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Upgrading a 5770. $500 budget, want to max out games...

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 28, 2011 2:06:21 AM

I've been researching for about 2 months for a new GPU and I am at a loss for what to do, so I'm seeking out the help of this awesome community. For starters, here are my current specs:

Intel Core i5-2500k (OC to 4.4GHz)
ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 Mobo
Rosewill 650W PSU (single 12v rail)
Radeon HD 5770
2x 1TB Samsung Spinpoint F3 in RAID 0
8GB 1600MHz DDR3 RAM

My new GPU (or perhaps multi) budget is preferably $400-500, but I'm a little flexible if the choice is the right one. My choices are pretty much these:

NVidia: GTX 560 Ti (x2), 560 Ti 448 Cores (x2?), 570, 580
AMD: Radeon HD 6970, 6950 (x2)

Basically, I want to be able to play any current title (Metro 2033, Skyrim, Crysis 2, etc) on max or at least the highest details with slight AF/AA, but the AF/AA is not very important to me. 4X usually looks great IMO. My concerns are massive, and are what's inspiring this post, so here are my concerns and the questions regarding them:

1. Is my PSU going to be able to handle all of these configurations?
2. Microstutter. How big of a deal is it, and is it worth buying a 580 over two 560 Ti's for $100 more even though the 580 is outperformed?
3. My mobo only has 2 slots, otherwise a 3-way SLI/CF would be considered to rid of microstutter. Am I pretty much screwed?
4. Would it be worth it to wait until the new series of cards is released? I'd like to buy within a month or two, but haven't found much info as to when the new cards will be out.
5. I'd like to "future-proof" this as much as possible, so while a GTX 580 recommendation is expected from someone, paying another $500 for a second one in the future makes it less attractive.
6. VRAM, I've heard everything from "you need as much as possible" to "most games don't even utilize over 1GB". What's the truth, and does more help?

As of a couple weeks ago, I was certain I would get 2x 560 Ti's in SLI, but after more research, have been disappointed with the microstutter chatter online, and I'm lost. Please help!
a b U Graphics card
December 28, 2011 2:14:23 AM

Your PSU is not recommended for best results with Crossfire or SLI
I will imagine this will cost more to upgrade in the future.
for a single card I will have to recommend the 6970 price vs performance for single card setups.
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December 28, 2011 2:17:05 AM

If the PSU is holding me back, and an SLI/CF setup for ~$400 will get me going better than a single card setup, I'd be willing to get a new PSU.
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a b U Graphics card
December 28, 2011 2:27:22 AM

Sli or CF of 200 dollar cards may offer issues with microstuttering and may not. A pair of gtx560's would still beat the performance of a 580 as would the 6870's
but apparently there is an issue despite not having seen it in person. I have seen the video's and it looks very annoying. As I mentioned the 6970 is a good player and the price will come down more with the release of the 79xx or 78xx whichever comes first. BUT....ultra everything is pretty much out until you get to the 6950 or 560ti CF/SLI
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a b U Graphics card
December 28, 2011 2:25:49 PM

seriously....id wait...were only talk'n two weeks for a single card setup better than a 580 and uses less power...

and then "ultra everything" is no longer a pipedream
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December 28, 2011 2:38:22 PM

Agree with Taylor & Spent. Get a new PSU and hang tight for the 7k series. Even if you stick with a 6k series or go NVidia, pricing will get better soon. Happens every time.

By the way, no microstuttering issues here. :) 
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December 28, 2011 5:10:56 PM

Man, you guys are giving me something to think about.

I wish Nvidia was coming out with their stuff at the same time so I have some comparisons to go by.
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