Alright, seems simple enough from the title - I have $250 budget for a GPU. One small thing is, though, my MoBo only supports Crossfire, not SLI.
I could get a better GPU going with Nvidia for around $250, or I was looking at the Radeon R9 270x as well, for about $200. Then, in a little while (4-6 months) I was thinking I could get a second R9 270x (or whatever) for about $200 again, and get much better performance out of it. I was liking this option over getting a better Nvidia card now, but then having to buy a new MoBo w/another card, or swapping for a card equivalent to a pair of Crossfire 270x's.
Just wanted to hear what everyone else thought about this situation, I am new to this afterall. I finally saw the light of the PC Master Race, and am in the process of slowly saving up and buying parts.
If you prefer Nvidia stuff, fear not! I too have a motherboard that does not support SLI, but, thanks to the world of computing, there's a workaround!
Hyper SLI (http://goo.gl/4vnYez) is a neat little tool which will make SLI work as it should on non compatible motherboards, works a treat and I haven't had any issues at all.
Whichever options you choose though, Nvidia or AMD, you'll still have a wicked system with 2 cards. Personally I think dual GPU solutions should be more readily available (like the ROG 760), so much performance for the price difference!
For a dual card solution, I'd personally always recommend Nvidia cards until AMD sort their stuff out, because drivers and such with AMD are pretty horrible, and they've yet to even maintain smooth performance in DX9 games...
I'd say, if you're after convenience with good performance, a 760 is a steal, even for the extra $50. Hell, the thing even overclocks itself, always a plus!
I've only had a couple of problems with SLI, whereas it was endless problems and configuration with my crossfire setup. This is just me personally though, as I'm sure there are people in the complete opposite position.
MSI Twin Frozr, Asus DCUII or Gigabyte Windforce versions are all fantastic, quiet and cool, just the way they need to be. The stock card is still pretty damn good, I've got a couple and they still fly and they're still very quiet compared to my old cards (XFX 7950s).
There's also no point in buying "OC" versions, seeing as Nvidia cards simply overclock themselves quite highly anyway! Hell, mine will reach a stable 1150Mhz (boosting up from 980) easily, with the versions mentioned above, I'm sure you could push an even higher clock rate.
Depends on what games are you going to play with.. WoW, Diablo 3 , BF4 ? the r9 270x seems good but if you can get your hands on a GHZ edition of the 7870 will be better. If you want to crossfire later on ..I would wait to see of prices drop on January for the 280x. I was planning on buying one ..but vanity got to me lol and I got the 290 (powercolor) lol ..So far the card seems ok and behaving for me despite all those allegations of the 290's burning up in flames and noise, ..I think newegg has run out of the 280x cards I think those are the best value/performance you can get ..but they are 299 plus tax and shipping. And yes houldendub SLI is better than xfire ..for amd get the biggest you can get or go nvidia if you plan to run 2 cards on the future. My bro just got my old Zotac 560ti and SLI it with his card and I think he can run all the games he likes lol including bf4 at a respectable FPS.