Upgrade from bfg 7600gt

Hey everyone, here's my dilemma:
I just recently bought Test Drive: Unlimited and it runs okay on my bfg 7600gt in my system. However, I am feeling the need to upgrade my graphics card because my 7600gt isn't quite cutting it in TDU. It plays pretty much every other game I own well on high or medium settings. However, games like Portal are a little choppy on high settings at 1280x1024 res.

Here's my system config:
-gigabyte ds3
-2gb ocz ddr2 800mhz
-e6400 (with stock hsf and stock clock)
-anted truepower TPII 550 watts
-bfg 7600gt
-seagate 320gb with perpendicular recording
-aspire x-plorer case, 2x80's, 1x120 fan
-viewsonic vx922 19" 2ms 1280x1024
-windows xp sp2


Now, I'd like to spend under $265 for a graphics card. I'm currently undecided about Nvidia or ATi, however I prefer Nvidia at the moment because I had bad experiences with my x800gto a few years ago anc CCC on my old system (which could've been part of the problem) and I've never had problems with my 3 different Nvidia gpu's.

I don't plan on upgrading to Vista on this system, so DX 10 probably isn't necessary (unless it's released for XP).

I have been looking at the ATi 3870 series and the Nvidia 9600gt's. They both seem to do quite well in their category, but I'm undecided.

Any suggestions as to what I should consider buying?

thanks
8 answers Last reply
More about upgrade 7600gt
  1. Definitely gof or this 8800GTS 512, here is a list of them and all of them are under $265:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=40000048+1068310557+4018&Description=8800GTS&name=%24200+-+%24300

    EVGA,XFX,BFG are all good
  2. You know, Tom's just wrote an article addressing your (and many others) exact problem.
    http://www.tomshardware.com/2008/04/07/the_best_gaming_graphics_cards_for_the_money/

    To quote TFA:
    The new 9600 GT is Nvidia's answer to the Radeon 3800 series: cheap, powerful and efficient, the 9600 GT usually performs a bit below the 3870 with no antialiasing, and a bit faster than the 3870 when AA is enabled. Since the 9600 GT has lowered in price to $150, there is little reason to pay more for the 3870.
  3. The $200 MSI 8800GTS 512MB in the link above is very nice for sure. Seeing how it's in your budget and your cpu/ram/power supply are all in line for it, then that gets my vote. But, you could also grab an 8800GT, 9600GT, or even 8800GS in the $100-170 range AR.

    I was just playing some TDU last night on a $110 8800GS, and it handles 1280x1024 high with HDR (highest in game details) and 4x fsaa. At those settings it was in the 36-46 range at all times, mostly sitting about 40 fps. And that was a slower dual core cpu than you have. Anyway, in case you would rather not spend $200+, the $100+ cards are quite good and twice the performers (or more) the 7600GT is. Unless you play at high resolutions something like this will do very nice. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130332
  4. Well, I must say that now I'm leaning more towards a 9600gt. I was kinda bummed that my 7600gt wouldn't play TDU with HDR and 4x fsaa, only one or the other at that res. I could spend over $200 for an 88xx series card, but my 7600gt does very well in all my current games, so the 9600 gt sounds like where I wanna put my $$ and I'll be saving some money when compared to the 8800gts

    I did look at tom's recent vga article, but I wasn't quite sure what would fit my system. It's amazing to see that I paid at least $150 for my 7600gt in 2006 and over $220 for my ram. Now, everything is cheaper for teh same performance range. :( oh well, that's technology for ya!

    Thanks a lot for your knowledge!
  5. Quote:
    I second the 9600 for Price vs. Performance reasons. If your CPU is not OCed you must checkout:
    http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/ [...] w=0&nojs=0


    SHOULD my cpu be overclocked??!?!? I haven't done so because I felt it wasn't necessary right now. I have all the parts to do an overclock (oc'able ram, ocing board, good ocing cpu).
    I'll keep that in mind.

    Also: Which 9600gt should I go for?
  6. rabidbunny said:
    Quote:
    I second the 9600 for Price vs. Performance reasons. If your CPU is not OCed you must checkout:
    http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/ [...] w=0&nojs=0


    SHOULD my cpu be overclocked??!?!? I haven't done so because I felt it wasn't necessary right now. I have all the parts to do an overclock (oc'able ram, ocing board, good ocing cpu).
    I'll keep that in mind.

    Also: Which 9600gt should I go for?


    i say go for the OC. i know i noticed a difference from 2.33ghz to 2.8ghz (my 24/7 setting). as for the card, go for the cheapest 9600gt you can find, all are made with the same components unless specified otherwise.

    p.s. for the OC, try out a 400mhz fsb. it will run your ram at the rated speed, and your cpu will be at a nice 3.2ghz (very noticable difference IMO)
    :sol:
  7. I would go for the 8800GT, or seeing that you are running it at a low resolution, maybe get the 9600GT. 8800GT's are really cheap these days though, and will future proof your system pretty well.

    I fail to understand why everyone's saying "get a 8800GTS!!". Not just in this thread but in others too. The 8800GTS has barely an advantage over the regular 8800GT. It get's like 2 FPS over the 8800GT... for $30+ more.
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