I've been piecing together a system over the last couple years, basing my choices largely on what's available on craigslist or internet sales. Initially, I wasn't building it for gaming (I haven't been that into pc games since War Craft II). Recently, however, I tapped into my rpg-20-sided-die-loving roots and bought Dragon Age: Origin. On low settings I am able to get enough out of my hardware to know the game is AWESOME, but once I get to more graphically complex levels, my framerate drops to about 5 and the game is no longer enjoyable.
My system: Asus Commando Mobo 2 x 2Gb Kingston memory (my system only recognizes about 3) 2.66Ghz Celeron R XFX GeForce 6800 GT
I recently bought a new Intel Core 2 Quad q9650 3.0 GHz (party!) It hasn't arrived in the mail yet.
While I'm waiting I'm getting worried that my gpu will be a major weak link in my system. Although the min specs for Dragon Age only require 6600 gt.
What do the gurus have to say? Should I get a new gpu? What do you recommend? I'm thinking that the $200 range is reasonable (e.g. a gtx 260).... Or is a new gpu the least of my worries in this piecemeal box?
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if you havent got a new gpu in the last 4 generations, ANYTHING will be a massive improvement. if you like craigslist, snag a cheap ati hd 4850 and you'll be more than happy. i've seen people selling them for as little as $60 bucks. will play most anything out now well. i have two, one in my pc and one in my sons pc. we play modern warefare 2 together and get over 75 fps average at high res and with details. if you got $200 to blow, there are alot of great cards out there. hard to get a bad one these days.your problem will be power supply now. any big cards gonna need big juice behind it. spend $125 on your gpu and $75 on a good 500 watt or better psu!
Thanks! I'm actually all set with an 800 watt power supply - way more than what I've needed thus far. The 4850 looks pretty frickin sweet.... Right now I just need to keep my pants on and not blow 20 extra dollars on overnight shipping