I've finally given in and decided to build a desktop since my 3 yr old Inspiron E1705 laptop with an NVIDIA GeForce Go 7900 GS card has been dying on me multiple times the past month. For the past few weeks I've been reading up about video cards, and the more I read the more I find it hard to make a decision.
So since most of this is all beyond me, I was hoping you guys could help make my life a bit easier. I will be playing games such as Call of Duty 4, Left 4 Dead, Fallout 3, etc. I've placed my price range between $100-$200 for the card (with alittle give). I also plan on buying a tv/moniter that is 1080p, which I know affects the performance of the card. I've been looking at the Radeon HD 4870 which seems to have good performance for its value. Is that still a good card for gaming? and at that resolution? Also what is the general opinion on NVIDIA vs ATI? So given my situation, what do you all think?
Note: Im not a very picky person, my laptop has been running CoD4 and L4D pretty much to my satisfaction. I expect I have been playing most games between 20-40(40 on a good day probably) fps given the situation and game, so the benchmarks that I've looked at are all pretty impressive to me.
The 4870 and GTX 260 are both excellent cards, and challenge one another competitively. So either would be a great solution. You'll want to decide whether you are interested in doing SLI or Crossfire later on, and buy your motherboard accordingly.
Also, are you planning to buy an Intel CPU, or AMD? There may be some advantage / disadvantage to nVidia vs ATI depending on which way you go.
Aiming at the 1080p display, yes, the HD4870 is a good idea and the 1Gb versions can be found for under $160 with rebates.
Just remember, the card is only part of the equation; CPU speed and type will have a strong impact on framerates and a good PSU is a must for a new build.
May I suggest you click over to the Homebuilt Forum?