After almost 2.5 years, I have a new graphics card in my rig. So much have happened during those 2.5 years, but the disappointing thing is that i wouldn't be even seeing a two-fold increase in raw FPS. Hence SLI would have been the better option of my current card wasn't a 2.5 slot card and the PSU, which is a 650W one, had more headroom.
Anyways, this was the 2nd best choice since the cheaper R9 290/290x cards were generating too much heat and noise. Even if I managed to install get away with a
The card that I chose was the MSI GTX 970 Gaming and I bought it from Amazon, paying almost $80 more than the U.S. price. That's the way it has to be. This includes a 8% tax as well. I actually managed to sell my old card on Rakuten Auctions for around $150, which isn't amazing but isn't too bad either. If I sold it to a shop for cash, I wouldn't even get $100. So it was a win-win deal for me.
I couldn't install the card until late that day. This is because the three of us went to paid a visit to the Ikuta Rose Garden in the afternoon and on the way we did some shopping as well. After returning home, I had to help my wife cook dinner as well. While I finished doing my part and my wife put the baby to sleep, I got into business.
Installing the card at first was not problematic. It slid into the PCI-E slot without any trouble. I sneaked in the thermal probe, which plugs into the T_SENSOR port on the motherboard, between two fins of the heat sink and this is the temperature reading that controls the speed of the front (or side) intake fan. The 6-pin power cables were rotated 180°, so when I turned them around, they protruded out more than before because they were not used to bending in that direction. When I tried closing the case, these cables pushed against the front intake fan, however because of the integrated fan grill, the cables weren't coming in contact with the blades of the fan. It was very thoughtful of Silverstone really. I also checked whether the other two fan slots were blocked but it appeared they were clear and it would be possible to install two more fans when I buy the second card. Phew!
I will write about my experiences with the card in the follow up posts. Due to family life, my playtime is very limited nowadays, thus will take a while to learn about all the issues surrounding the new purchase.