I can spend up to ~$450 on one card and I prefer it to be available on Amazon, as they are the only one I can find that can ship to a P.O. Box without hassle. I would be willing to spend $500 on a card IF it is worth the money and it better be a GREAT enhancement in performance. Anything I do get must be over 2GB unless you can find a good reason for it not to be over.
I have to be able to MAX GTA IV and use Icenhancer while maintaining 35-45 FPS even in high speeds or fighting. I don't want the trouble of using the commandline, but if I have to so I can get the better card, so be it.
It must max AC3, I don't care about how the AA looks, as long as it's playable.
Red Orchestra 2 with full forced AA and a good playable FPS rate.
Any NFS game with AA and a good playable FPS rate.
Skyrim with graphics mods that push over 2GB and still have a good playable FPS rate.
Anything else would be an extra, as I don't normally play first person shooters or other RPGs than Skyrim.
I would most prefer that it be from EVGA because I've had great experiences with the customer support and their products, but ASUS would be fine as well. If I use an AMD card, then I would prefer it be from MSI or Sapphire because of their good support. It doesn't matter if it's factory OC'd or not because I'm most likely going to OC it some myself, but within reason. I was really looking at the MSI Lightning series and the EVGA FTW series, but GHz would be good, as well.
CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($229.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($129.99 @ Microcenter)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($49.98 @ Outlet PC)
Storage: Crucial M4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($107.95 @ Mac Connection)
Storage: Toshiba 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($89.99 @ Microcenter)
Case: Cooler Master Storm Trooper ATX Full Tower Case ($144.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Raidmax 730W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($67.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224BB/RSBS DVD/CD Writer ($20.99 @ Amazon)
Other: TP-LINK TL-WN722N Wireless N150 High Gain USB Adapter, 150Mbps, w/4 dBi High Gain Detachable Antenna, IEEE 802.11b/g/n, WEP, WPA/WPA2 ($17.93)
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-02-02 21:09 EST-0500)
I would also like a change on that Motherboard because I've read bad reviews about them. Please also keep in mind that I've bought the CPU cooler, so don't have a freak out because you think that I'm not buying one.
I would get a gtx 670 as it is almost as good as a gtx680 and can match it when it is overclocked. Its a 2GB card and its a beast, but if you insist on having more than 2gb, you could go for one of the 4gb versions such as the Evga one, or even better the Gigabyte windforce x3 4gb. The Gigabyte card has a custom cooler, and a custom board, its a really nice card. I have the 2gb version of the gtx670 windforce and I would recommend it. Another option would be getting an Amd hd7970, as it is powerful, and if you plan on overclocking its an excellent choice as it overclocks really well. It also comes with 3gb of ddr5. If you do get a hd7970 I would get a non reference model.
Also if you haven't already ordered that pc yet I would suggest that you swap out the power supply for something better.
Like most tech products, graphics cards are segmented by price. Expensive cards tend to be more capable; and less expensive ones usually offer lower performance, consume less power, and are smaller in size (and so fit into a greater range of PC cases).
$400 and Up
The highest-priced cards deliver the strongest graphics performance, but they're also more power hungry. Both Nvidia and AMD have released a new generation of GPUs that are more power-efficient than their predecessors, but you'll still want a good 600-watt power supply to run these types of cards. At the extreme high end are dual-GPU cards, such as Nvidia's GTX 690. You can expect to spend close to $1000 for one of these.
One Nvidia GeForce GTX 680 or AMD Radeon HD 7970GHZ should be able to run most games at high frame rates on 1080p monitors with settings at very high. Some games may show frame rate stuttering at ultra detail levels, so you'll need to test each game. If you have a high-end, 30-inch display running at 2560 by 1600, you'll need to manage your detail settings more carefully, unless you have a dual-GPU card, like the GTX 690, or are willing to install two discrete graphics cards.
$300 to $350
Cards in this category include the Nvidia GeForce GTX 670 and the AMD Radeon HD 7950. They offer performance that is nearly as good as that of the high-end models, but at a more modest price. If you stick with a 1080p or 1920 by 1200 display with one of these cards, you should be in good shape.
$200 to $300
At this level you may have to start making some sacrifices in detail settings. For GPUs such as the AMD Radeon HD 7870, that means running at "high" rather than at "very high" detail level, and it almost certainly means disabling antialiasing.
$100 to $200
Cards in this price range will run most games at modest detail levels, though in some cases you may have to dial back resolution as well. For example, if you have a Full HD monitor, you may want to fall back to 1680-by-1050-pixel or even 1440-by-900-pixel resolution to achieve playable frame rates.
These low-end cards are fine for most mainstream, GPU-accelerated applications, but their utility in gaming is pretty limited. For many current-generation PC games, you'll need to dial back detail levels to their lowest settings to get good frame rates. I would be all over that Asus TOP for its high factory overclock, cool temps, and really, really quiet fans,heavily modified PCB, with an efficient VRM design to produce low temperatures, improved voltage regulation circuitry, much better Chil controller , specially binned chip and voltage control and monitoring support that you won't find on most other non-reference cards.The thing a straight beast!If you prefer to spend less i would go for AMD's HD 7970 and its more powerful brother HD 7970 GHz Edition have been on the market for a while now. MSI has also launched their HD 7970 Lightning in June. Now ASUS has released the HD 7970 Matrix - a card that will directly compete with MSI's HD 7970 Lightning.ASUS has increased clock speeds to 1100 MHz. That is 50 MHz more than the GHz Edition and higher than any other HD 7970 card, including the MSI Lightning. Memory clock is, with 1650 MHz, also higher than any other AMD card.
The card comes with a powerful triple slot cooling solution and adds many features for hardcore overclockers like support for VGA Hotwire, voltage control, and three buttons for direct GPU voltage control. You will also find voltage measuring points and a Turbo-fan button to set fan speed to 100% on the card.
Price-wise, the HD 7970 Matrix comes at $480, which is quite a price increase given AMD's recent price drops for the HD 7970.The other cards i would recommend are Sapphire's HD 7950 Vapor-X comes with a large dual-fan cooler that uses the company's famous vapor-chamber technology. On the Vapor-X you will also find a "Lethal Boost" button which switches to a second BIOS with higher clock speeds. With this BIOS, clocks are increased to 950 MHz GPU and 1250 MHz memory.
Pricing of the Sapphire HD 7950 Vapor-X is $330 which is a 10% premium. Also,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.That would be a solid choice for the price imo they currently are going for $389.99 a piece that doesn't look unreasonable, given the improved cooling and higher clocks but it's up to you.