Best SINGLE video card for pure performance?

I've read many of the threads here and also checked out all the benchmarks Tom's has, specifically the FPS summary benchmark at 1680x1050 which is my current display size.

http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/gaming-graphics-cards-charts-2009-high-quality-update-3/Sum-of-FPS-Benchmarks-1680x1050,1699.html

I currently have a eVGA 9800 GTX that I purchased when I built out my rig over 2 years ago or close to it (X48 Asus Rampage with E8500 processor). The card has been nails, not a single problem, and plays all I have tried at max settings without much of an issue minus a couple FPS that gave every card problems (we all know which titles those were).

I suppose my first question is more to myself in "Why do I want to upgrade if I don't need to?"

Maybe it's because I just feel it's time since I usually do every couple of years. I dunno. Also, since I have no technical issues with the hardware, I wonder why change if it ain't broke?

I'm looking forward to Bioshock 2 in a couple weeks but not sure that game will offer anything I can't play at 1680 x 1050 with the 9800 GTX?

I don't like SLI configurations and traditionally have been scared off by ATI's driver support though not sure what has changed in the last few years.

Maybe I also just should stay pat until I move up from a 22" monitor to 24" or larger?

Thanks for any input. You guys were GREAT in helping me build out my first ever PC as I slaved over every single choice but when done, it was a labor of love and my best PC by far to date, bar none.
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  1. BTW since I have had very good luck with eVGA and their support is great, I was considering this because the reviews are also great.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130480&cm_re=GTX_285-_-14-130-480-_-Product

    I can't find good bunch of reviews on the eVGA 295 card and NewEgg doesn't carry it.

    EDIT: I found this but seems they don't carry it anymore or is the card out of production?

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130449

    EDIT #2: In reading this from Hunter315, maybe best that I wait until March...

    Nvidia's current offerings in that range arent very promising, their GTX285 perform similarly to a 5850, produces more heat, uses more power, and often costs more too. The GTX295 performs slightly better than a 5870 which generating a LOT more heat, using significantly more power, and sometimes suffering from crashes at the highest settings and resolutions with its 768MB frame buffer compared to the 5870's 1GB.

    nVidia's Fermi based cards are due out eventually(supposedly march, but they may be launched in conjunction with duke nukem forever) but until they arrive ATI
    has the best options for the higher price ranges unless you are really really attached to physx.
  2. The 285 you linked is nVidia's flagship for a single GPU card.
    The 295 is a double processor on 1 card type deal.

    If you went with the ATI crowd, the 5870 is king of the hill in a single GPU setup.
    And it is a very powerful card, it will literally tromp the 285 you have linked, literally.
    Depending on the game and settings, it will best the 285 by 10-150%. These things are simply a beast.
  3. Yeah I've read a lot about the 5850 and the 5870 also.

    Seems the 5850 is the best value, other than my traditional (historic?) fears with ATI and their support, drivers, etc.

    5870 seems to have won it's fair share of praise at NewEgg too I guess:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102856&cm_re=5870-_-14-102-856-_-Product

    Just wondering if it's worth the extra $100.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102857&cm_re=5850-_-14-102-857-_-Product

    As with anything in tech, wondering if I should wait to see the performance/cost of the new NVidia cards or not :O
  4. ATI is king of the hill right now, and it looks to stay that way for a while.
    I am not an ATI fanboy, check my specs, but if I was in the market for a new GPU now, Nvidia would not even be considered. It would simply be which, or how many ATI cards I would buy. Period.
    Anything you worried about drivers and such in years gone by is completely unfounded now.
  5. As far as single cards, and not just single GPUs (since you mentioned the 295) the 5970 would be the real king of the hill of single cards.
  6. Thanks for the quick replies... Do you guys think it is a waste to upgrade if I am just running 1680x1050 on a 22" monitor?

    I could upgrade to a 24" but not sure the extra 2" would make such a big difference.
  7. The extra 2 inches + the higher resolution (1920x1080 or 1900x1200 probably) would be a difference. The only thing that matters for the GPU load is the resolution: 1900x1200 at 20" is the same work for the card as 1900x1200 at 28", or a 25 foot projector screen at the same resolution, the difference is purely in presentation to the end user.

