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What to do with this 5850?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 3, 2011 2:08:32 PM

I know this is the 3rd or 4th topic of late regarding a 5850, but I didn't want to hijack a thread.

I'm a Battlefield 2 addict and I'm wanting BF3 in my hands now, not in the fall.

My system:
X6 1090T @ 3.2 GHz
8GB Crucial Tracer DDR3 1600
Sapphire Vapor-X 5850 2GB
MSI 890FXA-GD70

So....
I want to be able to play BF3 at 1920x1080 maxed out. Is that 2GB card up to the challenge?

Should I:
Stay put?
OC the card to 5870 levels?
CFX the card?
or just sell it and buy a new one?

More about : 5850

March 3, 2011 2:28:11 PM

best bet is to crossfire it with another 5850, the 6970 will not come near 5850 crossfire performance, I ran BFBC2 with crossfire 6870s (crossfire 5850 performance is close) at 1080p, max settings and 4xaa and average about 100 fps with a x4 955 @ 4.0ghz to give you an idea of what to expect, I would definatley consider oc'ing your cpu a bit (the 1090 has an unlocked multiplier in bios) you should easily (system pending) be able to OC that chip.... What is the make and model of your psu so I know you can run crossfire 5850s...?
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March 3, 2011 2:33:06 PM

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

otherwise selling your current 5850 (lets say you get $150) and upgrading to a 6970 will be about the same price for less performance, then just adding another 5850 for around $200, you will likley be spending more than that if you were to sell you current 5850 and go to a 6970 which imo is not a worthwhile upgrade.... go for 5850 crossfire!
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March 3, 2011 3:07:57 PM

Thanks for the reply. I have a Corsair 750HX series PSU

I might run into a problem trying to locate another identical card. Newegg has deactivated the 2GB card that I own now.
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March 3, 2011 3:31:06 PM

Crossfire 5850s are awesome. I OCed both mine on stock voltage to 870 core 1200 mem speed and they have played every game at max settings, 1080p.

The 2gb card is nice for multimonitor setups but honestly if you pair it with a 1gb card you'll be fine (you lose that extra gb though)
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March 3, 2011 3:35:45 PM

So would I then have 2x 5850's sharing a total of 2GB?

I've always had some confusion over how that worked.
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March 3, 2011 3:41:15 PM

Well CF and SLI work by sending identical data to all the gpus, and they split the work up between them. So the VRAM isn't cumulative, because the VRAM of both cards will hold the exact same data.

If you stick a 1gb card in there, your 2gb card will only be using 1gb, and as a CF rig it'll only have 1gb available.

Maybe you can find a used 2gb card?
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March 3, 2011 3:47:49 PM

yeah honestly if you are playing at 1080p I would not worry about 2 gigs... If you can find a 2 gig model great if not just get another one gig and enjoy great crossfire performance. Your PSU will be more than sufficient, have you considered oc'ing your 1090t?
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March 3, 2011 3:53:32 PM

I have the micro ATX version of your motherboard btw, the 6870s in my rig are slammed right next to each other with the pci-e lanes being so close, but bc of good airflow and an aggressive fan curve, temps never go above 70c (for the gpus) with 6 120mm fans in my case noise is a little annoying but I'd rather have low temps than high temps and no fan noise... anyways your rig should do well with crossfire 5850s, just my 2 cents...
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March 3, 2011 3:59:32 PM

I actually have not because, at this time, I haven't done anything that the system can't chew up.

How a power cosumption standpoint, how big of an impact would another 5850 have? I'm an electricity bill miser. :D 
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March 3, 2011 4:12:30 PM

To be honest if you like your current performance... Just overclock the card (which can be fun) and leave it until you find it's simply inadequate for you and then upgrade.

A 5850 can use around 100-150W at max power I think.
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March 3, 2011 4:15:00 PM

So, honestly, if I OC the stock speeds on the GPU to that of the 5850 Toxic levels. I shouldn't have any problems at all with BF3 @ 1920x1080 ?
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March 3, 2011 4:18:45 PM

with ab OC to your GPU, yeah you will gain some frames but its not necessarily going to be that huge upgrade you might be anticipating, but an oc'ed 5850 should be able to handle bfbc2 at 1080p maxed out with pretty good frames imo, I remember when I just had one 6870 (which is only a little faster then the 5850), it ran bfbc2 really well at 1080p and all high settings... but "good" performance is all relative so only you can decide if the second 5850 is worth it, I just wouldn't expect to have much of a change in real world performance by oc'ing your gpu, however, so if you don't think the extra 5-10 fps will help you then you would be better served by getting the second 5850, regardless of it being 1 gig or not... 2 gigs is really not necessary right now and I would say with crossfire 5850s you should be good to game at around 1080p on high for at least a couple years...
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March 3, 2011 4:19:09 PM

Couldn't tell you until we see some reviews. But from what I've seen you can hit ~850 core and at least 1150 memory speeds on almost any 5850. Some can get as high as 900 core and 1250 memory at stock voltage. Mine can hit 985 core with extra volts, but I only do that for benchmarking.

Overclocking GPUs is kind of fun tho. At least I thought so. It's a bit tedious at times but I found it fun to compare my pre and post OC benchmarks.
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March 3, 2011 4:25:26 PM

^+1 it is fun to OC, and also kind of depressing how Unigine Heaven beats down my rig (with tessellation) no matter what im running... :)  in the end, if you buy $400 dollars worth of GPU you better be able to play current games on high at 1080p....
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March 10, 2011 3:23:29 PM

Any other thoughts from the masses? :D 
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March 10, 2011 4:58:49 PM

I know it is being super picky, but why on earth is it so hard to find another 5850 Vapor-X?

I'm big on aesthetics :) 

Also, is it possible to simply toggle on/off a 2nd GPU? I do a lot of non-gaming work on this rig also and don't want two of these bad boys chugging from the wall outlet 24/7

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March 10, 2011 6:37:36 PM

Rocket254 said:
I know it is being super picky, but why on earth is it so hard to find another 5850 Vapor-X?

I'm big on aesthetics :) 

Also, is it possible to simply toggle on/off a 2nd GPU? I do a lot of non-gaming work on this rig also and don't want two of these bad boys chugging from the wall outlet 24/7


It more or less does that automatically, but yes in CCC you can simply disable CF.
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March 10, 2011 8:56:28 PM

..and that will shutoff the GPU even with the PSU still connected to it?
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March 10, 2011 9:15:14 PM

Well no, you can't shut it off without unplugging it, but it drops the clocks and has 0 usage so the idle power is quite low.
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March 11, 2011 3:06:06 AM

Ah. well thats cool. My current 5850 keeps the mem clock sky high when I run two monitors. Would it keep the mem clock high on the other as well in this case?
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March 11, 2011 4:27:21 AM

Ummm... not sure, unfortunately. I only run a single monitor.
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!