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Best card for ~200$ as of oct. 2009

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
October 16, 2009 6:27:47 AM

Hey guys,

I'm new to TH and have somewhat lost touch with the computer hardware world since freshman year in college. I've been satisfied with my computer, but it's definitely starting to show it's age. So, I figured I'd come to where the people seem to know best..

My current system:
Mother board abit fatal1ty aa8xe
Psu Zephyr 750 watt
Intel Pentium 4 dual core 3.4ghz
2 gig ram pc 6300(?)* don't know for sure
NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT
Operating System: Windows xp pro sp3

I guess what I'm really asking is given my motherboard and other spec, what video card would best suit my system for around $200. Also, if there are somewhat cheap upgrades that I haven't come across yet and you're willing to suggest, I'm more than happy to consider them. If you're wondering what type of games that I play right now.. it would be stuff running on the Halflife 2 engine, Wow, right around in there. But like I said, I'm also looking to upgrade into more graphic intense games, so hardware suggestions would be more than extremely appreciated.

p.s. if you require anymore information on my current specs, I'll do my best to supply those.

Thanks again

More about : card 200 oct 2009

a b U Graphics card
October 16, 2009 7:11:15 AM

The 4890 is clearly the best performing card under $200 at this moment. Prices run from $170 to $200 for a 1GB card.
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a b U Graphics card
October 16, 2009 7:13:35 AM

Or another option would be a full upgrade (I'll do one for an AMD here).

$90 Gigabyte GA-MA785GMT-UD2H
$100 AMD Phenom II 620
$70 OCZ Gold DDR3 1066

Total: $260
Yes it's a bit over, but it will be better in the long run. Later pick up one of the ATI cards I listed above (the onboard will play Half Life, and WOW).
October 16, 2009 7:58:13 AM

If I were you I'd take IH8U's advice. In the long run, it's your best bet. Down the road when you can use a more powerful GPU (5850/5870?) you'll be thankful you did.

If you're intent on a strict $200 budget and getting a new GPU right now, then grab a 5770 and another 2GB of ram.
October 16, 2009 12:12:35 PM

get a 4850 and save up for a new system, that pentium d will hold you back big time
a b U Graphics card
October 16, 2009 1:36:59 PM

IH8U has it right imo. Ditch that ancient pentium and get a dirt cheap athlon 620 + 3200 graphics and you can play wow at decent settings.
October 16, 2009 2:17:24 PM

+1 for ATI 4890 at ~$200.00
October 16, 2009 2:30:11 PM

+1 for xaira, you shall be limited
but it also depends on what resolution you're playing
but I suggest you crossfire the ati 4770's
you get better performance than with the 4890 anyway
October 16, 2009 3:41:22 PM

your pentium 4 will do no justice for ANY $200 cards right now... not even a $100 card. upgrade cpu first then gpu not other way around.
October 16, 2009 7:34:18 PM

Thanks everyone for your comments, especially the ones about the cpu upgrades first. I'm just beginning to understand how gpu's and cpu's work in tandem to improve performance.