1. Welcome to TechPowerUp Forums, Guest! Please check out our forum guidelines for info related to our community.

The Eternal Conundrum: Which Card? (5850's and 5870's)

Discussion in 'AMD / ATI' started by Mr McC, Apr 25, 2010.

  1. Mr McC

    Mr McC

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2010
    Messages:
    1,248 (0.78/day)
    Thanks Received:
    323
    Hi folks,

    I am due to come into some spending money and it is perhaps about time that I updated my graphics card (Club3d 4850 with the Zerotherm cooler); however, I´m at a bit of a loss and I would like some input with reference to my specific marketplace and set-up: I game on a 37¨ 1920x1080 Samsung LCD TV; i7 920 (I’ll be overclocking to 3.2).

    I´m in Spain and my current options have been shortlisted to the following:

    a) Club3d 5850 overclocked edition:

    http://www.techpowerup.com/114798/Club_3D_Unveils_Radeon_HD_5850_Overclocked_Edition.html

    To all intents and purposes, this seems to be the same card as the Powercolor 5850 PCS+ with a different cooler cowl. It uses a rev 2 PCB and voltage tweaks are disabled; however it is clocked slightly higher at 760 MHz. What attracts me most to this card is the cooling solution. The inability to modify voltage does not really concern me, as many people have reported sending these cards (the Powercolor version) up to 5870 speeds on stock voltage and even if I did decide to overclock, I would probably leave the voltage alone.

    €280, shipping included.

    b) The Powercolor 5850 PCS+:

    http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Powercolor/HD_5850_PCS_Plus

    Same as above.

    Around €300, shipping included.


    c) Sapphire Vapor-X 5850:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102886

    Again, no voltage control, but comes clocked at 735 MHz with the Vapor-X cooler.

    €280, shipping included.

    d) Asus DirectCU/DirectCU TOP:

    http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/ASUS/EAH_5850_TOP_DirectCu

    Both employ a rev 2 board that does enable voltage control. The only difference between the cards is that the TOP model comes with a small factory overclock at 765 MHz.

    The TOP is advertised for the same price as the Powercolor PCS+ in one online shop, but they have no units in stock and it is therefore more expensive where it is available:

    Around €300 and €330, respectively.

    e) Sapphire 5870 rev 2:


    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...ogle-_-Video Cards-_-Sapphire Tech-_-14102883

    I can find very little information on this card. It appears to use the same cooler as the entry level 5830 and 5850 models (as seen on the Modern Warfare 2 editions: http://www.overclockersclub.com/reviews/sapphire_hd5830/17.htm) and I wonder if it would be up to dealing with the task of cooling the 5870, whilst keeping noise in check. Customer reports seem fairly positive and at only €40 more than the rev 2 5850´s, it is by far the cheapest 5870 I can find. I detest it`s appearance, but I won’t see it once it`s in the case. Is this card the current people’s champion or an option best avoided?

    €340 shipped.

    f) Powercolor 5870 PCS+:

    http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Powercolor/HD_5870_PCS_Plus

    This is my first choice at the minute for a number of reasons, mainly a near perfect balance between noise and performance. Again, I understand that this is a rev 2 board that does not allow voltage modification, but without getting into a performance debate, it seems like it already has more than enough juice and people have reported sending them up into the 900‘s on stock volts, so the option to overclock, if and when I need it, may be there despite the limitations entailed by the inability to modify voltage. Indeed, the new PCS++ version comes factory clocked at 950 MHz and probably uses exactly the same set-up; however its price, at €470 shipped, has ruled it out. The question is, is the PCS+ worth an additional €90 over and above the 5850 version when what I’m getting is basically a 5850 at higher speeds, with more shaders and a manufacturer’s guarantee? All other 5870‘s with the rev 2 PCB clocked at 875 MHz seem to cost more or less the same:

    €390 shipped.

    Most of the feedback I’m getting suggests getting a 5850 and overclocking it to 5870 levels. I think this is sound advice, but there are a number of things to consider:

    a) It has become difficult to find rev 1 PCB’s.
    b) I probably wouldn’t put up with the noise of the stock cooling on a 5850, let alone a 5850 overlclocked, and aftermarket cooling is going to add to the cost.
    c) I have no experience overclocking graphics cards and really don’t want to use a €300+ card as a guinea pig.

    So, I can either settle on one of the 5850's at €280 - €300, add €40-€60 to get the Sapphire 5870, or add €90-€110 and get the Powercolor 5870. Alternatively, I can wait to see what Southern Islands will bring to this equation, but we have no firm date, no pricing estimates and no guarantee that games will begin to fully take advantage of DirectX 11 in the immediate future.

