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Old 07-21-2010, 02:52 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Considering video card options for a gaming rig - 5870, 5870x2?

I'm looking to build a new gaming rig sometime in the future. My original plan was to get a Radeon 5870 and put it in a crossfire ready motherboard. Then sometime in the future, maybe a year or two when the 5870 is starting to look kind of old, get a second one and use crossfire to beef it up again.

However I have heard that the 5870x2 is coming out sometime soon, and from my understanding is basically 2 5870 GPUs on one card. I am curious if this would end up being cheaper than getting 1 5870 now and another in the future. I know the 5870x2 is quite large however I can plan for that when I get a motherboard and case.

My concerns are firstly price; I have heard the 5870x2 could be up to $1000 US which is far more than I'm willing to spend. The 5870 seems like a good price for a high end card, probably as expensive as I would be willing to go unless the 5870x2 ends up cheaper in the long run. Also I have heard that Geforce should be releasing their 300 series soon which may push down the prices of Radeon cards, if so I would probably want to hold off for that.

Secondly overheating; I would probably just use the stock fans that come with the cards. I don't intend to overclock but I worry that if I did use crossfire in the future the 2 cards in such close proximity could become a heat issue.

Thirdly power; I believe the 5870 needs a rather large power supply to begin with, and I think even 2 power plugs. Running 2 of these may require a much larger power supply than I would really want.

Finally the complexity of using crossfire. I have never used crossfire before and am a little worried it might be difficult to set up and whether it will immediately be compatible with games and programs I wish to run without needing to tinker with it. There is also the question of finding a good crossfire ready motherboard but I figured I would probably ask on here for some opinions.


So there you go, my rather long post. Any thoughts? Would you crossfire 2 5870s? Or get one big 5870x2 for a bigger price but less hassle. Will I run into power or heat problems?
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Old 07-21-2010, 03:04 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Considering video card options for a gaming rig - 5870, 5870x2?

the 5870x2 card has been out since january... its called the 5970 and its $700, a 800+Watt psu it recommended.


you my friend are about 6 months behind the curve haha
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Old 07-21-2010, 03:16 AM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Considering video card options for a gaming rig - 5870, 5870x2?

And nVidia's already released their 4 series, unless they do actually plan on going backwards in number
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Old 07-21-2010, 07:21 AM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Considering video card options for a gaming rig - 5870, 5870x2?

By default the two GPU's on the 5970 (the final name for the 5870x2) are underclocked, so two stock 5870's would beat it. You can overclock by hand but it will make more heat.
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Old 07-21-2010, 05:54 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Considering video card options for a gaming rig - 5870, 5870x2?

you can overclock the 5970 to match two 5870's in like 4 seconds.
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Old 07-21-2010, 06:44 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Considering video card options for a gaming rig - 5870, 5870x2?

Yeah, overclocking the Radeon cards is easy, but it will draw more power and put out more heat and it is only a single slot cooler. I'd go with 2 HD5870's for the extra cooling if anything. My advice would be to just get one 5870 now, if you're only playing on one monitor you won't need 2 even for Crysis. Then after the 5870 gets cheaper if you decide you want another one you can pick one up cheaper and get a dual-GPU setup when you need it.

I have one 5870 and 3 1920x1080 monitors, the only game that is an issue is Crysis and lowering the settings it is fully playable. That was before I overclocked it too (now I'm maxed out on Overdrive, 900/1300, probably could push it more if I used Afterburner).
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Old 07-21-2010, 06:57 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Considering video card options for a gaming rig - 5870, 5870x2?

the 5970 is a dual slot card

i agree with you, a 5970 is really only for a big E-penis.

but i would still take a 5970 over two 5870's.
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Old 07-21-2010, 07:19 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Considering video card options for a gaming rig - 5870, 5870x2?

I didn't realise the 5970 was the 5870x2, my mistake. It's cheaper than I thought it'd be, cheaper than getting 2 5870's right now, but I would hope that if I wait a while I can get one for a hundred or two less.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CalcProgrammer1 View Post
I have one 5870 and 3 1920x1080 monitors, the only game that is an issue is Crysis and lowering the settings it is fully playable. That was before I overclocked it too (now I'm maxed out on Overdrive, 900/1300, probably could push it more if I used Afterburner).
That sounds pretty impressive. I would like to give the eyefinity features a go though first I'd need to find a couple of extra monitors. I think I will go with the one 5870 for now with the plan to get another in the future. According to the website I'll need a 600watt power supply and 4 power cables to run it in crossfire.

I am still a little bit worried about heat. I'm thinking of getting an i7 930 to go with it, which I would probably overclock (my first attempt at overclocking). I figure I'll leave the 5870's as they are; so long as they can play anything new at high settings. Do you think I could just go with stock fans on the lot and maybe get a case with good air flow and not have to worry about overheating?
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Old 07-21-2010, 07:25 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Considering video card options for a gaming rig - 5870, 5870x2?

i dont think you need to worry about heat, its not as big of a deal as you are making it out do be.

what case is this going to be in. if you have a case with good airflow, then you have nothing to be worried about
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Old 07-21-2010, 07:39 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Considering video card options for a gaming rig - 5870, 5870x2?

Well I don't know what case I'll get yet, don't know too much about them. I figure I'll go down to the computer store I use and see what they have. Good airflow and looking cool is all I'm really looking for in the case. I'll probably do the same for the motherboard. Something to support crossfire, up to 8gb RAM, a couple of extra SATA hard drives, and of course my i7 930 cpu. Unless anyone has any specific recommendations?
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