Back in the game after 2 years....

Hey guys,

I'm a little rusty and out of date on my components as I've been out of the PC world for a couple of years now. I want to get back in but really don't know where to start in terms of GPUs and what's been going down so I'd really appreciate someone filling me in on where the industry is and what's good and bad. I've looked at a crap load of charts but really just a lowdown would be great to put me in the picture as I can't follow all the models, I don't remember there being so many derivatives before.

The last system I built was Core 2 with 2 x GeForce 8800GT in SLi. Played most games nicely at 1680x1050

Basically I want to build a new system for Big Picture which I can play new stuff like Skyrim on high settings at 1920x1080 as cheaply as possible. The main concern is GPU, so what would people recommend / what are the main players in the mid range budget category? Crysis 2 of course is a nice to have but it doesn't need to blow it out of the water.

Sorry it's asking a question which in theory I can google, but trying there's just way too much to get my head round!

Thanks guys.
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  1. In case you missed it, here's another chart to look at. A Hierarchy chart of gaming graphic cards.,3107-7.html

    At 1920x1080, I would look at any card in the GTX 560/HD 6870 tier on up. An HD 7850 would be a great card assuming you have a good processor to keep up with it. And go for 2GB VRAM instead of 1GB.
  2. For Skyrim, an i5 is ideal, but an i3 will still do the trick. Lots of VRAM helps for the high-res texture pack. I would suggest a 7850 or even a 7870 if you can afford it. If you want something less expensive, I guess you could settle for a 7770 but you would have to play on lower detail.

    Next, choose a solid Z77 motherboard like the Extreme4, 8 GB of RAM, a decent case, a nice 600-750 watt PSU (depending on if you want to crossfire) and a hard drive.

    Lastly, I would include an SSD if you like Skyrim. They help decrease load times and speed up boot speed, making your computer feel incredibly fast.

    Good Luck!
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