    That’s the conundrum, what would you do?
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2010
  2. xBruce88x

    xBruce88x

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2009
    Messages:
    2,356 (1.34/day)
    Thanks Received:
    545
    if you have no problem paying an extra 40-60 then go for the Sapphire 5870, since it sounds like you don't want to mess with overclocking yet. however, any card can be overclocked :) at least any card i've had i was able to overclock. (except my intel 945 in my laptop, but its not worth it really)

    on another note, you should take a look at your power supply. if it turns out you'd need to upgrade it to run the 5870 then just stick with a 5850 since the cost of a new power supply would make the 5870 that much more expensive
    Mr McC says thanks.
  3. DarkOCean

    DarkOCean

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    Messages:
    1,615 (0.79/day)
    Thanks Received:
    349
    Location:
    on top of that big mountain on mars(Romania)
    I would go with club3d 5850 wich is the same as powercolor one or sapphire 5850 vapor x because 5850 overclock better than 5870 ( %) and his way save some money and have ~ same performance.
    Mr McC says thanks.
  4. Mr McC

    Mr McC

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2010
    Messages:
    1,248 (0.78/day)
    Thanks Received:
    323
    Thanks for the feedback. My power supply is a 750w thermaltake modular tough power, surely that would be enough to take care of the 5870 and the i7?
  5. SNiiPE_DoGG New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2009
    Messages:
    582 (0.30/day)
    Thanks Received:
    135
    yes
  6. Mr McC

    Mr McC

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2010
    Messages:
    1,248 (0.78/day)
    Thanks Received:
    323
    Cheers.

    Yes, how much I spend may finally prove to be the deciding factor. I mean, even if I can't overclock the 5850 further down the road, it belongs to the same generation as its bigger brother and when the 5850 can't cut it any longer, the 5870 will be little better off.
  7. Mr McC

    Mr McC

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2010
    Messages:
    1,248 (0.78/day)
    Thanks Received:
    323
    please delete
  8. D007

    D007

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Messages:
    3,068 (1.13/day)
    Thanks Received:
    377
    Location:
    Pompano beach, Florida
    A little better off isn't worth the extra money IMO.
    I think it makes much more sense to get a 5850 reference and OC it, because it will stay cool even on air anyway.
    then you have a 5870 basically at a very nicely reduced price.
    I could of gotten 5870x2, hell even x4 but why? Just didn't make sense to me once I stacked up the numbers.
    IMO you don't get many opportunities to take advantage of a good product like the 5850, so I'm taking advantage of it.
    In a few months when the 6xxx series comes out, I'll sell the 5850 and buy a 6xxx.
    At least then i know I won't loose to much money on a frivolous purchase.
  9. Mr McC

    Mr McC

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2010
    Messages:
    1,248 (0.78/day)
    Thanks Received:
    323
    The problem is that I can't see any reference design 5850's in stock and those reference coolers look noisy, bearing in mind that noise is an area where I don't like to compromise at all. That said, I understand exactly where you're coming from.
  10. D007

    D007

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Messages:
    3,068 (1.13/day)
    Thanks Received:
    377
    Location:
    Pompano beach, Florida
    Really none in stock? I found quite a few a couple days ago.. Let me dig up a post someone showed me to some reference models.. Here you go, i got the visiontek as they give you a lifetime warranty and after talking to Bran who owns one he hit 5870 clocks on it, so I'm happy. :)

  11. crazyeyesreaper

    crazyeyesreaper Chief Broken Rig

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Messages:
    8,136 (4.12/day)
    Thanks Received:
    2,768
    Location:
    04578
    reference coolers are dead silent thats fact got 2 :roll: there quieter then my case fans and there just simple 120mm coolermaster fans
  12. D007

    D007

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Messages:
    3,068 (1.13/day)
    Thanks Received:
    377
    Location:
    Pompano beach, Florida
    Really?, nice, the news just gets better lol.. My freaking 8800gtx get's pretty loudish.
    That'll be a very welcome change. :)
  13. SystemViper

    SystemViper

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2007
    Messages:
    2,500 (1.03/day)
    Thanks Received:
    472
    to me, if you got hte extra cash, go for the best....

    if you are penny pinching then get the 5850....

    it's a no brainer
  14. douglatins

    douglatins

    Joined:
    May 15, 2008
    Messages:
    2,866 (1.25/day)
    Thanks Received:
    273
    Location:
    Brasil
    get a reference one, gotta love the backplate
  15. Mr McC

