Graphics card enquiry

  robertmonkford 14:23 27 Dec 2010

I currently have an Ati 5850 1GB GDDR5 Graphics card and am seriously thinking of changing my graphics card in the next 3 - 4 months. Unfortunately I cannot decide whether to upgrade to 2 5870s or 1 5970.

My current configuration is:-

Asus Rampage II Extreme
i7 920 OC to 3.6 GHz
Prolimatech Megahelems with 2x Akasa Silent 120mm fans (1 3pin, 1 4pin PWM)
6GB Corsair Dominator 1600MHz C8 RAM
Coolermaster Pro M Modular 850w PSU
Harddrive = 1.5TB, 2x 500GB, 320GB
Vista Ultimate 64-bit OS

Does anyone have any opinions / comments on whether I'd be better off with a dual or single graphics card?

Thank you.

  tigertop2 17:29 27 Dec 2010

I was quite keen to go for a dual GPU set up when I did my last main build. I installed two ATI 4870's in Crossfire. All worked well but these two big cards hang over useful PCIe slots. I want to upgrade to bring SATA6 and USB 3 on to my Asus P6T mobo so will be probably getting an Nvidia 570 or a 580 if my piggy bank allows. Either of these cards should easily surpass the two 4870s. Less power is used and I get my PCIe slots back for the Sata and USB upgrade card

I would tend to go for a go single card unless you have a reason to go Crossfire or Sli

  citadel 18:26 27 Dec 2010

you can get a 6970 now' uses less electricity'

  robertmonkford 19:35 27 Dec 2010

I can see your point there. I've never had a dual graphics card system and I have heard of driver issues etc with systems operating dual, triple or even quad graphic card setups. Even the company I bought mine from suggested a single card setup rather than dual etc. That said, I thought I'd ask here to get other points of view.

citadel: Is the 6970 much better than the 5970 then?

Thanks for the feedback thus far. Any other comments?

  tigertop2 10:04 28 Dec 2010

What do you want your upgraded PC to do. Video editing or games or graphic design or just plain everyday web browsing, email and maybe a letter or two? Knowing that will help determine what you need in a graphics card.

Having glanced through this article click here, I'd say the 5970 is a more powerful card than the 6970.

  robertmonkford 14:11 28 Dec 2010

@ Tigertop2: I use my PC for photo editing, email, web-browsing, DVD viewing, listening to music and typing; however, I also use it for a great deal of gaming too.

@ [email protected]: Thanks, that's what I figured. Despite the 6000 series being more energy efficient and having the improved technologies, the performance deficit over the 5970 was just too much to ignore - at least in my opinion.

  tigertop2 15:59 28 Dec 2010

If you are seriously in to gaming you might want to move onto 3D, maybe not now but in the future. That will mean a new 3D capable monitor of course (selection of which is a whole new problem area) but at present it also means an Nvidia GPU card. I use the Nvidia 460 1GB version which can handle pretty well anything I try on gaming and the 3D quality is excellent as well

  citadel 22:20 28 Dec 2010

gtx580 1.5g single gpu and faster than 5970 2g. if you are not loyal to ati.

The ATI 6000 series also supports 3D

  carver 09:40 29 Dec 2010

Why not just add another 5850, quieter runs cooler and you will not find a game that 2 of these cards can not handle.

Unless you just want to boast to your mates about the benchmarks you can achieve.

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