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Which graphics card should I buy, HD 7850 or 6850?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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May 8, 2012 2:07:43 PM

I am going to buy a graphic card, currently I am using the motherboard integrated graphic card.
I am going to use 3 monitors
- Dell U2711 (center monitor, landscape)
- LG Flatron W2442PA, 24" (left monitor, portrait)
- Samsung-syncmaster-226bw (right monitor, portrait)

My current configuration:
Antec 520W Neo Eco
Case Zalman MS1000-HS2
Mother Board P8H67MLE, i3 2100, 4GB memory, 2x2GB Western Digital Green HD

Which graphic card should I buy that be able to
- handle three monitors above connected to my computer
- in near future this card should be able to handle
- one Dell U2711
- two NEC MultiSync LCD2190UXp-BK

I am using this computer for development/programming. Some time gaming, not important.
I also use photoshop alot.


Should I buy
(a) 2GB Sapphire Radeon HD 7850
http://www.neoseeker.com/Articles/Hardware/Reviews/Sapp...

(b) 1GB Power Color HD 6850
http://www.powercolor.com/au/products_features.asp?id=2...

(c) something else, please advise

Thank you
May 8, 2012 3:04:11 PM

Well, the 7850 is better. But if you're not gaming a lot, you don't need a lot of power. I'd go for a 6870... an MSI Hawk 6870. Try 2GB to handle multiple monitors.

Are you sure you need a GPU? I mean, if you're not gaming, there's not much point.
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May 8, 2012 4:00:25 PM

IMO the 1gb 6850 should be just fine if you don't care about gaming. If you think gaming performance is worth the cash for the 7850, go for it, but that's your choice.
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May 8, 2012 4:49:39 PM

What do you plan on using the set up for? Also what resolution are you proposing to run?

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May 8, 2012 5:07:34 PM

Yeah it really all comes down to the gaming aspect. You say some gaming-not that important. If its truly not important and you're willing to sacrifice on things then get the 6000 series card. But there will def be advantages with the 7000 card. For one, new with the 7000 series is eyefinity 2.0. Meaning you can now run eyefinity with a mish-mosh of monitors running different resolutions, and keep each monitors native resolution. Before you had to go with the lowest res monitor in the group and run that same res across all monitors. Also you'll want as much vram (minimum 2gb) when gaming in eyefinity.
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May 8, 2012 6:52:22 PM

I personally think an MSI Hawk 6870 with 2GB of vRAM should be fine. It'll play most games out there on about medium, with enough RAM to play them on three monitors.
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a c 191 U Graphics card
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a c 135 V Motherboard
May 8, 2012 7:03:03 PM

rdzona makes a good point about Eyefinity 2.0. If gaming is NOT involved, you'd probably be happy with a HD7750 or HD7770. If you do intend to play graphically demanding games (like FPS titles), you'd probably want the HD7850.
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May 8, 2012 7:07:47 PM

The 7850 is comparable to a 6970 (except in crossfire), where as the 6850 is comparable to a GTX 460.

I would definitely recommend the former, although I must admit that neither card will cut the mustard when it comes to multi-display required horsepower if you plan to do any serious gaming at all. I would recommend at least a 7950 if you plan on doing any gaming. In which case you will need to upgrade your PSU.

If not, then perhaps the 6850 will do.
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May 8, 2012 7:12:59 PM

You can't do Eyefinity with his monitor setup, anyways. They all need to be the same resolution/orientation.
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May 8, 2012 7:24:39 PM

I am pretty sure that 1680x1050 monitors work in Eyefinity with 1920x1080 monitors, the only catch is that all monitors default down to the highest common resolution (hence 3 x 1680x1050).
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May 8, 2012 7:59:12 PM

PCgamer81 said:
I am pretty sure that 1680x1050 monitors work in Eyefinity with 1920x1080 monitors, the only catch is that all monitors default down to the highest common resolution (hence 3 x 1680x1050).

That is true, but he will need to switch the orientation to match as well.
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May 8, 2012 8:01:18 PM

SinisterSalad said:
You can't do Eyefinity with his monitor setup, anyways. They all need to be the same resolution/orientation.


