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General advice on upgrading a graphics card

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
December 24, 2012 1:24:11 PM

Hello everyone. Let me wish you all a "Merry Christmas" before asking my question.

So it's the 24th, and even though I don't celebrate Christmas very effusively, I am thinking of getting me a present.
I used to play tons of games, the major titles, etc, but for many reasons I've stopped it. I've assembled my machine bottom up and it turned out pretty ok. However, lately, I've noticed I may be a bit outdated and I definetly want to dedicate/waste some of my time to off-line gaming.

So, below are my specs (these are all stock, as it felt to be enough for me for a few years):

Intel i7 950 @ 3.07GHz
12GB DDR3 1600MHz
NVidia GTX 460 (1GB version)
Corsair HX650

So here are my symptons:
I feel like I am forced to run the DirectX9 version of games, instead of the DirectX11 version, otherwise my framerate will drop significantly up to a point where aiming/looking becomes sluggish. I am referring to titles like Far Cry 3, Hitman Absolution, and the likes... I used to be able to reduce/limit shadows and that would give me the "best" experience, but even doing so, doesn't seem enough.

So basically I could use some help in figuring what should I get, considering my specs and the fact that i'd rather have a single card on my PC. I would also like to know from your point of view if the cards being recommended are in fact such a great improvement, or if the gaming industry just went nuts and there's very few cards where you can max settings out (I used to love doing this...).

Well, thank you for reading, I hope to get some good feedback as I usually do from Tom's. Take care and happy holidays :) 

EDIT: I have a 22" monitor which displays a max of a 1680 * 1050 screen resolution, which is the resolution I use for playing all games. As for the budget, I was thinking of going for 200€ (160£) to 250€ (200£) (roughly).
a b U Graphics card
December 24, 2012 1:28:34 PM

Two things, What resolution do you want to play at, and your Max Budget =D

Far Cry kicks everythings butt right now to be honest at Ultra settings, so If you REALLY want that, you'd want something like a 670
December 24, 2012 1:39:22 PM

Hey there simmons, thanks for the quick reply. I have edited the original thread to include resolution and a rough budget.
December 25, 2012 11:21:31 PM

Well, after seeing the 670, I do have to say it's a bit out of my budget. However, I found its predecessor, the GTX 660 (not Ti, whatever that is), and it seems like a card you would compare to the GTX 460. Not for its specs though, but at the time I believe it was in the same price range (around 230€) and it looks like I can count on it for another year and half, maybe two?
What do you guys think?

Here's what I found from the store I usually purchase my parts: