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Thread: So - time to buy - 2 x 5850 or 1 x GTX480 plus Mobo Q

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    So - time to buy - 2 x 5850 or 1 x GTX480 plus Mobo Q

    I recently asked for some advice on hardware etc. Now I'm in a position to purchase. Therefore, have a few more questions for you lovely people . Now, I'm a gamer of course and presently, I'm playing Battlefield Bad Company 2 but wish to play the likes of STALKER: CoP and similar.

    So, I've decided on an i7 920 as recommended by your good selves. Also 6Gb of Corsair Dominator.

    A this time I am NOT planning on Overclocking however I probably will in the future and will probably post back regarding that when I need to.

    I like ASUS motherboards and I'd be grateful for advice on which motherboard will benefit me most. I don't want to pay the money for a Rampage II Extreme board. So I'm considering either the Rampage II Gene or a P6T board. Could someone recommend me a good solid performer?


    Now, the biggest question. Based on the Hexus review, I am strongly considering 2 x 5850's (probably Sapphire Toxics). However, I have read far too many threads here and there about problems running two 5850's in XFire because of driver issues or profile issues etc. Also, in particular for BF: BC2

    So my question is: Do I REALLY go for TWO x 5850's which will set me back about £530 (for the Sapphire ones) or do I really go for a GTX 480 (EVGA SC) which will cost me about £490.

    I know the 5850's have benchmarked better overall but I haven't the patience or time to sit for hours trying to resolve compatibility issues or driver issues.

    Once again, I'd be extremely grateful for your advice. Like I said, OC'ing isn't my priority. A stable and reliable system IS.

    Cheers.

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    Re: So - time to buy - 2 x 5850 or 1 x GTX480 plus Mobo Q

    Well like you said it yourself, if you don't want to be stuck with driver issues and bugs then go for the GTX 480, especially if the performance difference between the two is neglible for you.

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    Re: So - time to buy - 2 x 5850 or 1 x GTX480 plus Mobo Q

    BF:BC2 issues have been resolved - it's not a problem specific to running two cards, but these things happen for both ATI and nVidia and it could happen again for a different game regardless which you pick. Crossfire now works very well in nearly all modern games so that shouldn't be a worry.

    The real question though is will you actually notice the performance advantage of XF 5850s? If it doesn't make a realistic difference with your set up then go for whichever is cheaper.

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    Re: So - time to buy - 2 x 5850 or 1 x GTX480 plus Mobo Q

    Custom PChave a x58 roundup this month; might be worth reading. As always get a second and third review before buying.

    I would go for the 5850s if I had to choose between the two.

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    Re: So - time to buy - 2 x 5850 or 1 x GTX480 plus Mobo Q

    Cheers guys,

    I'll have a nose at CustomPC before buying.

    The reviews show the 5850's seriously out doing a single 480 and for only a small amount of cash more... pfff decisions decisions

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    Re: So - time to buy - 2 x 5850 or 1 x GTX480 plus Mobo Q

    Personally it's overkill, unless you're going for a multiple monitor setup.

    I'd just go for a single 5850, then a 2nd can be added later if you're not happy with the performance.

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    Re: So - time to buy - 2 x 5850 or 1 x GTX480 plus Mobo Q

    Quote Originally Posted by Sparhawk View Post
    The reviews show the 5850's seriously out doing a single 480 and for only a small amount of cash more... pfff decisions decisions
    What do you mean by seriously out-doing? Is it a difference you'll be able to notice and enjoy? Or is it something like 170fps vs 150fps - significant and quite large, but of no real effect in your enjoyment.

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    Re: So - time to buy - 2 x 5850 or 1 x GTX480 plus Mobo Q

    Well, based on the benchmarks done here at Hexus, the 2 x 5850s outperformed the GTX 480 in all but 1 benchmark (if memory serves me right) and that was one done at a maximum resolution that normally I wouldn't use.