WRONG! The new 78xx series (and newer) has Eyefinity 2.0, which allows for mismatched resolution on monitors! Cool, huh? :D  (I'm just excited that AMD finally pulled ahead somewhere performance-wise). However, I don't believe the 68xx series has Eyefinity 2.0
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a c 191 U Graphics card
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May 8, 2012 8:20:17 PM

andrewred said:
...
...Some time gaming, not important.
...

With gaming unimportant, you will likely be satisfied by a HD7750 or HD7770, which would still give you the Eyefinity 2.0 allowing mixed monitors. This way, you'll spend $110-$150, not $250-$300.

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May 8, 2012 8:50:22 PM

Thanks everyone!
A few questions, just to confirm.

1. I will buy 7850, which brand, Asus or Sapphire, I am thinking to buy Asus since
my mobo is Asus P8H67MLE, any thoughts?
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/352518-33-sapphire-ra...

2. Willl Sapphire/Asus Radeon HD 7850 fit into Asus P8H67 MLE (uATX Form Factor )?
http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/Intel_Socket_1155/P8H6...

3. Can 7850 handle 3 monitors, let says 3 Dell U2711? I can only see one connectors, do I need to buy cable to split one into three? Dell resolution is 2560x1440, 1.07 billion colours. I play starcraft 2 sometime, 2 hours on the weekend.



Thanks

DELL U2711
2560 x 1440 (WQHD) resolution, 1.07 billion Colours, 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio, 109 pixels per inch, 6-millisecond (typical) 1gray-to-gray response time and 80,000:1 maximum dynamic contrast ratio
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May 8, 2012 9:08:33 PM

2643399,2,1150945 said:
Well, the 7850 is better. But if you're not gaming a lot, you don't need a lot of power.quotemsg]
i disagree. just because your not gaming lots doesn't mean you want games to run poorly.
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May 8, 2012 9:55:28 PM

Thanks everyone,

One more question, my PSU is Antec 520W Neo Eco, will this PSU able to supply enough power to 7850? I have a DVD drive, 2x2TB western digital green and one SSD.
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a c 191 U Graphics card
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May 8, 2012 10:08:36 PM

Your PSU is sufficient for a HD7850. It uses very little power. Many have only a single PCIE power connector.
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May 8, 2012 10:12:05 PM

Yes, no doubt it will. The 7xxx series is very power friendly. If you ever want to add another 7850 you will need to upgrade, however.

The 7850 is a solid choice, although I am afraid you will find yourself enjoying a bit of a slideshow if you attempt to use it to max any modern games in Eyefinity.
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May 8, 2012 11:44:15 PM


Onus said:
With gaming unimportant, you will likely be satisfied by a HD7750 or HD7770, which would still give you the Eyefinity 2.0 allowing mixed monitors. This way, you'll spend $110-$150, not $250-$300.


He said "Some time gaming" also. We can't know what this means, only he does. And recommending eyefinity on lower tier cards is kind of silly. Eyefinity really only has its use in gaming. Are you going to use eyefinity when us MS office or something, probably not.
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May 9, 2012 12:37:52 AM

Well then, we'll just need to wait for some clarification. Which games? How often? What settings are required / acceptable?
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May 9, 2012 7:30:56 AM

get the 7850. Use it game on your main monitor only though. Asus and Sapphire both good choices (sapphire is slightly better clocked while the Asus has a better cooler)
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May 9, 2012 8:44:52 AM

Thanks everyone, I am only playing Starcraft 2, for max 2 hours per week. I do not plan to use eyefinity. Mostly, I will use it for photoshop and c++ development. So I will SC 2 on my main monitor.

I am planning to use CUDA, however it is irrelevant for this little upgrade. I will build another PC for this.
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May 9, 2012 12:18:39 PM

Seriously... if you're not interested in Eyefinity (multi-monitor gameplay) and you barely ever play Starcraft 2, I'd get a 6870. As for the manufacturer, these would be my priorities:
1. MSI Twin Frozr (or Hawk if it's available)
2. ASUS
3. Gigabyte
4. Sapphire
5. EVGA
6. HIS
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a c 191 U Graphics card
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May 9, 2012 10:12:47 PM

Starcraft II, being a Blizzard game, favors nVidia cards. Especially since you may want CUDA for other things, get a GTX560. MSI or EVGA would probably be good choices, perhaps Asus after that.
If you stay with AMD, I'd probably rank them MSI, HIS, Sapphire, XFX, Asus, Gigabyte, Powercolor, Biostar. HIS coolers tend to be very good.
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May 9, 2012 10:14:14 PM

All the cards we're talking about here are far more than enough to max out Starcraft II. That's not an issue.
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May 9, 2012 10:34:05 PM

Onus said:
Starcraft II, being a Blizzard game, favors nVidia cards. Especially since you may want CUDA for other things, get a GTX560. MSI or EVGA would probably be good choices, perhaps Asus after that.
If you stay with AMD, I'd probably rank them MSI, HIS, Sapphire, XFX, Asus, Gigabyte, Powercolor, Biostar. HIS coolers tend to be very good.


It seriously doesn't matter. I play A LOT of SC2 and I have a 5870, and I'm always around 60fps
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May 10, 2012 12:40:27 AM

ddan49 said:
Seriously... if you're not interested in Eyefinity (multi-monitor gameplay) and you barely ever play Starcraft 2, I'd get a 6870. As for the manufacturer, these would be my priorities:
1. MSI Twin Frozr (or Hawk if it's available)
2. ASUS
3. Gigabyte
4. Sapphire
5. EVGA
6. HIS

I'm surprised Sapphire is so far down your list.

If we are talking reference cards, Sapphire is top-tier.
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May 10, 2012 12:47:31 AM

rdzona said:
It seriously doesn't matter. I play A LOT of SC2 and I have a 5870, and I'm always around 60fps

The 5870 is a lot better than a 6850, though. It's really even better than a 6870 if you want to get technical.

What about your CPU? I notice a lot of the renderings are assigned to the CPU in SC2, which is pretty much par for the course with an RTS.
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May 10, 2012 12:51:16 AM

Yeah, but I usually find cooling and OC better on others. I generally feel more comfortable with ASUS OC manager with ASUS card, MSI with MSI card, etc. Sapphire doesn't have a manager/tool. However, I do believe the others still work with it. Sapphire is definitely a good company... don't take this to mean that I don't think it's good. I'd probably put it ahead of Gigabyte... Gigabyte has inconsistent performance (better cooling on some cards, like the 560 Ti, while on others it's not as good, like the 7850 (I really hope I got those two right... it might be the other way around)). You won't be disappointed with any of the ones I listed... however, I just find that Sapphire costs more but doesn't really offer anything that's superior.
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May 10, 2012 1:26:38 AM

Asus and MSI both have some excellent coolers. The HIS IceQ models are good too, but I've got one of their others that is a little loud.
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May 10, 2012 2:24:39 PM

PCgamer81 said:
The 5870 is a lot better than a 6850, though. It's really even better than a 6870 if you want to get technical.

What about your CPU? I notice a lot of the renderings are assigned to the CPU in SC2, which is pretty much par for the course with an RTS.


Yeah I realize that, but I still think he won't have a problem with a 6850 concerning SC2. I have a 930@4ghz. I don't know that it's so much of a rendering issue as it is the particles and physics associated with unit movement. Because you can see a very noticeable difference on a 1v1 game vs a 4v4 game when the map has like 10 carriers with 80 interceptors, 200 supply in lings, and so on....It's very unit dependent. Not trying to argue, maybe it's just semantics.
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May 10, 2012 2:29:47 PM

On my opinion HD 7850 is better and if you take it with 2GB of RAM should be fine.
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May 10, 2012 6:22:11 PM

Guys... let's just all agree that he'd be fine with a 6850 for his needs. If anyone wants to disagree, then go ahead and reply to this. But for the needs he has, there's not much point in spending an extra $100 on a 7850.
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