I'm looking on upgrading my 7600gt card. I basically want the most power I can get from a card or two in SLI while still not over heating my system or casing too much noise. I don't see the need to spend much over $200. So can I use 2.0 x16 GPU's on my system? Will my processor cause a bottleneck on powerful GPU's?
I'm looking at running Direct x10 games (crysis, Age of Conan). Any other upgrades I should get? I am a bit low on storage space these days, difficult to switch out hard drives? Just seeing whats out there and possible with this system.
-M2N32 WS Pro motherboard, AM2 socket
-Thermaltake 430W power supply
-Dual PCI Express x16 SLI ready
-AMD Athalon 64 X2 4600+ (2.41ghz each)
-1.5 or 2GB ram DDR2 (Dual channel)
4 Ram slots
-80 Gb harddrive
-LG 4ms 19 inch display in 1280-1024 res maxed
-Vista 32bit (useful getting a 64-bit OS?)
The most I would suggest is a HD4770, the faster cards might prove a little too much for the powersupply and will certainly held back by the CPU; Which you already suspect.
Depending on the case it's about 10 minuets work to replace a hard drive. At most you need to: Remove both sides, disconnect the power and data cables, undo 4 screws and slide the drive out. Depending on where it is, you may need to remove the graphics card as well.
Given the fairly weak processor I'd say this is the best match:
Yes but personally, I'd suggest doing it the hard way: Save out all the importaint data to CD or DVD and scan it for virus and malware infections. Download and save out the latest drivers for all your harware and scan again then install Windows and those drivers on the new, virgin drive, transferring gamesaves etc from DVD or CD and then smashing the other drive with a hammer.
And I mean it about the hammer, trash the drive totally, you never know who might find it and you would not want your personal data stolen, would you?
For the HDD, open the case and see if you have another slot for one. If you do, I would buy a faster drive with more capacity (WD Caviar Blacks are nice). Save your important data (including game profiles) to some kind of external media (flash drive, external HDD, dvd/cd). Install the new drive, and install windows on it. Boot into windows, shred the old drive if you are paranoid, then reformat it. Use the new drive for system and programs, the second drive for data. Done.