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Deciding on a video card is tough, $300 budget

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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February 28, 2012 3:46:45 AM

Hello all,

I've been struggling to figure out which video card to purchase for my current system, there's simply way too many considerations to make and I have zero experience in the field so I might as well ask the experts here!
I'll try to provide all the pertinent details, if there's anything I am missing let me know!

Video Card Intentions:

I use my computer for work more than gaming but I would like to have the capability of playing anything out there.
Games for consideration: Diablo 3(if it ever comes out), Starcraft 2, Battlefield 3, Skyrim, Far Cry 3 (I'd like to future proof). To put my gaming frequency into perspective I'd likely play no more than 2-3 times a week at about an hour each time.

Computer Specifics:
i7-2600K @ 3.4 GHz
8Gb Ram (RipJaws)
Asus P8Z68-V Pro, Link: http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/Intel_Socket_1155/P8Z6...
OCZ Z-Series Gold 850 W
Windows 7 64 Bit
Intel 128G SSD, Western Digital 2 TB
2 Monitors: 1920x1200 & 1680x1050

When I'm gaming I'd just run one monitor however when I'm working I need both.

Notes:

So I'd like to spend no more than $300 after rebates, discounts, etc.
I spend about 5-6 hours on the computer for work daily so the idle temperature and noise would ideally be very low, but I have a Fractal case (very good for noise) and a positive air flow set up (good for temperature) so I do have a bit of flexibility for that.

I'd love to minimize the sound and temperature of the unit, from what I've read ATI/AMD is doing better in this field than Nvidia.
I have no intention on using multiple monitors for gaming, it would be nice to be playing on one and be able to keep a browser open in the other, but I'm unsure if this exists.

My current considerations:

Radeaon HD 6950, 2Gig: http://ncix.com/products/?sku=64181&vpn=R6950%20Twin%20...
GTX 560Ti 448 : http://ncix.com/products/?sku=65880&vpn=N560GTX-Ti%2044...
GTX 570: http://ncix.com/products/?sku=67660&vpn=57NKH3HS4GXK&ma...

Let me know what you all think, I'm leaning toward an ATI/AMD card simply due to the customer feedback I've read from review sites and store websites like in the links I've provided. Overall, from what I've read, AMD cards consume less energy, they are more quiet and cooler while meeting or exceeding similar Nvidia cards.

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated, thank you !
a b U Graphics card
February 28, 2012 4:00:22 AM

GTX 570
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February 28, 2012 4:08:37 AM

I have to agree, go with the 570. I'm sure there is an equivalent AMD card but I have always been a Nvidia fan as there drivers have always been more solid (at least for me so please keep the AMD rage to a minimum)
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February 28, 2012 4:11:18 AM

If you don't mind waiting until April, you could get a GTX 660 which will have similar performance to a GTX 580, cost the same as a GTX 570, run cooler and use less power.
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February 28, 2012 1:42:33 PM

Thanks everyone, so the GTX seems to be the way to go. Now if I go that route is there any brands I should avoid?

@pckitty4427, your suggestion would definitely work for me, is it simply a safer bet to wait at this point?

Again, thanks everyone for their input!
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February 28, 2012 5:45:01 PM

FlyJ17 said:


@pckitty4427, your suggestion would definitely work for me, is it simply a safer bet to wait at this point?



If you don't need it right now for anything in particular I think it's a very safe bet. In fact I'm waiting also. Even if you decide you don't want a GTX6xx or an HD78xx, the prices on current cards should drop as retailers will try and get rid of older stock.

I'm using an HD5770 in the meantime which I just have to lower settings for, but things are at least playable.


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February 28, 2012 6:00:40 PM

FlyJ17 said:
Thanks everyone, so the GTX seems to be the way to go. Now if I go that route is there any brands I should avoid?

@pckitty4427, your suggestion would definitely work for me, is it simply a safer bet to wait at this point?

Again, thanks everyone for their input!

if you can wait, you should definitely wait. if not...you could get a GTX 560 Ti 448 ( http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite... )

happy shopping! :) 
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