Being an old-timer I no longer have any interest in computer games but my son has taken over from where I left off and is playing BF4 and similar games on a somewhat aging PC comprising of EVGA nForce 790i Ultra SLi, Core2 quad 2.67GHz CPU, Geforce GTX280 graphics car, Win7, 4GB Corsair RAM, 1000W Coolermaster PSU, 500GB WD SATA drive, nothing overclocked. Everything looks great to me but he tells me that the frame rate is poor and he has to run with many of the graphics settings on low. I did suggest alternative pursuits such as chess and contract bridge but somehow the appeal of FPS games seems too great for him to resist.
It's coming up to his birthday and I was thinking of surprising him with a new graphics card - which is actually the last thing he would expect to get for his birthday. Would something in the range of £100 to £150 give any tangible improvement or are there other items that would be better to upgrade first?
I'd be interested to know your opinion about the overall system and its suitability for running modern games.
I can't offer specific advice, but my experience (and most advice I've heard) show that high-end cards of an earlier generation will do better for you than a similarly priced card of the current generation.
For ATI cards, I'd focus on getting the highest 2nd digit (from the left) you can afford (i.e. a 5900 over a 7200). Not too sure how it works for nvidia these days since their letter codes (gt, gtx, etc) started representing a generations worth of power difference.