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Advice on upgrading my graphics card

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
January 30, 2009 7:42:47 AM

Hi i'm new here and very confused about graphics cards.

My computer is becoming rather dated so decided to spend around £200 on upgrading it, basically am planning on getting a decent gfx card and an extra gb of RAM. I know its not as simple as sticking a powerful card into a pc and getting great results though so would like some help and advice :) 

my current rig is:

mobo: Asrock ConRoe 1333-ESATA2 LGA775,Lan,7.1Snd,ATX (i think its this off the top of my head, v similar though)
Intel Core 2 Duo E6750 @ 2.33Hz (pretty sure its 2.33, may be a tad higher)
2gb ram
550W psu - had a look though and i can only see 1 6pin connector (do i NEED 2 for more powerful cards?)
currently using an Nvidia Geforce 8600 GTS

so my main worry is my power not being enough/ my cpu bottlenecking

So the card i'm interested in:
Had my eye on the gtx 260 but pretty sure this will be way too much for my current rig without having to updrade alot more (i'd love to be proved wrong :D  ). I only want to spend about £200 on upgrading for now so perhaps it would be better going for a lower card?

What i'm planning on using it for:
At the moment my set up can play most recent games at around medium settings with an alright performance. I'm hoping to increase my performace to be able to play games at high settings with good performance. I'm not really into the latest graphically stunning fps games however such as crysis, far cry 2 etc but my main love with pc gaming is rts - At the moment i'm playing the Dawn of War 2 beta but need to play it on medium settings. Would love to be able to play a game like this 3 v 3 online with my settings on high or even maxed out

Hope you guys can offer me some good advice. Currently at work so excuse my poor grammar (should be working :p  ) and if you need exact details/ more specs of my pc i'll have to post them up when i get home.
January 30, 2009 9:32:50 AM

err, what are the prices of videocards like over in britain? if you think the gtx 260 is a bit pricey/overkill for the system, could go with a 9800gtx or 9800gtx+. as long as you have a quality 550w psu, it should be more than enough for any single videocard you put in the system, just use one of the 2x4 pin molex to 6 pin pci-e power adapters for the 2nd 6 pin connector. i'm assuming you want to stay with nvidia...if not a radeon hd4850 would be even better
January 30, 2009 9:49:34 AM

funny you should mention the 4850 HD. was just lookin at that.

i could pick up a 260 gtx for £180
9800gtx+ for £120
4850 HD for £120

i'm tempted by the 4850 now just because although the 9800gtx+ is the same price and a bit better performance (i believe?) but reckon it would be more hassle with the psu/ my system is probably going to limit my performance anyway

and regarding the psu i'll have a look into it. In all honesty i never really thought about the psu but learned how important it is the last few days
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January 30, 2009 10:12:39 AM

naw actually, the 4850 will outperform a 9800gtx+ in most cases :) 
January 30, 2009 10:26:55 AM

cheers to the advice. You reckon i would get the most out of the 4850 with my cpu etc then? I'd imagine it should be a good step up from the current card
January 30, 2009 10:29:15 AM

yep, im pretty sure the 4850 will be your best bet, either way though, you're still gonna get a decent performance boost :) . good luck!
January 30, 2009 10:49:31 AM

Thanks. just gotta work out which one to get since they range from £120-160 so not sure whether to get the generic 1, asus, xfx etc