I have a Dell Dimension E521 with an AMD Athlon 2.0 Ghz dual processor. I have been looking at the GeForce 8600GT for a video card upgrade. I am not sure what brand might be most compatible, affordable or effective. Any suggestions or comments?
Well it doesn't depend on the brand of the card only a personal pereferance. The E521 uses a 305W Dell PSU with 18A on the single 12V rail (I think), its a BTX case but people have succesfully modded it for a standard ATX PSU like Corsair. Also for the 8600GT I personally suggest XFX or EVGA.
Thing is......for a brand like eVGA theres only one online and thats at NCIXUS.com and it costs around 130.00+ but you can purchase a 9600GT from Newegg for 100.00+ and it is even the EVGA SSC Edition.
I had the 8600GT previously and you can play Crysis on low setting only @ 1440 x 900. So you might want to consider a better option. Like AKM880 said, the 9600GT is a great option. If you do get an 8600GT, get an EVGA as you'll have STEP-UP. Check up if your PSU is sufficient.