I am currently wondering what course of action I should take with regards to video cards. I had purchased the 9800GTX+ with the intention of being able to get more as games got better and just using SLI. But, I'm not sure if this is best approach considering the improvements in GPU tech or if it is even feasible now.
What I wanted and still want is a relatively future proof system. And for the most part I believe I have that. Though, I am now reconsidering my approach on video cards.
Would getting a third card be better than getting a completely new card (and replacing the old ones)? Is SLI a smart option? Which approach offers the most bang for the buck? If I do get a new card, should I still plan on using SLI?
My aim here is future proof(ish) and cost-effective. And though I haven't listed price here, I do want to keep costs relatively low (so no $500 cards...unless they have become incredibly cost-effective).
Right now, the 7850 is probably the best card to get. That or the 560 Ti 448. But in the end, any of those will perform great. I do not advise triple SLI with your 9800GTX+ as scaling is reduced when you have more cards unless you run super high res (2560x1600 or triple monitor).
EDIT: Forgot to ask, what kind of performance are you getting right now?
Yeah, surprisingly that system is quite valid today, tomorrow, and next year. When the nVidia 600 series and Intel Ivy Bridge CPUs drop in price at the end of this year or next year I would re-evaluate making a new purchase then. Heck, I still game on a Q6600, 8GB DDR2, and a 9800GTX+ non-SLI and it runs Skyrim on High and SWTOR without dropping under 30fps. It doesn't destroy all but then again, neither does waiting to purchase something worthwhile.
personally i would go for 1 more powerful dx11 gpu, i got rid of my dual 4850 setup and replaced with a single 6950. much happier now dont have to worry about drivers, noise, heat, and it is alot more consistent
Well, based on the response I am getting here, it sounds like I should wait a year or so before thinking about upgrading my video card. Is there a free program that is available that can diagnose performance of a system? What I really want is to make sure I don't have a messed up setting that is hindering my system from reaching its peak performance. Are there (preferably free) programs that help in this aspect?
However, I will try a few things to see if there is a driver or other issue as to why Skyrim isn't working on Ultra with my video cards. Thank you all for the feedback and I will post here again with any more info.