I might have an overwhelming amount of questions as this goes on. I was wondering if someone could help me decide on a graphics card (nvidia preferred). I'm new to building, but this is the hardware I was going for:
CPU: Core i5 3570K
Motherboard: Gigabyte Z77-UP4 TH
Memory: Corsair XMS DDR3 1600 8GB
Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-222BB DVD
Power Supply: Cooler Master eXtreme Power Plus 550w Power Supply (RS550-PCARE3-US)
I want the option to upgrade to two graphics cards eventually and I want to use dual monitors. I am also an avid gamer, and I want my games to run smoothly. What would be a good graphics card to use if I wanted to start off with one, and buy a second one later on? Or would it be better just to get one high end graphics card?
If you want to crossfire/sli, ideally you want to buy a strong one, and then a few years later, get a second one for dirt cheap. A single card will almost always be better than crossfire/sli for the price and you have to deal with less issues. You may also need to up your PSU to 700W for two graphics cards, give or take 50W depending on what card you get.
What is your budget currently? If you want to have all your games run smoothly at higher settings, I would recommend the 660 ti. You can max out a lot of games with it, and for others you only need to turn down AA and AF a bit. It should be under $300 right now.
+1 to a single GPU, and GTX660 Ti (the non-Ti aswell actually) will max anything at 1080p and antialiasing, except Far Cry 3. For that, you'd want to be looking at a GTX670. Sumukh is right about the monitors - if you used two then you'd have a huge bezel bar down the middle of your game, right where the crosshair is!
MSI's GTX 670 Power Edition uses the famous Twin Frozr IV cooler from the MSI Lightning and comes with a large clock speed boost out of the box, making its default clock speed even higher than GTX 680 stock clocks. MSI is asking a $30 price premium for their card, which doesn't look unreasonable, given the improved cooling and higher clocks.When you consider the current rebate i think it's the best buy right now. I have this card here it is in action http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BnLUJxCBZUg&feature=plcp Crysis 2 Campaign MSI GTX 670 OC Test http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AiE_4cz0aDo&feature=plcp Battlefield 3 PC Operation Swordfish Campaign Combat GTX 670
Based off Nvidia’s new Kepler design, the GTX 660 Ti provides top notch performance with extremely high efficiency, so you’re guaranteed to be getting a ton of performance without a lot of energy or creating a lot of heat either. With MSI’s Power Edition GTX 660 Ti, you’re also getting MSI’s legendary Twin Frozr IV cooler, which will provide excellent cooling along with MSI’s triple overvoltage design that allows you to do a little overclocking to improve performance if you’re feeling adventurous.
So for any of the cards you guys are suggesting, I would either want three monitors or one?
One 1080P you could run three but not maxed out look at the links i posted.To get a general idea.BTW your power supply is on the worst of the worst list it's not known to be reliable http://www.eggxpert.com/forums/thread/323050.aspx Here quote of some professional review Conclusions
Although some can see Cooler Master eXtreme Power Plus 550 W as an option if you are not going to pull 550 W from it, we can't recommend this unit, as it burns if you try to pull its rated wattage. Its main technical problem is efficiency, between 73.2% and 77.5%, which would prevent us from recommending this unit even if it could deliver its labeled power.
But there is another problem: pricing. Costing USD 65 it is simply too expensive for what it is. For the same price you can buy an OCZ StealthXStream 500 W, which provides higher efficiency.
I don't know if this sounds weird or not, but I really just want to game on one screen (three would be awesome, though). However, I still want three monitors even if I am only gaming on one screen. lol