core i5-750 @ 3.8ghz | a-data ddr3 2000 4x2GB @ 1.9ghz
asus p7p55d-e pro | xigmatek hdt-s1283 | ocz vertex 2 60GB
seagate barracuda 2x80gb (raid 0) | wd caviar black 640gb sata3
antec 900 two | corsair hx650w | radeon hd 4870 512mb @ 800mhz/1ghz
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a c 130 U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
December 12, 2010 2:42:48 AM

A corsair 650W will easily power an HD6850 crossfire. I am telling you that an OC'd HD6850 will be equal to your GTS450 SLI. If you OC the GTS450's then sure, they'll win. But then again, if you ever come across another $180 to spend on a graphics card, you'll instantly have some pretty insane performance.

Read this review: http://www.techspot.com/review/315-nvidia-palit-geforce...
Now read this one: http://www.anandtech.com/show/4002/amd-radeon-hd-6850-o...

As you can see, the GTS450 SLI is slightly faster than the HD5850 as indicated be review #1. As you can see from review #2, an OC'd HD6850 puts it slightly faster than the HD5850.

The bottom line is that it's not smart to grab a GTS450 SLI right now. You have another option that not only gives you about the same performance, but uses less power, will be easier to deal with, and offers a choice in the future.
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a b U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
December 12, 2010 4:56:50 AM

jerreece said:

I would personally, rather have a single ATI 6850 or GTX 460 1GB. This will allow you to add a secondary video card at a later time to improve overall performance. Two GTX 460 1GBs will beat out a GTX 480 fairly handily, so that's a pretty deadly performance combination.

Now, all that aside, to be entirely honest, @ 1920x1200 I'd want more power (personally). An ATI 5850 or GTX 470 were always my recommendations for that resolution.


wasupmike said:
i think i'll try the 2 x GTS 450's... like 'jerreece' said


Ultimately my suggestion was to get ONE better video card, as opposed to two lesser ones. A single 6850 being similar in performance to two GTS 450's would be the better buy. It's going to use less power, produce less heat (versus two cards) and leaves room to add a second card later on if need be. If we assume that the GTS 450's perform the same as an ATI 6850, then both would be pushed @ 1920x1200.

The cheapest GTS 450 is $110 @ NewEgg.com right now. The cheapest ATI 6850 is $185.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Looking at Shadow187's links, it appears the GTS 450 will best an ATI 5850. The other review indicates that the ATI 6850 is close to, but slightly less than, the ATI 5850 (based on that review). The review also suggests a GTS 450 SLI setup will beat a GTX 470 by a little bit. The big question here, ultimately, is whether to spend a similar amount of money on two cards, or one card. Generally speaking, it's best to go with ONE card. Less power use, less heat produced, and room to upgrade later on. Not to mention, SLI or Crossfire do NOT always yield a fantastic rate of return on every game title. So having one powerful graphics card is usually the best.
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a c 173 U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
December 12, 2010 5:12:43 AM

for a start that psu is plenty for 2 x 6850's or 2 x gtx460's if you wanted to go down that road in the future. the 2 gts450's will be faster in many cases than a single 6850, but will also use more power, and if one game you play doesnt work with sli, your limited to 1 card performance. get the 6850.
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a b U Graphics card
December 12, 2010 12:29:51 PM

alright guys.. i hear ya on the R6850.. although i'm hesitant on "i can also CF them later"... cause i thought the same with my current GPU.. and here i am wanting dx11 and better power consumption.. (so 2 x 4870's will never happen)... but i guess 2 x 6850's could happen... it would juuuuust fit under my PSU capabilities... maybe... (i've got a lot of hd's in there + and the CPU is overclocked too)

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submit...|14-161-348^14-161-348-TS%2C14-102-908^14-102-908-TS%2C14-125-348^14-125-348-TS

suggestions from any of those 3? (i'm liking the Gigabyte one /w the 'Windforce' cooler



core i5-750 @ 3.8ghz | a-data ddr3 2000 4x2GB @ 1.9ghz
asus p7p55d-e pro | xigmatek hdt-s1283 | ocz vertex 2 60GB
seagate barracuda 2x80gb (raid 0) | wd caviar black 640gb sata3
antec 900 two | corsair hx650w | radeon hd 4870 512mb @ 800mhz/1ghz
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a c 130 U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
December 12, 2010 1:45:50 PM

You should actually grab this one: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
I own this one myself. It never breaks 63c in-game (with a slight overclock/overvolt, mind you), and is purportedly the best 6850 by Tomshardware.

