Potential Build/GPU Suggestions

Hey all, so I'm about to throw a few more bucks into my machine and looking for some input on GPU choice.

Current Specs:

Motherboard: ASUS M2N-SLI Deluxe AM2 NVIDIA nForce 570 SLI MCP ATX AMD

RAM: Patriot Extreme Performance 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800

CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 4800+ Brisbane 2.5GHz 2 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM2 65W

Power: ENERMAX Liberty ELT500AWT 500W ATX12V


Windows Vista
So I've been looking at cards like the Radeon 4870 and Nvidia 250, but haven't really settled on anything yet.
What card(s) do you guys think will bring the most improvement to the system for gaming (Dragon Age, L4D, Mass Effect...) for <$200?
Also, I am considering doubling up on RAM - worthwhile?

5 answers Last reply
More about potential build suggestions
  1. Yeah, thanks, but I'm working for someone else and $200 is a hard cap on the budget. I hope I can upgrade the GPU without having to get a new CPU . . . it's not choking the system, do you think?
  2. I did a little more digging, and it's looking like ATI is giving me more bang for my buck in the $100-$200 range right now - does that seem right?

    Specifically, I'm looking at XFX 4890 right now, seems solid for $170.

    And, a quick double check, my mobo has a Nvidia nforce 570 chipset, this works fine with an ATI card?
  3. ^good choice. I would have to admit that this card is the best bang for your buck at under $200. There is the 5770 that offers DX11 support, however, my fear is that even with DX11 support it may struggle with DX11 games. I think the safest bet is the 4890 what will give you a huge boost in power over your current card. The XFX card you picked out has a nice cooler and MIR. It's a good price.
  4. Unless you posted and I missed it, what resolution would this be running at? That might make a big difference. For example, a 4890 would be wasted at 1024x768.
  5. I suggest a GTS250 and leave it as is since it is a big jump from 7900GS. Leave the cpu upgrade until later since not all AM2 boards support AM3 CPU´s. I can not find any on this list http://asus.com/product.aspx?P_ID=szSFtrap7crpBaQE&templete=2
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