Hello all! I've got a reasonably powerful gaming PC, and I've been debating whether or not to go for a graphics card upgrade. I'm just not sure what would be worth it vs too much with my PC's specs, so I welcome all advice in that regard. Many thanks! Here's the relevant info:
PURCHASE DATE: Ideally within the next month or so, though I'm okay with waiting if it makes more sense. Budget is pretty flexible; I don't want to spend more than $400 or so.
USAGE: Lots and lots of games. I have a Steam press account, so I play everything from the latest (Metro 2033, Just Cause 2, etc) to older or indie titles.
PREFERRED SITE / COUNTRY: Any really; newegg is great, but I'm in NYC so it's easy to get to J&R or B&H physical locations
PARTS PREFERENCE: Ideally I'd like to stick with NVIDIA since that's what I have already and I'm used to the built-in control panel, etc. No brand preference and I don't know much about PhysX / whether it's worth it
OVERCLOCK: Never done it before, don't really have the technical aptitude to trust that I won't screw something up.
SLI/CROSSFIRE: I'm open to it, but I've never had that sort of setup before
MONITOR: 1920x1080 -- I run my computer through a 40" Toshiba LCD display, 1080p @ 60Hz
Say I'm interested in going for the ATI-- how would you say some of the pre-overclocked models stack up? XFX has a Black Edition which appears to be out of stock everywhere, but I found a Sapphire vapor-x 5850 on Newegg and a Sapphire Toxic 5850 on Amazon.
Between those two you're going to want to go with the Toxic for the resolution you're playing games at. The extra gig of memory won't help out all that much unless you're planning to play higher than 1080P and the Toxic comes factory overclocked higher than the Vapor-X while using the same technology.
Thanks for all the help. After doing a little more research, I discovered I can get the XFX HD5870 from J&R for $399, with $15 more off from a Memorial Day sale coupon. I was already leaning toward buying a pre-OC'ed 5850, so a few bucks more for better performance seems worthwhile.