Hey Guys, I'm building a portable gaming pc (for LANs and stuff), will probably end up going for mATX so SLI or Crossfire is out of the equation. Just want to know what the best option would be a single graphics card that will not be overclocked, keeping it in the $300 price bracket. I was thinking Radeon HD 6950 2Gb.
I would highly recommend the gtx 570. Im running one in my build and am super happy with it. Given i got a brand new one for $250 off of craigslist but still if you can get one for around 300 id say its a great deal.
If he is not going to overclock them himself, I would recommend him stay away from the factory overclocked cards as well as they are not as reliable, draw slightly more power, and run hotter than the stock variants.
There have been a small number of times when I bought the factory OC version and DID NOT overclock it at all, and the thing blue screened or showed artifacts. This tells me that the technicians at these companies are stress testing the cards, but not controlling the temperatures when they do it; so they sometimes send out damaged cards. (However, this was only experience with two specific brands).
However, when I have purchased stock cards and overclocked them to OC specifications and then stressed tested them myself they have always worked perfectly. So I avoid the factory OC cards. I repeat I have had factory overclocked cards die early or show artifacting right out of the box, but cards running at stock speeds which I have carefully overclocked to OC specifications have never had problems.
I've just made it a rule to stay away from factory OC cards, unless they just happen to be the only ones the manufacturer is offering at the time.