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.
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 ).
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.
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.
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. )