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Another "which card" question

I just built my first system. Loving every second of this. I'm at the point now where I absolutely must move beyond the Intel HD 4000 integrated graphics from my i5-3570k cpu. I've read pretty much every review of every graphics card out there it seems, but I'm still a little lost as to how to proceed. Looking to do with within the next 2 weeks or so.

Here's is what I need it for:
Photoshop acceleration (just about everything is compatible)
Dual monitors, both running 1920 x 1080.
Some gaming. Mostly I'm into RTS, though I wouldn't be adverse to getting into some FPS. But I'm not a hardcore gamer, nor would my card have to be really high-end.

With that said:
Where do I find the balance? I have a a PCI Express 3.0 slot in my motherboard. Should I get a less powerful card that uses that, or get something that uses PCI-E 2, but has 2Gb instead of 1Gb? Same with 128-bit vs. 256-bit.

Cards that have all 3 are $200+ which is out of my budget. I'm trying to keep this under $150.

Perfect example:
EVGA 02G-P4-2651-KR GeForce GTX 650 2GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130830

Would I notice the 128-bit vs 192-bit or 256-bit?

Or should I go with something like this:
EVGA 02G-P3-1559-KR GeForce GTX 550 Ti (Fermi) 2GB 192-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130652

I'm not hung up on EVGA. Just happened to find 2 decent examples.

I could also get a second eventually and SLI them. BUT, if I did that I'd have to do a PCI-E 2.0 because my MOBO only has 1 PCI-E 3.0 slot. I also do prefer NVIDIA over AMD. Then there is the question of how hot the card is. I have good cooling, but I'd prefer something more efficient and cooler.

Needless to say, I not sure how to proceed. I could really use some assistance.

Here are my specs:

Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116504

ASRock Z77 Pro4 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157296

Rosewill CAPSTONE Series CAPSTONE-550-M 550W ATX12V v2.31
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817182262

G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231486
8 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about another which card question
  1. Check out Tom's guide to which graphics card to buy for the money.

    In general, the amount of RAM a card has is less important than it's clock speed. If you play at higher resolutions then RAM becomes more important.
  2. The Radeon 7770 is a good card. I helped a friend build a system with a 7770 about a month ago and it runs games alright.

    He is not a hardcore gamer at all. Maybe playing some warz and counter strike.
  3. So it doesn't matter whether is is a PCI-E 3.0 or 2.0 or 128-bit or higher?
  4. PCI-E 3.0 is backwards compatible with PCI-E 2.0. You will be fine :)

    The 7770 should work good.
  5. You want a graphics card for
    - Photoshop
    - RTS and some FPS but ur not hardcore


    I'd say go with the 650 or a 660 if ur budget allows it :sol:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130826&name=Desktop-Graphics-Cards

    its worth getting and plus u have a 2x 1080p monitors

    if u plan on gaming with two monitors then u can but not hardcore games < 660

    if u plan on gaming with one monitor < 650

    if u plan on semi-hardcore games with one monitor < 660

    Just listing Options :kaola:
  6. Best answer
    You've got the rest of a 3rd Gen system (Z77 and i5 3570K cpu), so it makes sense to follow through with a PCIe 3.0 card, as your system will then use both the new video card and the integrated graphics controller automatically.

    Any GTX 600 series or Radeon HD 7000 series card supports PCIE 3.0, so I suggest one of those. Even a new GTX 650 is quite inexpensive.

    When you get the card installed, activate VirtuLogic to share your graphics resources and you'll be good to go.

    It's a great setup, and EVGA is one of the industry's best card manufacturers.
  7. Best answer selected by Norm101.
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