Summary: A number of graphics cards at various price points that feature both AMD and NVIDIA GPUs.
Question from the Hardware 2.0 mailbox:
“I’m planning to upgrade my existing gaming PC. I’ve got the motherboard and processor figured out — I’m going for the Intel Core i7-3770 Ivy Bridge processor paired with an ASUS Sabertooth Z77 motherboard — but I’m stuck when it comes to the graphics card. Any suggestions?”
As far as the CPU and motherboard goes, you’ve made some very good choices. Those components will make for a solid foundation to a gaming PC.
When it comes to which graphics cards to choose, what you should go for depends a lot on your budget. Since you’re buying a $320 processor and $230 motherboard, I’m assuming that your budget isn’t that limited. However, what I’ll do is list a number of graphics cards at various price points that feature both AMD and NVIDIA GPUs and let you choose what fits in best with your budget.
Ahh yes. One of the most argued points in building a system.
What I've learned over the years;
1. GPU should be balanced with the rest of your system.
2. Buy the single most powerful GPU your budget will allow.
3. Brands matter. As with all technology, who makes the GPU makes a difference in the overall customer experience. Nvidia=EVGA/ATI=xFx
4. Research, research, research. For the past few years, ATI has distributed a series of drivers and suites that are exceedingly unreliable. Knowing the most about your products, before you hit the "Confirm Payment" key, will result in a much better experience over the life of the build.