ok, so i have 2 graphics cards to possibly put into my dell dimension 8400 with a 3 GHz pentium 4, and a radeon x300 (i think, the driver is x300/x550/x1050) so i dont know if my computer will bottleneck it too bad, but i should be getting a new one that i can put it in later. Well, i want better performance of the sims 2, and maybe later, the sims 3, and older racing games like need for speed underground, and some others. The 2 possibilities i have picked out are as follows:
I want to know if there is a better "bang for buck" one out there, and which of these would you prefer and why. Im pretty sure i will experience a big jump in performance between my current one and whichever one i choose.
If you think there is a better one out there, it has to be under US$90 and at least 1GB VRAM (unless i will get better performance from a 512MB one)
First off entirely ignore the amount of ram cards have. Your system can't handle any resolution were 1gig would be remotely helpful. Your cpu is very weak for gaming and it will bottleneck any of the cards listed. If you plan on moving the card over to a new rig when you get it then the best choice would probably be one of the new low power 9600gts; http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
That 4850 would wipe the floor with any of the above cards, however, if you upgrading later, carry it to the new rig.
You do realize if he sticks that in his current rig how much of a bottleneck the cpu would cause it. If you dont have a 6pin you can get a 2 molex to 1 6pin adapter.
Be careful here, the P4 and mobo will be taking half of the usable watts (going on the fact that the dell 300w is probably 70% efficient) so there is not much room for adding in a GPU that needs power from more than the pci-express slot. The cpu will bottleneck the 4xxx ATI series and 9xxx nvidia series cards, so I would look at spending the least on a 4650 which will possibly work in the power factor you are dealing with, and is the best match to the CPU. There are a few 4650 versions out there with GDDR3 ram, dont get one with GDDR2 ram, will be slow
You dont mention resolution that you want to game at, P4 3Ghz and 4650 will game ok in most games at 1024x1280, except CPU intensive games (World in conflict, supreme commander GTA4, Need for Speed Pro street by the way did not run properly on my p4 at 3Ghz but did when overclocked to 3.7Ghz)