I should be able to get a new computer close to the end of next year, but with Christmas coming up I'm considering buying a small upgrade for my current (old) computer to tide me over. Currently, I have: CPU - Intel Core 2 Duo E6600, 2400 MHz (9 x 267) Motherboard - Intel Lemont DP965LT (3 PCI, 3 PCI-E x1, 1 PCI-E x16, 4 DDR2 DIMM, Audio, Gigabit LAN) GPU - Radeon X1300XT/X1600 Pro Series (512 MB) 4GB of RAM I'm using 2 monitors (1400x900 DVI and 1024x768 VGA).
There's no real limit to how much I can spend, but I intend to make this a smallish upgrade, so anything in the range of $50-120 would be nice.
I just checked my PSU, and it is 450w. Is this going to be enough to support those cards? I'm looking mostly at the HD 4770 right now (450w minimum).
Yes that power supply would be enough to support either of those cards.
You didn't say what you need this upgrade to do. Do you even play video games? Do you spend most of your time in Photoshop? You need to be careful, not all 450W PSUs are the same.
Gaming, mostly. Dragon Age, Left 4 Dead 2, Borderlands, etc.
Ok, next step is to look at your PSU again and check the brand and power on the 12V rail. Hopefully your near 30A. This will allow you to run all but the biggest cards. If you have 22A-25A, you should be ok with midrange cards. <22A or questable brand and you'll have to get a lower midrange card.
HD 4770 would be the best option..since it is built on 40nm technology it is more suitable for overclocking...besides sucks very low power
+1 To the above GPUs. They are all massive improvements from your current GPU.
Also, you can overclock your E6600 to 3Ghz+ quite easily for a free boost in performance. If you are not sure how, check the Core 2 Overclocking Sticky.