4890 CF vs 5850 vs 5870?

ChorniyVolk

Senior member
Sep 1, 2009
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EDIT: Dammit, I was so sure about the 4890s and now there's the 5850 and the 5870 available at a decentish price.

4890 CF is $290 After Bing
5850 is $279 AB
5870 is $357.50 AB

Which should I go with?

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So I'm building a new computer for gaming and other uses (movies, web browsing, etc.)

I'll be getting an i7 920, and a board that can at least support 2-3 way sli/crossfire (E758 most likely). I'll be playing at 1920x1200, and would like to max out most games, and get the top guys like Crysis at a consistent minimum of 30FPS if not more (I guess 60FPS is unrealistic even now :() without AA and stuff like that (just don't see the need at these resolutions). If it matters, I'm using the Dell U2410 monitor.

Originally, I was going to get one of the 5000 series cards, either the 5850 or the 5870 (or even two 5850s in CF!), but these days with the shortages and the prices sky high, I'm thinking it's best to avoid it.

I was thinking of getting a previous gen card(s), using them for a few months until Fermi comes out (or if that takes too long, then until the 5000 series drop in price and are available, and show a significant boost in performance from whatever it is I get) and then selling them, and justifying the loss in selling by dividing the amount of money lost by the time I used them, and thinking of that as the cost to rent the cards.

So what should I do? What card(s) should I get to get some good bang for my buck? I can't really decide on a budget, so I guess anything less than $400 within reason in terms of price : performance. I suppose I can spend more, but honestly, is that sort of power necessary? And of course, the less I have to spend the better, it's all about price : performance, and if I'm only going to gain, say 5FPS in the high end games by buying a $400 card over a $250 one, then I'm not so sure it's worth it.

And sorry for making one or two threads with similar messages already, last one hasn't had a post for 2-3 weeks now and I figured bumping an old thread would be pointless (people ignore new topic of discussion, old tired debate clutters up front page, etc.)

Thanks.
 
Last edited:

WildW

Senior member
Oct 3, 2008
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evilpicard.com
You don't need to spend a fortune for 1920x1200. I went for the 5850 and it does feel a little like overkill for most of the time (not for Crysis, that's just "playable"). I tend to crank up the AA as far as it'll go in most games, just because I can, but if you can live happily without it then consider a 4890 - they're decent for the money.
 

jvroig

Platinum Member
Nov 4, 2009
2,394
1
81
If you aren't going to use AA, then even "just" a 5850 will chew through almost every game, save for Crysis.

consider a 4890 - they're decent for the money.
+1. Get them while still available, I've heard (but not sure) that they will be EOLed soon because the new gen has arrived.
 

crisium

Platinum Member
Aug 19, 2001
2,632
593
136
The Radeon 4890 is the only upper-middle tier card worth buying. GTX 260, 275, Radeon 4870, 5750, 5770 are all over priced when compared to the 4890. You either want a lower-middle tier Radeon 4770 at $99 or a 4890 at ~$195. Everything in between is priced much worse than it was just a few months ago.

Lack of supply is really hurting the market. Either grab a 4890 and run with it for a while (even after Fermi initially comes out), or a 4770 and just "bear with it" until Fermi comes out and see how prices are then. But the 4770 is not a 1920x1200 card, so keep it mind it would definitely just be a filler.
 

dflynchimp

Senior member
Apr 11, 2007
468
0
71
get a 58XX card, then get a GTS/GTX 2XX on the cheap for physX, then go crazy with the workarounds to Nvidia's driver lockout :D

That's what I would do. That way you get DX11 and physX without waiting for fermi.

