Joined on 11/18/04
Fast but early driver problems
Pros: This is an incredibly fast card for the price. Never owned an ATI card before and always had nvidia cards. Upgrading from a 9800gtx+. I can now play Crysis on all very high, or enthusiast settings for warhead. I can play Stalker clear sky at all highest settings. Everything is running smooth at 1920x1080. I have been looking to upgrade from my 9800gtx+ for a while and glad I didn't buy a 285.
Cons: There is an issue with changing the clock rate in CCC. Whenever I change it to something other than stock either higher or lower than stock, even by the smallest margin, 5mhz, my 2nd monitor will start flickering like mad. Doesn't matter if I change core or memory speed. If you google this you will find this is a common issue. I'm not sure what the issue is, but I'm assuming it's a driver issue. The drivers right now are not very good. Whenever I start a game, NFS shift, Crysis, Stalker, there will be corruption all over my screen for a second and then the game will start normally. That's definitely a driver issue. I'm using 8.66RC6 recommended drivers.
Overall Review: CCC is not as straight forward as Nvidia's control panel where all 3d options are on 1 screen (like Anti aliasing, AF, vsync, triple buff, etc.) , instead of a different screen for each 3d option (one for AA, one for AF, etc.). This makes you have to click to a different screen each time to change a different setting. Compared to Nvidia control panel, CCC just feels "cheap."
Fast card but poor drivers
Pros: Fast card inspite of poor drivers. I can run every game at max settings at 1920x1080. NFS shift, Crysis (and Warhead), STALKER Clear sky run at very nice frames at highest settings. I'm upgrading from a 9800gtx+ and the improvement is very nice in games like Crysis and Stalker Clear sky. Completes my i7 system!
Cons: Whenever I start a game (Crysis, Stalker, NFS shift) the screen will corrupt for a second (like textures all over the place) and then the game will start as normal. I was hoping to OC on day one like the reviewers have done using CCC. However, the driver's are very buggy now. When I overclock (or underclock) using CCC (latest drivers 8.66RC6), the 2nd monitor will start flickering. This is because the idle mode drops to 157mhz core /300mhz memory, instead of the normal 400mhz/1000mhz idle mode when 2 monitors are being used. So I haven't been able to overclock yet. This is an annoying problem and hopefully a driver update will fix it. If you google "5870 flickering" you will find many others with this issue.
Overall Review: If you already have a GT200 you may want to wait until nvidia comes out with GT300 to compare it to the 5800 series. I'm anxiously awaiting for dirt 2 to come out to see how directx 11 performs on this card.