New graphics card old processor (URGENT)

So, I have an old processor (P4 3.2GHz HT) and am looking to upgrade my graphics card. Currently I have an X300 which sucks. I have already found a card which seems like a good deal ( MSI Geforce 8800 GTS OC, I am also upgrading my ram to 3gb.

I know this seems like it will bottleneck but at the under $100 range is there really anything else that will get me the same performance. (Upgrading the CPU is just not an option)

I will go ahead and post my system info from DxDiag:

System Information
Time of this report: 12/15/2008, 18:56:54
Operating System: Windows XP Professional (5.1, Build 2600) Service Pack 3 (2600.xpsp_sp3_gdr.080814-1236)
Language: English (Regional Setting: English)
System Manufacturer: Dell Inc.
System Model: Dell DXP051
BIOS: Phoenix ROM BIOS PLUS Version 1.10 A07
Processor: Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 CPU 3.20GHz (2 CPUs) <--- (thats the hyperthreading not two cpus)
Memory: 1022MB RAM
Page File: 935MB used, 1526MB available
Windows Dir: C:\WINDOWS
DirectX Version: DirectX 9.0c (4.09.0000.0904)

I have also already worked out based on others postings in the forums that my PSU will work fine even though its a 375w, since its a dell PSU.

Also, I really want it for games like oblivion and fallout 3 and any other RPG like that. I probably won't be playing Crysis but I do use FSX also but absolutely any improvement on that would be good.

This is urgent because if I order today I get 15% off :)
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  1. I wouldn't bother upgrading, that CPU is well OUTDATED it will bottleneck that new GPU like there is no tommrow. My e2180 (dual core) at 2ghz as bottlenecking that same exact card, when I OC to 3ghz I got quite a bit more improvement from it, so I don't want to know what and older P4 will do.

    I think the best option you have is to go out and keep the money you have saved up already and keep saving up and build your own computer when you have enough. You be surprised with what you can do with around $500 (or less if you need to) when building a new computer tower, though I personally think the nice sweet spot is at $700 in terms of what you can get out there on the market right now for budget builds.
  2. It sounds like you are struggling financially. Obviously the best thing to do is wait until you have more cash. However if you absolutely must get the 8800GTS go for it but buy a CPU cooler and OC your processor to reduce the amount of bottleneck. I'm running a P4 3.0Ghz oc to 3.4 and 7800GS+ and can play Crysis on Medium @ 1280x1024, OK it's not totally smooth but perfectly playable. You maybe surprised by what you find.
  3. You might do better to look for a less powerful card secondhand? No point paying for performance you can't use beause your CPU is holding you back. Keep the extra money aside to save up for a new computer later.
  4. Actually my financial situation is fine, I just don't have a ton of money to spend on extra stuff.

    What would be the best card that wouldn't bottleneck too much, and would allow me to play oblivion and such games on Max or close to max? Lets say for under $50, if possible (anymore and I could just get the 8800 and put it in a new computer, if and when I build one)
  5. Also, it seems that with my cpu there would be a best GPU... IE not ao powerful that is bottlenecks but also a major improvement over my X300. Any one have any ideas as to what this could be.
  6. What about this?

    It`ll probably bottle neck a little, so just turn up/on the aa?af!
  7. Just wow...

    For starters, thats the old G80 w/320MB of RAM. I wouldnt worry about the bottleneck, it will happen, but not a severely as everyone is making out. Other contnders would be 9600GT and the 3870, but of that group, and considering your CPU, I say get the 8800. Downside is that its an obselecnt card, so by the time you upgrade the rest of your rig, its going to become your bottleneck.

    EDIT: Just thought of the 9600GSO, its essencialy the same card, might not be a bad idea, and would leave the option of SLi open for your upgrade.
  8. PS, do`nt go for the 2600XT, it needs 400W! I was going to suggest it, but reviews on the egg warned about its power requirements
  9. So the bottleneck really won't be that bad? I mean I'm pretty sure my cpu can handle oblivion on Ultra High because I get ok framerates when at a horrible resolution, and when I put it at a normal resolution the FPS drop about 15(which means its the video card).
  10. What resoulution does your monitor use? (Max if its still a CRT)

    Also, dont misunderstand, you wont get the kind of performance you see in the VGA charts out of that card, but its still gonna spank the socks off your x300.

    O and coozie raises an interesting point, what are the specs on your power supply?
  11. I use 1024x786 on a regular basis(It's an LCD flat panel). Yeah, and I know I won't get near the performance they show on those graphs.

    My PSU is a dell rated for 375w, but I have read multiple forum postings about people putting 8800 GTX in them and having them run fine(I'm not sure the model of my PSU but it should be the standard for XPS 400). I'm also going to upgrade my ram if I buy a new card so that should help too.
  12. As much as it pains me, at that resolution with your P4, I think a 9500GT is probably the best fit for you. That should shore up your gaming for about a year, but by this time next year, your definately gonna want to look into a whole new rig.
  13. PCI-E 2 x16 will work in PCE-E 1 x16 slots... right?
  14. Are you sure about that card... I found this review of it, and it seems it does not have very high FPS in mass effect (<20) compared to (>40) for the 8800. By the way thanks for your help so far.

    Review I found:
  15. @ spyfox5400. The card listed by B-Unit is cheaper because it uses slower memory (GDDR2) the card I listed uses GDDR3, which is faster, hence the difference in price.
    Any PCI-E card will work in any PCI-E slot, don`t worry.
    The 8800 in the GURU3D review is not the same as the one you have in mind, it`s a newer card and totally different despite having the same name. Also the GURU3D test rig is far more powerful in the CPU than yours, their results will bear little similarity to those you will get and they`re running at maximum detail levals, which you, sadly, will not be able to achieve with your current CPU.
  16. That guru3d review is for the 9500 not the 8800...
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