I have a 5 year old system (Pentium 4 560 @ 3.6 Ghz, 3 GB DDR2-533 memory, 8800 GTS 320mb, running win 7 32-bit). I was wondering - would I see any intelligible gaming difference by upgrading my graphics card to something like a GTS 250 1GB? I just saw one on newegg for $100 and it seems like a more powerful card.
I know that my cpu is pretty bad but I don't know exactly how much bottleneck it is putting on my card at 1920x1080. When I got the card, I only had a 1280x1024 monitor, and the cpu definitely bottlenecked it. The issue now is that I have upgraded my monitor and play games at 1920x1080, and I know that this card isn't designed to handle that workload regardless of cpu. Is a new graphics card in the ~$100 range worth it?
It really depends on the game(s) you are playing, they are all coded so differently that you might get a 5-10% frame rate increase over your 8800 GTX for some games but not for others. RTS games are the most CPU demanding, while some FPS are less CPU dependent than others. But is it really worth spending $100 for just for 4-6 more frames a second? If you really love PC games, start planning a whole system upgrade...
I play borderlands, crysis, half-life 2 & associated games (counterstrike), and oblivion mostly. Borderlands is the current game I'm hoping to be able to improve performance in (and subsequently any other UE3-based games). I pretty much only play FPS games.
Unfortunately my card is just an 8800 gts 320; it is a solid step below an 8800 GTX, especially at high resolution..
It is at least 2 years out before I will be able to have the money in my budget for a full system upgrade (~$500-600). Trying to get the most life out of this old system until I get outta grad school
If it's only 5-10% better though, then I'm definitely not shelling out $100 for it. Benchies seemed to indicate it was ~100%+ better at high resolutions
Save the money and plan for a new rig. The GTS250 is basically a 9800, with a few tweaks and runs cooler. But as far as performance, it would yield maybe 10% better... not worth the $100bucks. Save up for a new bulid