    If you want a bigger monitor, you could look at the Hanns-G 25.5 and 28" LCDs, relatively cost effective real estate that come in at 1900x1200 resolution, which would compliment a strong video card very well. a $1000+ 30" 2560x1600 monitor would be a true playfield for a 5970, though it's power can be utilized in the form of maxing every setting and AA at lower resolutions for buttery smooth gameplay in pretty much any title available for the near future.
  8. Heh right now I'm not working (and I'm in my 30's so I technically need to be responsible!), but also buying a new toy or two while I have time for fun projects never hurts the sense of fun.

    I don't really have room for something that big where I'm at, but I'm not averse to upgrading to a 24" from a 22" for the higher resolution as well.

    I find that I sit close enough to my monitor that something TOO big would be like sitting too close to the screen in the theater. I find I tend to move my eye around too much to take everything in.
  9. I am a peripheral games player, my eyes never leave the center of the screen... unless I am too close to the screen for it's size and I don't have a peripheral view of the whole screen. My 22" was the perfect fit for my desk, my eyes, and my budget (was on sale for 130 brand new, heh)

    I have noticed that the widescreens (16:9/10 as opposed to 4:3)have necessitated longer viewing distances for me, as the side of the screens are so much further away than the top and bottom. This has wreaked havoc on my eye comfort while gaming, but I have gotten used it in the past fiew years.
  10. Yeah, I think that is why I am comfortable with the 22" screen. It seems a good balance between need to read/use it for things other than gaming while also providing a nice level of immersion for how I like to sit near the monitor.

    Thanks for ALL the feedback and it seems I'll try and find a good deal on the ATI cards after reading more about them (all you said was correct) while waiting to see what these new NVidia next-gen cards have to offer in a month or two if they stick to schedule.
  11. Good luck with your choices, and have fun with your new toys, whenever and whatever they might be. :D
  12. To answer your original post:
    The 5970 is currently the strongest single video card available today.
    When nvidia fermi is launched, I would expect that to change.

    However...
    At 1680 resoluton you will not need much more than a 5750 for exceptional performance.

    At 1920 the 5850

    At 2560 the 5970 or possibly stronger.

    Read this for more analysis:
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-graphics-card,2521-7.html

    The size of the monitor is irrelevant, it is the resolution that counts.

    I think a monitor with greater resolution is a good thing. You get more details.

    A 24" monitor is a good idea. Keep your 22" for a dual display system.
  13. Thanks for the FYI.

    Last time I shopped for the best gaming lcd, Samsung's 2232BW was a good 22".

    I still love Samsung LCDs, but are they still a good choice for 24" and if so, any model suggestions for gaming specifically?

    I realize I'm hijacking my own thread but hey :P
  14. A 5870 can max out 99% of games at 2560x1600 (without AA), I would personally say only go for the 5970 if you want 16xAA (which on th 5800 is SSAA (better than CSAA/MSAA)) on a 30 inch or 3 x 24 inch 1920x1200 Eyefinity Setup.

    Here's an exceptional 24 inch gaming screen it is 16:10, which to me is the best.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824236046

    It IS a gaming monitor, so expect gaming features (extremely low lag, low time for pixels to change color).
  15. I didn't know ASUS was in the market of now making displays...!

    I love their high-end mobo's but not sure how comfortable I feel leaving Samsung since they have been so good to me, but I suppose times change eh?

    I'll read up on it more. I'm mostly hoping to find a mainstream model I can get at Fry's or Best Buy in case of dead pixes...so that the return is painless.
  16. At your resolution, 5970's, 5870's , 295's etc are a real waste of GFX card power. Looking at the article here, anything past the GTS 250 / HD 4850 is pretty hard to justify.

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-graphics-card,2521-4.html

    Since that's on the same level as the 9800 GTX, I can't see any reason to upgrade until there's a new monitor at your desk.

    If that purchase is also in the cards, I have one beef on the referenced article. If the 5770 is recommended over the faster 4870 and 260 at 1920 x 1200 because it's "DX11" ..... but the 5770 can't do 30 fps w/ even minor implementation of Dx11 (Dirt2) so the recommendation makes absolutely no sense to me.

    If I wuz you, I wouldn't buy anything now. Contrary to what we have come to expect, ATI's DX11 cards have risen in price by $20 or more since their debut.....and it's dragged the price of the older 4xxx series and nVidia cards which outperform them up with them. I expect we'll start seeing performance reviews of the 1st fermi cards in 4-6 weeks. Come summer, we should see tweaked non reference designs of ATI's current cards and I'm thinking fall 2010 will have significantly better cards available at significantly better prices. By then all the early adopters willing to pay premium prices will already have spent their money and that plus competition from simply having two companies w/ DX11 cards on the market will drive down prices.
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