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Old 06-29-2010, 09:48 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default upgrading from hd 4890

So... I am selling some of my current parts to a friend including my xfx hd 4890 1gb.
I seem to not be able to max all the games I play at times and want to dual monitor. I don't have the PSU for SLI and would like a newer generation card.

So... my budget will be around 300-400$
I am looking at the hd 5850, hd 5870, new gtx 470, 480 series etc.
My question is, how are the benchmarks for these cards compared to the others, which is the best bang for the buck, and overall which is a better buy. I have no preference for company because I have dealt with both nvidia and ati.

GIGABYTE GA-870A-UD3 AM3 AMD 870 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Motherboard
NZXT Apollo Black ATX Mid tower Case
AMD Phenom II X6 1055t @ 3.8 GHZ
Rosewill RCX-Z1 CPU heatsink
Sapphire TOXIC Edition Radeon HD 5850 1GB @ 800/1175
2 x 2GB CORSAIR DOMINATOR 240-Pin DDR3 1600mhz
G.Skill Sniper SSD 60gb x2 RAID 0
BFG Tech GS-550 550W ATX12V V2.2 / EPS12V V2.8 SLI PSU
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Old 06-29-2010, 10:10 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: upgrading from hd 4890

I would go with the 5870. As many people on this forum will tell you, ATi has won this generation, the HD5000 cards are more efficient when it comes to power consumption and the performance is very close between the high end chips with ATi being a bit more affordable. Also, ATi's HD5000 cards support Eyefinity, a technology that lets you run multiple monitors together as one big gaming screen, they also support driving 3 monitors off one card (or 6 with the special Eyefinity 6 edition).

I originally wanted a GTX470 having been a big nVidia fan for the past few generations, but after reading HD5870 reviews I decided the 5870 was the way to go. Now I'm running a 3 monitor Eyefinity setup and it is excellent. The 5870 is marginally better than the GTX470 in most of the tests I've seen, but they're pretty close cards. The 5870 uses less power and they cost about the same. The GTX480 is the fastest single-GPU card out there, outpacing the 5870 in most cases at the expense of costing $200 more, a price that probably isn't worth the performance boost. Also around $600, the Radeon HD5970 is a dual-GPU card that utilizes two of the 5870 chips to match or exceed the GTX480's performance.

I would go with the HD5870, I can play all the Source games, GTA IV, and others at full or near full settings across 3 1920x1080 monitors at full frame rate. Crysis is the only game that shows noticeable slowdown when running in Eyefinity, it runs fine at full settings on one monitor but is slower on 3, still easily playable if some of the settings are turned down a bit.

The one thing nVidia has that ATi doesn't is CUDA, nVidia's proprietary general-purpose GPU computing library that enables applications to use the GPU as a high performance computational processor. This is used in nVidia's PhysX technology to compute realistic physics interactions in supported games. While this is a nice feature, ATi's new cards (as well as nVidia's) support newer general-purpose GPU computing technologies such as OpenCL and DirectCompute (part of DirectX 11). This hopefully will mean more companies leave CUDA in favor of widely supported systems like OpenCL.

The biggest reason I bring CUDA up is that many people here run Folding@Home. While both ATi and nVidia GPU's are capable of running it, the current revisions are optimized for CUDA and thus nVidia GPU's perform much better. Hopefully this will change when Folding@Home releases an OpenCL client.


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Old 06-29-2010, 10:55 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: upgrading from hd 4890

^ just sort of an fyi i guess, but a gtx 480 isn't $600 it's $500, and a 5970 isn't $600 either it's $700.
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Old 07-02-2010, 04:49 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: upgrading from hd 4890

Definatly go with th HD5870. It will suit your "dual Monitors" very well. 3 monitors actually in Eyefinity. Definatly has the best bang for buck out of the cards you list!
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