Corsair is an extremely reputable brand. Their 650W PSU has 52A on the 12v rail. This is more than enough for even an HD5870 crossfire.

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a b U Graphics card
December 12, 2010 2:03:59 PM

You could buy the gigabyte one that is here http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681... .

It is the ultra durable version and also has a slight overclock of 45Mhz gpu and 50Mhz RAM. All that for just 10$ more. You will have to check ans see if the gigabyte can be overvolted too if you plan to overclock. The asus it can.

I do not know about overvolting the video card since i never did it, my 5770 can reach from 860 to 960Mhz with no problems(no overvolting).

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December 13, 2010 5:28:26 AM

All these guys are giving confusing comments. better stick with 450 SLI
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a b U Graphics card
December 13, 2010 11:22:38 AM

appreciate the R6870 recommendation... but it'll come out to ~$50 more ($190 vs $240).. and the R6850 has proven to have a lot more overclocking headroom than its big brother... so i'll be taking the R6850 to R6870 speeds anyways...


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
core i5-750 @ 3.8ghz | a-data ddr3 2000 4x2GB @ 1.9ghz
asus p7p55d-e pro | xigmatek hdt-s1283 | ocz vertex 2 60GB
seagate barracuda 2x80gb (raid 0) | wd caviar black 640gb sata3
antec 900 two | corsair hx650w | radeon hd 4870 512mb @ 800mhz/1ghz
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a b U Graphics card
December 13, 2010 7:04:15 PM

to -> 'digvijaysingh': i hear ya on the 450 SLI... i too think it's possibly the best performer in most cases out of the options... however they (2 x 450's) are coming up to be more $$$ now than the 1 card at current prices... and they're now in the ~$250 range... plus there's the other obvious drawbacks of SLI... and if it doesn't work in a certain title... as 'iam2thecrowe' said... then i would be down to a single card that performs beneath the one i have now (R4870)

originally i wasn't going to go for the Gigabyte overclocked version of the R6850... cause i was going to overclock the $10 cheaper anyways... but for some reason, today on newegg, that OC'ed version is the only 6850 that has free shipping... which makes it the lowest 6850 out of the bunch...

so here are my last 2 options narrowed down:
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submit...|14-125-353^14-125-353-TS%2C14-130-568^14-130-568-TS

with the rebate (and also free shipping) the EGVA will come to about the same cost
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December 13, 2010 7:33:22 PM

digvijaysingh said:
I don't thinks that single HD 6850 can beat GTS 450 sli. do u have any link. moreover current PSU of wasupmike can handle 450 sli easily. for HD 6850 sli he might have to upgrade PSU also.



You only need a 450Watt psu for a HD6850 and 600Watt for a Crossfire setup with a HD6850
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December 13, 2010 7:48:45 PM

shadow187 said:
GTS450 is a powerful setup. The problem is that you're limited in terms of performance. A single GTS450 is also weaker than your current card, and (especially because you mentioned it)SLI'd, ties a moderately OC'd HD6850.

http://www.guru3d.com/article/geforce-gts-450-sli-revie...

The HD6850 can overclock to HD6870 performance (a bit better than the HD5850). If you took an HD6850 and OC'd it, you'd have performance equal to a stock GTS450 SLI. The better part of this is that you can later crossfire the 6850 with a partner, furthering your performance.



Shadow is absolutely right!! check this out(my older post)........................

Well i would go with a HD6850 and they kick ass :sol:  , only require x1 6pin power connector(450Watt PSU or greater/Crossfire 600Watt),they can easily OC 25-30%, you have some Great performance at a fraction of the $$$ and Not to mention 68xx scaling and performance will get better, use less power, lower temps, DX11, MLAA, all these are better on 6xxx vs 5xxx.

I got my XFX HD6850@ 1,010Mhz Core, 1,180Mhz Memory with a simple Volt increasing using MSI After burner......been running stable for over a week no problems at all and i don't hit over 66c on the GPU at full load so I'm quite happy.....also don't forget that XFX gives you a Lifetime warranty on the card (if you register within first 30 days after buying it)and will replace it for any reason unless ofc you physically break it lol





Take a look at this chart! :D  HD6850 in CF are Neck to Neck with the HD5970 2GB and 68xx don't have official drivers yet till the release of catalyst 10.12 This month or early Jan,2011 so who knows maybe better performance after official drivers :bounce: 


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a b U Graphics card
December 14, 2010 8:18:08 AM

In general, its better to start with a single card than a multi-GPU setup from the beginning.

