After a lot of going back n forth between ATI and NVIDIA, I think I may go ATI just because my ASUS P8P67 vanilla board supports Crossfire, but not SLI. I heard someone mention that the 5000 series are stronger than the 6000 series, how can this be? Isn't the 6000 the newer and improved series?
That statement is true, somewhat, the 5870 is stronger than the 6870, however, the 6870 was more designed to replace the 5770 while the 6970 was designed to replace the 5870, they moved the flagships up to x9xx from x8xx which has led to a fair amount of confusion. The 6000 series is a new and improved series, it has better performance with less hardware, better multicard scaling, and improved tessellation performance.
to say 5000 is better than 6000 series is a bogus statement. for a start, it really depends on model. you cant compare a 6790 with a 5870 for example theyre totally different, 1 is midrange, 1 is high end. if your speaking about only top end 6000 vs top end 5000 series, the 6000 has it hands down. why would they make their new lineup slower? Also the 6000 series has much better crossfire scaling - you get more % performance by adding a second card. You have to remember to look at reviews, not jut go by the model numbers to determine performance. If anyone was confused about the naming, they are a dufus. You cant compare naming from 2 different series just base on your own assumption that the way they name them will match up.
A rose called by any other name smells just as sweet.
You must be referring to how the 68xx series are weaker than their 58xx counterparts. Well, that's just a renaming scheme AMD did, to make the 69xx series the flagship one. Besides, it's not just the raw power than improves, but also efficiency (in terms of power and performance).
you do have to remember that some of the older 5xxx series like the 5850 are going quite cheap. a 5850 will outperform a 6850 in nearly all scenarios, and can be found cheaper sometimes as they are a clearance model, and suppliers are selling them cheap to get rid of them. Its all about price vs performance. Pick your budget, shop around, read reviews of cards you may buy, don't judge a card by the numbers on the box. Try to find a card that balances well with your system. a top end card will churn out the same fps as a mid range card if you only have a lower end CPU.