I have onboard graphics that wont run the latest games so Ive decided to buy a card to play games such as COD 4 , I want to try war games aswell as sport , amoungst other games anyway ....
I have no idea which is the best card for gaming ... ive read so much about card specs i.e.:- core speed , memory speed , amount of memory , memory type 128 bit 256bit , Pipelines/Stream Process , DirectX 9 10.0 10.1 ?? , OpenGL , Shader Model .... the list goes on lol
Ive seen ATI cards , GeForce cards 8600GT GS , 8800 , 9600 there are so many
Here are a few that Ive bookmarked and are in my budget range ...
They are PCI-Express 16x of which I have a spare slot on my board...
Which should I go for ? are they all good for gaming ? Which is the best card ?
I'd really appreciated any info/input as I am on a budget of around £100 , possibly streching to £150 , I dont want to buy just any card just for the sake of it , I'd like to buy a card that will get it done gaming-wise.
Can you order from newegg? There's an ECS 8800GTS 512 on sale for $159.99. If you want to stay within those options, the 9600 is the best, but if you have the money for it, I'd recommend the 8800GT or GTS. They are both really good cards.
edit: The 8600GT is pretty far behind both the 3850 and the 9600.
If you're getting the 8800gt make sure you get the 512mb version, like this one: http://www.microdirect.co.uk/(31520)Gainward-GeForce-Bliss-8800GT-512MB-Golden.aspx
final edit: what kind of PSU do you have? You might have to upgrade that also to upgrade your card.
From the ones on your list above, I would go with the BFG 9600 GT. It is far and away the best. You will find the chipset on the THG list above and BFG is my favorite video card manufacturer.
When adding a new video card you need to check and make sure your PSU is strong enough to carry the added load - if I recall correctly the 9600GT requires about 70 or 80 watts at peak power.
Oopsie - after writing the above I took a look at you motheboard specs. You might have a problem or two. The specs list:
Expansion Slots: 1 x PCIe x16(run x4 mode), 1 x PCIe x1, 2 x PCI
I am not sure, but this might mean the x16 slot only runs in x4 mode - or one quarter the bandwidth of a normal x16 slot. Do you know what it means? If only one quarter - it might not handle the full bandwidth of the 9600 GT card. Also note that it is PCIe x2.0 and your board is only 1.0 The card will still work fine but you may not have advantage of all the features.
Second problem - I see you board is the smaller mATX form factor. This in itself is not an issue but you need to check the room in the case to make sure the graphics card will fit physically in the space available.
If you're even remotely serious about gaming, you shouldn't be considering ANY card with a 128 bit (or god forbid a 64 bit) memory bus... and there's really no point getting a card now that doesn't support DX10.
I followed the link to the motherboard you listed... and maybe someone can clarify for me (and you) what exactly it means when it describes your PCI-e slot as "1 x PCIe x16(run x4 mode)"