Also I'm upgrading from a 7350 LE, so nearly anything would be better...
I'd like to see real benchmarks for the 2600XT 256MB GDDR4 model, and if possible, the overclocked model. I just can't find any..
well we aren't all rich and this didn't answer my question at all...
roadrunner has a pretty legitimate point though. Of course it all depends on the rest of your system, which ultimately will affect the performance of any other video card you install. Understanding that you're on a budget (most of us are) I can see why you're set at $50. However, I think roadrunner's point is that even with the cards you're looking at, you won't find very great performance for any modern games.
Another person suggested a better power supply, which may not be a bad idea (it'll allow you to run more modern video cards). Of course, the problem there is that means spending $50 on a PSU, and then $100 or so on a better video card.
I'm curious as to what the rest of your system components look like. It may or may not even be worth spending $50 on a 'newer' video card.
That I am too. Also, what resolution do you game at?
HP m8120n (now with 3GB of ram rather than the initial 2GB)
I'm not considering a better PSU, as there are plenty of cards that work well enough on the 300W I have. Also, I've heard for some odd reason that power supplies over 350W dont get along well with my computer...
With that being said, I've found out that the 8600 GTS has much better performance than the 2600XT w/ GDDR4.
As far as gaming, the next big step up from the 8600 GTS is the 9600 GSO or 3850, which are both out of my price range by a large margin.
Since when did the 8600 GTS become a not-so-good card? its price to performance ratio cant be beat as far as i can see...
The 8600GTS was never a good card to start with, if you look into older threads the 8600 series were considered junk by many of us, because they failed to deliver decent budget performance.
It wasn't a good move to buy an 8600/HD 2600 card back then and it sure isn't a good move to buy it now. If money is THAT tight, then get the recertified 9600GSO I showed you, otherwise just hold your purchase until you can get at least $20 (which shouldn't really take more than a few days at most...)