I have a gateway model dx430x with an intel core 2 quad, 400w PSU, and a Intel Corporation DG965OT Motherboard. I am looking to run most new games reasonably at 1680x 1050 resolution on a budget of about $150 US. What would be a good compliment for the Quad Core pross.
Do you know exactly what Intel Quad Core you have? Regardless, the real limiting factor in your system is the Power Supply. With that PSU, I think a 4670 or 4770 may be the highest you can safely go. Often OEM systems are designed with little headroom in the PSU area, which makes them a pain to upgrade. Also, do you know if that PSU even has a PCI-E six pin power? Would you be comfortable with upgrading the PSU as well?
First, I am partiall to nVidia. Second, i do not think i have any additional power wires, at least there are none hooked up to my nVidia 7500 LE. I have been looking at the nVidia geforce 8800 gt. really i want something that is not lacking compared to the prossesor. (2.40 gigahertz Intel Core2 Quad Q6600) I would rather not upgrade the PSU.
If you want to stay nVIdia, your best option for less than $150 is the GTS 250. Unfortunately, it's not as good as the ATI 4870 (which is equal to GTX 260). However, even the GTS 250 is going to require a PSU upgrade I'm afraid. The GTS 250 will require 1 6-pin power connector from your PSU.
The 8800GT / 9800GT is a good card for what it is, and I think you can get away without having the power connector. You can get a 9800GT for under $100. But you could get a better performing card from ATI for similar money if you were willing to switch. And that's coming from a guy who has 2 nVidia card's in SLI...
An important note is that the dx430x case only has a single port opening. How would i exactly know if there are any extra power conectors from the PSU. I mainly would like to run the new Dawn of War 2 online with medium settings with the things i have.
Well, I'm not up on the NVidia mid range, but without a PSU upgrade you would probably want to stick with the equivalent of an ATI 4670. You can technically go from 2 molex to 1 PCI-E power (if you have extra of those) but I just think that anything much beyond the 75W range would be pushing your luck depending on the quality/age of the PSU. A 4670 or NVidia equivalent would still be a very nice upgrade from a 7500 LE (Huge, actually).