I'm building a desktop machine that is meant to last me for the better part of the decade. I'm almost finished but of course I have gotten hung up on the graphics card. Right now I'm looking at the GTX 660 TI vs. similarly priced Radeon solutions (particularly the 7950).
I am going to use the machine primarily for gaming (near par with next gen consoles), digital audio production, and programming. Lately through school I have been getting into hacking / embedded systems programming / general tinkering. I will likely find use for some open PCI slots.
System details; I have chosen an ASUS P8Z77-V LK MOBO because it fits my price range and is quite expandable with 7 PCI slots. For the CPU, I picked a Core i5 3570K Ivy Bridge.
Last and not least, I will probably use no more than two displays and would be content with running them at 1920 x 1080.
Once again: GTX 660 TI vs. Similarly priced Radeon card
Let the games begin!
EDIT: Very important: Whatever card I buy now I expect to purchase a second one in the next year or two as prices drop, so that I may run it in SLI/Crossfire.
that build will be relevant for about 5-6 years. after that it wont reach minimum spec for games. it may play cross platform titles but pc exclusives will crumple it long before the next gen consoles get replaced.
Actually @HEXiT is wrong, this generation of games will be playable on the consoles and since these consoles are really low on the spec side of things, your PC will last maybe 8 or 10 years if you take care of it, and if the Next Generation of consoles is just as bad as the PS4/Xbox One(This console shouldn't even be said when talking about GOOD gaming devices). Sorry for getting off topic, now to answer your questions:
If you are going to do more editing than gaming then get the GTX, now if you are gonna do more gaming than anything else then just get the Radeon. Programming/Hacking will work fine regardless of your choice. I have a cheap Intel Family Chipset 3000 on my Laptop, but that's where I do all my Programming, with no lag at all(I use eclipse, mostly). Same thing applies with hacking. Just make sure you get a Windows operating system if you get into hacking.
Hope I helped
have you played crysis? it was the most demanding game of 2007 and recommended spec was a dual core with an 8800gtx. today 6 years later you cant play crysis 3 on minimum on that card...
pc titles are generally made for higher spec machines each year so after 2-3 years your high end hardware is relegated to medium then 5 years minimum. 6 years there will be games you cant run 8 years pretty much every new title for pc will be beyond your card. and thats if you buy the latest top or second tier cards initially. he isnt he will be buying cards that were mid spec a year ago. you also have to take into account the cpu usage. bf3 wouldnt work well on dual cores 4 years ago... in 6 years its likely we will have moved on to 8x8 or 8x16 thread cpu's and some games will use them.
i also said he would be able to play this gens console cross platform games as the ps4 and xbox one barley meet medium spec pc's today.
you also assuming that console games dont get optimized specifically for there hardware and dump things like direct x in favour of hitting the hardware directly.
lastly i made this post before the specs had been fully listed and verified. you are talking from hindsight after release on a topic thats 3 months old.
You'er right but if a console can play it then the GTX 660ti or the Radeon 7950 can play it with no problems at all. He might have to go with High settings and not ultra after 5-6 years but the games will still be playable with good settings and good fps.