I need to a new graphics card so I can start gaming on my computer. Right now, I have a cheapo card that's just there so I can have video. So here's my setup:
XFX 680i SLi LT mobo
Mushkin 580 watt psu
Crucial Ballistix 2x2gb DDR2 800
WD Black 640gb hd
I'm about to get a 24" 1080p hdmi monitor so I need a card that will give me a really good picture quality on it. The cards I'm looking at are the 9800 gtx+ series, the 250 gts series, and the 260 gtx series. In the future, I'm gonna add another 24" monitor so I need a card that will allow me to do that. I'm gonna add a second video card as well for SLI. I need to keep the price under $200. I'm gonna play games such as Fallout and other rpg type games. I might get into the fps games as well. I don't really care about playing Crysis on max settings and all that mess.
So basically I need a card for SLI that will make my games look really awesome on my new 24" monitor without breaking the bank and will allow me to use dual monitors in the future.
Also, if I have 2 video cards, can I use each of them for a different monitor?
If that is too much, then as you have already said, the GTX260 is the best way to go, it already has good performance at 1920x1200 (or 1920x1080) and can easily be found for under $200.
My advice would be this: Do not get an overclocked card, when you SLI you may not be able to find another, so the slower card will force the faster, overclocked card down to its speed, making it a waste of money, and there is no guarantee the other card will overclock to match it. Look for a good warranty and REGISTER the card in order to get it: EVGA, XFX and BFG have the best. Check the cooler will fit, particularly in the lower slot when you go SLI. You will need more power later on: 750W from Antec, Corsair, Seasonic, OCZ or Pc Power and Cooling will do nicely. And finally look around, deals change all the time and Newegg seems to be fond of 'weekend specials', so keep your eyes peeled.