APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Next week BUDGET RANGE: 300€ up to 320€
USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming (BF3, Arma II, Dirt3 and such )
CURRENT GPU AND POWER SUPPLY: GT330 (OEM) and a cheap PSU ( Need a new one to )
OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS: i5 650 , 6Gb 1333Mhz (Upgrading my CPU,RAM and Mobo around Christmas time )
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: amazon.co.uk , globaldata.pt COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Portugal
PARTS PREFERENCES: ---
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No , but i'll be in the future , so the PSU must work with 2 cards
MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I was thinking about a Sapphire 7850 and a Corsair TX650 v2 , costing me 328,60 € . Or the MSI 560ti and a PSU for a single card , for a cheaper alternative , since the cheaper the best. That would be around 270€.
The psu you need will be determined by the graphics configuration. In simple terms, a graphics card with two 6 pin pci-e connectors will need about a 500w psu. If you add a second such card, you will need 150-200w more.
If you will be using only a single monitor, I suggest it would be better to plan on just one good card.
Here is my thinking:
a) How good do you really need to be?
A single GTX560 or 6870 can give you great performance at 1920 x 1200 in most games.
A single GTX560ti or 6950 will give you excellent performance at 1920 x 1200 in most games.
Even 2560 x 1600 will be good with lowered detail.
A single 7970 or GTX680 is about as good as it gets.
Only if you are looking at triple monitor gaming, then sli/cf will be needed.
Even that is now changing with triple monitor support on top end cards.
b) The costs for a single card are lower.
You require a less expensive motherboard; no need for sli/cf or multiple pci-e slots.
Even a ITX motherboard will do.
Your psu costs are less.
A GTX560ti needs a 450w psu, even a GTX580 only needs a 600w psu.
When you add another card to the mix, plan on adding 150-200w to your psu requirements.
A single more modern 28nm card like a 7970 or GTX680 needs only 550W.
Even the strongest GTX690 only needs 650w.
Case cooling becomes more of an issue with dual cards.
That means a more expensive case with more and stronger fans.
You will also look at more noise.
d) dual card support is dependent on the driver. Not all games can benefit from dual cards.
e) cf/sli up front reduces your option to get another card for an upgrade. Not that I suggest you plan for that.
It will often be the case that replacing your current card with a newer gen card will offer a better upgrade path.