I'm upgrading the graphics card of my computer from a Radeon 5670 and have two cards in mind from Newegg. Either an HIS 6870 (link below) or an ASUS 5850 (link also below). I want to stick to AMD because that's what I always use and what I'm most knowledgeable about.
I've read benchmark after benchmark and review after review each saying that one or the other is better and others saying that certain systems won't see any performance increase given their current system settings so i'm conflicted.
Here are my current system specs.
AMD Athlon II X 4 630 2.8Ghz (Can overclock if needed)
2x2Gb DDR3 1333Mhz Unsure of the brand
500gb 7200Rpm SATA II HDD Unsure of the brand
600W PSU Unsure of the brand
HD Radeon 5670 512Mb Stock card
Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
I already plan to Overclock the processor but don't want to until I get the new card in a couple of weeks. I trust that just about any $100+ card worth it's salt can outperform my 5670 and I'll see a noticeable boost in performance immediately with either card but i'm afraid that something in my system will bottleneck performance and I won't see the kind of fps I want especially at the resolution I plan to use. 1920x1080
Any advice on which of the two I should get and how my system will perform?
600W should be more than enough, regardless of the brand. (unless it's about 20 dollars cheaper than competitors)
I would suggest the 6870, simply because it's the newer card. The performance of them are on par with each other.
As you can see the HD6870 is the faster card at your resolution at reference speeds. It also has significantly better crossfire scaling if that is something you might consider in the future. The advantage of that particular model of the HD5850 is that it has both great cooling and allows you to raise the voltage on the core unlike most HD5850s. This will often allow the card to reach 1ghz or close too it. At that point it should actually be quite a bit faster than the HD6870. The HD6870 can probably achieve around 1ghz as well but that is just an 11% increase over reference for that card while it is a huge 38% increase for the HD5850. So if you are going to give these cards a high OC go for the HD5850. If not or you will likely crossfire in the future I would get the HD6870.
Whatever card you get overclocking your CPU is also a good idea.
I do plan to crossfire in the future but not for a few months. I've got to get a new motherboard first, my current one only has one slot sadly, a budget deal of course but for only one card it does it's job like a champ. I also would like to O'C the card but I've always been the paranoid type and I'm not sure I would feel comfortable putting a 300Mhz increase on it so 850 is likely the highest I would go for the 5850 and I would try going for 1Ghz on the 6870.
Also I would give more details on the PSU but sadly I don't know them. It's not the highest end on the market but it certainly wasn't a $50 cheaper than competitor's bargain.
If it's not a solid PSU just be careful- don't push close the limit on how much it can provide. It probably should be high on your list to keep an eye out for a good deal on a 650W-850W (depending on your long term plans) PSU, especially if you start overclocking CPU + GPUs.
You'll definitely need a new PSU when you are ready to crossfire a couple cards, and you may want to with an OC'd procesor and single OC'd GPU. Something to think about.
16Gb SSD for the OS
Phenom II x 6 1090T (maybe just an o'ced 1075T if the price is right)
2nd 6870 for crossfire (now that I've chosen between the 2)
900W PSU (I think that should be enough if I don't overclock too heavily)
And a new motherboard because my current one only has 1 card slot and only supports 4 cores
Also thinking of going from 2x2Gb DDR3 1333Mhz to 2x4Gb DDR3 1600Mhz
I have plans to upgrade just about everything so I plan to wait until I do to replace the PSU so that when I do replace it I get one that can handle what I'm doing