More streaming processors, or more graphic memory?
I'm considering buying a palit 9600gt for $65 with 64 streaming processors and 1gb gddr3 memory. Or a Palit or MSI gts 250 for 85$ from newegg which comes with 128 streaming processors and 512 MB of memory. I'm also considering a green version of the 9800 gt or a 240 gt with 512MB. There all in the same price and have very similar speeds. I'll be using a 20" monitor with resolution of 1600x900. Any suggestions? Thanks!
The GTS250 is the best out of all of those cards.
More RAM allows the GPU to store more things into it's memory. Most games do not use over 1GB of vRam, however games like Crysis, GTAIV, and Fallout benefit from it.
Stream processor affect performance more, whereas more vRam affects the card's ability to produce more things on the screen (higher resolutions, more anti-aliasing and effects).
GTS 250 is an easy choice over the 9800GT, 9600GT, or GTS240. (There's a huge jump from GTS 240 to GTS 250 by the way).
Between DX10.1 and DX10 I'd say is pointless.
As far as gaming @ 1600x900 goes, the GTS250 would server you very well. Any of those cards would handle Windows 7 fine, but gaming wise the GTS250 is noticeably faster than the rest of the cards you've listed. And the difference in 512MB of RAM vs 1GB of RAM at your resolution won't matter. Especially when you consider that the GTS 250 is definitely faster than the 1GB 9600GT. A larger amount of video RAM would be important at higher resolutions, but then again so would a faster video card (GTX 260, ATI 5770, etc).
With your budget and resolution, GTS 250 is the best gaming choice.
This is a good option as far as the GTS 250 goes:
MSI Twin- Frozr GTS 250 ($109 + Free Shipping + Free Crazy Machines 2 game) - $25 MIR = $84.99
The double cooling system will probably help keep things cooler, which means you may be able to OC the GPU if you chose too. And with an aftermarket type cooler, you probably won't have to worry about the noisy fan speed issue on the GTS 250's (I'm hearing you can't adjust fan speeds on stock models).
Edit: Side note. I've had a few MSI video cards in the past, and they've always performed well. They've always honored my mail in rebates, however they do tend to take a long time to send me a check (30 days or so)
Also keep in mind the GPU is fairly long, and requires a 6-pin PCI-E power connector on the END of the card.
Also does anyone have an opinion between these two.
I would do the MSI card. Better cooling, free game. Price ends up being the same. I've used more MSI stuff than ECS Group. Both are less expensive brands.
nVidia says this about power requirements on the GTS 250:
Maximum Graphics Card Power (W) 150 W
Minimum Recommended System Power (W) 450 W
Someone can probably use a formula to convert the 150W max draw into amps.
EDIT: 150W / 12volts = 12.5 Amps (if this is the proper formula that would be the answer)