I'm having a lot of trouble choosing between these two cards. I'm getting a new motherboard/cpu/ram and this card will be just to tide me over until the summer when I'll hopefully be able to nab a brand new next-gen high end card. The most demanding game I play right now is probably Half Life 2: Episode 2 (actually I haven't quite gotten to it yet; i'm still on the original HL2 )
The MSI card comes with The Witcher, which I'm not interested in and will probably throw away or something.
The Gigabyte card comes with Supreme Commander, which I have been really interested in, even though it won't run extremely well on either of the two cards I'm linking.
So basically I have to choose between a $95 card that comes with a $30 game or an $80 card with a game that's worthless to me but will perform about 5-25% better in games according to my research. Which would you choose?
Another thing to factor in is that I plan to upgrade to Nehalem next spring, and I want to put this system in a SFF case like the Thermaltake Lanbox and give it to my church's youth room to run their media stuff. We use a laptop right now and I hate it so much that I'm just going to build them a real machine Obviously the passively cooled 8600gt is going to be a little better because it will be quieter, allow for cooler case temps, and the performance difference won't matter since both cards would be slight overkill.
I also hate mail-in rebates with a passion, and the MSI card may mean a difference of a couple weeks in when I can order it.
So, which card should I choose? Does anyone have either of these cards and have an opinion on them? Will I need the performance increase in HL2:E2 or should I save the hassle of the rebate and get a free game I was planning on buying anyway?
If it matters, I will be getting an E2160 to go along with this card (I'll overclock it, of course!)
The cheapest 9600gt for sale at Newegg is $150 and it's made by ECS. After a history of getting cruddy ECS motherboards with processor bundles at Fry's I would prefer to never buy anything from them. I also can't exactly justify spending more than $100, $120 max on something that I won't use for more than a few months (and in a media box at church, a the 9600gt would be WAY overkill)
But I do understand that the price/performance would be way, way better at that price level.
The HD3650 is bargain priced, it's not a great performer but not a bad performer either... Bang for buck the prize goes to the 9600GT seriously... it'll be more future proof than anything else out there in that price range... dont worry if it's ECS... it'll do the job!