    Sorry if I'm sounding totally amateurish here. Just want best bang for buck but also guaranteed compatibility.

    Appreciate your help.

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    Re: So - time to buy - 2 x 5850 or 1 x GTX480 plus Mobo Q

    Quote Originally Posted by Sparhawk View Post
    Well, based on the benchmarks done here at Hexus, the 2 x 5850s outperformed the GTX 480 in all but 1 benchmark (if memory serves me right) and that was one done at a maximum resolution that normally I wouldn't use.

    Sorry if I'm sounding totally amateurish here. Just want best bang for buck.

    Appreciate your help.
    Sounds like the CF 5850s are the way to go then, if you'll notice the difference. Personally I'd rather go with the 5850 in this generation - there's something about efficient/well executed chips that I like above and beyond benchmark results. Also I vastly prefer ATI drivers these days - I have another system with an nVidia card which is great hardware, but the driver situation is a nightmare - you have to update to play modern games, but that causes problems with older games. No such problems with ATI at the moment.

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    Re: So - time to buy - 2 x 5850 or 1 x GTX480 plus Mobo Q

    What resolution will you be gaming at? Two 5850s are a beast of a setup that most monitors won't take full advantage of. If you're gaming at full HD or similar for example then a single 5850 will do the job
    Quote Originally Posted by Hexus
    And which will be able to Crysis 2?
    Which huh, punk?

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    Re: So - time to buy - 2 x 5850 or 1 x GTX480 plus Mobo Q

    ok here's the bit where you're going to laugh at me I think. Gaming at a max resolution of 1680x1050 on a 22" panel. That is, that's the max desktop resolution for this screen.


    I'm wanting to ensure I get decent longevity out of the setup so thinking that if I had 2 x 5850's then I would get significant longevity...

    Therefore, do I really really need 2 of these cards? If not then a single 5870? I have the cash available or do you think I should channel some of it in a different direction as opposed to two 5850s?

    Learning curve here
    Last edited by Sparhawk; 01-05-2010 at 01:36 PM.

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    Re: So - time to buy - 2 x 5850 or 1 x GTX480 plus Mobo Q

    for the mobo get a Gigabyte X58A-UD3R or if you can afford the extra then the ASUS P6X58D-E

    for the gfx, if you're water cooling get the 480, if you're not the 5850's are a bit better

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    Re: So - time to buy - 2 x 5850 or 1 x GTX480 plus Mobo Q

    Looking at the benchies for 1680x1050, a single 5850 will chew through all games.

    I think a wiser option would be to get a single 5850 now and with the money saved you could get a top range next generation (or even next next generation) card when it comes out. I think a lot of our experiences is that getting the best option with each new generation is better than trying to splurge on a 'future-proofed' option because current cards (even dual setups) aren't guaranteed to perform with future games and with £250 you could get a very powerful next generation card that will play everything when it comes out
    Quote Originally Posted by Hexus
    And which will be able to Crysis 2?
    Which huh, punk?

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    Re: So - time to buy - 2 x 5850 or 1 x GTX480 plus Mobo Q

    I agree. Buy a 5850, and by the time your games don't work, you'll probably be able to buy a really cheap 5850 to Crossfire it with... or sell the 5850 and move onto something new. That's much better longevity.

    I'd much rather spend the money on a new monitor if I was in your boat.

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    Re: So - time to buy - 2 x 5850 or 1 x GTX480 plus Mobo Q

    That's what I said.

    if Sparhawk current specs are correct then a single 5850 is going to be a massive jump from a 7950gx2
    and for price vs performance the 5850 is probably the best of the top end cards

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    Re: So - time to buy - 2 x 5850 or 1 x GTX480 plus Mobo Q

    Thanks again for your help all


    On a side note, just whilst I was browsing SCAN's site, any got a reason as to why so many cards are unavailable? I've checked other sources and there's no stock anywhere..
    Last edited by Sparhawk; 01-05-2010 at 07:00 PM.

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