Quick background. I built my current rig in 2011. After using ATI/AMD graphics cards for years, I decided to mix it up a bit and try a nVidia card. Long story short, this nVidia card (GeForce GTX 570) has been one nightmare after another. It routinely crashes, overheats (even with watercooling), BSOD's my system, etc. The final straw was last night, when out of the blue, it started to give me the OpenGL Error Code 7 (See below for description)
This happens with any game I play; I'll be fine for 30-25 seconds, then: BLAM. Black screen, CTD if I'm lucky, hard reboot if I'm not. Upon contacting nVidia, their "expert" opinion was that I "purchase a newer card" (i.e. they won't give me any support for the current card) Bottom line is, I am completely fed up with nVidia.
This is where I'm hoping you guys can help me. I've been out of the hardware market for the last 3 years, and don't really know what AMD cards are good and what's not. I would appreciate some opinions and why you think it's a good choice. Thanks in advance
*Quick Edit: I should probably add I use this rig mostly for gaming and some occasional CAD drawings*
CARD MUST HAVES
AMD/ATI: NO nVidia cards!
Needs to be compatible with a current waterblock on the market.
Prefer around the 300$ range; may go higher if it is a spectacular card.
No form factor limitations (i.e. micro-ATX)
No wattage limitations
CURRENT RIG SETUP
Intel Core i7 3.6 GHz
16GB DDR3 RAM
nVidida GeForce GTX 570
32GB SSD Boot Drive and 2 TB main storage platter drive.
The r9 280x is likely the best for 300 usd I would either go for the sapphire toxic of you can find it for that price or go for either an MSI, sapphire, XFX or Asus; bear in mind though that there have been reports of artifacts on Asus cards and the toxic, however they were a while ago so I am unsure if they have been resolved.
Also you might be able to use a 7970 waterblock on the r9 280x.