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Help with Video Card Upgrade Choice!

I have an Intel Core2 8500 running a single EVGA GT9600 512-P3-N861-AR. My system is SLI capable.
I really want more FPS in my gaming experience. I can spend $175.00 I've been staring at the Graphic Hierarchy chart and Best cards for the money Feb 2010 for hours trying to make a decision. Please help me out! I can't find another 9600GT of the same type from EVGA, can I run another brand/type of 9600GT in SLI?
I've banned ATI from my house since 1998 after the Rage Fury MaXX fiasco, but I guess after 12 years I can give in to using their stuff again.
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  1. Best answer
    for 175, id say a 5770 is your best bet, plus you can crossfire down the road when prices drop further and get a large performance gain. If you can wait a few more weeks and spend about $230 id suggest waiting on the 5830. It should be a fair bit more powerful then a 5770 with a small price increase in comparison to the gain ( if its specs are what its supposed to be, i should say ).
  2. There is no problem with adding a second 9600GT from another brand , just make sure that the second 9600GT matches yours in memory capacity and frequency. And the theory goes like this : in sli the slowest card sets the pace for the second one as well , also the card with less memory limits the second one.

    9600 GT 600Mhz 1Gb DDR3 + 9600 GT 650 Mhz 512 Mb DDR3 = two 9600 GT 600Mhz 512 Mb DDR3 sli setup!

    Buying another GPU is something I wouldn't recommend as you would have to spend only 80$ for a second 9600GT. Upgrading to an 285GTX or an 5850 would be nice but that move would set you back 300$u
  3. Hi Asher,

    The two suggestions made so far are your best options. Twin 9600GTs would be slightly more powerful than a single 5770, but wouldnt offer Direct X 10 and would be a bigger strain on your PSU. (what do you have?) It may also matter what resolution you are running at.

    Here is a comparison using tom's charts: (edit: sorry i had a bit of trouble getting it to internal link)
    [url=http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/gaming-graphics-cards-charts-2009-high-quality-update-3/compare,1702.html?prod[3252]=on&prod[3226]=on]]Tom's Hardware - Benchmark The Last Remnant

    You can run a 9600Gt of another brand--but you should try to get the card's specs to match. (I'm not certain but I think some of the new low-power versions might be slightly different from an original 9600GT. )
  4. I didnt think to mention before-- if you get the 5770 you could use your 9600Gt as a dedicated physX card-- giving you a boost in many of the Nvidia-optimized games.
  5. Thanks for the help going with the 5770 and will add a 2nd one down the road, decided to build an i5 rig
  6. Best answer selected by asher187.
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