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.
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.
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.