When to upgrade from 1680x1050

My kids think they need a PC of their own. If they were to get one, it is going to be something fairly basic, and (eventually) get parts from the ‘main’ PC as hand-me-downs. However, a few parts might be worthy of handing down from the main PC right now - for example, the Antec Earthwatts 430 and possibly my 22" 1680x1050 monitor, with newer parts going to the main.

However, the one nice thing about 1680x1050 is that my Radeon 6850 can drive it pretty well. My fear is that if I were to jump to a higher res, the 6850 is already going to be on the hand-me-down list and I need to jump to a better card. Suddenly, the fairly basic kids PC is getting pricey (cause it is really the main PC getting upgraded).

TL;DR: How “important” is it to jump beyond 1680x1050? I’ve been pretty happy with a 22" monitor as I sit pretty close to the screen as is. But I don’t want to end up with two monitors that need to be upgraded if suddenly 1680x1050 becomes ‘unworkable’…

Most laptops don’t even do 1680x1050 so I don’t think that rez is not going to be supported or something.

I have a 5850 and you should be fine, I run my games as 1920x1080. Is there really anything better than that that’s not banana expensive? I didn’t think so, unless you’re talking multi-monitor in which case for gaming it’s 3 monitors which is back in banana money territory.

The 6850 drives 1920x1080 with 4x AA and 16x AF in 90% of games just fine. I downgraded to one from a 6970 when I went from full-tower to mini-ITX cube form factor.

Aye, I’m running a 1920*1080 monitor with a 5850 and I run most games on the default High setting. Not ultra-high, but near enough. A 6850 will be grand.

Another 6850 owner running 1920x1080 on a 24" monitor with no issues. To be honest, there were only a few games I had problems with at that resolution with my previous video card, which was an old 9600GT. A 6850 is certainly good enough for short to medium term use, and perhaps longer depending on what kind of gaming you primarily do and the settings you feel you need to use.

Wow, thanks all. The 6850 is a better card than I was thinking :) And interestingly enough Sarkus, an old 9600GT is exactly what I have sitting around which would go in the kids’ machine at least at the start.

what is your cpu?

mine is an i5-2400.

To be fair, the 5850 is significantly more powerful than the 6850 owing to AMD’s decision to add a third part to their lineup, with the 69XX cards making the 68XX the midrange. Still, I’ve been gaming pretty successfully with a 4850 at 1080p for a while, and that is definitely less powerful than a 6850.

Aye, I’m quite happy with my 4850 and Core i5. I /was/ planning on upgrading, but frankly the issues I was having vanished when I replaced the Core2Duo. So…

Ah, I hadn’t realised. I figured they kept the naming convention.

It’s not really fair. Real-world performance is very similar;

http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/charts/2011-gaming-graphics-charts/compare,2660.html?prod[4823]=on&prod[4825]=on

Also, there are 59xx as well as 69xx cards - they’re both dual-GPU ranges.

The main problem is that the VLIW5 32mn architecture pretty much topped out in performance with the 5xxx series, the 6xxx was /supposed/ to be a die shrink, but that never happened… (the fabs had issues)

The only 69XX card that is dual GPU is the 6990. The 6970 and 6950 are both single GPU designs. The only 59XX card was the 5970 and it was dual gpu.

But fair enough, the real world performance between the 5850 and 6850 is closer than I remember. The 5850 has like 50% more shader unit, but I think it must be largely limited by its memory bandwidth which is basically the same as the 6850.

Ah yes, sorry. The 69xx are VLIW4 series, not all dual-GPU. My bad :)

There’s another confusing mix with the 7xxx’s, the lower half is VLIW5 (which is going to cap out about the same level as the 5850/5850 again), the upper half is GCN. They’re not making keep track of the equivalents easy ><

I believe only the 77XX cards will be VLIW5. They’re gonna be rebadged 67XX cards anyway.

Hm…Wikipedia says 73xx-76xx VLIW5, 77xx+ GCN.

Ah yes; http://www.anandtech.com/show/5291/amd-quietly-releases-the-oemonly-radeon-hd-7670-turks-rides-again

So it looks like the VLIW5 stand-alones are going to be OEM only. (Wut? They going to keep selling the 6xxx for lower-mid and low-end? Er…)

The other consideration is just the annoyance of being a non 16:9 resolution in this day and age. Don’t get me wrong, 16:10 is quantifiably better, but the entire world is hellbent on 16:9, so everything I see gets black bars and when I stream out to Twitch or record videos for Youtube, they get all fucking antsy over my resolution. Hell, Starcraft 2 even shows me less map than it shows to 1080Pers -.-

I drive three 1920x1080 monitors from a single Radeon 6870.

Frankly, I don’t think it will be a problem.

Dude, I drive three 1920x1080 monitors from a single Radeon 6870.

Frankly, I don’t think it will be a problem.