I need some help in deciding what pci-e x16 video card to purchase. I am trying to keep cost to ~$100. I don't have a very powerful PSU. It is an Antec 350W, and side label states 21A on +12V rail (only has one +12V rail). I know I could go with an HD2600xt, since they aren't very power hungry, but I'd like to step up to an older x1950gt. I know the box says 30A, but does anyone have experience running it at less than that. I noticed a review on [H]ard|OCP, that used a 18A PSU, to test a x1950gt... It confused me since they were using a Corsair PSU with 3, 18A, +12V rails.
I use this PC almost exclusively for gaming. Oblivion, TF2, and I would like to try Bioshock, but my current 9800pro with shader model 2.0, just can't do it.
Or If you think the x1950's are to power hungry, and the hd2600 is weak, then what do you suggest?
The HD2600XT isn't that weak in the games you mention. If you leave FSAA off it does quite well often matching the 8600GTS and beating the 7900GS. And for $100 you get the Valve black box with it, which is hard to beat IMO if you'd go spend $40-50 on the orange box anyway. If you like to use FSAA, forget about it though...it tanks.
Thanks for all the opinions. I think I am leaning toward the hd2600. Partly b/c I am an ATI homer, and because it doesn't require an additional power input on the card itself. It would have been an even better deal if I hadn't already purchased the Orange Box....