I'm looking at getting a new graphics card for my system; my 9500 GT just doesn't quite do it for an optimal gaming experience. My current computer specs are in my sig, but to quickly outline them I have a G45-770 motherboard (sort of out dated bu it works just fine) that supports CrossFire, along with a Phenom II 955 BE overclocked to 3.7 GHz, and 4GB of G.SKILL Ripjaw Series RAM (1600). I'm wondering what is the best card for 1440x900 gaming that will let me play almost every game on max settings with at least some AA. By "almost every game", I mean my personal favorites: StarCraft II, Crysis (probably won't get a max out/AA with that, though), Fallout 3/New Vegas when it's out, and Call of Duty. I know 1440x900 is a bit smaller than mainstream, but I'm using my HDTV that I had in my room as a monitor because it was bigeer than my 17" Dell. I don't have a budget per say, but I just want to best bang for the buck single graphics card that will, in essence, let me get close to if not completely destroy 1440x900, althogh being a teenager with no steady income or job effects what I can buy (luckily my birthday is coming up soon). I've been thinking about the Radeon HD 5770 or the HD 5830/GTX460, depending upon how much money I can get in the next month or so. I know the 460 destroys the 5830, but my mobi does not support SLI, which leads me to the second part of this thread...
... Around Christmas time I would like to get a larger monitor (1920x1080 or 1920x1200) as my 19" HDTV isn't the greatest for gaming, nor is it anywhere big enough for me. At that point, I believe a single card setup, aside from a 5870/GTX480, wouldn't give me the best possible gaming experience, and I do not want to purchase a new graphics card and go through selling my old one for less... So I figure I should go for a CrossFire setup, which is why the GTX460 wouldn't work very well in my situation. I figure two 5770's or two 5830's will do the job very nicely on that bigger sceen, though. Am I correct? I also figure that by then the HD 6000 series will be out and prices will drop all around for the 5000's, meaning I could pick up another 5770/5830 for much less than I could now.
If you want a budget opinion, eider 5770 or gtx460 but in the case of the second one you would have to buy a new motherboard also. If a new motherboard is out of the question, you have these options: 2x5770, 2x5830, 1xgtx470, 1x5850(2x5850 in winter,spring or summer).
If you can buy the 5850 that will help you at full HD resolution and when the prices come dawn you can get another for crossfire.
The weakest and cheapest solution would be 2x5770.
I've worked it out financially, and I pretty much figure that I will not be able to afford anything more than $160 for quite sometime (as I said, no steady income). Therefore, I'll be limited to the 5770's for now. I do have a question though... I've heard that reference-type coolers aren't as efficient as the egg-shaped coolers and other direct air coolers (don't know what you'd call them) such as the Vapor-X. Since the Sapphire Vapor-X is within my budget, would it be more beneficial to get that over the reference-type Sapphire card? My case has excellent airflow and will probably get better soon as I work out some new and more efficient cable management (inspired by motor engines) I also plan on getting an H70 or a custom water cooling rig to reduce noise and cool better than my current junk Tuniq HSF, so that will increase airflow as well. I only say this as I've heard the external fan-type coolers on graphics cards can disrupt some airflow of the case.
If you're on a really tight budget I'd recommend this. Very well reviewed and a good deal. More than enough for your current resolution and X-fired down the road would handled your anticipated new monitor very well.