    Mr McC

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2010
    Messages:
    1,248 (0.78/day)
    Thanks Received:
    323
    The problem is, I'm in Spain and all the online shops seem to be out of reference boards, they display a "delivery date unconfirmed" or "back in stock soon" sign and I think I know what that means. Even assuming I could get a company outside Spain to deliver here, that might entail customs charges (it`s happened to me before with other articles) and it would be a headache if I had to RMA, so I shortlisted my choices as above. I'm not puttting it forward as the best list, but rather the best list of what`s available to me at the moment with current prices.
  16. Mr McC

    Mr McC

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2010
    Messages:
    1,248 (0.78/day)
    Thanks Received:
    323
    This seems to be a reference card:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125300

    I found one for €270, shipping included.

    Also this looks interesting if it proves too noisy for my tastes:

    http://www.computerriver.com/zalman...radeon-hd-5850-and-hd-5870-graphics-card.html.

    Do you, or does anybody else have any knowledge of this particular Gigabyte card? I've added it to the list, but I still haven't made my mind up, I may even wait to see what Southern Islands has in store for us.

    These prices all seem a bit steep, but maybe we were spoiled during the price war when the 48xx cards were released - if only Fermi had been a slightly more attractive proposition...
  17. crazyeyesreaper

    crazyeyesreaper Chief Broken Rig

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Messages:
    8,136 (4.12/day)
    Thanks Received:
    2,768
    Location:
    04578
    that would be a reference gpu :toast:
  18. Mr McC

    Mr McC

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2010
    Messages:
    1,248 (0.78/day)
    Thanks Received:
    323
    Are the fan tests in this video a fair reflection of what you hear?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RcJ-ZvsC210

    What speed is the fan running at when gaming, when watching videos and when overclocked in comparison to stock clocks?

    Cheers
  19. D007

    D007

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Messages:
    3,068 (1.13/day)
    Thanks Received:
    377
    Location:
    Pompano beach, Florida
    I respectfully disagree.
    If you want to throw away money get the 5870.
    if you want to make a smart purchase get the 5850 and OC it, sell the 5850 when the 6xxx comes out and put the money towards a 6xxx.
    I have 2 thousand dollars right now that I'm buying new stuff with, money is not the issue, making good purchases is.
    It's not an e-peen competition.
  20. crazyeyesreaper

    crazyeyesreaper Chief Broken Rig

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Messages:
    8,136 (4.12/day)
    Thanks Received:
    2,768
    Location:
    04578
    again my case fans are rated at 120mm 90cfm 19db there louder then 19db closer to 22-23 my gpu is quieter then that literally they are cool and silent and if your really worried about how loud they are buying a high end gpu isnt the greatest idea the gpu fan speed never goes above 30% on auto fan for me usually tops out around 26-29%
    Mr McC says thanks.
  21. Mr McC

    Mr McC

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2010
    Messages:
    1,248 (0.78/day)
    Thanks Received:
    323
    I have a Lian-Li pc-b25f, great case, but the fans could be better and I plan to change them; however, it isn't overly annoying and there are other priorities, such as graphics cards...

    Thanks for your feedback.
  22. Mr McC

    Mr McC

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2010
    Messages:
    1,248 (0.78/day)
    Thanks Received:
    323
    I respectfully submit that if I were to tell my better half that I had spent €300 on a video card and then asked her to comment on my penny-pinching powers, she may not be very complementary. However, I know exactly where Viper is coming from, but ultimately I agree, the 5850 seems like the best buy at the minute, given market conditions and the imminent appearance of S.I.
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2010
  23. Mr McC

    Mr McC

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2010
    Messages:
    1,248 (0.78/day)
    Thanks Received:
    323
    Just ordered the Powercolor PCS+ 5870. I understand that I have paid over the odds for a 5850 with higher clocks and a few more shaders, but for approximately €80 over the 5850, given current prices in my particular market, I think I have purchased exactly what I wanted.

    A big thank you to each and every contributor in this thread.
  24. Zubasa

    Zubasa

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2006
    Messages:
    3,980 (1.38/day)
    Thanks Received:
    457
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    At stock the fan on a 5870 stays below 40% during gamming ;)
    Usually at around 33%, so you you can expect the 5850 to run a little slower than that.
  25. Mr McC

    Mr McC

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2010
    Messages:
    1,248 (0.78/day)
    Thanks Received:
    323
    I bought the 5870. Sorry, my post is confusing, what I meant to say is that I paid €80 more than the 5850 to get the 5870 (which is basically a higher clocked 5850 with more shaders).

    Cheers

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guest)

Share This Page