Hi guys, I'm just looking for some advice on my next PC upgrade. Bear in mind my budget isn't massive as I'm a student but I do have a 21st birthday coming up which may lend a financial hand!
My current system:
AMD Athlon X2 4200+
2GB DDR Ram at 200mhz
400W PSU - very generic psu though, no name brand I believe
80GB IDE HDD, don't worry about the size there - worry about the fact it's IDE and not SATA and what this will do for my gaming.
GeForce 7600GT 256mb PCIE
DFI Lan Party UT NF4 Ultra-D
Basically I think I'm looking at a graphics card upgrade. My rig atm runs the Bishock demo pretty well at medium settings and playably at high settings. I'm not a flash gamer obsessed with image quality. I own a 17" CRT monitor and only play at max of 1024x768. I have no interest in going higher really either as my refresh rate doesn't cope with it well - only 60hz at 1280 and I HATE 60hz. I also tend to have AA and AF turned completely off in most games, I only have it on a little in CS Source and Lotr Online.
Well, with that in mind what do I want from my upgrade? I want to be able to play Crysis and Gears of War at really at least medium settings on 1024x768 with no AA/AF. I also want this to run smoothly, I'm an online gamer and smooth performance is pretty key! Would a 1950XT be the way to go? Yet the 512mb versions are so expensive perhaps a PRO would do? Or, would even the option of running another 7600GT in SLI be something worth investigating? The cards are cheap now and would this give me good enough performance? Or would this be a massive power drain?
Thanks for your opinons in advance guys, I don't post here often but I do read and the feedback people get is usually first class!
First, you need to get a better PSU. That's the only way you'll be in any sort of shape to upgrade your videocard. I wouldn't really go for a 1950 of any sort, it's not really THAT much of an upgrade. Sure, it's better, but I wouldn't say it's worth it to upgrade from a 7600GT. A second 7600GT also might not be worth it on a 17" monitor.
If you're set on an upgrade, no matter what, go with the x1950 Pro. But really, I think you're better off waiting a few more months and seeing if other prices drop <cough 8800 cough> as refreshes and new cards come out.
A 7900GS would most likely not kill your PSU immediately but it probably wouldn't last too long, however Corsair now do a 450w http://www.jonnyguru.com/review_details.php?id=125&page_num=1 which would tide you over and into the next generation of cards, another 7600GT is not a good idea and as an advocate of Sli I don't say that lightly.
X1950XT all the way, the X1950Pro alone is 35% faster according to Tom's charts, and the X1950XT smokes the Pro, so it is by far the best investment at this moment (unless you can get a GTS 320 ). And you need a better PSU, like a Corsair VX mentioned above.