May need to replace my graphics card -- what should I get?

I read the best cards for the money article, but that only answers half my question. My 6800 gt may need replacement but I am not sure what price point I should even be looking at given my system.


Case: Thermaltake SViking
Power Supply: Antec True Power 550W
Mainboard: DFI Lanparty UT NForce4 Ultra-D
Processor: AMD Athlon 64 3700+
Memory: Corsair CMX1024-3200 PC320 (1x1gb)
Storage: WD 740GD 74gb SATA 10k Raptor

I'll probably go to 2 gigs of memory at some point.

I'm comfortable spending anywhere from 75-200 or so, but I could be convinced to go to 300 if it was really worth it.

The 8800 GTS @ $300 sounds like a pretty sweet deal, but I don't think my rig needs that much power -- I'm guessing I'd bottleneck somewhere else way before I reach the card's potential (although I don't really know what I'm talking about).

What do you all think? What would give me the most bang for my buck (gaming applications mostly) given my current system?

4 answers Last reply
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  1. A 3700+ is still a decent gaming CPU.

    A 8800 GTS is a good fit and will show you big gains over a lesser card.
  2. That's good to know! I'd only want to plop down the extra $150 or so if I could be sure that I was getting some long term value out of the purchase though. I'm not the kind of person who needs to be on the bleeding edge -- I kept my last PC for about 4 years before upgrading.

    Anywho, do you think going for a pricier card here would be a good long term investment? IE: would it increase the longevity of my system substantially?
  3. If you go with the 8800 you would probably be able to use it in your next rig when time comes to do an overhaul but this also depends on how long you plan to keep your actual rig going. In any case you should be able to use it for the few up coming years. If you don't want to spend that much an ATI 1650XT or Nv 7600 GT are both good choices as far as price/performance ratio is concerned.
  4. An 8800 GTS 320mb for $300 is pretty much the best/cheapest/long term buy you can get right now.

    It's not something you will be lamenting in a year.
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