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GPU advice (5770 vs 6850)

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.
11 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about advice 5770 6850
  1. For your resolution an HD5770 really should be very good. If you want something more powerful you should consider the HD5850 as it is faster than HD6850 but also cheaper;
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102932
  2. The 5770 is your best bet if your looking in the $100 range. The 5850 is even better at $130-150 these days.
  3. Best answer
    ^ 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.
  4. 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=N82E16817139018&cm_re=corsair_psu-_-17-139-018-_-Product

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

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139020&cm_re=corsair_psu-_-17-139-020-_-Product
  5. This Antec unit is a very good deal and should handle the HD5850;
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371023
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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!
  10. Best answer selected by Super8.
  11. This topic has been closed by Maziar
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