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Looking for video card upgrade suggestions

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June 19, 2008 4:28:41 PM

Here's what I've got: Biostar NF4ST-A9 motherboard (nForce 4), AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ processor, GeForce 6600GT, 1GB RAM, 160GB Seagate SATA HD, Thermaltake 430W PSU, XP Home SP3.
I'm eventually upgrading to Vista (I just have to) and was planning on picking up another GB of RAM as well as upgrading video cards, since the 6600GT is getting old and can't play the few games I do play very well at 1680x1050. I don't want to spend too much money on a new card since I'll have a new one next year, and I would preferably not want to upgrade the power supply unless I have to. I was looking at something like an 8600GT or 2600XT, since they're last generation and Newegg has them for really cheap. I don't need to jack up all of the graphics effects or anything, but I'm sure that these cards, based on the Toms Hardware charts will blow my 6600GT out of the water, so I would be fine with them. But if you have any suggestions for me, I'd be happy to hear them. Thanks
a b B Homebuilt system
a b U Graphics card
June 19, 2008 4:59:56 PM

How much do you want to spend? Newegg.com has the 8800 gs superclocked cards for about 100 bucks after rebates, with call of duty 4. Or you can go for a 9600 gso, almost the same thing as the 8800 gs, they are 90 bucks after rebate on newegg. I wouldn't go too much after the 2 cards you listed, they are ok cards, but for the money, spend a little extra and you could do better.
June 19, 2008 5:23:45 PM

I think the 9600GT is comperarable to the gs and gso with lower power draw.

why cant you get a good card, then carry it over to the new system next year?
that my plan, and why I am considering the 4850/4870
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June 19, 2008 5:25:23 PM

Same here for me. At the price points of the 4850/70 (199/299) they look very tempting.

420 steam processor
Physics card built in
512/1GB of GDDR3/5 RAM (50/70)
June 19, 2008 5:56:22 PM

believe or not there are actually some 8800GT cards for about ~$130-140 after rebate on newegg. May think about those as possible choices, as those are slightly more powerful than the GSO/GS cards(very slightly....).
June 19, 2008 6:14:05 PM

What? The 4850 comes with a physics proc built in?
June 19, 2008 6:16:21 PM

I thinks its similar to the CUDA physics of the 280gt
June 19, 2008 11:02:15 PM

Hi. I was thinking of getting something like an 8800GT and then carrying it over next year, but my power supply only has 18 amps on the 12 volt rail, so I don't think it would be able to handle that card. I did take a look at the 8800GS and I found an EVGA for $89 after rebate - that seemed good until I saw that it only had 384mb of RAM and a 192-bit memory bus, which seems a little lacking. And the 9600GT's are only a little more expensive ($140 for the ones without rebate, and there's one with a rebate bringing it down to $110) So is the 9600GT a good choice then?
June 20, 2008 2:08:52 AM

If you video card cannot handle an 8800GT it won't be handling a 9600GT either.

You need a new power supply.
June 20, 2008 3:19:10 AM

Thanks for the advice, I probably should do that anyway because this one is pretty inefficient and has way too many cables. If I did, would the 9600GT be a good choice then?
June 20, 2008 3:22:06 AM

It is an ok choice.

The best mid range card right now is the brand new ATI Radeon 4850. $199 and it can torch GTX 260 in some tests.

June 20, 2008 4:28:31 AM

If I pick that card I'll definitely need a new power supply. :)  So, my next question: What's a good power supply that's relatively quiet and inexpensive?
June 20, 2008 5:00:30 AM

Pc power and cooling 610 watt silencer. check @ newegg the best Psu maker.
June 20, 2008 3:41:59 PM

Couldn't find that one on Newegg (and other Silencers were quite expensive), but an Antec Earthwatts 380 or 430 seems to fit the bill: inexpensive, quiet, and efficient too. I read lots of good reviews about the 500 watt model, and someone has ran a much more power consuming system on the 380 watt model. Unless anyone else has any other personal recommendations...
June 20, 2008 6:49:57 PM

It's hard to recommend things if you don't give a budget of what you are willing to spend.

With that being said, I still think you should reconsider the 9600GSO (aka 8800GS) sure 384mb, but you're getting new one next year. So go cheapest value now under $100.

Great review here, with power usage and comparisons.
http://www.guru3d.com/article/geforce-9600-gso-386-mb-r...

Money saved can be spent on a much better PSU that can carry over to your next system.
June 21, 2008 3:46:14 AM

Thanks for the response, I'm looking at something around $100-$150, but if there's an unbeatable deal on a card that could carry over until next year, I'd consider it. The GSO is about $20 cheaper as far as I can tell and can be overclocked to GT levels, but why not get the GT for just a little more and overclock that? BTW, if you know of any decent power supplies moderately priced and quiet that will go over to the next system, glad to hear it. Thanks for all of the help so far guys.
June 27, 2008 7:36:32 PM

does the 4850 come with a physic processor?
June 27, 2008 7:44:31 PM

none of the new cards come with a dedicated physics processors. its just software that does physics processing with the GPU.

its looking like even the old nVidias (8800) might be physics compatible with new drivers, but I'm not sure about that.
!