Saving some money is a perfectly human desire. Millionaires, housewives, computer users and, of course, overclockers want to save a little bit of their cash just like everybody else. In fact, the process of overclocking itself is the example of how you can get a higher performance for less money. As you have already guessed, this review is about saving, but I want to show you a way of saving some money other than by overclocking your components.
Let’s do some math first. As you know from our graphics card reviews, AMD’s line-up of Cypress- and Juniper-based products currently consists of two pairs of cards: the Cypress-based Radeon HD 5870 and HD 5850 and the Juniper-based Radeon HD 5770 and HD 5750. The Radeon HD 5870 comes at a recommended price of $379-399 whereas one Radeon HD 5770 should cost $159 according to AMD’s marketing folks. Easy to calculate, two HD 5770 are going to be cheaper than a single HD 5870. The same goes for two HD 5750 cards (2 x $129) in comparison with a single HD 5850 ($279-299). Obviously, you can save quite a bit of money in both cases by purchasing two junior cards instead of one senior model.
The question is if pairs of Radeon HD 5770 and 5750 cards in CrossFireX mode are going to be faster than a Radeon HD 5870 and HD 5850, respectively? Won’t the narrow 128-bit memory bus be a bottleneck? What pitfalls should be expected by a user who wants to build a graphics subsystem out of two junior graphics card models? I will try to give you the answers in this review.
The graphics cards are placed in the table in the order of ascending recommended price.