4890 CF vs 5850 vs 5870?

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ChorniyVolk

Senior member
Sep 1, 2009
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Sorry I didn't answer since I made the thread, I had this huge mountain of text back when this thread was half as long, but Anand went down for maintenance earlier than I remember reading it would, and it was lost. :(

Let's see, common concerns and questions:

- I don't want a holdover card. If it can't keep up and I have to suffer shitty performance as I wait months upon months, then I'll kill myself (read: break down into tears in the closet with the door closed). From what I see, the 4890 is perfect in that regard, it's going for a good price and it's only trailing behind the newest/overpriced set of cards. For all we know, it could be a third of a year before prices are decent on the 5800 series and/or nvidia even releases their stuff, and I don't want to wait any longer, I want great performance now, but I don't want to throw money away.

- I don't want an nvidia card. Higher price, less performance. The only argument I can think for them is physx, and if I'm going to get less performance out of the 4890 just having the card do normal shit, adding the load of physx onto it and turning my games into a slide show in everything that uses it as I barely notice the difference with the physic doesn't sound great to me. I mean, having a decent card doing the main job and a card separate for physx is one thing, but the way I see it now, I don't think it's worth it.

- I'm not looking to break the bank here. There are two reasons I don't want a 5800 series card, one being inflated prices, and the other being the struggle to get one. Like I said before, I don't want to throw away money, especially if it's not worth it (I don't care for eyefinity, don't see anything all that interesting using DX11 yet, apart from a game or two). If the 5870 was getting twice the frames the 4890 did at twice the price, that would be a different story; hell even 1.5 the frames, but it doesn't, and same goes for the 5850. I'd rather wait for nvidias side, and for prices to drop and stock to increase, than jump into this and be stuck with even just a tinge of buyer's regret.

Anyway, so forget single cards, seems the 4890 has won my heart. Even if the lower models performed at the same price : performance, or even a bit more, I'd still go for it because price : performance doesn't scale well as you go higher on the price side, but with the 4890 it seems damn close.

So what about dual cards? Is there a set up that goes under $400 that matches the price : performance of the 4890, or is close? I've always thought of crossfire/sli as an option for people who already have one old card and want to save money instead of getting a new one and replacing the old one, but not as a great option for someone with nothing unless they're aiming higher than a single gpu can offer them. Is that about right, or do you guys have some crazy deals?

And I'm not looking to save money on used stuff, I'd be saving maybe 20% on average, and for what? With newegg I'd get customer support, easy returns, warranties and all that without problems, and tech that's been untouched and has had no chance to be damaged or changed. (Plus, the one you linked to happy medium look like they aren't the right gtx260, they weren't the core 216 one, and either way, they're gone now).

I mean, if you know a good deal that is sure and secure and I save 40% or more, then hit me, but otherwise I don't see it being a good option. I'll buy a mouse or a keyboard second-hand, but the guts of the computer I want to be fresh.

And sorry for another mountain of text.
 
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ChorniyVolk

Senior member
Sep 1, 2009
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I don't know about used stuff for multiple reasons:

1. Don't get all the support you would with a store like I mentioned before.

2. No guarantee of performance, the companies test their new stuff and have an obligation to make sure it works, but what if this thing dies in a week? What can I do?

3. Why is that guy selling it at 40% off anyway?

I don't know, I'm just not into buying the guts used. Can someone back me up on my opinion or am I just crazy?
 
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ChorniyVolk

Senior member
Sep 1, 2009
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Do 2 4870s in CF match the performance of a 4870x2?

And it loses to the cards you mentioned in Crysis.
 
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ChorniyVolk

Senior member
Sep 1, 2009
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Crysis is alright, not GOTY or anything, but pretty good.

I only mention it, because it's at the lead for what's to come, to plan ahead and all that.

And I'll be playing at 1920x1200.

Anyway, I don't know, now we're talking about used stuff?

I guess if I do decide to sell it afterwards, it's not so bad. Hell, you think by any chance that it might even increase in price for people selling their own, if it's no longer available in stores? Or at the very least, stay the same price? Because that would be kick ass.

Also, you didn't answer the first question. I've been assuming that two 4870s equal a 4870x2 in performance, and if so, the deal for 2 of them for $200 is better than a 4870x2 for $300.

