What Video Card to Buy?

I think it is about time to get a new computer. I figure it would be nice to build it myself and I can buy it one piece at a time instead of spending a million dollars all at once.

So currently, I don’t play too many games. My internet connection is too slow and my computer is outdated. Both of those problems will be fixed soon though.

After doing some research online, I am leaning towards buying this GeForce GTX 260. It seems like there are a few better video cards out there but how much do I actually need? Also, I guess you can run two video cards at once? I hadn’t heard about that until recently.

So I like playing all types of games. I’ve been kind of shy about getting new games since they just don’t play well on my computer. I wasn’t able to play Rainbow Six Vegas when it first came out and I wish I could have played the new GTA.

So what’s the best choice if money was no object and what would be the best “bang for your buck” choice? Is it better to have a good video card or two mediocre ones? Any other general info on gaming or video cards are welcomed as well.

As I get closer to actually buying the products, I might ask questions about other components as well.


I recommend checking out www.tomshardware.com. They have a monthly video card review that gives the best buys by price category, as well as an indication of what you need for a given purpose. There is a currently a link to the June 2009 review on the homepage. Happy gaming! :slight_smile:

Well, I’d say the GTX 260 is a pretty good contender for the “bang for your buck” choice. Under $200, and easily capable of handling all of today’s games at high resolutions with most of the graphical bells and whistles turned on. If you wanted to save even more, you might go with a Geforce 9800 GTX, which is not too far behind the GTX 260 in performance, and is about $60 less.

In the “money is no object” category, you might go with a pair of GTX 295 cards, but I can’t think of any good reason to do that. :stuck_out_tongue:

For the most part, it is better to have one good card. Even though 3D rendering is pretty efficiently scalable, you won’t actually get twice the performance from having two cards in an SLI/Crossfire configuration. IIRC, gains of 30% to 50% are more typical, but it varies from game to game, and in some rare circumstances, SLI performance is actually a little bit worse. (And some games don’t support SLI at all.) So IMHO I’d say it’s not worth the trouble and expense.

Just a nitpick there, but if you have two Nvidia cards and the game is one of the few that supports PhysX, you can get one card to do the PhysX stuff, resulting in a boost. This can be a good use for an older card.

Beyond that, the GTX 260-216 is a decent choice.