So I have been trying to sort out all of these benchmarks that Tom's has released and I am terribly lost.
Points to consider:
1)This link shows the 5850 being extremely close to the performance as the 6870, which is fairly easy to understand based on the information given throughout the article.
XfX 5850 shows as costing $170 after rebate where the 6870 lists at $220 after rebate.
2) Talking in terms of Crossfire, by looking at the benchmark tests here, I see that the 6850 (in crossfire) is a much better value than any single card and that the 6970 (in crossfire) is even better than the 6850 in performance.
So this is what I find based on similar benchmark tests done by Tom's in AvP with Default Benchmark Settings, 1920x1080, No AA, 16xAF:
AVG FPS (Low FPS)
5850 Crossfire $320
6850 Crossfire $340
6870 Crossfire $440
So multiple questions:
1)Throughout the 69xx series review, the author heralds the 6850 crossfire as the best budget, but from all the information, the 5850 crossfire is less expensive AND better performance. Is there a reason he left out the 5850's? If so, what is the downside of picking up a pair of 5850's instead of a pair of 6850's?
2) While I can see the $120 not being worth the performance gain of a pair of 6870's over a pair of 5850's, is the downside of picking up a pair of 5850's great enough to make grabbing the pair of 6870's worthwhile?
3) Does anyone else agree that choosing a card was easier BEFORE SLI/Crossfire?
3. It depend, I always choose a single powerful card solution better than dual cards, dual cards gives you more trouble, more heat, more noise, and more power consumption.
2. Yeah, getting dual HD6870 is not a good move, you'll be more budget-wise with dual HD6850.
1. 6xxx series are scaled better than 5xxx series, that's why CF HD6850 is more best budget than CF HD5850.
There is just no single card that screams "I am worth it!!" to me. I really hate to buy a $300 5000 series card because soon, those cards will become near impossible to find unused and which will limit my ability tonupgrade to crossfire in down the road.
I guess I could keep waiting for the 6990 but I am certain it will cost $500+.
I still have to ask ... WHY? ... I own a 5850 and I game at 2048*1152 (2560*1600 within a week ) and I've been playing with good frame rates and good quality settings for an year now ... you game at 1600*1200 so the 5850 you own is overkill now and it will be for a couple of years to come . Only if you think of going for a 1920*1080/1200 monitor would it be worthy the investment in the second 5850 (and that would be 99% of the time an overkill for the one year to come at list) cheers
I game at 1600x1200 or whatever now because I have to. If I could run at 1920x1600 or whatever then I would love to. The question of why is difficult to answer except to say, "because."
Viewing benchmarks and seeing difference of 30fps is big. Now if I am still above 60fps without the extra thirty then no major loss without them. Ut if instead I am 60fps with a good card or 30fps with a different card, major difference.
You are very likely correct a single 5850 should cause no issue in current games with reasonable settings. I kept my last computer for almost six years and only updated the video card a year and a half ago. Why do I need the best now? Anything will look/run better. I just want to make sure I purchase the best performance for the money.