Okay so about 1.5-2 years ago (I think), I built the following system:
EVGA 8800 Ultra Nividia vid card
Gigabyte p35-DSR3 Mobo
4gigs of Crucial Ballistix Ram
2 x 7200rpm Seagate 250g HD's
OCZ GameXsteam 700 Watt PSU
Lg 24" LCD Display
Well just 2 days ago my vid card left a suicide note on the keyboard and i found it hanging by a rope in the closet... Sooooo I'm in need a new video card. Well that would be easy, except in about 4-5 months I am planning on upgrading my system again (Not sure what I will do with the above items I no longer will use.. most likely >>>>> Ebay).
With that being said, I need a video card NOW as in this week, that either a) Will be goood-to-go for the next 1-2 years or b) that i can SLI/Crossfire within the coming months with another card when its time to upgrade.
I'm not a particular fanboy of either Nvidia or ATI as i have had both in the past and for the most part been happy with whatever i've purchased. My price range right now is less than $250.00
So I am asking for some suggestions for a video card that meets that following requirements:
1- Less than $250.00 (online)
2- Just as good performance if not better than my 8800 Ultra 768mb (which i looooveeeeeddd!!!)
3- Must either be an affordable SLI/Crossfire option within 4-5 months
4- Must be a card that will run well for the next 1-2 years on the latest games
5- Must be 1g+ in memory
6 -Must run 1920x1200 on high to MAX settings smoothly. 10000x AA isnt necessary but I do like my games clean.
Lastly, my computer does 2 things: Plays games and checks my email(web browsing)...I dont watch movies, I dont burn dvds, I dont post Youtube, etc...Okay im exaggerating a bit, but the rig is about 99% games and 1% everything else, so i strictly need a gaming video card.
You're not going to get #6 on $250, at least not for every game.
I would recommend the HD 5770. It's a new DirectX 11 card that Crossfires extremely well. It's $155 on Newegg. Here's a comparision between the 5770 (single card and Crossfire) and the other nVidia cards in the price range (single card and SLI): http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/gaming-graphics-card...
The 5770 is much cheaper ($150ish vs. $200ish vs. $250ish), performs only slightly worse as a single card, but performs much better in Crossfire.
The only other card I could recommend is the HD 5850, but at $310 it's out of your price range. That one would play everything (except Crysis) at 1900x with max setting.
Let's say i throw in another $50 and get the Radeon HD 5850...is that something I would be set with for the next 1-2 years or would i need to Crossfire another one within 4-5 months to get me through 2010...OR would i be set for a good while, possibly Crossfiring in 1 year or so?