I need help finding a good GPU to upgrade my build.
Approximate Purchase Date: Any. I don't have a purchase deadline but the sooner the better.
Budget Range: Around 300~400
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Internet, Music, Word Processing, Programming, Live Streaming, Digital Art.
Are you buying a monitor: No
Parts to Upgrade: GPU and possibly case.
Do you need to buy OS: No
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Any reputable retailer is fine. I have had good experiences with Newegg, Amazon, and TigerDirect. But don't mind going to others as well.
Parts Preferences: None. I'm a long time AMD user and I've gone through multiple AMD cards over the years. I have definitely enjoyed them, but I have no loyalties to either brand and would not mind making the jump to Nvidia if there's a good deal.
Overclocking: Maybe in the future. No real interest though.
SLI or Crossfire: None
Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080 main + a 1280x1024 side monitor. Second monitor may be upgraded to a 1920x1080 in the future but is plenty for now.
And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: I've RMA'd my current GPU 3 times over the past 2 or 3 years. While XFX has given me solid and prompt customer support with free exchanges and such through their lifetime warranty, there's just something going on with their cards. I had to exchange my old HD 5770 three times and they finally just gave me an HD 6770. The card has been working fine but knowing my history, and how it's basically a beefed up version of a 5770, I'd like to cut my losses with constant shipping and just move up and leave it as a backup card.
As for the case; I have an old brandless case that's easily over 6 years old by now. It's a windowed case and has a big clear plastic on one side with some fans. It looked really nice back then but it started to crack some time ago and now it's just a mess. The power button also got jammed and I had to take apart the power switch assembly to where it's just a little knob that I click to power up the tower. LEDs that relay power and HDD info are also hanging out due to the power assembly switch being taken apart. So yeah, I figured I could hold onto it for a while longer. It gets the job done, but if I can exchange it for something nice then I'd definitely be up for it.
So yeah, any advice you guys can give me would be greatly appreciated. I haven't looked into anything relating to GPUs in a long time and am completely lost with what's currently out there. I just want something that I can use to enjoy Guild Wars 2, Arma 2, Borderlands 2, and Torchlight 2 (so many twos...). Possibly Battlefield 3 and Mass Effect 3 whenever I can pick those up. I'd like to be able to play newer games in relatively high if not max settings and just enjoy some seamless, awesome, well designed gameplay with solid FPS. Being able to live stream these games with out taking too big of a hit would also be great.
Also, if there's any more info I should provide then please let me know. I'll be keeping an eye on the thread and will promptly provide whatever info is needed.
Thank you for your time and I'm sorry for the long thread.
The reviews look good and the warranty is 2~3 years so it seems ok. I've never bought an MSI card so I'm not familiar with their track record or any experiences to go off of. Anything I should be aware of with this company?
Recent cards from MSI all seem to perform quite well, and they are getting a rep for good stuff. Evga have a good rep for support, but their stuff isn't always "up there", in terms of performance. Still decent though.
In terms of value for money, I don't think there's a huge difference between 660,660Ti, and 670. Of course, performance itself goes 670>660Ti>660.
The 7950 sounds more appealing now but I'd like to really review my options before taking such a plunge. Trying to find something that would last me a good number of years before I have to upgrade again.
It's not a simple comparason. If you compare them, across a range of game benchmarks, you'll find, on average, the Radeons come out slightly ahead. If you look closer, at individual games, you'll find that, whilst Radeon has a small lead, in a lot of games, nVidia has a large lead in a few games. If those "few games" happen to be your favourite games, nVidia is the better choice. If you want "all games", then Radeon is probably the better option.