As eluded to in the title I'm building a machine with a budget of $2000, I've been able to nail down my general build using other posts in the forums. The only real question is, what is the best option for a gaming machine when it comes to the GPU? More specifically, I'm seeing people suggest the GTX 580 as well as 6950 crossfire, I'm having a hard time figuring out what the benefit from one to the other is. I'm willing to use $500-700 of my budget just for the GPU so any advice is welcome. I play all types of games, shooters(C.O.D titles, Battlefield 3, Crysis 2, Metro 2033), mmo's etc....
Thanks WR2 I really value your advice, this web site is full of great information and an extremely helpful community! I looked at the links you provided (I'm not sure how I missed them in the first place) and they led me to one other question, what about the Radeon HD 6990? I know its in the $700 realm but is that considered (by most here) an unreasonable value versus the alternatives? Additionally, what if I were to consider the 6990 with possible crossfire a year or two from now? I'm guessing I would need a beast PSU and I'm not even sure what MOBO (sandybridge setup) I would/should consider. I know this is a whole new can of worms but with all the knowledge here I figured this would be the place to come ask. For the record I'm not trying to spend as much as I possibly can on a GPU but I plan on this machine lasting me a while with a few upgrades along the way.
Both the HD 6990 $700 & 12.5" and GTX 590 $700 & 11.5" are CFX/SLI 'on a stick'. Two GPUs on one card.
IMO they're more for 'bragging rights' than anything else.
Now if you have a 30" 2560x1600 monitor or a dual/triple monitor (Eyefinity / Surround) with 5760x1080 virtual resolution then you want to consider something like that. But I still think dual GTX 570/580s or dual HD 6950/6970s end up being a better option.
Great that is the type of information I was hoping to hear. So it looks like the 6950's will be my cards. Now, I'll have to find a step by step guide to flash the firmware on the cards to bump them to 6970's, I saw there was an overview on the link in WR2's first post, any more in-depth guides anyone here knows of? Thanks again!
Another question I've come across since deciding on my GPU's is, are the crossfire 6950's (flashed to 6970) overkill on any single monitor under 2560x1440? If so I may just build a machine with a single GTX 580 with the power/room to SLi at a later date. I'm getting mixed feedback from other posts so I figured I'd ask the question directly. I'm concerned that I'm going to be going over board on my GPU for no benefit. I'm planning on buying a new monitor and maybe running my current older monitor (1680x1050 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ) as my second screen for music, ventrilo, etc... and maybe going with a 2650x1440 27" for my main screen. Advice?