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Sapphire HD 7870 2048MB GDDR5: your thoughts on this card? Finally one that will fit my case

Soldato
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Ive been putting this off for a while as I was finding it tough to find a card that would fit the space in my case. I have a Powercolor HD5850 I got from OcUK thats 265mm long and its still a squeeze. Been wanting to upgrade but the new cards are so long :(

Finally went on a mission and I found this and a quick check on Sapphires site gives it a length of 260mm...win!

Sapphire HD 7870 2048MB GDDR5 PCI-Express
£274.99 (£285.79 delivered)
GX-296-SP_43149_600.jpg

Core Clock: 1000MHz
- Memory: 2048MB GDDR5
- Memory Clock: 4800MHz (Effective)
- Processing Cores: 1280
- ROPS: 32
- Bus Type: PCI-Express 2.1
- Display Connectors: 1 Dual Link DVI-I, 1 HDMI & 2x Mini-DisplayPort
- HDCP Capable
- DirectX 11 Support
- Shader Model 5.0 Support
- OpenGL 4.0 Support
- ATI CrossFire Ready
- ATI Eyefinity Technology
- ATI Avivo HD
- ATI Stream Technology
- ATI HD3D Technology
- Warranty: 2 Years


So, it will fit :D But whats your take on this card OcUk? A good replacement for HD5850? I dont wanna break the £300 mark. Thanks for any thoughts on this card.

I wish all the cards dimensions were listed on OcUK :o Its shown for some cards but not for others. I think its really handy to know the dimensions.

Thanx!
 
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Associate
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Its not worth the money IMO, especially coming from a 5850.

Lets say your 5850 cost 200quid a few years ago;

this card costs 270 and is a few years newer yet its only about 25-30% faster.

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/512?vs=548

The fact is that 2 years of technological progress have passed, and your paying 50% more for 30% more performance.
 
Soldato
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Its not worth the money IMO, especially coming from a 5850.

Lets say your 5850 cost 200quid a few years ago;

this card costs 270 and is a few years newer yet its only about 25-30% faster.

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/512?vs=548

The fact is that 2 years of technological progress have passed, and your paying 50% more for 30% more performance.

Hmm thats real interesting, I will hold off and do some more research. Its gonna be tough though because Im so tied to the physical length of the card. But..I didnt know you could compare hardware like that on Anand..bookmarked! Thanks ;)

BTW - out of interest, what card would you go for if you were in my position?
 
Soldato
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Save some money ang get a 7850 instead. Clock for clock there is only 6-8% performance difference between the 7850 & 7870. Overclock the 7850 to ~1200MHz and it will be a nice improvement over the 5850. See here.
 
Associate
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If you really want to upgrade I would go for the 7850.

It's much cheaper than the 7870 and according to this forum can get close to a 50% overclock - performance similar to a stock 7950/gtx580. Its the same length as well.

But if it was me I would wait for the next gen of cards next year.
 
Soldato
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If you really want to upgrade I would go for the 7850.
It's much cheaper than the 7870 and according to this forum can get close to a 50% overclock - performance similar to a stock 7950/gtx580. Its the same length as well.
But if it was me I would wait for the next gen of cards next year.

Cool, thanks will look at that card more closely.

Save some money ang get a 7850 instead. Clock for clock there is only 6-8% performance difference between the 7850 & 7870. Overclock the 7850 to ~1200MHz and it will be a nice improvement over the 5850. See here.

Another vote for 7850! Thanks dude, im reading that thread now.
 
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Soldato
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Here is a good thread comparing the 5850, 6850 & 7850 at exactly the same clock speads (other cards are overclocked to match 7850 clocks). Overall, the 7850 wins, but imagine how much faster it would be with a 30-40% overclock?
 
Soldato
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hmm I'm not sure there inst a big enough jump from the 5850 to a 7870.

I have been looking for an upgrade from my 5870 and from what I have seen benchmark wise there is a considerable jump in performance.

The only question I have is, is it worth paying the £70 extra for the 7950.
 
Soldato
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Here is a good thread comparing the 5850, 6850 & 7850 at exactly the same clock speads (other cards are overclocked to match 7850 clocks). Overall, the 7850 wins, but imagine how much faster it would be with a 30-40% overclock?

Thanks that is a good thread, also bookmarked! Im an overclocking n00b though :( so it will be dangerous territory for me. Id be afraid to trash the card and I wonder if my case cooling is up to it? CM690 case with 8 fans.

hmm I'm not sure there inst a big enough jump from the 5850 to a 7870.
I have been looking for an upgrade from my 5870 and from what I have seen benchmark wise there is a considerable jump in performance.
The only question I have is, is it worth paying the £70 extra for the 7950.

Hmm I have not checked out the 7950 will take a look, with my luck it will be even longer than 265mm!
 
