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Should I buy a second 5850 now or wait?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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October 5, 2011 5:39:39 PM

Hi,

I've had my current PC for a while now, I'm not exactly mr moneybags so I built it with the express intention of getting a second 5850 at some point in the nearish future when I had the cash and hopefully the price had dropped a bit.

As many of you are no doubt aware quite the opposite has happened, the 5850 is becoming as rare as gold dust on the various component sites, and on the one site that has them (overclockers.co.uk, my preferred vendor) they now cost about £20 more than when I bought the first one nearly a year ago. I come here today to ask this because the 5850 on OCUK has gone under '10+ in stock' for the first time since I've been checking the page hoping it would be part of one of their weekly sales.

So, like the title says: should I now bite the bullet and get the second 5850 for £161, which I can afford but was obviously hoping to spend less than. Or is there any value in waiting a bit longer?

I have no idea what the ins and outs of graphics card production are, so it could be there's going to be a new line released, or a huge batch of 5800 cards out soon that will make the price tumble, or are they more likely to become super rare £200+ cards in the near future? I don't mind waiting another 6 months but if the price is likely to go up again, or become unavailable altogether then obviously I'd want to buy one now.

Thanks in advance for any advice.

More about : buy 5850 wait

October 5, 2011 5:56:22 PM

I wouldn't expect to see a new batch of 5850s. They've been somewhat low key since the 6000 series came out. I'd expect to only find used ones once 7000 series arrives. 161 is a bit steep. Do you only want to buy new or are you also looking for used ones?

If it were my money I'd buy it. You have the money and I'm one of those types that would rather have one in the pot instead of two in the bush.
October 5, 2011 6:06:29 PM

Thanks for the reply,

I know £161 seems like a lot, and I'm not happy about it but trust me that's cheap for a new 5850 at the moment, of the few sites I know of to check that's the cheapest, but most just don't have them in stock. There are a couple used on amazon for like £130, but I really don't like the idea of buying a used graphics card.

Like I say I really don't know how these things work, can someone explain how the 6800 cards are so much cheaper than the 5800s? That's a like a whole 1000 extra graphixz for less £££??!


Well, I'll wait a few more hours and see if anyone else has any input, but if the story is that there's not likely to be any new ones made any time soon, and the only cheaper ones will be second hand after the 7000s come out then I'll be ordering it tonight I guess.
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October 5, 2011 6:39:33 PM

I wouldn't buy another 5850. The 5850 is 2 year old technology and I've heard Crossfire setups can be difficult at times. I would do some research and compare benchmarks of 5850 crossfire vs. another single card (ATI or NVIDIA). Liek you said the 5850 is valuable for those that want to crossfire their setup. Sell the 5850 and get another card.
October 5, 2011 6:42:11 PM

The 5850 is actually better than the 6850. I can't remember the reason off the top of my head but it made the 5850 a more desireable card.
October 5, 2011 6:44:51 PM

Yah, I'm a bit of neophyte at such things, but as I understand it the 5850 is pretty powerful, and looking at some benchmarks 5850s in crossfire can comfortably outperform single cards in the £300 range.
October 5, 2011 7:07:51 PM

As someone who's owned a pair of 5850s for around 1.5 years now, I can highly recommend it. Obviously some people get issues here and there but at least for me it's been a very good experience and I've been able to max out all games at 1920x1080 with very good, playable framerates. Even Metro 2033 fully maxed out (we're talking 100% maxed) it averages around 30+ on the benchmark, but I usually turn off DoF and then it averages 45+.

Anyway you should definitely just consider getting a used one for cheaper though, if that's an option. Especially if you can get the identical card to what you already have.

These benchmarks are already very old, but if you're curious what sort of improvement CF 5850s gives, here's a bunch of benchmarks I did: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/289809-33-single-5850...
October 5, 2011 10:32:38 PM

wolfram23 said:
As someone who's owned a pair of 5850s for around 1.5 years now, I can highly recommend it. Obviously some people get issues here and there but at least for me it's been a very good experience and I've been able to max out all games at 1920x1080 with very good, playable framerates. Even Metro 2033 fully maxed out (we're talking 100% maxed) it averages around 30+ on the benchmark, but I usually turn off DoF and then it averages 45+.

Anyway you should definitely just consider getting a used one for cheaper though, if that's an option. Especially if you can get the identical card to what you already have.

These benchmarks are already very old, but if you're curious what sort of improvement CF 5850s gives, here's a bunch of benchmarks I did: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/289809-33-single-5850...


Thanks for the advice,

I'm not saying I'm 100% against buying a second hard card, but I'm like 95%... I could save £20-30 getting one on ebay, but I find the idea a bit dodgy. My instinct is to pay the extra to get the warranty and comfort of dealing with an established reputable company.

And the cheapest I can find an exact match for the 5850 I currently have is nearly £200 :o 
October 5, 2011 11:45:29 PM

Yes warranty over ebay codsae.
October 6, 2011 6:39:55 AM

You don't need an exact match for a 5850 to cf it, ebay has some great prices, just go from buyers with well established ratings (that's sort of why the ratings system exists). I recently bought a second one, and the performance boost has been fantastic, well worth the $120 Aus I paid for it. And with the relative rarity of the cards nowadays, should still be able to ebay them both for a decent amount once the 7000 series is released
October 6, 2011 1:46:43 PM

I'm ordering the second 5850 today, thanks for the help.

As an interesting footnote I didn't get round to ordering it last night, and when I went to the page just now I saw the price had dropped by £11 overnight :) 
October 6, 2011 1:57:03 PM

nice, enjoy the new card!
October 6, 2011 5:58:59 PM

Cool, enjoy!
!