Best single-slot solution?

I currently run the following...

OS____Windows XP Home SP2
CPU___AMD Athlon X2 3800+ / 2.4GHz
GPU___GeForce 7600GT, 256MB GDDR3
RAM___A-DATA Extreme, 2GB, DDR2 800 / 4-4-4-12, 2T
PSU___FSP Group 450W, 36A
HDD___Western Digital Caviar 250GB
Case__Antec Nine Hundred

I have only one 16x PCI-E slot available on this Mobo, but plenty of slots in the case open for use (that's what I meant by single-slot). Pretty soon I'm going to need a graphics upgrade as I'm a semi-serious PC gamer (but not so much that I'll spend the money for a 9800GX2 :kaola: ). So let's assume that my max budget for a single video card is $250 - $300, but even so, try to keep the price low. This card should also run fairly quiet and I don't care about how hot it gets, just so long as it doesn't melt, get artifacts or crash or anything. Passive cooling would be best, I suppose. The monitor I use is fairly old, but runs at a native resolution of 1280x1024, but I do want to play at 1920x1200 with a newer monitor sometimes in the next 6 months. I can also overclock fairly well, but have no knowledge of anything too advanced, such as volt mods, water cooling or installing third party VGA coolers. I also occasionally run Linux and from what I hear Nvidia drivers are easier on it.

So, given all this, what would you say is my best option for an upgrade?
6 answers Last reply
More about best single slot solution
  1. 8800GT 512MB for $175...nothing can beat it in price : performance. 8800GT/GTS performance is about the same as anything that has double the price tag. If you want to spend about $225 or so get a 8800GTS 512 MB, but you won't see any real performance change, just runs a little cooler (basically a 8800GT + aftermaket cooler + 5-7% better performance on higher resolutions). Now if you want to spend about $350....get 8800GT SLI....2x8800GT is amazing performance for $ anything that cost twice as much, just like the 8800GT.
  2. I dunno, this is really tempting to me now.

    $120 after rebates for only 10 - 20% worse performance than 8800GT. And given the reviews, it's rather quiet too.
  3. yeah thats pretty nice. That looks to have very nice price : performance ratio.

    1 thing though, if you are big on warranty, I don't think that comes with a good one.

    So I recommend: 9800GT < 8800GT < 8800GTS. All have great performance for price. ATI 3850 and 3870 are also great, but I personally think NVIDIA has better price : performance ratio right now.
  4. If you're getting a new monitor like you mentioned I would say the 8800GTS.
  5. kpo6969 said:
    If you're getting a new monitor like you mentioned I would say the 8800GTS.

    6 Months time!

    Get the 9600gt for $120 perfect for your setup
  6. Another vote for the 9600GT, would fit your bill perfectly with the resolution you are playing at now.
    If you think you may get a new monitor, or maybe pick up a couple of new games in the next 6 months, then I would go the extra $$ and get the 8800GT. The GTS is starting to get too pricey for the performance gain over the GT. Not that big a difference unless you start upping the resolution pretty high. The GTS does have better cooling though.
    For pure performance VS $$, almost everyone will tell you that a 8800GT is really powerful card for the money spent.
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