To the OP, the HD 6850 is a good choice, if dont want to go for the 6870. It already has one of the best performance/price ratios

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a b U Graphics card
December 14, 2010 10:17:02 AM

Something that's worth saying is that a GTS 450 can overclock like MAD right out of the box. In your OP you speak of OCing the 450's to 850, which is still very much under-rating the cards! You can pretty much start at 900 and go from there, the cards are shipped supremely UNDERclocked, so it's worthless talking about them at stock. Factor in an extra 10% or so performance increase when considering the 450s!
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a c 130 U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
December 14, 2010 10:49:25 AM

You can say the same for the HD6850.
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December 14, 2010 1:32:49 PM

digvijaysingh said:
friends, Just check these links on GTS 450 SLI. two 450 in sli beats hd 5850 which is better than 6850.
so stop saying that 2x450 = 1x6850
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/NVIDIA/GeForce_GTS_4...
http://www.guru3d.com/article/geforce-gts-450-sli-revie...

so sli 450 combination is much better than one 6850 for future.

Honestly 1x HD6850 is best in my opinion and you really don't wanna start off with Multi GPU setup and a 450 SLI power requirements are the same as a HD6850 in Crossfire or single GPU, and a 450 SLI setup will not beat or get close to a HD6850 in Crossfire so more future proof i would say a HD6850 and you can get them for $170 bucks or less with rebates, Starting off with a HD6850 you don't need a crossfire setup with them maybe a year down the road or longer and by then pick up another HD6850 and crossfire them if you feel you need to.
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a b U Graphics card
December 14, 2010 3:36:10 PM

thanx to everyone for their advice..! you all had good points:

- as not what i initially thought -> seems to be that the Corsair hx650w can handle the R6850 in CF after all (or GTX460 SLI)... so it could be a possibility in the future that would clearly overtake the nVidia 450's in SLI -> props to: Shadow187, jerreece, iam2thecrowe, Tamz_msc + timmy121 for that one! (forgive me if i forgot anyone)

- i also believe however, as does: 'digvijaysingh' -> that 2 x GTS450's in SLI is actually a better performer on average than a single R6850 or GTX460 1GB... if a game works with the CF properly... than think of it.. a 460 is really only 1 tier up than the 450... and since SLI scaling is pretty good... 2 x 450's should SMOKE 1 x 460 / R6850 :) 

but 2 x 450's now are costing quite more than 1 card... and of course, there are all the other drawbacks of purchasing now a 'mid-range SLI' to take into consideration too... as mentioned before by lots of you above...

so alas..! i have just ordered the Gigabyte overclocked version of the R6850

i wouldn't have chosen that one... as it was priced slightly above all the other R6850's @ stock clocks... and only very mildly overclocked... to which i would have overclocked way more than they did anyways, on any R6850 card i got... but it was the only one out of the entire bunch that had 'free shipping' -> so it came out to be the cheapest R6850 i could find..! :) 

it's got that 'WindForce' cooler... and possibly, cause it's the "OC" version, it will hopefully have a more "picked-out" GPU chip in there for further overclocking

thanx again for all the input..!



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
core i5-750 @ 3.8ghz | a-data ddr3 2000 4x2GB @ 1.9ghz
asus p7p55d-e pro | xigmatek hdt-s1283 | ocz vertex 2 60GB
seagate barracuda 2x80gb (raid 0) | wd caviar black 640gb sata3
antec 900 two | corsair hx650w | radeon hd 4870 512mb @ 800mhz/1ghz (not 4 long:) )
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a b U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
December 14, 2010 3:54:50 PM

I think you have done well for yourself in choosing the ATI 6850 over a couple 450's. Long term, you have more options and potential for performance by being able to add another 6850 down the road.

Plus, the 6850 is a great performer on it's own. So you're certainly not lacking right now.
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December 14, 2010 4:05:29 PM

jerreece said:
I think you have done well for yourself in choosing the ATI 6850 over a couple 450's. Long term, you have more options and potential for performance by being able to add another 6850 down the road.

Plus, the 6850 is a great performer on it's own. So you're certainly not lacking right now.


+999999 on that lol, I love my XFX HD6850, maxed out HAWX 2 @ 1920x1080, call of duty Black ops, Call of duty MW2 and other titles but GTA IV lol well plays fine on med shadows and and everything else maxed. GREAT CARD :sol: 
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a b U Graphics card
December 19, 2010 12:59:48 PM

Best answer selected by wasupmike.
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a c 273 U Graphics card
a c 172 Î Nvidia
December 19, 2010 1:20:14 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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