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Upgrading from integrated graphics; 5850, 6850, or other?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
May 14, 2011 3:32:07 AM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: ASAP BUDGET RANGE: (e.g.: USD $150-250) Before / After Rebates

USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming (90% WoW and Starcraft II), Home theater

CURRENT GPU AND POWER SUPPLY: Integrated (I believe it's HD4250); power supply is a Corsair 750 HX (modular)

OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS: Phenom II 955, ASUS M489GTD PRO/USB3, 8 GB GSkill DDR3, Storm Sniper case



OVERCLOCKING: No SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Probably will, but not now

MONITOR RESOLUTION: I ideally want to run a dual monitor setup (one is 1920x1080, the other is 1650x1050 or something like that)

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Looking for the most bang for my buck, as well as a card that could be Crossfired/SLI down the road to increase performance.

Hello all,

I just purchased an ASUS 23" monitor, resolution 1920x1080, LED backlit, etc. I haven't had a new monitor in a while, so I am pretty excited. I upgraded from a 22" Dell, which has a resolution of around 1650x1050 (pretty I screwed one of those numbers up, but that is close enough). I was running integrated graphics up to this point, mostly because I was waiting for the right time to purchase a graphics card. Upon trying to play WoW on my new monitor, I was struck by the realization that THIS is the proper time, as it was lagging a bit trying to keep up with refreshing all those new pixels.

My question to you is: Which card should I buy? I'm leaning towards ATI, but I'm not opposed to Nvidia if the value is there. I want to spend between $150 - 250. These are what I've found so far:

Sapphire Radeon HD 5850 XTREME 1 GB DDR5 HDMI/DVI-I/DP PCI-Express Graphics Card 100282XTREME

HIS H685F1GD Radeon HD 6850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity

SAPPHIRE 100314-2SR Radeon HD 6870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity

I know the 5850 is last gen, but I also know that $150 for it is probably still an excellent deal. I've also heard the 6850's are excellent in Crossfire, which is what I intend to do at some point regardless of which card I buy. The 6870's have come down a lot in price, so I also considered those. Also, the 6950 has caught my attention. I do not necessarily care which brand of card it is.

Any help you can give me is greatly appreciated!


Best solution

a c 153 U Graphics card
May 14, 2011 3:41:08 AM

I'm pretty sure (unless something has changed and someone can correct me) Starcraft II runs much better on Nvidia cards.. at least at one point in time I knew that to be true.

Here is a benchmark, at your resolution showing Starcraft II running better on a GTX 460 than a 5870, which is better than a 5850, which about equal and sometimes better than a 6850.

Now I don't know how important SCII is to you, if you play it *a lot*, but if you do I'd recommend a GTX 560ti.

If SCII isn't THAT important however, there are better choices.
a b U Graphics card
May 14, 2011 4:08:37 AM

It's mostly up to your budget.

6950 2GB > 560 ti > 6870 > 5850 > 6850

with the quality comes the price. 6950 is 290ish 560 is 250ish and 6870 is 190ish. All will handle WoW and SCII just fine and all are great for SLI/CF. All will handle your monitors/resolutions. If you are looking to save then yes a 5850 is great for you and is also great in CF and for only 150 dollars is a nice buy.
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May 14, 2011 6:01:00 AM

Helltech/crewton: Thanks for the replies. I checked out those benchmarks, and from what I'm seeing it's pretty neck and neck. The 6850 is still pretty enticing, because the performance is good, and they look like they crossfire like crazy. The 560ti looks enticing, but it's at the top of my budget, and I'm starting to doubt whether I need a top of the line card to get what I need out of my rig. Thanks for the help guys!
May 14, 2011 6:03:33 AM

Best answer selected by bigmantenor.
a c 271 U Graphics card
May 14, 2011 7:49:16 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey