To be very, very blunt. Making a budget build, is the 7870 much of an improvement over the 7850 is it at all worth the extra 60 bucks to spend on this thing? Because if I can save 60 bucks I will save 60 bucks. First build also.
Depends on the resolution you are playing at, and what games you want to play. If you are playing at 1080p or lower, you won't see a huge benefit with the 7870 over the 7850 for most games, at least right now. However, if you are playing more demanding titles like Crysis 2, Battlefield 3, Witcher 2, Metro 2033, or want your card to remain competitive at higher graphics settings for longer, then you might want to spend the extra 60 bucks.
I will say, be sure to get the 2GB version of the 7850. There are some games that are exceeding 1GB of video RAM at 1080p resolution. For future titles, you may run into performance problems with the 1GB version of the 7850.
If you really want to run BF3 with all the eyecandy turned on, get the 7870. If you are okay with running really demanding games on high rather than ultra, and really want to use the 60 bucks for something else, get the 7850.
Honestly I'm use to playing on xbox 360 so the whole Eye Candy thing doesn't appeal to me as much as frame rates right now. So I'm not to worried about max settings, just mainly high to medium settings.
Either card will deliver that level of performance at your resolution. In that case, just get the 7850. The 7870's extra performance won't benefit you if you aren't trying to max out all the latest titles at 1080p. Maybe spend the extra money on a better CPU if possible, or even consider an SSD if you are willing to put a little more money on top of your budget. 60GB SSDs will work, but having a 120GB drive ensures you don't have to micromanage your space too much.
Alright awesome. That is pretty much what I need to know. If you want to take a look at my build you can go to my first build thread in the build bridge if you have any extra thoughts, it would be much appreciated. I will leave this up for a little while longer to see if anyone else has something to say.
Looked at your build thread. I would say spend the extra 60 bucks on getting an i5 processor. Most games are still only dual threaded, but there are some titles that can leverage more than 2 cores. In the future you may find some games that will struggle with a dual core CPU, even one like the i3 2120. Right now with Battlefield 3, dual core CPUs struggle in the larger 64 player maps when playing online.
I think the i5 2400 would be in your price range with the extra 60 dollars. If you can spend a bit more, there is also the i5 2500k if you want to have the option to overclock in the future to get more CPU performance.
If you don't want to overclock, the 2400 will suffice. The 2500k has a slightly faster stock clockspeed and the ability to overclock, no other advantages over the 2400. If you are really into Battlefield 3, I would recommend moving up to an i5 over an i3. For most parts of the game, including single player, the i3 is fine, but in the large 64 player battles, the i3 may hold your 7850 back, resulting in a less smooth experience.
They both can overclock, the difference is the Sapphire has an overclock already applied to it at the factory. The XFX Double D has two fans so it may run cooler than the Sapphire OC edition, depending on what cooler the OC Edition card has. The OC edition may overclock further as it already has an overclock, so it may be more aggressively binned. Factory overclocked cards have to be able to run at higher speeds, so it may be a higher quality chip compared to a stock clocked card. Then again, with the 7000 series cards that may not be the case, as all the 7000 series cards seem to be clocked far lower than what they are capable of when running at stock speed, hence the really high overclock potential.
You'll get a good overclock out of either card, so probably go with whatever is cheaper. XFX and Sapphire are good brands, so it comes down to price, which cooler you prefer, and whether you prefer to have XFX's Double Lifetime Warranty support.
HIS is one of the lower end brands for AMD cards. They're okay, but their cards aren't up to the quality of some of the other manufacturers like Asus, Sapphire, or XFX. I would say they are okay if you are on a budget, as they tend to be a bit cheaper than some of the other manufacturers, but you do get what you pay for, an HIS card may not last as long as one from another brand. It is luck of the draw though, as cards that are DOA or fail quickly can show up from every brand out there, it's just you may have a higher chance of that happening with an HIS card over say an XFX card.
The HD7870 is faster no doubt about it, the HD 7850 is a good card but you need to overclock it to get the gains you expect to see out of a $200. If you want high end gaming performace with eyecandy to boot the HD 7870 is the way to go.
Well I'm not completely planning on using max settings seeing as I'm use to Xbox 360 graphics in the first place. I'm just looking for a card that is going to get me up and running and good frame rates even on higher end games that will last me till next year when I can get a very good graphics card.
If AMD's pricing has gone down the HD 7870 is listed around $240 while the HD 7850 is listed at $210, the $30 difference is still very worth it, as before the HD 7870 is the starting point for serious gaming performance of the higher level. If you are wanting to get by a HD 7850 is good and used to be my recommendation but due to price drops the HD 7870 is far faster at a low premium.
How big of a difference are we honestly talking in frame rates? Just 10 or so fps, or are we talking a very large difference. From the charts that I have seen we are only talking a minimal change. That as well of only having this card for maybe a year before buying a brand new graphics card. I'm just not sure its worth it....Unless you can give me something solid to make me say it is d*mn well worth it.
The HD 7850 is around the similar performance of a HD 6970, GTX 570 and GTX 560ti 448, not withstanding overclocks this is at least 15% slower than the HD 7870 which has comparible performance with the GTX 580, GTX 660ti notwithstanding overclocks.
The massive problem is the games themselves, many ports won't fully stress the cards to the max, hence why a 660ti can at times perform around 3$ slower than a GTX 680. On synthetics you are going to be looking at a 10FPS+ difference, where a game engine pushes the GPU it will start to show. You can already get HD 7870 ghz Edition cards and later flash with the new bios revisions, this will give you clock bumps from the modest 880mhz to the 1ghz range, you will probably get 3-5FPS bonus over the vanilla 7870 on top.
Overall you are looking at a 10-15% performance differential.
Man, I don't think I can do it for the $60 buck increase in price. Especially for only having this card for a year. I'm sure in a year as well I will be able to get the nice new gtx cards for a little bit cheaper, hopefully, and be set for a few more years. Thanks though.