On a sidenote: Displayport vs DVI, is the difference noticeable? My U2410 has both inputs, and I hear displayport is better than dvi for multiple reasons.
 

nOOky

Platinum Member
Aug 17, 2004
2,309
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In your shoes I would just buy a 4890. It handles your resolution just fine probably with whatever you throw at it. Crysis runs just fine on it. You can find them under $170 if you shop around. Save the money for something else or for later upgrades imho. I don't think you could consider it a "holdover" card because you will be playing your current games for months on it. Google DirectX11 and see if any of the games coming out later this year mean anything to you, if not then it's a moot point anyway.
 

ChorniyVolk

Senior member
Sep 1, 2009
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lothar, where do you see CC as 13.5? I only see it at 8% (also, aren't CC and TigerDirect basically the same thing these days?).

And nooky, I don't know, if I take into account the idea of buying a used card, then the 4870x2 might be a better option, assuming I can find a good deal.

Fuck, this complicates things A LOT.
 

ChorniyVolk

Senior member
Sep 1, 2009
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So I did the math, and check it out.

Using the benchmarks for the 8 games in Anandtech's overview of the 5700 cards, I was able to compile the following info (I had a separate number for each game, but these are the averages):

The cost per frame for the 4870x2 at $200 (I assume this is a fantastic deal, yeah?) for the first round of benchmarks (1680x1050 4xAA etc) is $2.52.

The cost per frame for the second round (1920x1200 4xAA) is $2.81

Using that information (the separate numbers) I was able to compile the equal "good deal" cost of the 4890, by multiplying it's frames in the same benchmarks with the cost of frames as mentioned before, for the 4870x2. I got these two averages by using the 8 different "good deal" costs for each game.

The good deal cost for the 4890 for the first round of benchmarks is $156.57

The good deal cost for the 4890 for the second round of benchmarks is $149.66

Ignoring the fact that the prices per frame shouldn't be equal in a "buying new" scenario (the higher the total frame count, the higher the price per frame, so the 4890 should be cheaper to fully match the 4870x2 as a good deal), and assuming the 4870x2 at $200 is a great deal, a 4890 for under $150 would be a safe bet with very little if any regrets.

What do you guys think? And don't tell me I'm crazy, because I already know.

You can easily ruin all my work here by telling me that 4870x2s are regularly (or even occasionally) seen selling for less, or make me happy by saying that 4890s go for much less than $150, or remind me that I can probably find a new 4890 for that price somewhere, whereas a $200 4870x2 would go for that price used only.
 
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Painman

Diamond Member
Feb 27, 2000
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Gotta agree with the folks recommending 58xx series for your targets, even if the prices are stupid right now. I mean, heck, you stated your needs in the OP. You want to max stuff out in 1920*1200.

Here's my estimation of what will cut mustard in relation to your expectations (lowest overall performance to best):

-GTX 285
-HD 5850
-HD 5870
-GTX 295
-HD 5970

And there you go: there's the high end, performance-wise, as of December 2009.

If you don't wish to pay the $... tough... that's the current market. Wanna play, gotta pay.
 

lothar

Diamond Member
Jan 5, 2000
6,674
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lothar, where do you see CC as 13.5? I only see it at 8% (also, aren't CC and TigerDirect basically the same thing these days?).

And nooky, I don't know, if I take into account the idea of buying a used card, then the 4870x2 might be a better option, assuming I can find a good deal.

Fuck, this complicates things A LOT.
Go to Bing.com
Type "Circuitcity" in the search box.
Click on Cashback link.

Yes.
Only difference is you can get 13.5% cashback with Circuit City vs 8% through TigerDirect.
Prices are exactly the same. Tiger owns the online portion of Citcuit City.
 
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ChorniyVolk

Senior member
Sep 1, 2009
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Gotta agree with the folks recommending 58xx series for your targets, even if the prices are stupid right now. I mean, heck, you stated your needs in the OP. You want to max stuff out in 1920*1200.

Here's my estimation of what will cut mustard in relation to your expectations (lowest overall performance to best):

-GTX 285
-HD 5850
-HD 5870
-GTX 295
-HD 5970

And there you go: there's the high end, performance-wise, as of December 2009.

