PLEASE SOLID REASONING NO FANBOY ANSWERS
By solid answers I mean back it up. Dont just say get an ATI cause its cheaper for dx11! or get an nVidia cuz u needz physx!! that being said...
So, I've been an "Nvidia fanboy" for a while....
Currently running out of date and due for an upgrade (9600 GTX). Budget would like to be around 200 but absolute max at about 400 if good enough a card to last.
I'm by far no pro when it comes to video technology and I try to follow benchmarkreviews.com for new tech (I'm sure there are better places to look but its the most comprehensive reviews and benchmarks I have seen for a casual techie).
Down to brass tacs....
With all of the improvments of ATI recently and earlier/cheaper support of dx11 why go with nVidia? Is physx that important for gaming?
I currently play WoW, Left 4 Dead 2 and Global Agenda. Nothing too intense.
With the GTX 470s running about 350-390 right now I'm inclined to get one just from reliability from my nVidia cards in the past. Had one bad experience with an ATI card a while back and just havent had a good view of the cards since.
Seeing as I can pick up an HD 5850 for about 50 bucks cheaper (and seen reviews saying its about as good as a GTX 470).....I dont know! Any intelligent insight is very appreciated.
Under $400 budget. Would like dx11. Nvidia or ATI and why?
I wouldn't worry about PhysX too much. While I like more accurate physics in games, I just don't think PhysX will ever catch on seriously if it can't run on ATI cards.
That said, 470 vs 5850 is a hard choice. My understanding now is that while the 470 is more expensive, in many cases it has the performance to back up that price. The only major drawbacks still remaining is its higher power consumption and thus heat. If that is a non-issue to you (and you have a good PSU), I'd call it even.
Then, factor in a preference/comfort to NVidia cards, and I'd say the 470 is probably the card for you.
Physx isnt that important, only two game can really take advantage of it ME and Batman:AA.
Id say stick with a HD5850, $50 less, decent performance, wonderful overcloclockability and cool. Unless you need CUDA for CS5, or want to run uningine benchmarks everyday, the GTX 470 isnt that great.
Though it sorta is missing one important detail, what is your PSU?
Sorry, I'm using a Ultra LSP750w PSU on an intel p55kg extreme board with an intel i5 750 quad.
If you're concerned about DX11 games in the future the HD 5770 would be a good choice - usually a tiny bit slower, but more power efficient. The HD 5830 might be an option for you as well. Pretty decent performance (better than the HD 5770) and DX11 support for about $100 less than an HD 5850. Damn good card for $200.
You could crossfire 2 5770s for 300$ and performance like a 5870 if you want.
Are you worried about temperatures?
If not, and you don't want to do the xfire than I would probably look at a 470, which has the best price/performance I believe.
Well, efficiency doesn't really matter for quality. You could have a good PSU with bad efficiency, but that is beside the point. In my experience, Ultra PSUs have been fine as long as you don't run them near max (which you won't be doing). I still run an Ultra X-Conn 550W on my FX60/4850 PC. The 550W could not power a 2900XT reliably though.