Graphic Card: Recommended Graphic Card? (max graphics for 5 years? 3 years?)
I was looking at the ATI 5770, 5830, and 5850. Also at the Nvidia GTX 460.
How long would these graphic cards have me running games at max settings?
If you have better suggestions feel free to say something.
Planning on building a new computer that can run max graphics on games for good 3 years, then ultra-advanced for 1-2 years. < that possible?
No, but it all depends on your resolution and the type of games you play. None of those cards get playable frame-rates on the latest DX11 game benchmarks at maximum quality settings at 2560x1600. The 5850 and GTX 460 1GB can almost manage 40 fps at 1680x1050. These cards should be able to play the latest games in five years but likely only at lower resolutions and quality settings. Take a look for yourself here:
No one can look that far into the future. We just don't know what direction game design is going to go, what technologies are going to take over and to what degree graphics requirements are going to be pushed forward. The graphics requirements for many recent games haven't been as high as they could be because they are multi-platform. The capabilities of the PS3 and Xbox 360 are quite a bit behind those of the latest PC graphics cards (no need to mention the Wii).
If you want the best gaming performance for your money, I would consider spending much more on your graphics card(s) and less on your CPU, Motherboard, and RAM.
I specifically wouldn't recommend the HD 5770 or 5830. The i7-930 will be a capable match for all but the most advanced graphics setups. Choosing a low end card like the HD 5770 would give you an unbalanced gaming system (even if you added a second one later in Crossfire). The HD 5830 is an old inefficient design and isn't competitive with the GTX 460.
What do you mean by 'advanced ultra'? Don't buy into 'future proof', build a good system now and realize that you may have to sacrifice graphics on games 3-5 years from now, or upgrade to match.
I have a 5850 and I am very happy (gaming at 1920x1080) but in less than a year something will come out at the same price I paid and be significantly better. In two years at the same price it will get crushed, and a card 5 years from now at $100 will blow it out of the water. If your intention is to stay on top, you could just buy a moderate card every 2-3 years.
You never stated your monitor's resolution, so a 450/460 or 5770 may be sufficient depending on the size/resolution you play at.