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HD 5850, HD 6790 or HD 6850 (OC'd) - Best bang for my buck?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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November 7, 2011 3:56:17 PM

Hi everyone,

I've been reading posts in this forum for a long time. It helped me put together my first PC this year, but graphics cards are still giving me trouble. So much information to go through.

I'm looking for a card that will give me the best value for my money, and unfortunately, my budget isn't very large, so I've been scouring for the best deals I could find.

The choices I've narrowed my search down to are:

1) HD 6790 that I can get from a friend (new) for $80...
2) HD 5850 from eBay (used) for about $110...
3) MSi Radeon HD R6850 Cyclone IGD5 Power Edition 1GB from Craigslist (used) for $115-$125.

Regarding that last one, I'm not sure at what point I should forget that card and just look at a HD 6870 instead.

I'm not much of a PC gamer but I'm trying to get more into it. PC is hooked up to my HDTV, so required resolution is only up to 1080P.

Sorry if I'm leaving out any pertinent information.

Thanks!!
November 7, 2011 6:08:28 PM

Any help would be appreciated here. I know that a lot of people have dismissed the HD 6790 as a lousy card, but at the price I don't know if it should be ignored.
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a b U Graphics card
November 7, 2011 6:14:45 PM

What exactly is your budget? I assume it's over $80 but less than $150?
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November 7, 2011 6:19:17 PM

$150 is the most that I'd like to spend, but if there's something really great out there for a few bucks more that gives me much better performance, I'll go for it.

I figured that since my resolution is maxed out at 1080P, higher end graphics cards wouldn't make much of a difference.
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a b U Graphics card
November 7, 2011 6:20:50 PM

At 1080P some games such as BF3 require a high end card for smooth gameplay. What games are you looking to play?
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a b U Graphics card
November 7, 2011 6:21:29 PM

I'm going to guess that you have the system and the money to buy those cards. With that said, go with either the 6850 or the 5850. There both pretty powerful cards and can at-least play any game on medium settings.

Al-though i don't know how they act in crossfire. I think you've heard the horrors of micro-stutter. I'm going to try it out this upcoming Chrismas. (When i have a little more money in the pocket). ;O
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November 7, 2011 6:24:21 PM

Warmacblu said:
At 1080P some games such as BF3 require a high end card for smooth gameplay. What games are you looking to play?


I think Metro 2033 and Civ 5 are the most intensive games I'm going to try to play.

This is all fairly new to me. I've mostly been a console gamer. This is the first time I have a PC that can actually perform something above web browsing, so I'm new to most of this graphics card business.
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November 7, 2011 6:26:25 PM

Djentleman said:
I'm going to guess that you have the system and the money to buy those cards. With that said, go with either the 6850 or the 5850. There both pretty powerful cards and can at-least play any game on medium settings.

Al-though i don't know how they act in crossfire. I think you've heard the horrors of micro-stutter. I'm going to try it out this upcoming Chrismas. (When i have a little more money in the pocket). ;O


I do have the system, and I have money to spare for a GPU. I figure CF would still be a ways away for me. I'm not too familiar with the micro-stutter problem. Is that an issue with specific cards, CF in general or this generation of cards?

So even at $80, HD 6790 is not a smart move, huh? :) 
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November 7, 2011 7:47:19 PM

Side question: Is the 5850 a more powerful card overall than the 6850, despite being a previous generation GPU?
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a b U Graphics card
November 7, 2011 8:00:26 PM

For $150, I would purchase a new HD 6850 or a GTX 460 1GB. I am not a fan of buying used video cards.
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Best solution

November 7, 2011 8:04:29 PM

jviper88 said:
Side question: Is the 5850 a more powerful card overall than the 6850, despite being a previous generation GPU?


According to the Graphics Card Hierarchy chart it's one step above the 6850 (http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-graphics-card-...). I'm unsure what that translates into in the real world. I have a 5850 and it runs BF3 on High settings smoothly on a 1920 x 1080 monitor. I've never played Metro or Civ 5. Tomshardware may have performance charts for Metro 2033 though.

Out of the cards you've listed I believe the 5850 will be the best performing card. I don't think the 6850 would be too far behind though.
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November 14, 2011 2:20:23 AM

Best answer selected by JVIPER88.
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