APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: ASAP BUDGET RANGE: (e.g.: USD $150-250) Before / After Rebates
USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming (90% WoW and Starcraft II), Home theater
CURRENT GPU AND POWER SUPPLY: Integrated (I believe it's HD4250); power supply is a Corsair 750 HX (modular)
OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS: Phenom II 955, ASUS M489GTD PRO/USB3, 8 GB GSkill DDR3, Storm Sniper case
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg or Amazon
PARTS PREFERENCES: Leaning towards ATI
OVERCLOCKING: No SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Probably will, but not now
MONITOR RESOLUTION: I ideally want to run a dual monitor setup (one is 1920x1080, the other is 1650x1050 or something like that)
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Looking for the most bang for my buck, as well as a card that could be Crossfired/SLI down the road to increase performance.
I just purchased an ASUS 23" monitor, resolution 1920x1080, LED backlit, etc. I haven't had a new monitor in a while, so I am pretty excited. I upgraded from a 22" Dell, which has a resolution of around 1650x1050 (pretty I screwed one of those numbers up, but that is close enough). I was running integrated graphics up to this point, mostly because I was waiting for the right time to purchase a graphics card. Upon trying to play WoW on my new monitor, I was struck by the realization that THIS is the proper time, as it was lagging a bit trying to keep up with refreshing all those new pixels.
My question to you is: Which card should I buy? I'm leaning towards ATI, but I'm not opposed to Nvidia if the value is there. I want to spend between $150 - 250. These are what I've found so far:
I know the 5850 is last gen, but I also know that $150 for it is probably still an excellent deal. I've also heard the 6850's are excellent in Crossfire, which is what I intend to do at some point regardless of which card I buy. The 6870's have come down a lot in price, so I also considered those. Also, the 6950 has caught my attention. I do not necessarily care which brand of card it is.
with the quality comes the price. 6950 is 290ish 560 is 250ish and 6870 is 190ish. All will handle WoW and SCII just fine and all are great for SLI/CF. All will handle your monitors/resolutions. If you are looking to save then yes a 5850 is great for you and is also great in CF and for only 150 dollars is a nice buy.
Helltech/crewton: Thanks for the replies. I checked out those benchmarks, and from what I'm seeing it's pretty neck and neck. The 6850 is still pretty enticing, because the performance is good, and they look like they crossfire like crazy. The 560ti looks enticing, but it's at the top of my budget, and I'm starting to doubt whether I need a top of the line card to get what I need out of my rig. Thanks for the help guys!