If you don't wish to pay the $... tough... that's the current market. Wanna play, gotta pay.
You're wrong, what I think you mean is: Want 10% more power, pay 50% more.

The 4890 and 4870x2 are shining examples of that.
 

ChorniyVolk

Senior member
Sep 1, 2009
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Silly idea that I have put no thought into yet: What if I searched for a deal (or two deals, technically) to get 2 4890s for $300 or less. Seems pretty easy, and I'd be getting more power than a 5870 (right?) than what a 5850 goes for these days.

$300 isn't a crazy amount, and even if I wanted to switch it out for the new set of cards in half a year, I'd still get a good price for them back, my rent cost would be low (I mean, at $150 each, there's no way it can drop much lower even in a year, right?).

What do you guys think?
 

ChorniyVolk

Senior member
Sep 1, 2009
514
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On the other hand, that might be be worth it compared to the magical price of a 4870x2 for $200.

Where would I get a recent benchmark that includes both the 4870x2 and the 4890 CF? Keyword: recent. Then I'll do the math like I did before, and figure out what the optimal price for 2 4890s is compared to a 4870x2 (can't just double the price of one 4890, as the FPS doesn't scale equally). The magic is that if it costs a bit more than it should with the math, that's fine because that's how it should be.
 

happy medium

Lifer
Jun 8, 2003
14,387
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You can get a 4870x2 for 200$ ?
That would be the best price /performance you are going to get. Two 4890's for 300$ will not beat that.

That is the greatest deal and probrobly the best deal you will ever see.
 

nOOky

Platinum Member
Aug 17, 2004
2,309
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Like someone mentioned in another thread, two 5770's in crossfire is pretty fast, has low power consumption, and DirectX11.
 

happy medium

Lifer
Jun 8, 2003
14,387
476
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Like someone mentioned in another thread, two 5770's in crossfire is pretty fast, has low power consumption, and DirectX11.
Thanks Nooky I almost forgot.

I posted this in another thread......

"If you want the direct x 11 features,lower power usage,cooler running and 5870 performance, buy 2 5770's for 330$.
Last I read they are almost as fast if not faster then a 5870."

http://www.guru3d.com/article/radeon...review-test/14

http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1105/8/
 

hans030390

Diamond Member
Feb 3, 2005
7,326
2
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I don't know about used stuff for multiple reasons:

2. No guarantee of performance, the companies test their new stuff and have an obligation to make sure it works, but what if this thing dies in a week? What can I do?
I don't think they actually test them. That's why some new components arrive dead.
 

ChorniyVolk

Senior member
Sep 1, 2009
514
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How do 2 5770s compare to 2 4890s?

EDIT: Nevermind, they barely beat just one 4890, two should demolish them.
 
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ChorniyVolk

Senior member
Sep 1, 2009
514
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You can get a 4870x2 for 200$ ?
That would be the best price /performance you are going to get. Two 4890's for 300$ will not beat that.

That is the greatest deal and probrobly the best deal you will ever see.
Well, there was a deal for 2 used 4870s for $200 earlier.
 

ChorniyVolk

Senior member
Sep 1, 2009
514
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See, guys, my problem isn't with money; I have plenty of cash to dump on this, it's just a matter of principle. Just because I can waste money, doesn't mean I should.

So I have to set rules for myself to follow, my budget is higher than I'll need, and I have no specific needs to fill with this build.

The more reasonable rules I can make, the lower the amount of options I have, and the easier this will be to get done with.

The idea of buying used and/or searching for deals ruins that, because it means I have no specific price : performance ratings for parts, as unlike new prices, used prices can vary by quite a bit.

Maybe I should tackle it from a different angle? Maybe, take into account used cards, but forget the 5800 series because it'll be overpriced either way, and avoid nvidia cards for the same reason (unless used prices match ati used prices, but I doubt it). So then all I have is to start searching for the best card(s) with that criteria

That would be what, 2 4890s in CF? And then a step below that, 2 4870s in CF/4870x2? Having 3 cards isn't cost effective right?

Then I search for deals on them, and compare. I could even use the math I used earlier to check out their ratio to each other as far as price : performance (like I did earlier, comparing the $200 price of the 4870x2 to the 4890, even if the nature of videocard prices made it incorrect).
 
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