First post, by hwh
I read/considered the large "best card for XP" thread but I don't really want to mix up that with this, so...
My GTX 460 just died (how hilarious, the socket for the fans fell off the card and the card ran without fans until it broke). When I got it, I wasn't impressed by its lack of DOS mode compatibility, but, well, I guess time passes and standards change. I no longer worry about NTVDM as the "official" DOS, it either works or you use you-know-what. But you do lose a little compatibility here and there. Usually without knowing!
Taking this into consideration, my initial reaction of a GTX 960 (the standard "bleeding edge performance" answer) now seems incorrect. If I choose to run a DX7 game, heh, it's not unlikely there will be issues, but I don't want more issues than I already have for performance that I almost never need.
The devil, advocating says I should get another GTX 460, and I hate him because it's an old card and I don't want to go backwards. This isn't some "vintage" system, it's what I use. So that would be a last resort. I could probably get more performance with lower TDP in a newer card. I care more about noise than performance.
I have heard the um, GTX 750 might be the way to go for shader 3.0 (non unified) because that breaks some stuff. I have also heard tell that some games bug out at the sight of tons of video memory. 4GB, to be specific. My GTX 460 has 768MB. Is there some known point (say 2 or 4GB) at which problems occur? Or would a random GTX 750 just be the ticket?
Then there's the matter of ATI (errr...AMD? I haven't bought one of their cards in 17 years). I have nothing against them although there is always a give and take with the drivers, nVidia too. Does it matter? I feel like compatibility is less of an issue with nVidia. But I might just be thinking of 2002, I don't know. So if you have reason to believe that AMD is the way to go and know the best card that isn't worse (compatibility) than a GTX 460, please share that reasoning.
TLDR: Better performance than GTX 460, equal or better compatibility with, pretty much, Windows 98 games to today. Who am I?