I need to upgrade my video card as I am using a GeForce 8600 GTS. It has been a strong video card but has outlived it's usefulness. I am looking for something $300 or less. I would like to be under $150 but am willing to go as high the $300.
I am not stuck on any brand. I have looked at bench marks and pricing until my eyes have bled. I am confused and need help with the differences between AMD and GeForce cards. Also, which I can get more bang for my buck.
I would like something that I can use for the next couple of years (if possible).
shindigger, since you will be upgrading from a 8600 GTS then I'm assuming you don't buy cards very often so it will be a good idea to buy the fastest card that you can afford. No one knows for sure what the nextgen consoles are going to be but I suspect they are going to have significantly faster graphics and that is going to up the requirements for PC ports. I have a GTX 560 Ti and it has been a good performer for me but if my hunch is right about the nextgen consoles then I will be looking at getting a GTX 670/680.
As you can see, higher costing card will have less performance for price with the exception of GTX 570 and GTX 480 (both of which is faster per dollar than HD 7850). Lastly, you should take power consumption into account as well, if you're that one that pays for electricity.
Considering 6 hours a day use, in an average 30 day month you'd use:
GTX 570 - 35.46 kWh
GTX 480 - 46.26 kWh
HD 7850 - 15.66 kWh
GTX 560 Ti - 26.64 kWh
HD 6870 - 21.42 kWh
Depending on where you live, you can calculate how much per month it would cost you. Personally, paying $0.16 per kWh, it would cost me:
GTX 570 - $5.67
GTX 480 - $7.40
HD 7850 - $2.5
GTX 560 Ti - $4.26
HD 6870 - $3.43
Now it's all your choice, gave you all the info I could .
Is there a true difference between the GeForce and Radeon products? What are the comparable products in the GTX 560 Ti range? In the $300 and under range
Between GeForce and Radeon, the main differences between them are things such as CUDA, 3D Vision, PhysX etc (NVIDIA).
HD3D, Eyefinity (AMD Radeon).
A GTX 560Ti costs around $200-250, and for that range, you could get a HD 7850, which I linked earlier on.
If you take a look at the benchmarks, you can see that the HD 7850 does beat a 560Ti in most of the cases, it consume less power too.