So I have been using my Asus 5850 DirectCU graphics card for the last 4 months, and now it is time to upgrade. I want to go from my current resolution at 1680x1050 to 1080p (whats up with 1920x1200 costing so much more than 1080p anyway), and I feel like I need a little more horsepower to ensure max settings with the bigger resolution. I already can't run ultra high x8AA x16AF on crysis at this resolution with 1 card and I really want to. Its pretty.
So my dilemma is that the price of the 5850 DirectCU was ~210 2 weeks ago on newegg. Now it is ~260 or something. I don't know why the price shot up but its now almost 100 dollars more than a reference sapphire card, which I don't want. So I am looking for individuals more knowledgeable than I to offer advice as to what path to take.
I am going to have some money to upgrade soon, but I would really like to have my upgrade be in that ~210 region (I should have bought it when it was cheaper but it's too late now). I have the power available to run crossfire (750w Corsair CMPSU-750TX psu), and I am running i7-930 w/ 6gb ddr3-1333. My motherboard should fit another card (Gigabyte x58a-ud3r) and my case is freaking enormous and has amazing airflow (Azza solano).
So does anybody have any advice for me? I would really appreciate it. Also, anyone think that the card will dip in price again as we approach Christmas? Like maybe right afterward? Thanks.
Honestly, the ATI 5850 is fairly well suited for 1080p (1920x1080) game play. If you insist on having x8AA and x16AF (which I honestly can't see) then I can understand why you'd want more power. With pricing these days, a second ATI 5850 to make a Crossfire setup is a great option. They perform VERY well.
And your power supply will have no trouble with it at all.
Alright, then the question is should I shell out the extra money for an identical card? Or should I just go with the cheaper sapphire reference card? I really really like the design of the DirectCU its silent and cold and is just awesome. But right now it is also more expensive than a 6870. Do you think that the price will go back down or is it a rarity thing and it will actually keep going up?
Historically, older generation cards get cheaper as newer cards are released. However, as the older generation cards become "obsolete" they actually get more expensive because they are out of production. Now, obviously the 5850 is NOT obsolete, however for folks who don't already have one the newer 6xxx series may be the better buy.
In your case, a second 5850 is probably the best way to go. You don't have to get another DirectCU card. However, the reference design will likely be a little noisier, will run warmer, and won't have the same clock speeds as your current card.
If any of those bother you, then get another DirectCU 5850.