But the way you're saying it, I'd go with an economical Nvidia card, which would then become a dedicated physX card once you upgrade to fermi.
 

crisium

Platinum Member
Aug 19, 2001
2,632
593
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But the way you're saying it, I'd go with an economical Nvidia card, which would then become a dedicated physX card once you upgrade to fermi.
Not a horrible idea. A GTS 250 or 9800GT can be your hold over until Fermi comes out, and then use it as a Physx card. Even if you decide to go ATi next year, hopefully the driver hacks stay up to date. Though a 9800GT 512MB would really be pushing it as a filler, as it's even slower than a 4770. GTS 250 1GB on the other hand is always capable of 19x12 without AA (and sometimes with).
 

Patrickz0rs

Senior member
Dec 20, 2007
355
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0
So I'm building a new computer for gaming and other uses (movies, web browsing, etc.)

I'll be getting an i7 920, and a board that can at least support 2-3 way sli/crossfire (E758 most likely). I'll be playing at 1920x1200, and would like to max out most games, and get the top guys like Crysis at a consistent minimum of 30FPS if not more (I guess 60FPS is unrealistic even now :() without AA and stuff like that (just don't see the need at these resolutions). If it matters, I'm using the Dell U2410 monitor.

Originally, I was going to get one of the 5000 series cards, either the 5850 or the 5870 (or even two 5850s in CF!), but these days with the shortages and the prices sky high, I'm thinking it's best to avoid it.

I was thinking of getting a previous gen card(s), using them for a few months until Fermi comes out (or if that takes too long, then until the 5000 series drop in price and are available, and show a significant boost in performance from whatever it is I get) and then selling them, and justifying the loss in selling by dividing the amount of money lost by the time I used them, and thinking of that as the cost to rent the cards.

So what should I do? What card(s) should I get to get some good bang for my buck? I can't really decide on a budget, so I guess anything less than $400 within reason in terms of price : performance. I suppose I can spend more, but honestly, is that sort of power necessary? And of course, the less I have to spend the better, it's all about price : performance, and if I'm only going to gain, say 5FPS in the high end games by buying a $400 card over a $250 one, then I'm not so sure it's worth it.

And sorry for making one or two threads with similar messages already, last one hasn't had a post for 2-3 weeks now and I figured bumping an old thread would be pointless (people ignore new topic of discussion, old tired debate clutters up front page, etc.)

Thanks.
My 4890 runs Crysis @ 1920x1200. I get a steady 45 FPS on ultra high/enthusiast.
 

Wreckage

Banned
Jul 1, 2005
5,529
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0
If you are looking for a "hold over" card. Grab a GTX260. Relatively inexpensive, still powerful in today's games, plus you get Physx/CUDA.
 

n7

Elite Member
Jan 4, 2004
21,303
3
81
I'd say either HD 5850, or for a "holdover" card (that quite frankly, should do just fine for more than just "holdover"), perhaps HD 4890/4870 1 GB or GTX 275/260.
 

AzN

Banned
Nov 26, 2001
4,112
0
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The Radeon 4890 is the only upper-middle tier card worth buying. GTX 260, 275, Radeon 4870, 5750, 5770 are all over priced when compared to the 4890..
What are you talking about?

Anyways. I think the OP should get 5850 if he can find one.
 

Voo

Golden Member
Feb 27, 2009
1,684
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What are you talking about?
The 4890 trades blows with a 275 and is usually cheaper - though you could argue if the performance gain is worth the price premium over a 4870/260..

I'd say yes, so if you don't consider PhysiX, but just price/performance the 4890 is probably the best card to get.
 

crisium

Platinum Member
Aug 19, 2001
2,632
593
136
What are you talking about?0
Well, I go by Newegg prices if that makes things clearer. GTX 260 is barely cheaper than 4890 as to make it not worth it (since it is slower overall). 4870 prices are much higher than what they were a couple months ago. At $145, the 4870 was a better deal than a 4890 at ~$195, but a 4870 at $175? Hell no. 5770 at $165 is buyable because of DX11 and low power, but for only $30 more (less if you do rebates) then the 4890 is a smarter buy on a pure performance basis. GTX 275 costs noticeably more and performs about the same... why buy it unless you want Physx? The only 4850 is $130, but that's 30% more than a 4770.

