I'm currently shopping around to build a computer from scratch and one of the toughest decisions I am having is deciding on which video card to purchase
APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: 1 week - 3 months (the sooner the better) $200-$400
USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Starcraft2, General (Microsoft office/web browsing)
OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS: I have not fully decided on this yet: (AMD build) AMD Phenom 2 with CPU quad 3.0+ and Asus crosshair 4 motherboard or something of equivalent specs on the intel side if not better - General consensus is the bottleneck of Starcraft 2 is the CPU because it only uses 2 cores.
PARTS PREFERENCES: Preferably very well rated manufacturers
OVERCLOCKING: Maybe: I did some researching on SLI/Crossfire, and it seems like in most situations 1 newer card is equivalent if not better than 2 slightly older cards in performance. On a side note there was mixed responses as to how Starcraft 2 performs with 1 card vs 2 cards in sli/crossfire mode. game play would have a slight increase in fps with 2 cards, however cinematics and other situations would cause a worse drop in fps than 1 card. It seems like video card issues with starcraft 2 has to do with the software itself. It also seems to be a process for drivers/game updates to come around for creating better support if not creating more video card issues with fps, etc.
MONITOR RESOLUTION: preferably 1920x1200 or max resolution for a standard 19inch LCD monitor
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Out of the ATI 5 and 6 series and the NVIDIA 400/500 series I'm mostly looking for a balance between price/performance and which ones have the least overheating issues, + between ATI and NVIDIA who has better driver support (i.e. consistent in the updates, ease of user friendly installation etc.) Mostly it seems the tempature information is not available for the ATI 6/NVIDIA 500 series?
On a side note, from personal experience Starcraft 2 causes some extreme spikes in fps drops and overheating of video cards. lots of people have mentioned there video cards reaching of up to 110 degreees. Hell I am building a new one from scratch because the video card in my old computer died from what i believe to be a result of the game. Basically I'm trying to find the one card that still screams with performance, but won't be as susceptible to to this issue as other cards may be. I believe crossfire/SLI usually has a higher tempature measurement to in some cases?
$1000-$1500 - i'm not looking for the very best of any component, just a well balanced system between the RAM, motherboard, cpu and graphics card. cooling would come 2nd. the case/hard drive not so much of a concern, and a power supply that can handle the hardware
With a total build price of 1500 you have PLENTY of room for SB and a nice 560. In the post before this you commented asking if Amd cards play better on Amd processors and the answer is NO. Everything plays better on Sandy Bridge. The X4 is alittle slower then a Core 2 Quad Q9550 and that's 3 generations back.
Nope. I don't play SC2!! I play games like Bad company 2, Dirt 2, black ops, so on... (mostly shooters)... And I meant AMD X6 CPU s not X4!!
any opinions as to what video card for sc2? someone else posted in a thread i had made similar to this original topic (i thought the thread didn't create lol) with a chart about fps performance, but that was version 1.0 of sc2 - Hard to find updated information about these kind of things
Hey thanks for all your help, i guess the more important question would be, what should i be looking for in a motherboard other than it supports the i5 sandy bridge. I guess outside the obvious of pci slots