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GPU advice (5770 vs 6850)

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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May 4, 2011 8:16:19 AM

Hi everyone,

Long time listener, first time caller. I've been lurking Tom's for a while now and I've gotten many great tips and a wealth of information from it. Since it has become a go-to resource for me and I seriously trust the recommendations of the staff and members, I decided to sign up.
Which leads me to my question: I'm upgrading my video card and I'm struck by indecision (due in part to ignorance). I'm limited somewhat in way of funds for improvement so I need to be completely confident with buying this.
I've decided on either a Radeon HD5770 or 6850. I know this comparison has been done several times over and I've searched the prior posts regarding it but I can't seem to find a definitive recommendation based on specs similar to mine.

Here are the relevant ones as I understand their importance:

ASUS M4N68T-M V2 motherboard / Integrated Nvidia GeForce 7025 / Nvidia nForce 630a
AMD Athlon II x2 260 3.2Ghz
XtremeGear PSU - Seems to be the silver bullet component, will be replacing within the next 3 months, specs below:
(AC Input 100-240v / 50-60Hz, DC Output +3.3v +5v +12v1 +12v2 -12v +5vsB, Max Current 16A 18A 14A 14A 0.5A 2.0A, 500w)
4GB RAM
Windows 7 64-bit Home Premium
ASUS 19" Monitor - 1440x900

I won't be overclocking. I'll be playing Shogun 2, Diablo III, Skyrim, etc. While I'm not completely interested in maxing Crysis (though it would be nice, since that's a watermark of sorts) I'll definitely want to for those.

I think that's all the pertinent. It's an out of the box system that was a great price considering I knew I'd end up replacing some items eventually.
As a side, i was torn between Sapphire and PowerColor. I'm leaning Sapphire unless there's anything I should know.
Thanks in advance for any help guys.

More about : gpu advice 5770 6850

a c 129 U Graphics card
May 4, 2011 9:29:19 AM

The 5770 is your best bet if your looking in the $100 range. The 5850 is even better at $130-150 these days.
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a c 106 U Graphics card
May 4, 2011 3:54:40 PM

^ The problem with the 5850 is that his PSU might be too crappy for it.

A 5770 is a good option and pretty cheap right now. You could get a 6850 and it should be o.k with that PSU unless it's total crap. Now I don't really know about XtremeGear PSUs, but you really should research the PSU. If it turns out to be decent you could possibly even go with a 5850 and be o.k., but don't get a 5850 without researching that PSU.
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a c 129 U Graphics card
May 4, 2011 4:18:14 PM

megamanx00 said:
^ The problem with the 5850 is that his PSU might be too crappy for it.

A 5770 is a good option and pretty cheap right now. You could get a 6850 and it should be o.k with that PSU unless it's total crap. Now I don't really know about XtremeGear PSUs, but you really should research the PSU. If it turns out to be decent you could possibly even go with a 5850 and be o.k., but don't get a 5850 without researching that PSU.

Yeah. Sketchy specs on the PSU. Upgrade your power first. Then decide. If you're going to stick with a single video card, get a PSU with at least 30A on a single rail. A corsair builder would be the lowest common denominator I'd consider for a gaming rig:

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

If you can swing it, though, this one's more efficient but costs a little more:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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a c 125 U Graphics card
May 4, 2011 4:57:19 PM

The nice thing about 5850s is they only use 151W, or 12.5A. If you get a split 12V rail PSU with 18A per rail you're fine, or around 25-30A for a combined single rail.

Anyway, even at 1440x900 I would still get the 6850 or 5850 over the 5770 if you are a gamer - as in, spending most of your free time gaming.

That said, the 5770 is great for the price. I just upgraded my gf's PC with one, although the only game she plays is Sims 3 haha. Oh well. Still, it's a great performer.

I guess, generally, it's just a good idea to get the best you can afford.
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May 4, 2011 6:36:33 PM

Nice, thanks for the replies! I have a budget of around $160. I know where to pick up a 5770 for around $100 and maybe I should sink the remaining $60 into a power supply.
Then again, maybe if the PSU I have now will last a little while, the 5850 seems to be the way to go. Argh, nothing's ever easy! I guess nothing worth doing ever is though.
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a c 125 U Graphics card
May 4, 2011 7:13:12 PM

Well the 5850 is probably the best bang for the buck right now, because at stock, CF5770s are in between 5850 and 5870 performance. $200 for CF 5770s or $150 and a mild OC for similar performance, and then it's only another $150 for 5970/580 performance.
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May 5, 2011 7:40:42 AM

Ok, I made a decision! I'm going with a 5770 and a spankin' new PSU. After researching my current one, I'm really uneasy about leaving it in any longer than necessary. I didn't realize just how important the power supply is, my green is showing through.
I picked up a Sapphire HD5770 for $94 and some change out the door from Amazon and an Antec 500w PSU for $54 from Newegg. Same wattage as my current one but with Antec being a respected brand, the peace of mind is soothing. I figure this set up will last a year or so and maybe I'll be in a better financial position by then for some higher tier gear.
Thanks again everyone for the speedy and concise advice!
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May 5, 2011 7:49:24 AM

Best answer selected by Super8.
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a c 169 U Graphics card
May 5, 2011 9:14:43 AM

This topic has been closed by Maziar
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