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One

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Soldato
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Wouldn't it save you money in the long run to stick with your current card but get a bigger case?
 
Soldato
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Hmm ya know guys...after reading all those links you pasted...I can actually start to appreciate what a good card my dear 5850 is!

You have all helped with an easy decision now that I have taken all that data on board.

I'll stick with 5850 and only upgrade when theres a significant leap in performance.

Wouldn't it save you money in the long run to stick with your current card but get a bigger case?

Also a good point, basically this is the situation I face: Heres some pics of the internals with the 5850 installed. I have about 30mm more to play with (the HD & optical drive bays are in the way). If the PCI-E slots were just a little bit lower then I could get massive cards..the empty drive bays would swallow them. As luck would have it the slots are not in alignment with the empty bays :(

I know the cables are very untidy but Im really struggling with that. The big card does not make it easy. Specially with
the big fat cable from the PSU. The empty drive bays are on the right and you can see how if the PCIE slot was more
aligned with them it would make things so easy!

IMG_2467.jpg



Here you see the empty drive bays. If only the PCIE slots were higher then the card could poke into the empty drive
bays and length would not be a problem.

IMG_2466.jpg



You can get a sense of the cables being squished to the right by the card
IMG_2468.jpg


I would of course welcome any tips and suggestions on tidying up. Maybe I missed something. It bugs me that its messy.
 
Soldato
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Having a look at that, i'd definitely be looking at a new case - decent airflow will work wonders.

The 5850 is still a good card, i'd go case, wait til the prices maybe settle then see where you stand and go for it. Also the only £70 for a 7950 etc etc, is a very slippery slope you should try and get off. :D
 
Soldato
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Have you not considered picking up a cheap 5850 and crossfiring them? Gives really strong performance and wouldn't cost much.

Good point and it did cross my mind but another one wont fit :( In fact when I first got this 5850 I tried the other PCIE slot and it would not fit (no room either side and the rear ports would not line up). But if they did...it would be a great solution! Ive really REALLY learnt my lesson with cases. My next rig is gonna have a case the size of an airplane hangar.

Having a look at that, i'd definitely be looking at a new case - decent airflow will work wonders.

The 5850 is still a good card, i'd go case, wait til the prices maybe settle then see where you stand and go for it. Also the only £70 for a 7950 etc etc, is a very slippery slope you should try and get off. :D

Yeah youre right, I'll hang tight and keep tabs on how things are going in graphics card world. Come to think of it theres nothing wrong with the 5850. It struggles a bit with GTA IV (w/ENB), Skyrim HD and also with FSX on Eyefinity. These are the main reasons I want a card with more pixel-pushin power :D
 
Soldato
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Good point and it did cross my mind but another one wont fit :( In fact when I first got this 5850 I tried the other PCIE slot and it would not fit (no room either side and the rear ports would not line up). But if they did...it would be a great solution! Ive really REALLY learnt my lesson with cases. My next rig is gonna have a case the size of an airplane hangar.



Yeah youre right, I'll hang tight and keep tabs on how things are going in graphics card world. Come to think of it theres nothing wrong with the 5850. It struggles a bit with GTA IV (w/ENB), Skyrim HD and also with FSX on Eyefinity. These are the main reasons I want a card with more pixel-pushin power :D

Looking at the specs in your sig, I would start by overclocking your cpu.

Anything over 3.6Ghz will give you a great boost.
 
Soldato
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Looking at the specs in your sig, I would start by overclocking your cpu.

Anything over 3.6Ghz will give you a great boost.

You are right! Others on OcUk have also mentioned this and TBH Im a bit chicken cuz Im an overclockin' n00b and I dont wanna fry something. Also I only have a stock cooler...but I guess if I use a software overlcock and do it in small stages I wont bake anything! I forgot what software I was reading about the other day that allows OC-n00bs like me to play with sliders safely lol.
 
Soldato
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You are right! Others on OcUk have also mentioned this and TBH Im a bit chicken cuz Im an overclockin' n00b and I dont wanna fry something. Also I only have a stock cooler...but I guess if I use a software overlcock and do it in small stages I wont bake anything! I forgot what software I was reading about the other day that allows OC-n00bs like me to play with sliders safely lol.

I would say BIOS overclocking is safer. It only does what you tell it :) Look up some settings and make small increases. With all the info out there is isn't hard to get a decent OC just time consuming especially if you don't do a lot of it like myself.

My rule of thumb is if you don't know what it does don't change it until you do!
 
Soldato
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Overclocking the cpu is easy.... Im scarred to overclokc my gpu, but there is nothing to worry about with the cpu.

Just go as high as possible you can within maximum safe temps and voltages.

Test it so that it doesnt crash during prolonged use and job done.
 
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