I have a decent 17" monitor that uses 1440x900 as its max, its a good screen and perfect for my desk, so that is really my main thing. A lot of the topics i have found for this resolution are from 2 years ago and not really that useful. 2010 is here and there are some high end games are coming that I want to play. Example AC2, APB, Civ5, Crysis etc.
My specs already:
Full ATX Case (Pretty big)
AMD Phenom II Quad Core 2.6GHZ
Nvidia 8800GT 512mb GGDR2
3GB DDR2 (I am upgrading this soon, newer mobo and ram).
So, My question is what card will be able to play all the modern games on 1440 with no problems on high settings and anti aliases and etc, without of course...breaking the bank. I want to be able to play...say.. Asassins Creed 2 on 4x Anti Alias o 1440, etc etc, without any problem.
I am open to both NVIDIA and ATI. My budget is....hmm I'll say 170, but that can fluctuate depending on the card...and tax.
If you haven't, try those games with your current card and see how they perform. If good enough, wait. If not, I'd take the biggest jump you can afford, which probably means a HD5770. If your PSU can handle an 8800GT, it can handle a HD5770 (9.3A vs. 9A). Actually, since your current card only has GDDR2, probably no one would blame you for "jumping the gun" and getting a faster card.
The 5750 is very close to equal with the GTS 250, and the 5770 is a decent bit faster. Not enough for a straight upgrade, but still enough for a bit more, plus its DX11 compatible. Also- that gigabyte for $145 after MIR can actually be $135 after MIR if you sight up for the newegg email newsletter and use promo code EMCYRYT36. Its definitely your best option right now for under $170.