Graphics card recommendation

Simply put I want to know if upgrading my graphics card is going to be worth it in a price vs performance aspect.

System specs: Pentium D 3.4ghz, mobo As Rock 775dual/880pro, current card GeForce 8400gs 256mb model, monitor is 20.1 hpw2007, 500 ocz psu, Windows 7 64 bit ultimate.

Ok so clearly my system isn't the best but i'm trying to do minor upgrades to make it decent for the time being. So basically is a new graphics card going to show significant gains in performance while gaming. Would my CPU, since it is so old bottleneck a good card thus reducing it's effectiveness? I'm looking at 100 range so my eyes are on 9800gt or GTS 250. I really want a new card but if i'm not going to notice a decent increase then what is the point. I'm relatively new to graphics card and gaming so I have my mind set that if i get a graphics card it's going to make all the difference in the world. Tell me if i'm living in a fantasy world and wasting my money or is this a worthwhile upgrade and please make suggestions for any cards in the 100 dollar range.

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  1. Oh and i play Left for Dead and Counterstrike but would love to get into some more games if i thought i could play them at acceptable levels.
  2. I would say don't go any higher than the 9800 GT and even then it would be bottlenecked a bit.

    My recommendation would be the Geforce GT 240

    Supports DirectX 10.1, performs close to the 9600 GT, and doesn't require an external power connector. It would be a MASSIVE jump in performance from your current card even with that Pentium D.
  3. ^ I second that movement.
  4. Yes, if you get any of the newest graphics cards, they'll be a waste because the CPU will be a serious drag. It also looks like your motherboard has a PCIe x4 slot, not a PCIe x16 slot, which is going to further hinder any modern card. So yes, the 9800gt or GTS 250 are a pipe dream.

    You do also have an AGP 8x slot, which may actually be your better option. But it's still going to max out far below optimal for most recent games. For about $100, you can get an AGP-style HD 4670, which will bring you up to just barely passable for mid-level gaming, but I wouldn't try to play Crysis or anything like that.

    Honestly, you'll probably be a lot better off with a new system. You can't get a good graphics card without a new motherboard, and with a new motherboard, you'll probably want a new CPU, and then your power supply probably isn't big enough to power the whole thing, so you're basically replacing every part anyway.
  5. bump. thanks for the responses, any other suggestions?it says my motherboard has pci express 16 with a small asterick next to it about only supporting a low level of memory. what does that mean? thanks
  6. You will not get better result with 9800 or a gts 250 as ur processor will bottleneck the perfomance,So buy a mainstream gfx card like gt240 or gt220 or a gt240!

    With regards
  7. singlejm said:
    bump. thanks for the responses, any other suggestions?it says my motherboard has pci express 16 with a small asterick next to it about only supporting a low level of memory. what does that mean? thanks

    Is this your motherboard?

    If so, you're going to have trouble with modern cards. Yes, PCI express x16 cards will fit in the slot, but they will only run at 4x speed. Basically, the data can only cross from the card to the motherboard at a quarter of the speed of a true pcie x16 slot. That might be acceptable with older cards, because they may not have been powerful enough anyway to take advantage of the full bandwidth. But is a potentially HUGE bottleneck for a 9800 or a GTX series card. And if that doesn't bottleneck the card, your processor will.

    I also take back what I said about the AGP slot being a viable option, because from a couple of reviews that are still around, it looks like that board's AGP support has some issue that causes it to run way slower than it should.

    So basically, I don't see a way to run a decent card on that motherboard and get anything like the results you want.
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