Okay, so I saw where the leaked info is that the GTX 560 will likely be releasing January 20th - for me this is too long to wait. I've gone a month with a terrible graphics card and I can't stand it anymore, I'm missing out on the opportunity to play games during my downtime this winter. Originally I have been pretty set on buying a Gigabyte GTX 460 Super Overclock edition for $200 which would run cool and I could overclock it a bit. However, I have been thinking - maybe it would be better to buy a reference design EVGA card right now and then use their step up program to get the GTX 560 when it comes out in the next month (Or two/three if January is off). I was worried about price, but picking up a new release card is going to mean they'll all be at the same price so that part I think isn't so much an issue.
My concern is the fact that I got rid of my Zotac GTX 460 video cards (I had two in SLI) because they ran hot and were noisy. They had a port blocking part of the vent and were said to be loud and hot compared to the others but they were extremely so in my case (And I do have good cooling - several 120mm fans with good flow and I got good temps with my old GTX 260's). So I'm debating if I should buy the 460 SOC with no way to upgrade except just selling it where I will assuredly lose money, or if I should buy an EVGA card which could run hotter since it is just reference design and the SOC has twin fans which run cool and quiet - BUT I can upgrade to the 560 via step-up which is supposed to be 15-20% better than the GTX 460. So I wonder, a reference 560 versus the 460 SOC which is overclocked (fastest factory 460 AFAIK) - how close would the performance be?
Also, EVGA doesn't have any nasty little things I need to know about their step up program do they? Although another thought, I'll be buying from Newegg so I could take advantage of their 60 day return policy for the holidays. They didn't charge me a restock fee on my Zotac cards although I thought it was going to from what I read. So if I can do the same, I could get the 460 SOC and then get the 560 - presuming it doesn't come out in March or something...
Consider that you want to get a new card, right?
So I think you will better by selling both/one of your cards (hot and noisy, right?) and get a single powerful card like GTX570.
I already RMA'ed those cards long ago - I'm using a terribly slow 6800 GT right now. Originally I had a budget of under $300 but now I'm liking the $200 or less budget. A GTX 570 is $350 - well over both budgets. And to be honest, I was disappointed with the performance of the GTX 460's in SLI. The reviewers made it sound like it would be breathtakingly awesome, but I still had games like L4D and TF2 drag the FPS down to 40 once in awhile. IMO that's no better than the two GTX 260's I had before in SLI...it wasn't so much that they were bad, more that for as much money as I paid they didn't perform good enough to be worth what I paid. A 570 might be worth it, but again way over budget. I like the low price of a single GTX 460 and wouldn't be as miffed with occasional drops to 40 FPS given the price paid compared to the SLI pair. I stand to risk less money lost when new stuff comes out anyway with just one card - plus the 570 is only $350 because it just launched, in a few months they will be $280 or so - right in current generation GTX 470 territory. A 460 being the lower end card won't drop as drastically.
I once had a near mint condition 6800gt that I had bought for $9. the only game that wasn't frame by frame was fallout 3. Since you REALLY got that itch then go for the EVGA for one reason only. Step up! The Gigabyte cards look good on paper and most of the reviews seam good but the cooler design isn't all that good and am going to post a video online in a week or two to prove it. Sure it is silent 98% of the time but it doesn't keep the whole card cool as it should have but most cards out there are sucking ass in this department. Avoid cards using the "windforce" cooler as it doesn't take very long for dust to clog it and the fans them selves are weak. They lose performance fairly quickly after a few weeks due to any amount of dust under the blades. If you do get it expect weekly maintenance and at least one hard mod on top of flashing the card if you got one with a pre F3 bios.
I could go on for a while and nearly every GTX460 out there in the end would need some sort of mod. The GTX560 would be naturally faster if they enable the remaining block of 48 shaders on top of higher clocks.
I once had a near mint condition 6800gt that I had bought for $9. the only game that wasn't frame by frame was fallout 3.
Wow...I can't even play Mahjong Titans or full screen a YouTube video (It turns into frame by frame). You know what's funny - I had a 6600 GT I remember paying $200 for because it was cutting edge when I bought it. AGP still too. I didn't expect performance this bad, and I even went to a Win 7 Basic theme to save resources. Amazing how far we've come, and I remember when a Geforce 4 MX was a fast card...lol!
I'm starting to lean to the EVGA idea. I have double redundancy then, as I'll buy off Newegg and will have the 60 day return policy + the step-up program - so if either has flukes or is no good I'll have an alternative. So now my question, which version should I get? EVGA lets you trade up with any card right, or do I need a specific model? Should I spring for one of the AR with lifetime warranty or just get a TR with the 1 year warranty? If I buy a TR will they let me buy a GTX 560 AR with the lifetime warranty?
It should be on their sight, I doubt that it is limited to certain models but do remember a 90 day limit that you have to step up by sending in the card and paying the difference between the card you purchased and the one that you want. be sure to register your card and when the newer GTX560 hits the scene to be one of the first to snatch it up or something bigger The GTX460 over all is a good performer but most people cheat when it comes to settings or their rigs.