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Seeking advice for next graphic card config

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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September 21, 2012 2:47:12 PM

So let me preface this by saying I only look into hardware about once every four years when I'm upgrading or buying a computer, so please forgive me for any ignorance I expose inadvertently. :-)

Anyway, I'm now in that position of getting my next computer, and I have a question I'd love some advice about. About a year ago my power supply blew and took my GPU with it, and I ended up getting a 560 GTX Ti 1GB at that time. (I forget the brand offhand, PNY maybe?) So for my next computer I'm wondering if I get more bang for my buck by getting a second one and going SLI or if it'd be better to spend what appears to be $80-100 more for something like a GTX 660 Ti 3GB. I've never run SLI before so I don't know how that would compare to a single newer card. Thoughts? More details below.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Ideally the next couple of weeks

BUDGET RANGE: 200-300ish

USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Primarily for gaming (all genres of games). Beyond that relatively run of the mill tasks like web surfing and word processing.

CURRENT GPU AND POWER SUPPLY: See above for current GPU. I'll get whatever power supply is needed for the next GPU configuration.

OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS: For CPU, leaning towards Intel i7-3820, though maybe just something like an i5-3570K. Not sure about motherboard, though of course I'll ensure it's compatible with whatever config I want. I plan for 16G DDR3 RAM.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: I'm not particularly picky. Whatever appears the best price on something like a google shopping search with reasonable reviews for reliability.

PARTS PREFERENCES: I've always preferred nvidia for reasons I can't quite verbalize and probably aren't rational, but there you go.

OVERCLOCKING: Probably not.

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe, depending on what you recommend!

MONITOR RESOLUTION: Still deciding as it's time to upgrade my 7 year old monitor. Leaning towards a 1920x1080 option.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Thanks so much for any help!!
a b U Graphics card
September 21, 2012 3:04:13 PM

Since you don't upgrade often the 1GB memory on the 560 ti could be an issue in two years. The 560 ti's in SLI are about on par with a GTX 680 so performance in some games will be better going SLI 560's. The 560 TI's will generate more heat and use much more power. In your price range and your affinity for Nivida i think your thought processes is good just have to decide what is more important with the trade offs.
a c 165 U Graphics card
September 21, 2012 3:08:09 PM

First, read the SLI FAQ and get yourself aquainted with how it works and if you can live with its shortcomings.
Unless you're using a lot of multi-threaded software that takes advantage of the i7s' capabilities, you're better off with an i5.
That's a lot of RAM! Again, unless you're doing tasks that need that much memory, I'd install 8Gb and put the cash elsewhere.
The above are just opinions, feel free to ignore them, I will not feel offended ;) .

At that sort of resolution, either SLI the current card or go for something like the 670, it'll be a shame to put in a 'weak' 660Ti into a new build only to find it's struggling a year down the road.
!