I guess you can disagree, but how can you not understand what I'm talking about? I guess the GTS 250 is a reasonable buy too, now that I think about it. But if you are in the market for $140-$180 then you're better off paying the $195 for the 4890, imo.
 

nyker96

Diamond Member
Apr 19, 2005
5,630
2
81
+1 for 5850 no point going for any dx10 cards, the future already for sale but buy the past. or just wait till Q2/2010 for NV's dx11s.
 

hans030390

Diamond Member
Feb 3, 2005
7,326
2
76
5850s are in stock at Newegg right now. I say go for one of those, if you have the money. Or 5870.
 

AzN

Banned
Nov 26, 2001
4,112
0
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Well, I go by Newegg prices if that makes things clearer. GTX 260 is barely cheaper than 4890 as to make it not worth it (since it is slower overall). 4870 prices are much higher than what they were a couple months ago. At $145, the 4870 was a better deal than a 4890 at ~$195, but a 4870 at $175? Hell no. 5770 at $165 is buyable because of DX11 and low power, but for only $30 more (less if you do rebates) then the 4890 is a smarter buy on a pure performance basis. GTX 275 costs noticeably more and performs about the same... why buy it unless you want Physx? The only 4850 is $130, but that's 30% more than a 4770.

I guess you can disagree, but how can you not understand what I'm talking about? I guess the GTS 250 is a reasonable buy too, now that I think about it. But if you are in the market for $140-$180 then you're better off paying the $195 for the 4890, imo.
4890 is barely faster than GTX260 or 4870 and priced accordingly and some games 4890 gets beaten by GTX260.
 

crisium

Platinum Member
Aug 19, 2001
2,632
593
136
4890 is barely faster than GTX260 or 4870 and priced accordingly and some games 4890 gets beaten by GTX260.
True, but have you checked out the prices recently? 260s for less than $190 go out of stock at Newegg very quickly. I think the choice between 4890 at $195 and 260 at $190 is a no brainer.
 

nOOky

Platinum Member
Aug 17, 2004
2,299
1,214
136
LOL I was going to say, a 4890 barely faster than a GTX260?! That's nonsense. Either buy a 4890 if you want to tide yourself over or kick down for a 5870 if your budget is around $400. Or crossfire two 4890's and have a faster setup than a GTX295 overall. The 4890 is probably the best price/performance deal right now from the last generation of cards for 1920 x 1200. The 5870 will keep you real happy until the new nvidia cards come out, and may still remain adequate even then.
You want to play, you gotta pay :)
Me, I wouldn't waste the time or money on a 5770 or equivalent and suffer with the reduced fps for months :p
 

SlowSpyder

Lifer
Jan 12, 2005
17,305
998
126
The Radeon 4890 is the only upper-middle tier card worth buying. GTX 260, 275, Radeon 4870, 5750, 5770 are all over priced when compared to the 4890. You either want a lower-middle tier Radeon 4770 at $99 or a 4890 at ~$195. Everything in between is priced much worse than it was just a few months ago.

Lack of supply is really hurting the market. Either grab a 4890 and run with it for a while (even after Fermi initially comes out), or a 4770 and just "bear with it" until Fermi comes out and see how prices are then. But the 4770 is not a 1920x1200 card, so keep it mind it would definitely just be a filler.
Seeing as it sounds like the OP doesn't mind using multiple cards, I'd think 2 4770's would be generally much faster than the 4890 for about the same price.
 

crisium

Platinum Member
Aug 19, 2001
2,632
593
136
No, they are about the same. With good optimization the 4770s might be sometimes faster, but the 512MB of memory will especially hurt you. You really want 1GB if you're gonna be spending that much cash.
 

Clinkster

Senior member
Aug 5, 2009
937
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I suggest a (or two) 4890(s) until we get some more DX11 cards. The current ones have an inflated price and they just really touched on 40 nm dies. Besides, do you really need an incredibly buffed rig to play those console ports? =/
 

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