Is a Nvidia 9800 GTX+ the best choice for me?


I currently have a Gigabyte 965p-DS3 motherboard, with a Intel Core 2 Duo E4500 2.2 Ghz CPU and 3 GB's RAM. My motherboard only has one PCI-Express x16 Slot (no PCI-E 2.0 x16). My LCD monitor is DSUB/VGA only @ 1440x900. I mainly play CS:S, but I own Bioshock, UT3, COD4, F.E.A.R. and would like to be able to play those decently (currently running a Nvidia 7600 GS card that's causing random FPS drops in CS:S). I don't need or want 60 FPS at full resolution in Crysis lol, just a decently good card that will at least get full competitive performance in CS:S.

I am looking to spend no more than $150, the best value for the dollar the better. I was looking at this card:
But I'm not sure if it will run decently on my system since it's a PCI-E 2.0 x16 card? I've heard it will work but underperform on 1.0 slots. Is there a better card (preferably Nvidia just because I'm more familiar with them) that I should use or will this one be good for me?

P.S. Also, I know I'll probably need to upgrade my PSU (currently it's only "ATX 2.01v 400W PSU Main connector: 20+4Pin
"Dual +12V, 2 x SATA Connectors") and I will be running 4 SATA hard drives, and 1 DVD Drive. Any thoughts on minimum PSU requirements for this PC + video card?
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More about nvidia 9800 choice
  1. if you wanna get the 9800gtx+ get this one xfx has the best warraties but if you want a bit more for you money get an ati 4870 the 4870 is compareble to an nvidia gtx260 but yes the card will underperform in that slot and a good qaulity 400 watt will power it but most card manufactures recommend 500 watts here is a good combo
  2. I run a 9800 GTX+ on a P965 chipset board and all of my benchmarks are spot on with published numbers using PCIe 2.0 so I don't think you will see a slowdown due to the older PCIe bus.

    Also, the GTS 250 cards are the same as the 9800 GTX+ so consider those on your list as well. For example, here is a BFG GTS 250 that is the same price as the BFG 9800 GTX+ you linked but it has 1GB of memory instead of 512MB.
  3. Thanks for the replys everyone!

    obsidian86 - As far as I can tell, both the XFX GeForce 9800 GTX+ and the BFG GeForce 9800 GTX+ have limited lifetime warranties according to newegg. The BFG I originally linked to is slightly more overclocked, and cheaper than the XFX.

    I don't really know if I really want to move to ATi, I don't really know their products well enough to make an informed decision. I do know that I'd rather spend ~$100 than ~$150.

    rwpritchett - Thanks for the info regarding my PCIe bus! I am interested in the GTS 250 cards, however, not sure what is more important: RAM size (512 mb vs. 1 GB) or the clock speeds (my original BFG 9800 GTX+ has a 760 MHz core clock and 2250 MHz memory clock, whereas that BFG GTS 250 has 738 and 2000).

    Would I be better off with this Zotac GeForce GTS 250 or EVGA GeForce GTS 250? Both have 1 GB of GDDR3 RAM, but the Zotac has a 750 MHz core clock and 2300 MHz memory clock. The EVGA has 756 MHz core clock, 2200 MHz memory clock, and more reviews.

    Comparing these two to the original BFG I linked, is double the RAM and a higher model number worth the extra ~$30 more? I only use a 1400 x 900 screen.
  4. Any ideas anyone?
  5. ati is fine you dont have to know all your products b4 you buy 1, i meam did you know your motherboard people or hard drive people b4 you brought them?
    i just had my 8800gtx died on me and i was thinking of the 295nvids but i decided to wait on the new ati cards coming out in a few days to see what the reviews say. Its always better to get a new tech card, the 9800 is been out for a while now.
  6. For your resolution, even a GTS 250 512MB is more than suffice...
    But you should also consider the ATI cards...they offer better value than the Nvidia cards at that price point...You get equally good performance for less...
    This would be my suggestion...
    XFX HD-485X-ZDFC Radeon HD 4850 1GB

    PSU -
    SeaSonic SS-500ET 500W ATX12V V2.2 / EPS12V V2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified
  7. First don't worry at all about PCIE 1.0 vs 2.0. Second also ignore 512 mb vv 1 gig of memory. At your resolution it won't matter so forget about it unless the price difference is negligible.
    Most importantly we need to know more about your PSU. If it's a bad brand and lacking voltage on the +12v rails then none of these cards will work with it. Tell us the brand and model#.
    In general I'd recommend you get over your Nvidia bias. In your price range ATI is definitely currently the best choice for the money. If your PSU can handle them you should be looking at an HD4850 or an HD4870 and if not then there's a good chance that the HD4770 is the best card your PSU can handle. It's overpriced compared to the other ATI cards but not compared to the GTS 250 and uses much less power.
    Also that CPU is definitely lacking. You should at the least overclock it, if not upgrade it.
  8. The PSU came with my case, here's the case I bought:
    I don't see a brand name on it, model number = PS-400W. I'm planning on upgrading the power supply anyways with the video card.

    The CPU I'm planning to upgrade after the video card, was considering either a E8500 or a Q9550.

    I did some research here on Tom's hardware and elsewhere about the ATi's, I think I'm willing to consider getting one. The XFX 4850 looked pretty good,
    but this 4870 looks like it might be a better deal (although I don't know about the manufacturer):

    After seeing my case, and knowing that I already have 4 SATA hard drives in it, I'm starting to worry about how much heat this thing is going to have. I run two 80 mm fans, one at the front in front of the hard drives, and one in the rear above the CPU. I generally run at about 40 C ambient/CPU temp, with a stock heatsink and radioshack thermal paste.

    To make things easier, all of the things I'm considering are listed in this wishlist:

    Thanks for the help so far, I'm going to go look at PSU's now.
  9. It doesn't matter too much at your current resolution but for the same price as the HD4870 you listed you can get a 1 gig version;
    Don't worry too much about the brand as they are almost all exactly the same apart from the coolers.
    I'd definitely go for the quad over the dual core.
  10. ^ +1
    Get the HD 4870 1GB and the Quad...
    And get the PSU that I had listed...For that price it is a very good PSU...
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