GPU Advice

d3k0yd3k0y Loveland, OH Icrontian
So I have room in my budget (sort of) to upgrade my video card. It is by far the old piece of hardware in my rig. Currently I am using an Nvidia GTS 450.

I have around 250 bucks for a budget so I started looking at the benchmarks and I was kind of leaning toward Nvidia GTX 660 Ti for $235. But then after scanning their Price Performance list I see that the Nvidia GTX 560 Ti is actually the highest ranked in essentially bang for buck, and I can stretch the budget a little and buy two of them at 140 each ($280).

Now I have read before that running SLI/Crossfire doesn't actually net you the full benefit of a second card, I think I heard somewhere that it was 30% increase or something. I don't know a ton about hardware, pretty much just enough to be able to set up a new rig and get it to run (most of the time, FSB tends to mess me up). However I know some of you actually work in this area and I would like some advice.

Firstly is it worth going with SLI in this case, or would I be better off with a single card? I would save a little money with the single card, not to mention power load and cooling, but I might net a significant increase in performance with two cards. I don't tend to play super graphically intense games, I spend a lot of my time Comfy Trucking and playing MMOs and indie games.

Secondly I am a slightly Nvidia fanboi, but that is only because I have never bothered with Radeon. If I get a Radeon at similar price/performance is there any major simplified pros/cons when compared to Nvidia. I understand both have their nuances and target audience so I don't really need a complex breakdown of when/how/where one is better than the other, a general list would be sufficient.


  • shwaipshwaip bluffin' with my muffin Icrontian
    1) I don't think i'd buy two older cards to sli, rather I would look at sli as a way to upgrade a newer card in a year or two. Depending on the game, scaling can hit pretty close to 2x, but again, that can depend on the game a lot.

    2) Not too much of a difference, these days, imo.

    3) My recommendation: 7950, especially if you don't have the games in the 3 game pack:
  • I went for a Radeon 7950 after probably 10 years of Nvidia. I hadn't had a Radeon since my 9700pro.

    AMD Pros:
    Display port
    Free games
    Support Threckx

    AMD Cons:
    Driver support just doesn't seem as good (but I have nothing concrete to back this)

    It's been great so far, although I do feel like sometimes it refuses to come out of sleep mode. Still, that's pretty rare and I kind of want to blame Gigabyte.

    I'd go away from SLI/Crossfire. It's complication and relying on drivers to perform optimally and requires a better PSU. But hey, I'm simple folk. Some people have fun with tweaking/optimizing/and etc.
  • ThraxThrax 🐌 Austin, TX Icrontian
    edited August 2013
    Radeon advantage: I work for AMD and can support you if something goes awry. Just send me a PM.
  • midgamidga "There's so much hot dog in Rome" ~digi (> ^.(> O_o)> Icrontian
    I recently jumped onto the AMD boat as well, and my experiences have been generally positive. Having a resident shill is a plus.
  • My HD5770 is getting long in the tooth... I think that's going to need to be my next upgrade as well :/ Curse you relentless march forward of technology!
  • midgamidga "There's so much hot dog in Rome" ~digi (> ^.(> O_o)> Icrontian
    ardichoke said:

    My HD5770 is getting long in the tooth... I think that's going to need to be my next upgrade as well :/ Curse you relentless march forward of technology!

  • d3k0yd3k0y Loveland, OH Icrontian
    Soooo what you are saying is Thrax wants to give me a friends and family discount on a good Radeon card?
  • ThraxThrax 🐌 Austin, TX Icrontian
    No such thing. :)
  • shwaipshwaip bluffin' with my muffin Icrontian
  • d3k0yd3k0y Loveland, OH Icrontian
    Well nail in the coffin
  • d3k0yd3k0y Loveland, OH Icrontian
  • d3k0yd3k0y Loveland, OH Icrontian
    edited August 2013
    Put the new card in today. PC Mark bench went up 600 points
    compared to
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