I am far from being a very tech savvy individual when it comes to what works in computers. However, I do know that I am having definite performance issues with my current computer running "Oblivion" which is obviously a common problem. I also just saw that Blizzard is in the works of making Diablo 3 which I am definitely looking forward too in the fairly distant future.
I was wondering how much it would help to upgrade my graphics card to improve game play. Any recommended cards would be great as well, just nothing over the top budget wise. Also, I really am not sure how compatibility will play in to the mix so any advice with that would be greatly appreciated as well.
Right now I am using the stock card that came with my computer... NVIDIA GeForce 6150SE nForce 430
If it helps judge what performance it is capable of, the computer is a Gateway GT5674 with a AMD Phenom 9500 quad-core 2200Mhz processor and 3GB of ram.
You're using onboard graphics, not a separate card? Well then. Intel's Graphics Media Deccelerators may be the worst, but all integrated graphics suck. Do you have a PCI-E slot? How many amps does your PSU provide on its +12v rail(s)?
Not really sure if its integrated or not. Originally I didn't think so but it is considered a chipset under system information, and since there is still an open PCI-e 16x slot maybe it is integrated.
Unfortunately I can't find anything specific on power supply. According to the Gateway website it has 1 of 3 units. 2 of them produce either 8 or 4 amps, didn't really say which number to go by on the chart. The 3rd produced 7 or 3.5.
a quick google reveals that your PC does come with a free slot of PCIe x16! congrats! that means you should be on your way to N@firstname.lastname@example.org to pick up an ATi 4850 and get ready for any blizzard games in the next 2-4 yrs
This review: http://reviews.cnet.com/desktops/gateway-gt5674/4505-31...
...suggests the PSU is only 300W. Unless your budget includes money (approx. $60 will do) to upgrade the PSU, you will most likely be limited to an nVidia 8600GT or ATI 2600XT. They're both much better than your integrated graphics, but still not great for demanding games like Oblivion unless you turn off eye candy and/or play at 1024x768 or lower.
Thanks for the great advice so far. I am gonna run down to BestBuy here in a bit and look around since I have a couple Reward Certificates. If I can't find any good deals there I will hit NewEgg. I am also kind of looking at upgrading the sound system as well so it would be nice to do everything at once if I get that power supply as well.
I'm not sure what brands they have at Best Buy now, although I think Antec might be one of them. CoolerMaster PSUs are crappy. Best Buy also severely overcharges for graphics cards. Newegg is a really fast shipper, if they are an option where you live.