If you’re a hardcore PC gamer then you would probably know by now that December is a great month for gaming. Most A-list gaming titles announced for the year are already released and you probably have the extra cash or clout from your parents to upgrade your gaming rig. Most of all, you will be having a lot of free time where you can sink those gaming hours on.
So is your rig ready to handle the games the way it should be experienced? We’re talking about premium DirectX 11 titles that we have today such as Batman: Arkham City, Rage, Battlefield 3, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (which I personally recommend) and there’s also the upcoming ones like Blizzard’s highly-anticipated Diablo III.
In order to play these titles without at the highest quality possible without your system bogging down, you need to invest on a really good (and expensive) GPU. Such is the life of a gamer. And a smart gamer knows that following a game’s recommended system requirements is not enough. You need to go a notch higher for future use. Batman: Arkham City recommends an NVIDIA GeForce GTX460, Skyrim wants GTX550Ti and the technically advanced title Battlefield 3 will force you to upgrade to a GTX560!
Now let’s talk about Battlefield 3 for a bit. This is probably the most anticipated game of the 2011 and is truly a DirectX 11 game. DICE, the developer, uses its industry-leading Frostbite engine v2.0 to give the game an unprecedented graphical realism that would definitely wow you. If you played or seen the game in a console, that’s just a scaled back version of what the game can offer on a souped-up PC, especially those with dual GPUs installed.
Here’s a benchmark of different NVIDIA cards when using the High settings on Battlefield 3 on its demanding sixty-four player Caspian Border multiplayer map. The frame rate that you want should be in the 40FPS”¦ anything below 30FPS is bad for smooth gaming.
This clearly shows that the recommended GTX560 offers the sweet spot of 40FPS in high setting. Of course if you want Ultra settings then go for a higher card or use dual GPUs (2x GTX580) in SLI instead.
If you’re going for the GTX560, get more bang for your buck with the GTX560Ti. Or better yet skip to the GTX580 if you have some more cash to burn. It’s more powerful with 512 CUDA cores and also quieter. Or if you’re the type who must always have the best and the latest, go with the GTX590 which has twice the number of CUDA cores as the 580 and watch your friends turn green with envy on your next LAN party.
In choosing your NVIDIA Geforce GPU, I suggest not to skimp with the brand. Cheaper brands can make your high-end GPU purchase attainable but with such price, you might want to stick to the trusted ones like MSI, one of the global leaders when it comes to graphics cards and motherboards. Here’s their lineup of GeForce GPUs to help you in your game.
The N590GTX-P3D3GD5 is MSIs most powerful graphics card to date. It’s made up of dual GeForce GTX 500 GPUs with 1024 CUDA cores and 3GB GDDR5 memory. You can effectively overclock it up to 38% thanks to Afterburner’s GPU Overvoltage and you can also do 3D gaming using up to 3 displays. It is just that powerful.
MSI N580GTX Lightning Xtreme Edition
Overclockers out there should already be familiar with the MSI Lightning series GPUs. The N580GTX Lightning Xtreme Edition is the latest in the series and comes with a massive 3GB GDDR5 memory. It is equipped with dual Propeller Blade fan with “œSmart Temp Sensor” and “œDust Removal” technologies as well as support for Afterburner’s “œTriple Temp Monitor”.
MSI N570GTX Twin Frozr III Power Edition/OC
Moving down the lineup is the MSI N570GTX Twin Frozr III Power Edition. It features the Twin Frozr III dual fan cooling module and MSI’s Propeller Blade technology for 20% more airflow. You can’t run on a hot GPU when gaming and these technologies can reduce the GPU temp by 18ËšC and fan noise by 7.7dB. It also has a Triple Overclocking support that increases its overclocking potential by 22%. It’s a really one balanced graphics card by MSI.
MSI N560GTX-Ti Hawk
Not as high-end as the Lightning series but the HAWK series is still part of their enthusiasts’ graphics cards at a more affordable price. It also features the Twin Frozr III cooling system which allows this card to be overclocked past 1GHz safely, something enthusiasts would want from their GPU. If you want something serious but not ready to go past GTX560, this card would be in the sweet spot for you.
N560GTX Twin Frozr II/O
Another GPU card that features the custom designed Twin Frozr heatsink and cooler is the MSI N560GTX Twin Frozr II. This card will make sure that even the newbie overclocker can tweak this while keeping it cool and stable. It’s one of the most affordable graphics card in its class and should be a nice starting point for gamers.